Title: All We Have Left
Edited by: Wendy Mills
Rating: 5 Stars
Genre: YA Contemporary / Historical
Publication Date: August 9 2016
How Did I Get This Book: ARC for Review
Why Did I Read This Book: I am in love with multiple generation stories right now! This diverse story about a Muslim girl during 9/11 and a girl in present day with prejudice and how they are connected had me hooked from the description!
Review Written By: Elizabeth
Sixteen-year-old Jesse is used to living with the echoes of the past. Her older brother died in the September 11th attacks, and her dad has filled their home with anger and grief. When Jesse gets caught up with the wrong crowd, one momentary hate-fueled decision turns her life upside down. The only way to make amends is to face the past, starting Jesse on a journey that will reveal the truth about how her brother died.
In 2001, sixteen-year-old Alia is proud to be Muslim... it's being a teenager that she finds difficult. After being grounded for a stupid mistake, Alia is determined to show her parents that that they must respect her choices. She'll start by confronting her father at his office in downtown Manhattan, putting Alia in danger she never could have imagined. When the planes collide into the Twin Towers Alia is trapped inside one of the buildings. In the final hours she meets a boy who will change everything for her as the flames rage around them . . .
Interweaving stories past and present, full of heartbreak and hope, two girls come of age in an instant, learning that both hate and love have the power to reverberate into the future and beyond.
Alia's and Travis' story naturally is so heart wrenching. Their experience of the 9/11 attack makes you feel like you are in the building feeling the heat of the flames and breathing in smoke. I have read quite a few documentaries and stories from survivors of the 9/11 attacks and I can tell that Wendy Mills did an extensive amount of research and made Alia's and Travis' experience authentic. There were so many heart stopping moments and I never truly knew how the story would end until the second to last chapter.
I loved how real the characters reactions, prejudices, and feeling were; Islamophobia is unfortunately a very real thing people experience and it was dealt with in just the right way while still being true to each character's personality. I have a love hate relationship with the dual perspectives in this novel only because they literally left me on the edge of a cliff at the end of every chapter but for most of the chapters this made my reading experience exciting and continuous. I cried a half dozen times and read this story in just two sittings. It was a huge roller coaster ride of feelings from, anger to hatred and depression and longing. In short this book was amazing and everyone needs to read it!