Customer Reviews: Gone, Gone, Gone
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on April 18, 2012
At first I thought that there was something wrong with Craig, besides his depression/obsession with animals. Something about his voice, it didn't sound like an authentic teen, but as the book went on, I either got used to it, or it fit the character more than I am giving it credit for.
While there are some differences in the voice of Craig and Lio, I got confused at whose perspective it was from. I know that each had unique problems and quirks, so I had to look for those cues rather than the voice style.
I appreciated that these books talked a lot about the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, as well as an event I really didn't know about--the sniper shootings. This is an event that effects us all, but I really haven't read much that takes a perspective of someone who lost a loved one in 9/11. I also liked the theme of every life lost deserves to be honored, and the struggle of is one loss worth less than the loss of many?
She did the love stories in this one really well. I didn't feel like it was shoved in my face that this is a gay couple, it just seemed natural.
I enjoyed Hannah's other books more than this one, but I liked this one nevertheless.
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on November 28, 2012
Wow, Hannah Moskowitz, you just knocked me for an emotional loop with this one.

It's October 2002. Just as the Washington, DC area is beginning to recover from the 9/11 terrorist attacks the previous year, random people start getting shot and killed by the Beltway Snipers. As I remember all to well, people run to and from their cars, crouch down when putting gas in their cars, and parents fear for the safety of their children while at school. This is the backdrop for the burgeoning relationship between high school students Craig and Lio.

Both boys are emotionally fragile in their own ways. Craig is so hurt by his breakup with ex-boyfriend Cody that he has adopted a large menagerie of stray animals, which he feels he can relate to better than humans. When a break-in at his house allows all the animals to escape, Craig is focused on finding all of his pets and is determined not to let the fear of the snipers interfere with this task.

Lio, who moved from New York following 9/11 and his parents' separation, is dealing with the guilt of surviving childhood leukemia while his twin brother did not. The terror being inflicted by the snipers has truly shaken him, and while he doesn't want to let his guard down by falling for Craig, he cannot help himself. Craig is afraid to care for someone else and becomes afraid he could lose Lio, so he cannot help but to push him away.

Gone, Gone, Gone is a beautifully tender and sincere story of friendship that turns to romance, but that romance is wracked by fear, doubt, and emotional uncertainty. Hannah Moskowitz so perfectly captured the angst of young love, feeling like all you want to do is be with a person, yet so many issues keep getting in the way. All of the characters are drawn so vividly, I could almost picture the story unfolding in my head.

Reading this book made me wish that things were different when I was this age, in terms of being more accepting of your sexuality. But at the same time, I'm so happy that we live in a society where, in general, this story could be a true one, and the fact that these boys are gay is an afterthought. I also once again find myself marveling at the amazing talent in the YA genre right now, that we've moved so far beyond the books that existed when I was younger.

I'm not sure where I heard of this book--I'm fairly certain it was a recommendation from one of two amazing YA authors I've read this year--but I feel so lucky to have found it. Thank you, Hannah Moskowitz, for making me feel hopeful, happy, and sad simultaneously. This is a keeper.
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on June 26, 2012
There are so many great things about this book. How Hannah manages to cram them all into 272 pages is just amazing. After falling in love with Invincible Summer I was excited to read this. It's the first LGBT novel I've ever read so I didn't know what to expect. All I can say is that I loved it.

The Setting

This book takes place during the Beltway Sniper Shootings, almost exactly a year after 9/11. The story follows Craig and Lio while they deal with the aftermath of the terrorist attacks and the current threat.

I remember exactly what I was doing September 11th, 2001. I was in 8th grade in my science class waiting for the bell to ring. I hated that class. Except that day, the bell rang and my teacher told us to stay put. Over the next hour, the PA system received an extensive workout when student after student was called down to he office to go home early. My teacher looked scared, but they weren't allowed to tell us anything or allow us outside of the classroom. Thankfully, my classroom was located right above the main entrance to the school and I was able to see loads of parents running in and out the school. I seized the first opportunity to yell out the window and ask a man what was going on while my teacher wasn't looking.

Me: "Hey! What's going on?"

Man: "They are attacking the U.S.!"

Me: "WHAT?! WHO?!"

Man: "I don't know. They hit New York and The Pentagon."

My heart literally sank. My first thought was, "OMG. My father." I ran from that classroom to my mom's (she worked at my school) and she immediately told me, "He's fine. He didn't go into work today."

I have never been so scared in my life.

And then the Sniper Shootings started one year later. My school cancelled all outside activities. Maryland lived in fear of white vans. I asked my dad not to go to work every morning. In hindsight, that was actually an unrealistic fear, he would be fine traveling to D.C. But we were scared. It was a scary time. Even though I didn't live in Montgomery or Prince George's county, we all knew it was just a 35-40 minute trip up the beltway for it to happen in our county, our neighborhood.

