Published by Simon Pulse on April 17th 2012
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Source: Galley Grab
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In the wake of the post-9/11 sniper shootings, fragile love finds a stronghold in this intense, romantic novel from the author of Break and Invincible Summer.It's a year after 9/11. Sniper shootings throughout the D.C. area have everyone on edge and trying to make sense of these random acts of violence. Meanwhile, Craig and Lio are just trying to make sense of their lives.
Craig’s crushing on quiet, distant Lio, and preoccupied with what it meant when Lio kissed him...and if he’ll do it again...and if kissing Lio will help him finally get over his ex-boyfriend, Cody.
Lio feels most alive when he's with Craig. He forgets about his broken family, his dead brother, and the messed up world. But being with Craig means being vulnerable...and Lio will have to decide whether love is worth the risk.
This intense, romantic novel from the author of Break and Invincible Summer is a poignant look at what it is to feel needed, connected, and alive.
There are so many great things about this book. How Hannah manages to cram them all into 272 pages is just amazing. After falling in love with Invincible Summer I was excited to read this. It’s the first LGBT novel I’ve ever read so I didn’t know what to expect. All I can say is that I loved it.
This book takes place during the Beltway Sniper Shootings, almost exactly a year after 9/11. The story follows Craig and Lio while they deal with the aftermath of the terrorist attacks and the current threat.
I remember exactly what I was doing September 11th, 2001. I was in 8th grade in my science class waiting for the bell to ring. I hated that class. Except that day, the bell rang and my teacher told us to stay put. Over the next hour, the PA system recieved an extensive workout when student after student was called down to he office to go home early. My teacher looked scared, but they weren’t allowed to tell us anything or allow us outside of the classroom. Thankfully, my classroom was located right above the main entrance to the school and I was able to see loads of parents running in and out the school. I seized the first opportunity to yell out the window and ask a man what was going on while my teacher wasn’t looking.
Me: “Hey! What’s going on?”
Man: “They are attacking the U.S.!”
Me: “WHAT?! WHO?!”
Man: “I don’t know. They hit New York and The Pentagon.”
My heart literally sank. My first thought was, “OMG. My father.” I ran from that classroom to my mom’s (she worked at my school) and she immediately told me, “He’s fine. He didn’t go into work today.”
I have never been so scared in my life.
And then the Sniper Shootings started one year later. My school cancelled all outside activities. Maryland lived in fear of white vans. I asked my dad not to go to work every morning. In hindsight, that was actually an unrealistic fear, he would be fine traveling to D.C. But we were scared. It was a scary time. Even though I didn’t live in Montgomery or Prince George’s county, we all knew it was just a 35-40 minute trip up the beltway for it to happen in my county.
Hannah, you rock. I felt it.
Craig is black, sensitive, and loves his animals. You can’t help but to love this guy. He over analyzes everything, but I didn’t find it annoying. He was simply endearing. I wanted to hug Craig everytime he cried. I loved his “voice” in this book. He thinks in run-on sentences. And you would think it doesn’t makes sense, but there is something about Hannah’s prose that makes it perfect.
Lio is a quiet, cancer surviving boy. It’s too bad he doesn’t talk because, man, this kid is funny. Thankfully, the PoV switches back and forth between Craig and Lio. I’d venture to say, he provided most of the comic relief in this book.
A few funny quotes from Lio:
“I hang up because I sound like a jackass and that shit needs to end.”
“He’s babbling on about his first date, and his first car he drove to go pick her up. And how in his day they didn’t have these fancy electric car window openers, you had to crank them down by hand. God, I want to crank my head off right now.”
“Maybe she doesn’t have any friends? At least that’s something we have in common. That can be our conversation starter. Too bad I’m the official conversation finisher.”
“I’m not even sure if there are any fabulous Jew or homosexuals at our school, but rest assured that if there are, I will find them. By Friday they will be my babies. Mark it.”
“Plus, I’m a tough little son of a bitch, and don’t you forget it.”
SIDE NOTE: Lio seems to be the only character who realizes that they are in Maryland and not D.C. For whatever reason, I really appreciated this. Prehaps its just my Maryland pride (Go Terps!).
What’s interesting about both boys is that regardless on how 9/11 screwed them up, they were not intially afraid of the sniper shootings. Craig esentially thinks he is invincible as many teenagers at his age do. He just doesn’t believe he will get shot because he is *Craig*. Lio, on the other hand, counts on statistics, believing it is almost impossible that it will be him that gets shot. In fact, he measures tragedy simply by the amount of deaths. At first, I couldn’t understand this logic. I mean, I was *scared* and I didn’t even live in that county.
However, as the novel wears on and their relationship grows their perspectives change. Craig fears for Lio because he realizes anyone at anytime could get shot regardless of who they are or how invincible they feel. Likewise, Lio fears for Craig because he realizes you can not measure a tragedy by numbers. A life is a life and when it happens to you, it is 100% everytime.
Beautiful. Craig is left so broken after his last boyfriend, Cody went nuts and treated him badly. He struggles with allowing himself to heal and allowing himself to give
away his heart to Lio. At the same time he is afraid of breaking Lio. Lio fights for Craig. He is much stronger than Craig gives him credit for at first. Hannah wrote this so well. She had my heart breaking in all the right places.
It flowed so well. Little things like words repeating three times reminiscent of the title (ie, “Lio, Lio, Lio” or “maybe, maybe, maybe”) added charming character to the novel. Craig thinking in his choppy run-on sentences and Lio’s short fragments were perfect. I found that very special and realistic because honestly, who speaks in complete, full
sentences in their head? It was perfect and helped me get the full impact. Even though Craig seemed like a jumbled mess of words he somehow never said too much. And though Lio didn’t like to talk, somehow his short phases were so profound they hit home everytime.
I feel so honored to be able to read this a full year before it comes out. But you can bet your bottom dollar I will most definitely be purchasing a copy when it hits shelves April 17, 2012. And so should you.
An ARC was revieved through Simon and Schuster’s galleygrab program.