LIGHT YEARS

Tammar Stein, Author . Knopf $17.99 (263p) ISBN 978-0-375-93023-2

Because Maya Laor, who narrates, happens to be running late for a date in Tel Aviv, she narrowly escapes being killed by a suicide bomber. Instead, her boyfriend Dov, who is waiting for her in a restaurant, dies in the explosion. To escape reminders of Dov's death and other acts of violence that continue to plague her nation, Maya leaves Israel to attend an American university. However, even on a peaceful Southern campus among students eager to be her friend, Maya can't let go of the fear, grief and guilt that have become a heavy burden. In this sensitively wrought first novel, Stein alternates flashbacks of Maya's experiences as an Israeli soldier and the events that lead to the bombing, with more reflective scenes on the quiet campus of the University of Virginia. Interfusing the past with the present, the author explores both the cause and effect of Maya's psychological turmoil, revealing why the teen feels personally responsible for her boyfriend's death and showing how, once in America, Maya resists becoming involved in intimate relationships in order to avoid getting hurt again. Stein's sensitive treatment of intense subject matter and her compassionate depiction of a scarred survivor make this book a moving and insightful novel. Ages 14-up. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 01/17/2005
Release date: 01/01/2005
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 263 pages - 978-0-375-83023-5
Mass Market Paperbound - 263 pages - 978-0-440-23902-4
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-0-307-48751-3
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