Hannah, you rock. I felt it.

Craig is black, sensitive, and loves his animals. You can't help but to love this guy. He over analyzes everything, but I didn't find it annoying. He was simply endearing. I wanted to hug Craig every time he cried. I loved his "voice" in this book. He thinks in run-on sentences. And you would think it doesn't makes sense, but there is something about Hannah's prose that makes it perfect.

Lio is a quiet, cancer surviving boy. It's too bad he doesn't talk because, man, this kid is funny. Thankfully, the PoV switches back and forth between Craig and Lio. I'd venture to say, he provided most of the comic relief in this book.

A few funny quotes from Lio:
"I hang up because I sound like a jackass and that s*** needs to end."

"He's babbling on about his first date, and his first car he drove to go pick her up. And how in his day they didn't have these fancy electric car window openers, you had to crank them down by hand. God, I want to crank my head off right now."

"Maybe she doesn't have any friends? At least that's something we have in common. That can be our conversation starter. Too bad I'm the official conversation finisher."

"I'm not even sure if there are any fabulous Jew or homosexuals at our school, but rest assured that if there are, I will find them. By Friday they will be my babies. Mark it."

"Plus, I'm a tough little son of a b****, and don't you forget it."

SIDE NOTE: Lio seems to be the only character who realizes that they are in Maryland and not D.C. For whatever reason, I really appreciated this. Perhaps its just my Maryland pride (Go Terps!).

What's interesting about both boys is that regardless on how 9/11 screwed them up, they were not initially afraid of the sniper shootings. Craig essentially thinks he is invincible as many teenagers at his age do. He just doesn't believe he will get shot because he is *Craig*. Lio, on the other hand, counts on statistics, believing it is almost impossible that it will be him that gets shot. In fact, he measures tragedy simply by the amount of deaths. At first, I couldn't understand this logic. I mean, I was *scared* and I didn't even live in that county.

However, as the novel wears on and their relationship grows their perspectives change. Craig fears for Lio because he realizes anyone at anytime could get shot regardless of who they are or how invincible they feel. Likewise, Lio fears for Craig because he realizes you can not measure a tragedy by numbers. A life is a life and when it happens to you, it is 100% every time.

The Romance

Beautiful. Craig is left so broken after his last boyfriend, Cody, went nuts and treated him badly. He struggles with allowing himself to heal and allowing himself to give away his heart to Lio. At the same time he is afraid of breaking Lio. Lio fights for Craig. He is much stronger than Craig gives him credit for at first. Hannah wrote this so well. She had my heart breaking in all the right places.

The Prose

It flowed so well. Little things like words repeating three times reminiscent of the title (ie, "Lio, Lio, Lio" or "maybe, maybe, maybe") added charming character to the novel. Craig thinking in his choppy run-on sentences and Lio's short fragments were perfect. I found that very special and realistic because honestly, who speaks in complete, full sentences in their head? It was perfect and helped me get the full impact. Even though Craig seemed like a jumbled mess of words he somehow never said too much. And though Lio didn't like to talk, somehow his short phases were so profound they hit home every time.

I feel so honored to be able to read this a full year before it comes out. But you can bet your bottom dollar I will most definitely be purchasing a copy when it hits shelves April 17, 2012. And so should you.

ARC was received through Simon and Schuster's galleygrab program.

More reviews and more at Cuddlebuggery Book Blog.
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on April 23, 2012
Gone, Gone, Gone is my first Moskowitz, and from the get-go I was really impressed by the bravery of the writing - both in style and subject matter. It is certainly an alternative to the stock standard teen romance.

More emotion than action, this book is still riveting. I devoured it.

I really related to the story, which seemed strange to me; I don't have any particular vested interest in the issues it tackles.

I'm not gay, nor especially close to anyone who is (but coincidence, not design).

I'm an Australian: I was too young and too far away to have been strongly effected by the September 11 attacks.

And yet, this story still really touched a nerve. Powerful, powerful words.

Moskowitz is due praise for her treatment of the gay relationship depicted in Gone, Gone, Gone. Rather than trying to be mild and delicate, the author writes with passion. Instead of force-feeding the reader an equality message, she imbues her characters with a realism that endears.

There is no preaching, and no need for it either; the protagonists speak for themselves. I would challenge even the most disgusting homophobe not to be moved by Craig and Lio's relationship.

What I Loved:
Lio. He is and will remain one of my favourite young adult characters of all time. His voice was strong but fragile - is that even a thing? I just loved the little guy to bits.

