Title: After Eli by Rebecca Rupp
Jenny Wade (1843-1863)
Shot at the Battle of Gettysburg.
Mr. Jonas H. Pilcher (1916-2003)
Died of emphysema.
Bernie the dog (1990-2003)
Died of a broken heart.
Some people die heroically, others accidentally. Some people die for a cause, while others die from making a single bad choice. When Daniel Anderson's older brother is killed in Iraq, he wonders which category Eli's death falls into. to deliberately put himself at such risk, to leave Danny-who always depended on him-Eli must have died heroically, to make the world a better place, right? In an attempt to puzzle out this crushing loss, Danny creates a Book of the Dead-an old binder that he fills with details about dead people, how they died and, most important, for what reason (if any).
Then one summer, Danny looks up from his Book of the Dead and notices new things. He discovers that Walter, the brilliant outcast at school, is a good person and great friend. And he can't help but notice Isabelle, the romantic, utterly different girl from New York City, who has flown into his small rural town on a breath of fresh air.
During the long, glorious days and firefly-lit nights he shares with Walter, Isabelle, and Isabelle's twin siblings, a new world teeming with life and possibility begins to open up before Danny, paving a path that gently guides him forward.
I think this book is really cool....The end! ...No just kidding :D Now I will explain its coolness. First of all that romantic girl Isabelle, she's just so imaginative. I mean like so creative and out there. Someone you don't see very often anymore with everyone being morphed into one single mold. Her original personality...probably shaped by her twin siblings...just makes it so interesting to read. I mean she really thinks about the world, possibly meaningless things but like she believes in Moon Elves, these little people who live on the moon and come down to Earth once in a while. It's like she's a child who just never grew out of that imaginative mindset, where everything and anything is possible. Then, the twins, oh they are so strange them twins. The first time the main character Danny sees them they are reenacting a battle from the British Civil War because you know that makes complete sense given they are 10 years old...obviously. They are described as computer viruses by their sister, Isabelle.
Now I had never before read a young adult novel written in the perspective of a guy before...at least I don't remember it...but I think it gives true insight into their minds. They're not as simple-minded as one would think. I mean he goes through a lot with his brother dying when he was only eight fighting in the Iraq War. Because of that experience, I think he has been made more mature (or maybe it's from visiting the cemetary all the time) but when he stands up to his new found friend Walter, I was so proud of him. It's hard for anyone to do that especially to the "popular" person. I know some people are fiercely protective over their friends, but don't you think it would still be hard? At least a little? I feel so bad for him when Isabelle leaves to go back to NYC, because he knows he has lost that chance forever. (kinda like how Michelle Phan and Dominique met...right? anyone?)
The main theme running through this entire story is hope. Hope for the future that Danny can move on from this tragedy. Hope for his parents that they will learn that even thought Eli is gone, Danny is here that there is no point in dwelling in the past.
Just saying I nearly cried at the end...so you emotional people out there...be careful!
I have a lot :D You have been warned.
"Then they both came up the dge of the road, and I figured right then that they were twins because they looked almost exactly alike. They both had the same short dark hair, though the girl's was a little longer, and the same pointy chins and the same blue eyes with little flecks of gray and the same hard evil stare. The girl was wearing a Hello Kitty outfit that didn't go very well with the sword. The boy was wearing a T-shirt that said MWAHAHA! ...
'Oh, come on, Jasper,' the girl said disgustedly. 'Roundhead. Look at his hair. And his pants.'....
'What's wrong with my pants?' I said.
'They're Roundhead pants,' the girl said, staring at a point embarrassingly below my belt buckle"
"The thing is, when you think about it, growing stuff is so cool. You start out in the spring with this puny seed the size of your pinky fingernail, and you put it in the ground and pour some water on it, and then all of a sudden you've got a million miles of vines and bunch of pumpkins the size of beach balls. It's like one of those magician acts where they make a train appear out of nothing."
"Like Sydney Carton in A Tale of Two Cities, going to the guillotine in place of his friend Charles, who was married the woman Sydney was in love with. He gave up his life for her happiness. His last words were, 'It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done.' Don't you think that's romantic?"
"The twins came along too, because they were going to the library in hopes of finding out how to make nitroglycerin. They were both wearing T-shirts and jeans. Journey's shirt was covered with little rhinestone hearts, and Jasper's said GOOD MORNING-I SEE THE ASSASSINS HAVE FAILED."
4 out of 5 stars