Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Are We There Yet?

Sixteen-year-old Elijah is completely mellow and his 23-year-old brother Danny is completely not, so it’s no wonder they can barely tolerate one another. So what better way to repair their broken relationship than to trick them into taking a trip to Italy together? Soon, though, their parents’ perfect solution has become Danny and Elijah’s nightmare as they’re forced to spend countless hours together. But then Elijah meets Julia, and soon the brothers aren’t together nearly as much. And then Julia meets Danny and soon all three of them are in a mixed-up, turned-around, never-what-you-expect world of brothers, Italy, and love.

Are We There Yet? isn’t about a place on a map, it’s about a place in the heart. David Levithan has written a magical story of a journey definitely worth taking.

from daivdlevithan.com

Beth says 3.5 Stars...

I didn't love this book. It rather pains me to say it, because I've adored everything else I've read by Levithan. This means that I know good and well that he's a character writer and plot doesn't tend to matter. However, I felt like this one really could have used something. The characters were good, don't get me wrong, but I just wanted something more. The book centers around the trip that two very different brothers take to Italy together after they've been set up by their parents. The "plot" follows them through multiple cities and their daily lives. It is actually a psychological examination of their relationship and how they view one another and the world.

Danny,the older brother, is much more painfully self-aware and has no comprehension of his brother's life. It's interesting to see him develop an understanding and change his views of himself. Elijah is the opposite, someone who lives life freely and doesn't really feel awkwardness. The psychological study was interesting one you got into it, but it took a while. The first 5 or 6 chapters just did absolutely nothing for me. I think a problem was that I couldn't really relate to them. I'm on neither extreme personalities wise, and am also an only child. Even though the relationship between siblings is interesting to me, I don't have the experience to understand it.

Overall this book fell short. It would be more interesting for people with siblings, or that are really interested in psychological character profiles. If you want to try some David Levithan, I'd grab one of his other novels as your introduction.


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