April 20, 2019

#BookReview for Within These Lines by Stephanie Morrill


Synopsis: Evalina Cassano’s life in an Italian-American family in 1941 is everything it “should be” until she falls in love with Taichi Hamasaki, the son of Japanese immigrants. Despite the scandal it would cause and that inter-racial marriage is illegal in California, Evalina and Taichi vow they will find a way to be together. But anti-Japanese feelings erupt across the country after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and Taichi and his family are forced to give up their farm and move to an internment camp.

Degrading treatment make life at Manzanar Relocation Center difficult. Taichi’s only connection to the outside world are treasured letters from Evalina. Feeling that the only action she can take to help Taichi is to speak out on behalf of all Japanese Americans, Evalina becomes increasingly vocal at school and at home. Meanwhile, inside Manzanar, fighting between different Japanese-American factions arises. Taichi begins to doubt he will ever leave the camp alive.

With tensions running high and their freedom on the line, Evalina and Taichi must hold true to their values and believe in their love to make a way back to each other against unbelievable odds.


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About the Author: 
Stephanie Morrill writes books about girls who are on an adventure to discover their unique place in the world. She is the author of several contemporary young adult series, as well as the 1920s mystery, The Lost Girl of Astor Street, and the WWII era romance, Within These Lines. She lives in the Kansas City area, where she loves plotting big and small adventures to enjoy with her husband and three children. You can connect with Stephanie and learn more about her books at StephanieMorrill.com.

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟
My Review: This one felt like a reverse of The Gift where that book skipped over all the day to day things and gave us all of the action stuff and none of the other little things that go on in a story.  This one gave us all the day to day stuff and jumped over all the main action.  We learn about the bombing of Pearl Harbor 2 weeks after the fact and we learn about other large events after the fact.  I think that really took a lot of the spark and suspense out of this book.  It was a story form the POV of the sidelines.  And for me that kind of failed what I was looking for.  



A frightening portrait of how suspicion and fear of Japanese Americans during World War II led to the incarceration of thousands at Manzanar and other camps. Precise in its history, intimate in detail, Stephanie Morrill's sensitively written novel brings to life a shameful era of American injustice, one that echoes events in the present day. (Janet Taylor Lisle, ALA notable author of Scott O'Dell Award winner The Art of Keeping Cool and Newbery Honor book Afternoon of the Elves)

A thoughtful and moving story of forbidden love under the dual pressures of wartime and of intolerance, Within These Lines grabs you with its mix of fascinating historical fact and heart-melting fiction. Stephanie Morrill keeps you hoping against hope right up to the very last page. (Caroline Leech, author of Wait for Me and In Another Time)

Within These Lines will steal your breath, your heart, and your thoughts for days after you've finished. An always-timely look at prejudice and the importance of taking action combines with a tale of deepest love and self-sacrifice. Flawless and beautiful. (Roseanna M. White, bestselling author of the Ladies of the Manor and Shadows Over England series)

Poignant and evocatively relevant, Within These Lines is a tale of star-crossed love and heartrending discrimination with characters that leap off the page and challenge us to stand against the injustice in our own time. A gripping read! (Lorie Langdon, author of Olivia Twist and the Doon series)

Within These Lines will both break your heart and awaken it. Evalina and Taichi's story not only navigates a precarious romance, but it challenges racism, injustice, and the temptation to stay silent. Their boldness and call to action will stick with you long after you turn the last page. I applaud Morrill's storytelling and cannot recommend this book enough--a must-read for all historical fiction fans! (Nadine Brandes, author of Fawkes)

Within These Lines is a moving story of love, hope, and family set against the dark history of Japanese internment in America. This book had me captivated! (Maureen McQuerry, YALSA award-winning author of The Peculiars and the upcoming Between Before and After)

Thought provoking and timely, Within These Lines highlights a dark period in history. Through compelling characters, we see the injustice and feel the fears and doubts and dilemmas. But mostly, we see the shimmering ribbon of hope through Evalina and Taichi's unrelenting love. Stephanie Morrill has written a novel to ponder, a novel to cherish. (Sarah Sundin, bestselling and award-winning author of The Sea Before Us and The Sky Above Us)

Heartrending and timely, Evalina and Taichi's story leaps off the page. Morrill deftly weaves history and fiction together, shining a light on the realities of America's World War II-era home front through the eyes of her fiery and steadfast protagonists. From start to satisfying finish, historical fiction readers won't want to miss Morrill's latest. (Hillary Manton Lodge, author of A Table by the Window)

In fiercely beautiful prose, Stephanie Morrill delivers a timely new novel that sheds much-needed light on racial conflict and trauma experienced on the home front during World War II. An evocative, impeccably researched story of love, loss, longing, and the necessary hard work of reconciliation, Within These Lines offers characters who will inspire readers long into the future. Historical fiction fans, this is a must-read for 2019. (Karen Halvorsen Schreck, author of Broken Ground)

It's 1942, and in the wake of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, California teenagers Evalina Cassano and Taichi Hamisaki fight for their right to love each other. Evalina is the daughter of Italian parents who own an Italian restaurant, and Taichi is the son of Japanese parents who provide the produce for the Cassanos' restaurant. Evalina and Taichi vow to love each other and never give up. However, as Taichi settles into life at Manzanar Relocation Center, in the shadow of Mt. Whitney, and Evalina prepares for her first year at Berkeley, the obstacles become more than they can handle. Japanese is peppered throughout, and the author's extensive research helps to create a rich and engaging atmosphere that will transport readers. Both Evalina and Taichi develop as their stories unfold, and readers get to see them mature and grow as their circumstances evolve. and shy;VERDICT A solid pick for anyone who enjoys historical fiction or romantic tales of love, loss, and reunion. Recommended for general purchase.and ndash;Maryjean Bakaletz, and shy;Morris County Library, Whippany, NJ (School Library Journal)









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