Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Abducted by Are We There Yet?

Today is the second Wednesday in February and it is time for my second entry in my...

Levithan Love-a-thon!!!

I explained in the last post that David Levithan writes a lot of his stories as Valentine's Day gifts, so that is why I've declared February my Levithan Love-a-thon month and I will be posting a review on a different one of his books each Wednesday. Last week I reread The Lover's Dictionary, but this week I read Are We There Yet?

This book was nothing like what I thought it was going to be. Let me share the blurb on the back of the book for you...

"Elijah and Danny don't think they have anything in common except their parents. Danny thinks Elijah is a lazy, slacking, clueless dreamer who doesn't know how to make a living. Elijah thinks Danny is a workaholic, stuck-up, soulless drone who doesn't know how to make a life. Yes, they're brothers. But they really can't stand each other. 
Then their parents trick them into taking a trip to Italy together. Nine days of escape. Nine days of somewhere else. 

Elijah and Danny aren't sure it's going to work. Until they each meet a girl - the same girl. Julia. And nothing will ever be the same again.
Welcome to David Levithan's mixed-up, turned-around, never-what-you-expect-world of brothers, Italy, and love - a place where everything unsaid carries the same weight as everything said, where lifelong histories can turn in the course of a minute, and where two brothers always have a chance...if they can only figure out what it is."

So, I knew that the book was going to involve brothers going to Italy, but I thought that the girl Julia was going to play a bigger part of the story. First of all, Julia doesn't even come into the story until page 78 which is almost exactly a third of the way through the book. Mostly the book was about the relationship between the brothers.

The relationship between Elijah and Danny reminded me so much of my relationship with my sisters that it was scary! They love each other but they have also grown apart. I love my sister, I truly do, but there is a wall between us.

"Elijah's problem, in Danny's mind, is that he has no sense of what it takes to make a living.
Danny's problem, in Elijah's mind, is that he has no sense of what it takes to make a life."

When I read that line, I had chills.

 my sister and I at the U2 concert 2 and a half years ago
Siblings are interesting creatures, aren't they? No one can love you the way they can, and no one can hurt you  as easily as they can. And it is hard to explain that to people because they always ask "Well, what did she say? What did she do?" But siblings don't have to do anything!

"If you live with someone all your life, you can tell when you are annoying them. Their face just shuts down. Their words sound almost mechanical, because they are reining in all the other emotions. I think I'd also know if I made Danny happy, but I never make him happy. Ever." 

One thing that Levithan was great at was keeping a true balance throughout the story. Even though, I saw more of myself in the Elijah character, I was never against Danny. I understood completely where both brothers were coming from and I felt and rooted for each of them. And I'm not going to lie, the last page got me chocked up...just a little.

The other amazing thing about this book was that every sentence read like poetry. My neighbors probably think I've been spending the last few days talking to myself, because I couldn't help but read the pages out loud. The language and tone of the book just flows off the pages. You know how when you try to just read a poem in your head it doesn't sound as lyrical as when you read it out loud? That is how I felt about this book. I started reading it at my parents house during the Superbowl and was kind of like "yeah, okay." But, then I came home and started reading it out loud, and I fell in love.

Although I may not have been completely absorbed in the book, I still really loved it! I think it is perfect for everyone out there that has siblings. Especially when those relationships may have been strained. I'd give it an abduction rating of...


fakesteph said...

I don't know what I would do if I had a strained relationship with my brother and my sister. We're unusually close. They're my best friends. I moved back from California to be close to my sister. My brother told my mom recently that she could live anywhere she liked... but he was going to live near his sisters.

This sounds like a book I'd really enjoy. :)

Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase said...

Sounds like a good book! I love Italy - it's such a cool place and I'm excited to go back this Summer! My brother and I get along pretty well, and I consider him one of my best friends, but we don't talk to each other much so I guess we're not extremely close. But I can understand that feeling of not understanding each other and getting on each other's nerves even while you love each other so much! I'll have to check this book out!

Aww, Steph, you and your siblings sound so sweet!

Kate @Midnight Book Girl said...

I am going to have to read this book! I love books that are so well written that you want to read them out loud!

Stepping Out of the Page said...

I have only read a couple of books by David Leviathan but I loved them so much. My local library has a copy of this book in, so I must check it out sometime. Great feature and post!

Stephanie @ Stepping Out of the Page
Remember to drop by my International Giveaway!

Bittner said...

Thank you to everyone for commenting on my blog! I'm glad so many of you do have good relationships with their siblings! If only we could all be that lucky :)

And if you like Levithan be sure to come back for some more reviews in my Levithan Love-a-thon! I still have three books left of his to read this month!

Blog Design by Imagination Designs all images from the Winds of Change kit by NatashaNaSt Designs