I'll say it: he made putting up with Craig worth it.

That is, throughout the book, Craig is seen to be a very selfish person. Where Craig is constantly wanting more and more from the brother that adores him, Lio never takes for granted whatever love his family can give him. Where Craig is spoiled in his misery, Lio is too proud to get by on pity.
Not that Lio is perfect, but his natural inclination seems to be to pull himself up by the bootstraps.

I'm sounding like a Craig hater - I'm not, I swear! Because I saw his potential.

The great thing about the dynamic between Craig and Lio is that I can clearly see them bringing out the best in each-other. This could be considered one definition of a `good' relationship. Those are few and far between in the young adult genre.

What Was Lacking:
I thought that in some areas it came off a little under-developed. Craig's ex-boyfriend, for instance. I really had trouble connecting with that character. Cody seemed to be a problem brought to the forefront whenever it suited, but is never really addressed as a person. I felt he was such an important figure in the book but, without any deep thought about his personality of motivations, he became a plot-device - something to drum up complications in a story that was almost entirely character-driven.

While I was generally satisfied with the conclusion, my biggest questions were all to do with Cody - how does he feel about what has happened? Where does he go from there? If he and I had been given more of an introduction, I would be able to answer those questions myself. As it is, I feel like I missed out on getting to know an interesting character.
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on February 24, 2013
In the aftermath of 9/11, a sniper has begun to target people in the DC area. Everyone is on edge - parents and teachers fear for the safety of their children, and no one can find a pattern in the selection of the victims.

Meanwhile, Craig is trying to recover from his ex-boyfriend, Cody, who has been sent to a mental hospital. Craig begins to collect stray animals and pours his heartache into them, but when a burglar breaks into his family's house and all his animals escape, Cody feels more lost than ever.

Enter Lio. Lio is one of a set of identical twins, both of whom were diagnosed with cancer when they were very young. Lio survived. His twin did not. Lio and Craig develop crushes on each other. Craig's not sure if he's ready to be over Cody yet. Lio's not sure if his heart can handle this yet.

This book is told in alternating chapters between the two boys. Other than my usual complaint about books with multiple narrators - that the narrative voices don't sound that different and that switching between the two can be complicated - I enjoyed this book. I can see why it was on the Stonewall list for this year.
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VINE VOICEon August 17, 2012
This is the very first book I've read by Hannah Moskowitz and it's certainly not going to be the last. I really had no expectations going into Gone, Gone, Gone. I honestly couldn't even remember what it was about. The story and the wonderfully unique characters quickly swept me right off my feet.

Gone, Gone, Gone is not a light read exactly, but it's still a really enjoyable read. The book alternates between Craig and Lio. Both boys are somewhat broken, that's abundantly clear to you as the reader, but Craig and Lio are aware of it as well. I thought that was a really fascinating element in the story. Oftentimes, characters are unaware of their own issues or just in denial.

I liked Craig and Lio a lot. It was so great to see them start to help each other heal. They were both extremely well written and so believable. Hannah Moskowitz really brought them to life. Their relationship was raw and gorgeously depicted.

Gone, Gone, Gone is intense and heartbreaking, but there's so much beauty in it. If you're looking for a contemporary that's a little different and meaningful, Gone, Gone, Gone is the book for you.
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on March 30, 2014
This book didn't work for me. I couldn't even finish it. Sometimes books don't work for you for whatever reason. I wasn't into Craig's total focus on Lio. I didn't find anything appealing in the story so I couldn't bring myself to finish it.
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on April 18, 2012
From the moment I first read BREAK by Hannah Moskowitz, I knew I would read each consecutive novel she ever releases. Gone, Gone, Gone (from this point on referred to as GGG) is my 4th Moskowitz read (Break, Invincible Summer & Zombie Tag being her first three novels). As usual, I was NOT disappointed! Moskowitz continues to pepper her wonderfully real YA and MG novels with poignant heart-achingly awesome life. She is a master at instilling her readers with an emotional attachment to the worlds of her characters. An absolute master.

One of the things I love about GGG is the dual first-person narration. This is something that--as an author--I have used twice myself. Something about the dual first-person viewpoint really gives the reader such great insights into a story. With GGG the two main characters, Craig and Lio, take turns narrating chapters. Moskowitz carries out this back and forth narration flawlessly. One never forgets which of the two characters are narrating, as each are wonderfully unique.

