Reviewer Amy Lignor: Amy is the author of a historical fiction novel entitled The Heart of a Legend, and Mind Made, a work of science fiction. Presently, she is writing an adventure series set in the New York Public Library, as well as a teen fiction series, The Angel Chronicles. She is an avid traveler and has been fortunate to have journeyed across the USA, where she has met the most amazing people, who truly bring life and soul to her books. She lives in the Land of Enchantment (for now) with her gorgeous daughter, Shelby, her wonderful Mom, Mary, and the greatest friend and critic in the entire world - her dog, Reuben
This is truly an amazing YA novel; not only is the story, itself, absolutely dead-on accurate, but the subject matter is new for this market. This story revolves around Boaz Katznelson and his return to his home and family. Boaz was one of those great guys who was the life of every party in high school, and also the star that walked the hallowed halls. Everyone in the world loved Boaz; he was their hero. It didn’t surprise a great number of people that he joined the Marines to become the perfect soldier.
His younger brother, Levi, is the opposite. He has a hard time because he’s nothing like his brother. He has to deal with the fact that he stands in his brother’s shadow in almost every aspect of life. In fact, he even fumbles his way through school, only succeeding in garnering a diploma because his two best friends refused to let him sink.
Soon, Boaz returns from his tour of duty in the Middle East, but the high school superstar has changed a great deal. In fact, welcoming a completely different person back into the household begins to weigh heavily on Levi and his family. One day Boaz decides that he wants to take a journey – an unscheduled trip that he can’t really explain to anyone. Levi, sick and tired of being the underachiever and wanting so much to understand this “new” brother of his, follows Boaz on his trek. Levi wants nothing more at this point in his life than to really get to know his brother; not only the superstar of the past, but how and why his brother has changed so dramatically. He also wants nothing more than to bring Boaz home.
The trip extends into beautiful locations that are very close to my heart, being from Connecticut. Down the East Coast the brothers’ travel and the conversations between them – the bonding of brothers who knew very little about how the other one felt about things – make for very poignant, special dialogue.
Not only does this writer peel back the layers of a hero, discussing the very hard and, unfortunately, very true reality of war and what happens to our brave men and women, but the author also shows a young boy who has lived in the shadows for so long, that he begins to finally emerge and force himself to make smart decisions that he truly believes in with all his heart.
There isn’t a bad thing to say about this book, young readers. This writer has put into perspective a great many things that are happening to us in this country. He also has a very special way of showing the dynamics of a family, and how siblings who never thought they had anything in common can end up helping each other during the darkest times that life offers. I highly recommend this book! I read tons of literature – a lot that is aimed at the young adult market. I have laughed, been amazed, cried, and truly loved so many stories. But this one, I have to say, I was absolutely honored to read.