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LIGHT YEARS: A NOVEL by Tammar Stein


by Tammar Stein

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Jan. 11th, 2005
ISBN: 0-375-83023-5
Publisher: Knopf

Caught between two vastly different worlds, Maya seeks balance between her tragic past in Israel and her present in Virginia as an astronomy student. Before leaving Israel to study abroad, Maya learns that a suicide bomber attacked the café where her boyfriend, Dov, was waiting for her. She later realizes that the bomber was none other than an angry Palestinian waiter she helped fire a year earlier. Grief-stricken, she arrives in the US only to feel out of place and numb amid fraternity parties, a sorority-rushing roommate, and a couple of one-night stands. Eventually she finds solace in Justin, a graduate student who encourages her to share her past and convinces her that Dov’s death was not her fault. This author’s debut rests on a fish-out-of-water theme with which teens will identify. The story, however, reaches real depth when Maya reminisces about Israel. Although passages dealing with Maya’s American life seem less than genuine, those illustrating the everyday fears of people living in Israel, as well as the beauty of the region, ring true. (Fiction. YA)