Thanks to NetGalley and Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: August 9th, 2016
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.
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…
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.
There’s been quite a few fictional books in the past several months set around around 9/11, probably because the fifteenth anniversary is approaching. All We Have Left is the first one I’ve tried though, and I’m happy I did. Both Jesse’s and Alia’s stories are seen through their eyes which makes things deeply personal. While the beginning is a bit rocky with some awkwardly written introduction of the characters, it wasn’t long before I was captivated by both stories. The only other criticism I have is that I felt Jesse’s and Alia’s voices were a little too similar. This wasn’t enough to spoil my overall enjoyment of the book though. I think the author does a wonderful job of making the reader understand what each girl is going through. In some of Alia’s chapters, the public’s perception of Muslims immediately following the attacks, is thoroughly examined and I thought this was especially timely. I think that for those of us who witnessed the horrible events of September 11,2016, All We Have Left will leave you both saddened, yet hopeful that perhaps one day these ridiculous prejudices so many have toward those of the Muslim faith will disappear. For teens who weren’t yet born, I think both Jesse and Alia and their circumstances will resonate with them. This is an excellent book for use in the classroom, book discussion groups, and family reads. It’s one that will leave you thinking long after you’ve finished.