Title: Gone, Gone, Gone
Author: Hannah Moskowitz
Cover artist: n/a
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Amazon: Buy Link Gone, Gone, Gone
Genre: YA gay romance (Recommended for Ages 14 and up)
Length: 288 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
A guest review by Sirius.
Summary: Another great YA gay romance.
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.
I have to admit, I am starting to worry that I will be seen as a reviewer who grades almost all YA novels that she reviews very high. But I have to say this in my defense 🙂 – I purchase a lot of YA books that I review (those from bigger publishers like this one) and I would like to think that I usually choose them well. I have no problems spending nine dollars on the book I know I would like, but if I do not know that, I would like at least try to make sure.
I saw this book on the lists of several Goodreads friends and my curiosity was piqued right away. I have to admit that when I clicked on the writer’s page on Goodreads the first thing that shocked me was her date of birth. Apparently this writer is a young woman who is twenty one (or maybe twenty two now) years of age. I was in awe that she already has several books out. I was told later that several well known YA writers in non mm world are quite young as well, but I am still in awe however 🙂
I often feel that in the best YA books that I have read the dialogue sounds believable, but I am never sure if the teenagers will feel the same way. While reading this book however, I could have sworn that I heard some of the teenagers that I know in my head. The dialogue, the narration – from both Craig’s and Lio’s POV- as a whole did not just sound real, it was real at least IMO.
The blurb reflects the story really well. Two fragile teenagers are figuring out what they are to each other and trying to live in the scary post 9/11 world. I liked many teenage characters that I have read about, but I do not remember wanting to hug and protect anybody so much as I wanted to protect Lio and Craig. These boys may have put so many defense mechanisms up and around their hearts and souls, but one can see very clearly just how very scared they are. 9/11 hit them both and hit them hard in different ways and now there are sniper murders around them.
There is definitely some angst in this story, but very little of that angst is about them being gay. I thought it was very refreshing and enjoyable to read. One of the boys did not exactly come clean to his family, but it ends up being a non issue in a good way. I think it is partially because he subconsciously knows that his family would be fine with it and does not spend much time thinking about it. The angst is about figuring out who they are to each other and about what they think and feel about death because what is happening around them. The great thing is that I did not feel that any of the angst was in your face.
I thought that the character building of Lio and Craig was very nuanced. They are very multilayered and portrayed with a lot of depth. It is also funny how you sometimes have to read between the lines of what they are really saying and they have a lot to say (even if one of the guys does not really like to talk much) but I always felt that the writer was showing us much more than she was telling us, if that makes sense. For example, instead of getting a monologue from one of the boys as to him being gay, here is what we get instead:
“-We start walking to class, and this girl passing us waves to Lio, this tall blond girl with glasses and a pretty smile.
I say, “She’d be really hot if she were a boy.”
Lio watches her go and nods slowly. I wish I knew what that meant. It would be something else to think about-“.
And there are a lot of the examples like that, and I thought it was very skillfully done.
The ending of this book does not offer everything tied in one neat bow. The fifteen year old boys are work in progress as people, their relationships, their love life is a work in progress and I thought this felt very realistic. Unfortunately our scary world does not get less scary either, but I thought and hoped that it would be a little easier for them to navigate that world from now on.