Ever since the 2nd grade when we went on vacation to Pennsylvania to Hershey Park and Amish Country I've been very interested in the Amish way of living. It is fascinating how they can manage to do so much with so little technology. So imagine how excited I was when I came across this book which mixes both Amish and American ways. I'm fascinated with the whole concept of Rumspringa so this book was totally for me. Sadly though it was just good, and not great.
A World Away is the story of Eliza, a 16 year old Amish girl that is searching for something new in her life. She wants the freedoms that the English have that seem to be just out of reach to the Amish. When an opportunity comes about that would allow Eliza to do her Rumspringa as a nanny in Chicago the precocious teen jumps at the chance. Although her parents have doubts and concerns they let her go. Soon Eliza is thrust into a world she only dreamed of. And when she meets a boy everything changes for her. But when secrets are revealed and Eliza sees things and does things she isn't proud of, she must decide which life is the best life for her.
Honestly this book had all the parts. Great characters, a strong plot, a hook to drag you in. The secret took me completely by surprise and I loved the relationship between Eliza and Josh. I also really liked Eliza trying to fit her Amish ways into her English lifestyle. It was great to see her navigate and figure out what things were and how things worked. But with all that said, it just all didn't click and work together for me. Beside the secret everything seemed predictable and contrived. I guess I just wanted more surprise out of Eliza for some things. I mean it had to have been a massive culture shock and it almost seemed blasé to the teen most of the time.
I guess the simple way to put it...I just wanted more. It was so close and just couldn't get there. Like I said, it was good, but not great.