I recently finished reading A MILLION MILES AWAY by Lara Avery and was really moved by the story. Check out the synopsis. I mean really, I had to break out the tissues.
When high school senior Kelsey’s identical twin sister, Michelle, dies in a car crash, Kelsey is left without her other half. The only person who doesn’t know about the tragedy is Michelle’s boyfriend, Peter, recently deployed to Afghanistan. But when Kelsey finally connects with Peter online, she can’t bear to tell him the truth. Active duty has taken its toll, and Peter, thinking that Kelsey is Michelle, says that seeing her is the one thing keeping him alive. Caught up in the moment, Kelsey has no choice: She lets Peter believe that she is her sister.
As Kelsey keeps up the act, she crosses the line from pretend to real. Soon, Kelsey can’t deny that she’s falling, hard, for the one boy she shouldn’t want.
COMING OUT JULY 7th, 2015
After finishing the book I decided to check out the other romances that involved a character in the military. Below you’ll find some of what I found.
When Travis returns home from a stint in Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother’s stolen his girlfriend and his car, and he’s haunted by nightmares of his best friend’s death. It’s not until Travis runs into Harper, a girl he’s had a rocky relationship with since middle school, that life actually starts looking up. And as he and Harper see more of each other, he begins to pick his way through the minefield of family problems and post-traumatic stress to the possibility of a life that might resemble normal again. Travis’s dry sense of humor, and incredible sense of honor, make him an irresistible and eminently lovable hero.
Quinn’s done the unthinkable: she kissed a guy who is not Carey, her boyfriend. And she got caught. Being branded a cheater would be bad enough, but Quinn is deemed a traitor, and shunned by all of her friends. Because Carey’s not just any guy—he’s serving in Afghanistan and revered by everyone in their small, military town.
Quinn could clear her name, but that would mean revealing secrets that she’s vowed to keep—secrets that aren’t hers to share. And when Carey goes MIA, Quinn must decide how far she’ll go to protect her boyfriend…and her promise.
So Sam joins the first-ever class of girls at the prestigious Denmark Military Academy. She’s expecting push-ups and long runs, rope climbing and mud-crawling. As a military brat, she can handle an obstacle course just as well as the boys. She’s even expecting the hostility she gets from some of the cadets who don’t think girls belong there. What she’s not expecting is her fiery attraction to her drill sergeant. But dating is strictly forbidden and Sam won’t risk her future, or the dare, on something so petty… no matter how much she wants him.
As Sam struggles to prove herself, she discovers that some of the boys don’t just want her gone—they will stop at nothing to drive her out. When their petty threats turn to brutal hazing, bleeding into every corner of her life, she realizes they are not acting alone. A decades-old secret society is alive and active… and determined to force her out.
At any cost.
Now time’s running short. Sam must decide who she can trust… and choosing the wrong person could have deadly consequences.
Amy Nelson-Barak, 17, is back in this third installment about a Jewish-American teen learning how to live and love in peace. She signs up for 10 days of training with the Israel Defense Force as soon as she finds out that her long-distance boyfriend, Avi, will be on base as well. But things turn out to be different from what she’d hoped for. She sleeps in a bunk bed underneath coils that look ready to give way, she’s being worked to the bone, and the bathrooms are hardly up to her standards. Worst of all, Avi doesn’t seem remotely thrilled that she’s there. Is something going on between him and a fellow soldier? Strong, beautiful, and able to be with Avi all the time, Liron is everything Amy wants to be. Even though the plot is predictable, readers can’t help but get drawn in by Amy’s fun way of telling her story, and they learn a lot about Israeli teens’ mandatory military service. Elkeles catches new readers up to speed in no time.
Ben has always had it pretty easy–with no acting experience, he landed the lead in his high school musical, and he’s dating the prettiest girl in school. Haunted by memories of 9/11, he makes the decision to enlist in the army–with devastating consequences. Somehow nobody ever thought Ben would be one of the soldiers affected, but after his convoy gets caught in an explosion, Ben is in a coma for two months. When he wakes up, he doesn’t know where he is, and he doesn’t remember anything about his old life. His family and friends mourn what they see as a loss, but Ben perseveres. Although he will never be the person he once was, this is the story of his struggle and transformation.
In war-torn Afghanistan, a girl walks right into a hail of bullets: Elinor watches it with her own eyes. The young British army medic risks the line of fire to rescue her, only to realize the girl is gone.
To find the missing, mysterious child, Elinor enlists the help of an American Navy SEAL. But in all the confusion, with coalition troops fighting every day to maintain a fragile peace, does Ben have something to hide?
Elinor came to Afghanistan with the hope of changing hearts and minds: What she’s about to discover will make her question everything she ever believed about love and war.
Author: Karin Perry
Assistant Professor of Library Science at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX. She loves reading YA Lit in her spare time.