BOOK JACKET BLURB: In the wake of the post-9/11 sniper shootings, fragile love finds a stronghold in this intense, romantic novel from the author of Break and Invincible Summer.
It’s a year after 9/11. Sniper shootings throughout the D.C. area have everyone on edge and trying to make sense of these random acts of violence. Meanwhile, Craig and Lio are just trying to make sense of their lives.
Craig’s crushing on quiet, distant Lio, and preoccupied with what it meant when Lio kissed him…and if he’ll do it again…and if kissing Lio will help him finally get over his ex-boyfriend, Cody.
Lio feels most alive when he’s with Craig. He forgets about his broken family, his dead brother, and the messed up world. But being with Craig means being vulnerable…and Lio will have to decide whether love is worth the risk.
Published by Simon Pulse, 2012, $9.99
Release date: April 17, 2012
Agent: Suzie Townsend, FinePrint Literary Management
Stonewall Award Honor Book, 2012
This book is told in two voices: Craig’s and Lio’s. It begins with Craig waking up after his house has been broken into. He has lost all of his animals, and there are lots of animals. Finding them becomes a trick in the book. Occasionally, Moskowitz includes a count of how many are found and how many are still missing. The characters are interesting, though the story is sluggish. The affection between the two boys grows into a full-fledged romance, but not until close to the end of the book. The rest of the book is about the two of them trying to figure out what’s going on.
Craig is 15 and had a boyfriend, Cody, whose father was killed at the Pentagon in the 9/11 attacks. Cody has been sent to a school to recuperate; he’s never recovered from his father’s death. The book is set in 2002, and it combines elements of history: the Beltway Sniper is wreaking fear on the Maryland/Virginia/DC area by shooting random people at gas stations, grocery stores, schools. At first this confused me a great deal. I didn’t have the context for why the shootings were occurring (in the novel). Once I figured out that it was an event I actually remember from 10 years ago, things made more sense. In general, the book struggles with plotting. Ideas are loose in places and I had some difficulty moving from scene to scene. Some of the writing is beautiful, and Moskowitz gets the love story right. Both boys are misfits of sorts: Craig trying to understand his relationship with Cody, whom he believes he is still in love with, and Lio, a Leukemia survivor whose twin brother died of the disease. He calls himself “cancer boy.” The ending moves more easily and quickly than the early chapters in the book.
“Applegate, Klassen, Lake Win Newbery, Caldecott, Printz,” Publishers Weekly
By Diane Roback, Published January 28, 2013
Publishers Weekly, March 26, 2012
“Exclusive Interview: YA Author Hannah Moskowitz,” www.shalomLife.com
By Rebecca Ihilchik, Published November 28, 2011
AUTHOR’S WEB PRESENCE:
Author’s website: http://www.hannahmoskowitz.com/#!books/cm8a