**May Contain Spoilers**
“Defiant Heart” by Marty Steere
Jonathon (Jon) is left at the age of 16 as an orphan. He is shipped off to live with his grandmother, who seems to hate him from the day she meets him. Jon feels all alone in this new, small town he was forced to live in. That is until one day he meets a girl named Mary. He is struck by her beauty and intelligence. At school he is still an outcast, the basket ball team hates him for some reason and most other kids ignore him. Then one day they find out he is Jewish, people started treating him very badly and Mary’s father forbid her to see him again.
To escape the hate and feeling of an outcast Jon takes up going on long bike rides. One day he discovers a man who flies planes and they become friends. This becomes a great outlet for both guys, a way to get away from past and current pains.
Through a series of events that I don’t want to post here (I would give away too much), Jon is enlisted into the army and has to go fight in WWII. All he longs for is Mary and to get back home to her.
The story is kind of like a WWII version of Romeo and Juliet. Two people in love cannot see each other because of where they come from and who they are.
I loved this book. It made me angry at times, but I loved it. I was so mad at how hateful people can be. Things never chance, we hate each other for the most petty things. I kept rooting for Jon to win, to have the right to be with Mary, to be looked at as a human, to be treated fairly. Even some of his teachers treated him badly and that mad me so sick, an adult should know better.
I was very much emotionally involved with this book. I didn’t want to put it down. I wanted to see Jon be happy. Marty Steere did a great job at building up the characters and making you feel like you were there.
I would suggest this book to anyone who likes to read romance and/or a good war story. I loved it a lot and I’m glad to be part of this tour.