Book Review: Within These Lines by Stephanie Morrill

As you all know, Stephanie Morrill is one of my writing role models. Several months ago, I first heard that she was writing another historical fiction YA novel under Blink YA after The Lost Girl of Astor Street was releasedFast-forward until now, and I’m finally able to fangirl over the beautifully written 1940s based novel that is Within These Lines.



Focus on Japanese-American Internment Camps

My favorite aspect of Within These Lines is that the author went into the book with the purpose to realistically portray how Japanese-Americans were treated while living in internment camps during World War II. The descriptions in the book are proof alone that the author thoroughly researched the topic at hand and aptly portrayed the conditions through her characters. Though I didn’t know much about Manzanar, or the internment of Japanese-Americans before reading this book, it has definitely piqued my interest in learning more about that time period.

Taichi and Evalina

These two, gah! ❤ It’s rare that YA books tackle relationships that have pre-existed before the beginning of the story, but this book does so flawlessly! I absolutely love Taichi and Evalina together, and watching them endure the threats of separation, judgment, and war made their love story all the more endearing. ❤

The Supporting Characters

Each and every one of the supporting characters had their own unique personalities and contributed to the story. Though I liked Taichi’s friends, James and Diego, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Gia or Tony, two of Evalina’s friends. Nevertheless, I feel they all added needed perspectives to the story about the issue of the internment camps.

Evalina’s Persistence

The thing I love most about Evalina is her determination to seek justice for the Japanese-Americans who were wrongfully imprisoned due to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Her rift with her college professor over opposing political viewpoints raised an important issue, and I felt that Evalina handled the situation well as she pointed out people can have opposing views without the other person being deemed wrong or ignorant. Evalina serves as a terrific role model for young girls who are politically-minded but also fear of being judged for having different viewpoints than their peers.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Talk to me, Arrowheads!

What is your favorite YA novel based in the WWII era? What other books about Japanese internment camps do you recommend? Let me know in the comments!

Oh, and One More Thing…

Due to a combination of stress, lack of time, and waning interest on putting out ten or more blog posts per month, I have decided to cut out Friday book reviews until the end of the year. I apologize to my loyal book review readers, but this is a decision I have put a lot of thought into within the past few weeks. I will continue to post every Wednesday and finish out the Character Names by Letter Series; I’m just wanting to invest the time I’ve been spending working on weekly book review posts on other outlets. I may continue to post random book reviews in the future, but we’ll see! 📖

Aim high, stay strong, and always hit your mark.

-Allyson 😀

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As an author and blogger, my goal is to teach writers that there is a way to write realistic, thought-provoking, redemptive Christian fiction that honors God while not sugarcoating the realities of the world. 

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