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Contributor(s): LaMarche, Una

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ISBN: 159514675X     ISBN-13: 9781595146755
Publisher: Razorbill
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Binding Type: Paperback - See All Available Formats & Editions
Published: July 2015

Annotation: Living on opposite sides of their Brooklyn neighborhood, strict Hasidic Devorah and fun-loving nerd Jaxon forge an unexpected connection when they become trapped in an elevator during a hurricane, after which they pursue a secret romance. Simultaneous eBook.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Dating (Social customs); Fiction.
African Americans; Fiction.
Hasidim; Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: bl2014030559
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.25" H x 5.50" W x 1.25" (0.75 lbs) 347 pages
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q64122
Reading Level: 8.5   Interest Level: Grades 9-12   Point Value: 23.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2015 Spring)
Devorah and Jaxon meet in an elevator and come away with that love-at-first-sight feeling. It's complicated; Devorah is a Hasidic Jew, Jaxon is black. Devorah, whether agonizing over her love life or sharing informative details about Hasidic daily life and religious philosophy, is believable and engaging. Her struggle between tradition and modernity, filial duty and personal fulfillment, is complex and realistic.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2014 #4)
How's this for a meet cute? New York teens Devorah and Jaxon get stuck in a hospital elevator during a hurricane. Though their encounter is a fairly brief one, it's also intense, and both come away with that love-at-first-sight feeling. Here's where things get complicated. Devorah is a Hasidic Jew, and a frum one at that ("basically the Yiddish equivalent of 'hopeless goody two-shoes'"). Jaxon is black. They live in present-day Crown Heights; and although, as Jaxon says, "the neighborhood has become so gentrified that I'm more likely to get hit by an artisanal gluten-free scone than a bullet, let's be real," tensions can still run high, especially within Devorah's ultra-conservative family. Even though Devorah's menacing brother-in-law, a member of the Shomrim (Orthodox neighborhood watch), is on to them, she still can't resist accidentally-on-purpose bumping into Jax at his work and accepting the cell phone he sneaks (in a grand romantic gesture) into her yard. The story is told from the teens' alternating perspectives. While Jax is a little too good to be true, Devorah, whether agonizing over her love life or sharing informative details about Hasidic daily life and religious philosophy, is believable and engaging. Her struggle between tradition and modernity, filial duty and personal fulfillment, is complicated and realistic; just because she doesn't want an arranged marriage doesn't mean she's ready to turn her back on her family and her culture. This leads to a conclusion that, while bittersweet, is still hopeful. elissa gershowit Copyright 2014 Horn Book Magazine.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2014 April #2)

Devorah is a Hasidic Jew, and her life is full of loving family, constant ritual, and avoiding outsiders. Jaxon is a smart, funny black teenager who has yet to see much success with girls. Both live in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, but it takes a stuck elevator during a hurricane for the two to share their first words. Despite Devorah's trepidation, sparks fly. Intense first love unfolds fast and furious between this unlikely pair, and Devorah is terrified they'll be found out, shaming her family and ruining her future within her community. Readers will fall for these two lovestruck teenagers as easily as they fall for each other. Devorah's chapters are rich in detail about Hasidic Jewish life, both the pain its rigid rules bring her and the love it inspires in her. Jaxon's big heart and romantic nature make him the perfect match for Devorah, who craves personal freedom and a chance to chart her own future. LaMarche's (Five Summers) characters are authentic and fully realized, and the dire consequences that threaten this clandestine romance make the novel read like a thriller. Ages 12–up. (July)

[Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2014 June)

Gr 9 Up—Jaxon and Devorah inhabit different worlds despite living in the same Brooklyn neighborhood, but a fateful combination of a birth, a storm, and an empty stomach trap them together in a hospital elevator. For Devorah, who isn't allowed to talk to boys—and forget about non-Jewish black boys—this is a stressful test of her obedience to her faith, family, and Hasidic community. She doesn't want to be a rebel, but she doesn't want to be rude to the friendly (and very cute) boy who is trying everything to get them out of the elevator. From Jaxon's point of view, fate has given him the opportunity to talk to a beautiful girl who would normally terrify him. As it often goes in these stories, Devorah and Jaxon are opposites destined to be star-crossed in love, but the voices and characters are fresh and interesting enough to keep readers engaged until the end. LaMarche alternates between the two perspectives, prefacing each chapter with a date and time stamp, underlining how time expands and contracts in odd ways when one is in love. Their time together is forbidden and precious, making each moment simultaneously infinite and too short. This is an effective romance with light touches of humor and serious drama. Fans of Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park (St. Martin's Pr., 2013) may ultimately prefer that novel, which is more skillfully crafted, but they will enjoy this story of surprising love.—Joy Piedmont, LREI, New York City

[Page 124]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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