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A Bottle in the Gaza Sea Hardcover – April 1, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
The story satisfies the need for expressing the Palestinians' way of life more so than has been done in rhetoric (words) and violence (actions) to-date. It addresses the fears that Israelis are experiencing as well.
I found myself in the story, since I experienced similar and parallel living conditions and encounters. At times, I was on the brink of tears.
Both Naim and Tai lived in a world circumscribed to them differently. Tai's world was defined by fear while living in the open. She feared bus rides. She avoided a café, where once others were killed. She didn't know when her turn will be up, and didn't accept it as a way of life. She grew paranoid. She became lonely among family and friends. On the other hand, her friend was indifferent; Like most, her friend marched where blood was spilled before. Not her! She was sensitive, but not weak. She resisted getting habituated on those terms.
Tai demanded privacy at her computer, when Naim sought one in the bathroom. She didn't see right or wrong; us or them; kill or be killed. At first, Naim did. She saw her world diminishing with every act of violence on both sides.Read more ›
Their letters are sincere, defensive, and concerned. Both Tal and Naim yearn to be heard; they want recognition. Through their letters as well as sections of authentic narrative and interior monologue, the reader feels their growing friendship and love. Although their points of view are opposite, they do indeed have much in common. In every word, the yearning for peace and understanding glow. The end result: a stunning and frank conversation. This novel should serve as a discussion point for young people who are tired of politics as usual. Like the film, Broken Promises, the story invokes utter despair as well as hope that young people hold the promise of peace. As Tal tells Naim, "I feel as if we're caught in a labyrinth and no one can find the way out, everyone's losing their temper and smashing everything in their efforts to get out into the fresh air." And as Naim tells Tal, "I mostly have dreams." The cover reads, "Love is like War...Easy to begin but hard to stop." But A Bottle in the Gaza Sea is about more than love. It is also about hope and fear, and will stay with the reader for a long time. Ages 12 and up. Reviewed by Sara Aronson
Both guy and girl are smart and fall for each other reluctantly. The romance swings back and forth with boy making fun of girl, girl sending out multiple desperate pleas, eventually provoking boy. The two end up engaging in banter on politics and history. Said politics and life keep them apart for a while. Things heat up (momentarily) when they chat online and then the story ends somewhat abruptly with a dramatic revelation that forces the reader to re-assess everything that's just happened.
This would be a great book for a literature circle and teens (girls probably) of average or even low reading ability, who are at all heterosexual, will get into this book.
Valerie Zenatti is a talented YA writer who knows how to create realistic characters, pull her readers in, and up the stakes as the story moves along. I will definitely take a look at her other book, When I was a Soldier.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The honesty of the online relationship seems true to life. Though sometimes negative and unfriendly, the relationship develops into a respectful bond one would hope for in human... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Doris Murdoch
It ends so abruptly. It is good but it needs a sequel. It's too much of a cliffhanger in my opinionPublished 21 months ago by Sarah H. Waite
This book is tremendous. One of the best books I have ever read. It can even be compared with the Hunger Games Trilogy. Read morePublished on March 9, 2013 by Linus Tabufor Che
As a method of self-defense against increasing Israeli-Palestinian violence, feisty 17-year-old Israeli Tal writes a note and sticks it in a bottle. Read morePublished on July 29, 2012 by Rachel
I read this book in one sitting. Yes, its hard to put down. Both characters speak from the heart, and their thoughts and words reflected the humanity and longing for peace that... Read morePublished on January 8, 2011 by Haithem El Zabri
This story about the relationship between an Israeli girl, Tal, and a Palestinian boy, Naim, via e-mail and instant messaging, is honest but hopeful. Read morePublished on January 7, 2009 by Book Lover 9