- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Posted July 16, 2010
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com
LIFE, AFTER by Sarah Darer Littman truly echoes the world today. Dani is a survivor in more ways than one. She has known the loss of losing a loved one in a terrorist attack. She has experienced the economic collapse of her country and felt its effect on her own family. She knows what it's like to be a stranger in a new place. It seems that each of us today has personal knowledge of at least one of these life-changing events.
Dani was born and raised in Argentina. Her life began to change in 1994 when her aunt and unborn cousin were killed in a terrorist attack on a Jewish organization in Buenos Aires. Since then the economy of Argentina has hit an all-time low. Now, her father's clothing store has folded (no pun intended) leaving him depressed and unable to work. Dani tries to take care of the cooking, cleaning, and looking after her little sister, while her mother works to keep food on the table. Life is full of stress.
As many of Dani's friends leave the country in search of more opportunity, she begins to wonder if they might move, as well. Her mother pleads daily with Dani's father to accept an offer of help from a relative living in New York. After another frightening display of political unrest, he is finally convinced, and the family heads to America.
The move may offer more security for her family, but for Dani, the tiny, cramped apartment, a strange new language, and the huge high school she is forced to attend are almost more than she can handle. Making friends is not as easy as she had hoped, so school fills her with anxiety; plus, when she returns home each day, she has to face an increasingly depressed and angry father. Wanting to make life easier for her hard-working mother is the only thing that keeps Dani from exploding with frustration.
Finally, an unpleasant encounter with a school bully allows Dani to discover that there are others who suffer silently. Dani's view of her own circumstances changes when she learns that a fellow classmate lost her father in the 9/11 tragedy. Together, they discover when one has enough love and support; life can once again be filled with joy.
Author Sarah Darer Littman tells Dani's story in an honest, straight-forward voice. I felt emotionally connected to the family as they struggled to make their way through tough times. Littman is able to communicate the love and concern Dani has for her mother and younger sister, as well as the uncomfortable love/hate relationship she has with her suffering father.
As I turned the pages, I found myself wanting to offer advice and encouragement as Dani searched for ways to understand all the changes surrounding her. Teens will definitely be able to relate to both the story and the characters of LIFE, AFTER.
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 20, 2010
An excellent book
"'Open mouth and insert foot. That's a Brian Harrison specialty.'
I had no idea what he was talking about, and my confusion obviously showed on my face.
'It's an expression. To put your foot in your mouth means to say something stupid and tactless that you shouldn't have said. You know, that offends the other person.'"
Before I read Life, After, I thought it was going to be sad and filled with emotions. Now that I've finished it, it was funny and more than just life-changing sad. It was crying-sad and I-can-relate-to-some-of-this-sad.
In Life, After, the main character, Daniela Bensimon is from Argentina. July 18, 1994 was the AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Because of it, Dani lost her aunt Sara.
Her father, was nice and kind. Her father was gentle and caring--not short tempered and fussy about every little thing and impatient. Dani loved and liked him very much. But these days, it's a bit hard to, really.
Sarita, Dani's little sister, doesn't understand that the crisis is changing her father's life. Or her mother. Or Dani's. She was innocent--and curious. She asks a lot of questions, and asks them bluntly.
Dani lost Gaby, her best friend, who moved to Israel because of the crisis. But Dani still have Roberto, her novio (boyfriend in Spanish). But her novio had to move, too. To Miami in America.
After not being able to pay for electricity and a crazy protest-scene in front of the hospital (where Dani's mom works), Dani's dad finally gave in to move to America. But no, not Miami. New York, where Dani's uncle, Jacobo, lives.
In America, the high school is huge. The hallways are mean. First day, right off the start Dani was found wearing another girl's shirt from charity. They kept picking on her, although Dani made a friend with the girl's brother.
But Dani had her personal GPS--Brian Harrison. Who she can't help but think about even though her novio is still Roberto. Roberto, Roberto, Roberto. Whom she misses so much but when in contact with, couldn't speak much to.
Dani is changing. So is Sarita. Will her dad change? Will he try to live normally again? Will Roberto's feelings change?
What I love about the book: I didn't come from America (I came from Indonesia to America in 2007) and I struggled with the idioms, too. Or maybe just the expressions and slang, really. So I definitely relate to that, and this book was just hilarious. I would love to reread this book again and again. Also, Dani's not exaggerating. She's frustrated, but she keeps it under control, until (of course, just like any other teens) her parents doesn't listen anymore.
What I dislike about the book: To be honest, I was a bit disappointed about the ending--but that's just because I don't like the hanging ending. And to be honest, that's because I wanted more of Sarita's blunt remark and also Dani and Brian's hilarious relationship.
This is a very amazing book--Never judge a book by its cover, it's really good!! Highly recommended!
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 30, 2012
No text was provided for this review.
Posted February 11, 2011
No text was provided for this review.