SUBWAY LOVE by Nora Raleigh Baskin


Age Range: 12 - 16
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A time rift connects Laura in 1972 with present-day Jonas. The story of their romantic connection alternates with scenes of each struggling with parental divorce in his or her own time.

While the mechanics connecting Laura and Jonas are never explained, they seem to be related to a set of New York City subway trains tagged by a particular graffiti artist, Spike, in 1972. While riding these particular trains, Laura and Jonas can see, touch and talk to each other—but leaving the train severs their connection. Spike befriends Laura in 1972 and is also able to connect with Jonas—even outside of the subway. Wanting to preserve his subway art, Spike believes Jonas’ photography hobby can help, as a white boy with a camera will be less likely to draw authorities’ attention than a Hispanic graffiti artist might. There’s a lot happening in this novel: time rifts, parental divorce, physical abuse, Jewish mysticism, musings on hippie culture, commentary on racial tension in the 1970s and more, all of which ends up overwhelming the romance that supposedly centers the story. Though readers are told Laura and Jonas are soul mates, the disjointed narrative never allows real chemistry to develop.

An ambitious concept that doesn’t take off. (Historical fantasy. 12-16)

Pub Date: May 6th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-7636-6845-7
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2014


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