Published July 2012 by Listening Library|Run Time: 10 hours, 41 minutes
Genre: YA Contemporary
Summary: A summer of firsts
Sixteen-year-old Eliza Miller has never made a phone call, never tried on a pair of jeans, never sat in a darkened theater waiting for a movie to start. She’s never even talked to someone her age who isn’t Amish, like her.
A summer of good-byes
When she leaves her close-knit family to spend the summer as a nanny in suburban Chicago, a part of her can’t wait to leave behind everything she knows. She can’t imagine the secrets she will uncover, the friends she will make, the surprises and temptations of a way of life so different from her own.
A summer of impossible choice
Every minute Eliza spends with her new friend Josh feels as good as listening to music for the first time, and she wonders whether there might be a place for her in his world. But as summer wanes, she misses the people she has left behind, and the plain life she once took for granted. Eliza will have to decide for herself where she belongs. Whichever choice she makes, she knows she will lose someone she loves.
A World Away was such a beautiful story! Every time I read (or in this case, listen to) a story involving the Amish, I always want to read more, because every single time, I find myself completely pulled in. I don’t know what it is about a coming of age story when it involved an Amish girl, but I always get sucked in!
In a lot of ways, A World Away is a predictable story. Eliza has a boy she likes at home, and meets a new boy when working as a nanny, and has feelings for both of them. She experiences things that are completely new to her, and sees how different life is in Chicago. She has to decide if she wants to stay in Chicago, and leave her old life behind, or if she wants to go back to her Amish life, and leave everything in Chicago behind. She learns family secrets, and meets a long-lost aunt she never knew she had.
And I didn’t care. AT ALL. A World Away is written so beautifully that I didn’t care if I predicted things before they happened. There were times when I was trying so hard to not start crying, because I don’t want people to think I’m weird when I start crying in public because of a book I’m listening to.
Speaking of audiobooks, I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED Jessica Lawshe as the narrator. I can’t think of a better person to have narrated A World Away, and there were times when I felt like she WAS Eliza. I’m not kidding when I say that PERFECT doesn’t even begin to describe how great she did narrating.
Random Side Note: Her voice really reminds me of Natalie Portman’s voice.
Listening to A World Away really made the book for me, because I really felt like I was experiencing things as Eliza experienced things, and I was right there with her when she learned the truth of why her mom didn’t want her to go away, and when she visited her Aunt Beth before knowing that Beth was her aunt, who was shunned, and that she was named after her aunt.
A World Away is such a beautiful story, and I am so glad I listened to it! Words can’t adequately express how much I loved and enjoyed this book, and I can’t wait to see what Grossman writes next. A World Away gets 5 stars.