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Light Years Mass Market Paperback – June 10, 2008


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Laurel Leaf (June 10, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440239028
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440239024
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,828,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up - Haunted by the death of her boyfriend, a victim in a suicide bombing for which she feels responsible, Maya Laor struggles through her first year of astronomy studies at the University of Virginia. She misses Israel and her family and desperately tries to avoid connecting with anyone, including the handsome TA, Justin Case, who is working hard to get to know her. In chapters alternating between the Virginia present and her Israeli past, 20-year-old Maya tells her own story. She marvels at the unconscious privilege and seemingly unfounded fears of her college classmates, and remembers the excitement of her military service and her first love affair. These two cultures are light years apart. When her habit of running alone leads to a broken ankle, she realizes that she has made good friends who care about her and whom she cares about. This well-paced first novel, a moving study of grief and recovery, is also a love story that should appeal particularly to students interested in other ways of seeing the world and looking forward to their own college lives. - Kathleen Isaacs, Edmund Burke School, Washington, DC
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 8-12. Maya, 20, blames herself for the death of her boyfriend, who is killed by a suicide bomber in a Tel Aviv restaurant. Haunted by grief and guilt, she leaves Israel for college in the U.S., but although she makes friends, studies, and even begins to fall in love and have sex again, she can't forget. The first-person narrative moves eloquently back and forth between Maya's American present and her Israeli past: growing up in Israel, serving in the army, working in a Tel Aviv office, falling in love, and finally, losing someone in a shocking bombing. Most characters in this novel, one of the first about a contemporary Israeli young woman in a high-tech, secular world, are drawn with some complexity. Maya's "healing" seems a little preachy, but there's depth to her character: she's needy and angry, sarcastic and warm. She also loves her country, yet she doesn't talk politics. Though she considers the Palestinians as "those" people over the border ("They hated us"), she doesn't always focus on herself as living in a war-torn place. Of course, one book isn't enough to tell the whole story of the Middle East, so recommend this with books listed in the accompanying Read-alikes column, which speak from the diverse viewpoints of young Arabs and Jews caught up in the violence. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

I'm the author of the young adult novels LIGHT YEARS, HIGH DIVE, and KINDRED. My fourth novel, SPOILS, will be published by Knopf in December, 2013.

I've led a vagabond sort of life having lived in Israel, Italy, Germany and all over the United States. I recently moved from Florida and I'm still in sunshine and beach withdrawal. The doctors say this might be a permanent condition. When I'm not working, chances are I'm reading or taking the dog out for a walk.

I love to hear from fellow readers, so drop me a line. Visit me at my website: www.tammarstein.com


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. Frederick on April 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Maya Laor is a young Israeli girl who is excited to be starting her first assignment in the army. She meets a handsome officer named Dov and they begin a heady romance. When a bombing in Tel Aviv tears them apart forever, Maya escapes the terror and moves to Virginia to attend the university. Although she hopes to find peace in this new landscape, she discovers that the daily routine of classes and college life force her to recognize what she lost back home.

Told in a series of flashbacks, Maya's past in Israel is interspersed with her present in America. It's a captivating look at one side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It's also a glimpse into the difficulties of living in a new culture. This well-crafted story might appeal to older young adults or anyone interested in fiction about Israel or Palestine.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michelle on August 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I recently finished reading Light Years, a magnificantly-written story of an Israeli girl who moves to the US after losing her boyfriend in a suicide bombing who must find her ability to love and be close to others after losing her trust in the future. The story portrays vivid images and is written in a manner that is very smooth and ongoing, so it is rare to have to reread a sentence in order to interpret it. I highly recommend this book!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. O'mahony on February 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book was just incredible. The imagery drew you in and the storyline made it a real page turner-I felt like this is a book my daughter should definitely be reading someday. This author is obviously an up and coming talent and I cannot wait to read what she writes next (hopefully we won't have to wait too long!)
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By CW on January 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
the novel itself was great. I got an inexpensive soft cover which should have been fine. When it arrived I saw that it was an editor's proof not meant to be sold. The only problem I think was that one of the character's names changes abruptly and confusingly for a couple of pages. It makes that part of the book difficult especially b/c that characters name is important in understanding a pun. The book is excellent, and appropriate for teens and young adults. We are adding it to our school library.
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By AvocadoDiva on May 23, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Told in first person, Light Years is about an Israeli girl who enrolls at the University of VA after a tragic event back home. Stein did a good job developing realistic, interesting characters. I enjoyed the weaving of Maya's past and present together in alternating chapters. Got a glimpse of modern Israeli life that jived with and deepened the few brushes I've had with the culture. It was also just fun to see my home country through the eyes of someone from another country.

And it had a pretty happy ending, which I always like. :)
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