First there is a Before, and then there is an After. . .
The lives of three teens—Claire, Jasper, and Peter—are altered forever on September 11, 2001. Claire, a high school junior, has to get to her younger brother in his classroom. Jasper, a college sophomore from Brooklyn, wakes to his parents’ frantic calls from Korea, wondering if he’s okay. Peter, a classmate of Claire’s, has to make his way back to school as everything happens around him.
Here are three teens whose intertwining lives are reshaped by this catastrophic event. As each gets to know the other, their moments become wound around each other’s in a way that leads to new understandings, new friendships, and new levels of awareness for the world around them and the people close by.
David Levithan has written a novel of loss and grief, but also one of hope and redemption as his characters slowly learn to move forward in their lives, despite being changed forever.
This was my first book by David Levithan and I had some problems with it. I don't know if it was his writing, or just the characters he created but they just didn't fly by me greatly. I was definitely not impressed by this novel.
Reading about September 11th, 2001 usually makes me cry. I went into this novel expecting to cry, but I didn't. I was far from crying actually. Levithan's writing did not make me feel like I was there, the characters felt unreal to me. Levithan's writing just didn't have the right feel I think this novel should have had; it was realistic. That left me disappointed.
I did like how this novel was spread over a few years after 9/11. We got a look at how people who were there deal with it years after. When 9/11 happened, I lived in Germany where my dad was stationed in the military. I was in the first grade. I don't remember but a minutes of that day. So I really appreciated a fiction book about people affected by it in a much bigger way then I was.
Overall, the only thing I really cared for about this novel was what it was about, the fact that it centered around 9/11 and the look in several peoples lives from it. Otherwise I was disappointed by the feel of the novel and the two dimensional characters.