Summary and book reviews of All We Have Left by Wendy Mills

All We Have Left

by Wendy Mills

All We Have Left by Wendy Mills X
All We Have Left by Wendy Mills
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     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Aug 2016, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2017, 368 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Bradley Sides
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About this Book

Book Summary

Winner of the 2016 BookBrowse Award for Best Young Adult Novel

Interweaving stories from past and present, All We Have Left brings one of the most important days in our recent history to life, showing that love and hope will always triumph.

Now:
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 since 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.

Then:
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 decides to confront her father at his Manhattan office, putting her 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 ...


2001
Alia

Travis draws my face into his chest as the smoke engulfs us.

The other tower fell, it fell straight down like a waterfall of concrete and steel, and, oh God, please help me, because is this one going to fall too?

Travis tightens his arms around me, shielding me as parts of the ceiling fall. It doesn't feel like it will ever end, and I hold on to him with all my strength.

Eventually the terrible roaring, clanking noises subside, and Travis unwinds his arms. I sit up, coughing and spitting. The smoke has begun to clear, and I can make out the corner of the desk, and then the chair, and then bookcases farther away as the smoke continues to spiral out the window. I rub my eyes with the palms of my hands, and Travis coughs, his forehead on his knees.

"No, no, no, no, no," I keep saying, but I'm not sure if I'm saying it out loud or if it's in my head. I feel numb, and somehow unattached from myself, as if my mind has floated free like a balloon. ...

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  • award image

    BookBrowse Awards
    2016

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

As Mills’ novel nears its ending, the two sections collide, and the impact is truly astonishing. There were moments where I felt breathless. All We Have Left, with its realism and genuine feelings, creates a rare kind of reading experience where you don’t want to – no, I mean can’t – put the novel down...continued

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(Reviewed by Bradley Sides).

Media Reviews

Booklist
Thoughtful, poignant ... An important topic that deserves more dialogue than it receives. A moving portrait and important look at the lasting effects of one of our country's greatest tragedies.

School Library Journal
Starred Review. Beautifully written. ... This outstanding, touching look at a national tragedy promotes healing and understanding.

Kirkus Reviews
Starred Review. Both a poignant contemplation on 9/11 and a necessary intervention in this current political climate.

Reader Reviews

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Beyond the Book

Contemporary YA Novels about 9/11

Over 3,000 people died on September 11, 2001. With the impact of that catastrophe being so far-reaching, it's no surprise that there have been a plethora of films and books released that recall 9/11. Oliver Stone's World Trade Center and Paul Greengrass' United 93 are two of the most popular movies to recreate that day. Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, an outstanding novel about an eccentric nine-year-old boy trying to piece together a puzzle his father left behind after being killed in the World Trade Center, is another title that might be familiar to those who seek out art related to America's contemporary history.

But these well-known works aren't aimed specifically at younger readers, and there was certainly ...

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