GGG opens with Craig discovering that not only was his house broken into, but his menagerie of house pets have all escaped through the broken windows. Through this discovery, the reader begins to sense a slight brokenness in endearing brokenness. We are also introduced to Todd, Craig's older brother. What would a Moskowitz novel be without an extraordinary brother/brother relationship! I still don't know how she does it. The reader gets a quick picture of this relationship in the way that Todd checks up on Craig, shows concern for him. There's this wonderful line in the first chapter that really captures something of their relationship. 'Todd has this way of being affectionate that I see but usually don't feel.'

The reader is also made aware in the opening chapter that 9/11 plays a prominent role in the story-line. The denizens of GGG are all on edge from the freshness of the terrorist attacks. Lio is from New York, newly settled in Maryland. While he deals with the memories of New York's version of 9/11 events, Craig struggles with the D.C. area's version--which included the death of his ex-boyfriend's father in the Pentagon. The story begins only 13 months after the towers fell. The raw nerves the characters display get re-electrified with a new fear as the DC sniper shootings begin.

To quickly describe the plot of GGG, it opens with an animal hoarding Craig. Apparently he is replacing his boyfriend (and his social life) with a menagerie of fury friends. He acts as something of a Welcome Wagon spokesperson for his school. He is assigned Lio, who is transferring to his school from New York. Their relationship begins in IM, but quickly develops from there. Lio is a boy who can possibly be fixed, unlike Craig's messed up institutionalized boyfriend Cody...who never recovered from his father's 9/11 death. Lio lived through cancer and had a twin brother who did not make it through his own cancer ordeal. Lio is as messed up as his multi-coloured hair. Something about him re-ignites Craig's life. Just as something about Craig re-ignites Lio's desire to speak, to engage in life.

"His tragic flaw is that he is a walking tragedy, and his smile makes me feel alive." ~ Craig, describing Lio.

As the two form a relationship, they struggle to live in a world gone mad with the random shooting spree of the Beltway Sniper. As everyone around them ducks and weaves to avoid being shot at, they slowly come together amid the chaos. Still dealing with the emotional fallout of 9/11, the two go about their lives trying not to become victims of the sniper. All the while, they are trying to reassemble Craig's gone, gone, gone menagerie. There are some wonderful moments in the story where the boys put everything down to mathematics---the odds of becoming a sniper victim, the differences in the number of tragic deaths in New York as compared to those in D.C.. We are made aware through character growth that the figures don't matter, that numbers don't matter. That each life lost is a life lost, come what may. There is something just achingly familiarly and melancholic in the insights we are given through the eyes of these two boys in love.

These two boys each have pasts to unravel and come to terms with. Doing so amid the re-collection of Craig's menagerie and the simultaneously unnerving sniper attacks makes for an exciting pace that will engage the reader non-stop. I read this novel in just over a day. Not unlike Moskowitz's other books, I just couldn't put it down. She writes with a rawness that makes the reader right at home inside both the tragedies and the joys of her stories. I highly recommend Gone, Gone, Gone. If you are not yet a Moskowitz fan, if you have yet to stumble upon her fiction, this book will bring you in hook, line and sinker. Be prepared, though. You'll want to pick up the rest of her quickly growing catalogue of work.
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on March 15, 2016
Really loved this one. It's probably time for a re-read. I loved the vibe of falling in love during a tragedy, but like all of Hannah Moskowitz's books, there was almost too much tragedy. Her books have a tendency to have a LOT of tragic/dramatic elements, and at times, it feels like a bit much. I really loved this one. It's just not quite 5* for me. But if you want intensity and a great LGBT romance with diverse characters and an interracial relationship, this one is it.
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on March 19, 2013
This is my first Hannah Moskowitz novel and I can't wait to look at her other two novels, which look positively fabulous. I've already fallen in love with her wonderful writing style, ability to draw forth her characters and present them for better or for worse, and accomplishments in twisting a plot into something both moving, suspenseful, and addictive.

Lio and Craig were awesome and frustrating and unique and full of problems and quirks and little things that made them them. I like it when characters are out of the ordinary and express them in ways that people would normally steer away from, like Lio with his hair and Craig with his animals. I loved how each was obsessed with their respective thing for their own personal reasons. Random traits weren't just thrown at them in an attempt to make them better. They just were.

I think the pacing could have worked better for me because there were moments when I was so drawn into the story I couldn't pull away and others where I was sitting back, itching for something else to happen. Everything was in clusters of action, for practically the entirety of the novel, and though most of the time that worked well enough, it needed a bit more . . . oomph.

But, that said, it's the only negative thing that I can come up with to say, really. All of the important elements were right on target. I don't usually read LGBTQ material-not by choice, just by fault of availability-but this is one of my favorites. For anyone who is looking to branch into that, enjoys reading it, wants a good book, likes great characters, or wants to fall in love with another author's writing, this is the book for you.
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