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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.
*I received a free ARC of A Missing Peace from Harlequin via Netgalley in exchange of an honest review*
A Missing Peace is a brilliant YA novel, about an Iraqi girl and an American boy, they have both been scarred by the war in Iraq, Mirriam’s dad was killed there when he tried to save a man. Caleb’s dad was killed there as well, and Caleb had always thought it happened in an attack and that enemy fire killed him. The way Caleb and Mirriam really can’t stand each other in the beginning, each thinking the other represents everything they hate is so well done!
As Mirriam and Caleb get to know each other better, they also learn to appreciate that the other point of view is not necessarily wrong, and I think that is a very strong point in A Missing Peace. We don’t really know very much about things that happen in the world, or how what we read about in the papers truly impact the lives of the people who are actually living what we read about. When Caleb tries to find out more about his father’s death, Mirriam is realizing she might be the one to give him the key nobody else is willing to give him.
The cultural differences between Caleb and Mirriam are well done, some things Caleb takes for granted is so alien for Mirriam she can’t even begin to understand how he can act and react the way he does. And Caleb is changing now that he knows there’s another side to what has been happening in Iraq. He has a new respect for Mirriam, and he realizes that the way he has been acting like he can’t do anything wrong is not the way he wants to continue living his life.
The biggest shock in A Missing Peace is when Caleb gets the whole truth, and then stands to lose everything he has, and everything he has ever believed in. Mirriam is with him the whole way, until her brother decides to enforce his rule as the man of the family and have her enter an arranged marriage. He does not count on the fact that Caleb really cares about her and is willing to do whatever it takes to help Mirriam to make a love match instead, though.
A Missing Peace was very enjoyable, the prose and the writing is good, the character growth is amazing, and I enjoyed both the overall story and the side story. I did think some things could have been a little better explained, and maybe the final resolution was a little too easy. Instead of the epilogue, I would have appreciated either an ending before it, or a longer epilogue that explained more. All in all, I do recommend A Missing Peace, though. It’s a very good story with solid characters. It’s written in dual point of view, one chapter from Mirriam then one from Caleb.
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.
“I love you , Mirriam. I’d never do anything to hurt you.” “I know. Besides, I’m meaner than you.” I chuckled, because replies like that were the reason I loved this girl.