Title: A Missing Peace
Author: Beth Fred
Genre: YA, romance
Publish Date: September 1, 2013
Publisher: Escape Publishing - Harlequin Enterprises, Australia Pty Ltd
Length: 187 pages
Format: ebook (Amazon, B&N, Kobo)
Summary (from Amazon): A turbulent, emotionally charged YA novel that breaks down barriers and challenges the status quo...
Angry, seventeen-year-old Iraqi war refugee Mirriam Yohanna hates her new life in Killeen, Texas, where the main attraction is a military base, populated with spoiled army brats like Caleb Miller.
Caleb has much to be angry about too, including Mirriam who turns him down flat in front of everyone. Eager for retribution, Caleb agrees to a dare that will see him take Mirriam to the prom and regain his pride.
But their relationship soon moves beyond high school antics. Mirriam and Caleb are bound together by more than location, and as they are forced to work closely together on a school assignment, they start to uncover an explosive story that has the potential to ruin lives – and both of their futures. One single truth changes everything and strengthens their bond.
When Mirriam's family discovers their relationship, they decide it's time to arrange her marriage to a proper Iraqi man. Caleb must convince Mirriam that he is in it for forever – or risk losing her for good.
My Review: A Missing Peace is an incredible book about the prejudices and miscommunication between cultures. In the opening of this story I was not sure how I would feel about Caleb due to his initial disrespect and stereotyping of Mirriam. I liked Mirriam instantly because of how tough and resilient she is against the outright racial and cultural bigotry that majority of the town has. My dislike of Caleb only deepened when he makes a bet to take Mirriam to prom. However, my opinion changed as their relationship grew and they learned more about each other. Their relationship becomes sweet and the love between them is real. Their shared history is devastating but I was happy that it makes them understand each other a little better and bring down the cultural barriers that the couple had placed. I really loved the ending of the book, although I would have liked to see the families' reactions to the news.
Excerpt: "Captain America behind me was so annoying. He was six feet of muscle. With a chiseled jaw and a small dimple on the left of his face, he was cute enough. If you were into All-American guys which I wasn’t.
When my eyes connected to his golden brown teddy bear eyes, a wave of déjà vu washed over me.
“Where are you from?” he asked like he was shocked I didn’t answer him in Spanish.
It was probably better to be hit on by annoying guys than immediately made an outcast, but he’d assumed I was Mexican. He called me beautiful and he knew nothing about me. I hated guys like that. For once, I wished my older brother Abrahem, was with me.
I sized him and his band of All-American boys up, a group of buzz cut guys in khakis with tucked in shirts. No barbells sticking through their faces anywhere. None of the ink stains that were so “cool” in America ran down their arms. These were decent guys. It disgusted me that decent guys here could walk up to a girl they’d never seen before and instantly turn her into an object. For a moment, I missed home even more than I did every second of every day.
Paintings were beautiful. People had depth, or at least I did.
“Where am I from? The birthplace of humanity.” I turned away from him again. “Zmal,” I spat the word out. No way did any of the boys behind me knew what I said, so my tone must have been enough because two or three of them laughed wildly and another one said, “Smooth, Caleb. Way to go.”
“Where exactly is the birthplace of humanity, and what are you so bent out of shape about?”
“Hmm. Maybe, it’s frustrating that someone would approach me in Spanish. Every brown person in the world is Mexican, right?”
“I’m sorry. It is Texas. It’s usually a safe assumption.”
“And why would you walk up to a girl you don’t know and call her beautiful? It’s so disrespectful, not to mention cheesy."
Overall: Overall, I enjoyed A Missing Peace a lot. I liked that it makes you think about how soldiers are portrayed and how it is not always the strong and honorable way that they are made out to be. Similarly, I enjoyed the fact that a culture that is widely misinterpreted and seen in a negative way, especially in the media, is shown as a normal society that is not much different than America. I give A Missing Peace 5 stakes and would definitely recommend this to anyone and everyone.
About the Author (from Amazon): Beth Fred is a full time ELF keeper and part time writer/blogger/writing instructor. She likes her tea hot, her romance sweet, and her guys chivalrous. Real men hold open doors, refer to you as ma'am, make promises they keep, and aren't afraid to profess their undying love. It's not breakfast if there aren't carbs(at least, not in the South). Fajitas, carnitas, and churros are just few of her favorite things. Bet you can't guess where she's from ;) .
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