cover image Are We There Yet?

Are We There Yet?

David Levithan, . . Knopf, $15.95 (215pp) ISBN 978-0-375-82846-1

It is clear in this novel that Levithan (Boy Meets Boy ) knows at least two things well: tourist spots worth visiting in Italy and the dynamics of fraternal relationships. Soon-to-be-high-school-senior Elijah and his successful businessman brother, Danny, have been tricked by their parents into taking a trip to Italy by themselves. The brothers, who have become distant over the years, dread the prospect of spending time together overseas. Elijah, who has an aversion to growing up, doesn't want to leave his boarding school friends, and Danny, who is becoming a rising star in advertising, doesn't want to miss work. Nonetheless, the boys agree to embark on a nine-day tour of Venice, Florence and Rome. As the book progresses, flashbacks from childhood juxtaposed against awkward moments abroad offer insight into how the brothers view each other, why they drifted apart and most importantly, offers proof that the bond between them still exists and becomes strengthened during the course of their travels. Elijah meets, loves and loses a girl from Canada; Danny reunites with a childhood friend. These two events prove to be pivotal in forcing both brothers to take stock of where they have been and where they are going with their lives. Introspective, moving and honest, this book expresses many dimensions of journey and love. Ages 14-up. (Aug.)