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Light Years by Tammar Stein
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Light Years

by Tammar Stein

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Terrorism, survivor’s guilt, culture shock and the college experience are all things Maya Laor experiences during this novel. The first two pages of the book describe a suicide bomber and conclude with “I ruined his life. So he ruined mine.” Over the course the book the chapter’s alternate between Maya joining the Israeli army as all eighteen year olds are required to do and two years later when she is first starting college at the University of Virginia. The book slowly reveals who the suicide bomber was and his connection to Maya, while simultaneously tracking her new life and grieving process in Virginia. There is a poignant theme of not making assumptions about cultures or individuals you do not. Through both Maya’s initial hesitance with her American roommate and her description of Israel as a familiar place, the author is able to show the downfalls of judging a book by its cover. The first person narrative is written in past tense and has pretty simple sentence structure that can get repetitive. The writing style veers a little young, but the adult content or drugs, alcohol, sex and violence would suit an older teen audience. Recommended. ( )
  lcaitday | Oct 6, 2013 |
00001691
  cavlibrary | Sep 29, 2012 |
I don't usually read YA fiction, but I met Tammy on a vacation and was impressed that she had had a book published already. I see why, now that I've read it. It's amazingly well-written and well-constructed for such a young author. In alternating chapters, she creates the heroine's life in the Israeli army and at UVA (such very different worlds!) in concrete detail, both physical and emotional. Tammy has another book on the way, I see - and I suspect it's not the last. She has a bright publishing future ahead. ( )
  bobbieharv | Feb 29, 2008 |
20-year-old Maya Laor is on her way to meet her boyfried Dov to tell him that she has decided to leave Israel to study at the University of Virginia when he is killed by a suicide bomber. In alternating chapters between Virginia and Israel, Tammar Stein pieces together Maya and Dov's relationship, Maya's life in Israel, her army service, and her family.
  STBA | Oct 15, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375830235, Hardcover)

He went to school to learn how to kill me. The Israeli girl who ruined his life. Seven people were killed instead. A single mother of two. A computer programmer. Two college students. A grandmother and her four-year-old grandson sharing an ice cream. And Dov, my boyfriend, my heart, the man I wanted to marry, who was there waiting for me.

Maya leaves Israel to study astronomy at the University of Virginia, running from the violence, guilt, and memories of her past. As the narrative switches between Virginia and Israel, we learn about Maya’s life as a soldier, her ambiguous devotion to Israel, and her love for her boyfriend, Dov, who is tragically killed in a suicide bombing. Now, in Virginia, amid the day-to-day pressures of classes, roommates, and fraternity parties, Maya attempts to reconcile her Israeli past with her American future.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:46:32 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Maya Laor leaves her home in Israel to study astronomy at the University of Virginia after the tragic death of her boyfriend in a suicide bombing.

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