Monday, May 16

Wide Awake by David Levithan

In accordance with the FTC, Quill Café would like to disclose that the reviewer purchased this book. The opinions expressed are hers alone and no monetary compensation was offered to her by the author or publisher. Cover art is copyright of Knopf Books and is used solely as an aide to the review.

How far would you go to fight for something you believe in? To stand up for your principles? To support the future of your country?

I have read two of David's co-written books: 'Will Grayson, Will Grayson' and 'Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist.' Both are among my 5-star reads, so I was eager to read one of his solo novels. 'Boy Meets Boy' and 'Wide Awake' have caught my attention in the past, so when I saw this at the Strand bookstore, I picked up a copy.

In 'Wide Awake,' it's a while into the future and Abraham Stein, a gay Jewish man, has been elected President of the United States. Not everyone is ready to embrace this event and soon it turns into a political nightmare when Stein's opponent refuses to concede.

Duncan is just a teenager but he believes in Stein. The question is: How far will he go to support him? Will he risk his relationship with his parents? His friends? His boyfriend, Jimmy? Will he risk his safety?

This is a very powerful novel. Not the sort of power that shoves itself against you, but is subtle and underlying. It builds underneath the surface until it envelops you. I was captivated, and once I was done it felt strange not to be reading the book anymore. I craved more of Levithan's writing.

Being set in the future, the book holds a lot of plausibility in its premise, for the future of America and the future in general. The only hitch is that since it was published in 2006, before Obama's presidency, it mentions that there has never been a black, Latina or multi President. Doesn't mention Latino, I noticed, so I suppose that means there has been a male Latino President. I like to think that on whatever fictional plane it would be Obama's fictional counterpart, Matthew Santos.

The fact that David Levithan wrote this before the events of the 2008 presidential election shows that he had an insight into how America would evolve for the better and I like to think that 'Wide Awake' is a good indication of how people can continue to stand together to build a better future.

I would recommend this book to anyone and I look forward to reading more of David's co-written and solo works.

No comments: