Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Hannah Moskowitz
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Set in Washington D.C. a year after 9/11, Gone, Gone, Gone alternates between the perspective of two fifteen-year-old boys, Craig and Lio. Both boys are struggling to find themselves while their family is also going through a very tumultuous time. Every day it seems someone else has been shot by the Beltway Sniper, and people are afraid to even pump gas or leave their homes. Meanwhile, Craig and Lio are attempting to cope in their own ways: Craig by adopting a myriad of animals and Lio by keeping quiet most of the time. Through these tragedies and through their own developing love, Craig and Lio come to understand more about who they are and their place in the world.
Hannah Moskowitz lived in Maryland throughout 9/11 and the Beltway Sniper, giving her true authority into the thoughts and fears at that time. As a result, the writing felt raw and real. And the writing was truly beautiful, almost poetic. As a reader, you get a real feel for the character's voices and thoughts in Moskowitz' almost stream-of-consciousness style of writing. It was easy to tell that Moskowitz was aware of every line break, comma, pause that was in her prose; everything came together as a very beautiful, unique novel. The topics and themes expressed throughout are still very applicable today, though it was set over 14 years ago. Mass violence, family, friendship, love, and mental illness are all topics that teenagers can and will relate to their own lives. Overall, this was a very intriguing book that gave me true insight into what it was like to live so near to the violence of 9/11 and how tragedy can ultimately bring together family and friends in love.
*Contains severe language and moderate sexual content.