Rating: 5/5 stars.
Voice. That makes this book about the 2002 Beltway Sniper Attacks come alive. Told through the alternating perspectives of Cody and Lio, two boys trying to find their place in this world, Gone, Gone, Gone will cause you to squeal in delight even as it sucker punches you in the stomach.
I really can’t get into this right now. I probably shouldn’t have kissed him back. But I’ve sort of wanted to kiss him ever since I saw his fucked-up hair that day in Ms. Hoole’s class, and really since the conversation right after, when he told me he cuts it when he’s nervous, and I immediately wanted to know everything in the whole world that makes him nervous, and everything in the whole world about him.
In this novel Hannah Moskowitz grapples with complex themes like fear, the value of a human life, and how to appreciate what one has in the moment. She never falls into the maudlin or mawkish, but lets her writing flow with a natural cadence fueled by honest emotion. What really took my reading experience with this book above and beyond was Moskowitz’s stream-of-consciousness narration that never got convoluted.
I wish he knew that, the truth is, I don’t ave much to say. I’m not an enigma. I’m just talked out, probably permanently. I said all I needed to say when I was a boy made of sticks and radiation and half-digested oatmeal. I don’t feel good. I want to go home. Make it stop. It’s been seven years, and I’m still out of words.
Craig and Lio capture the essence of voice – Craig, the boy who needs people and animals to need him, and Lio, the damaged cancer boy with an uncouth disposition. These two captivated me with their complexity, their flaws, and their general humanness. Their relationship was messy and passionate and meaningful all at once; it won me over without resorting to insta-love. Like any other great romance, I gasped and made other inaudible noises in public while reading it.
Highly recommended for those searching for a YA contemporary novel filled to the brim with beautiful, sometimes volatile voice. This will not be my last Hannah Moskowitz book.