When You Were Older
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When You Were Older

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4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  1,321 ratings  ·  197 reviews
Russell Ammiano works on the 104th floor of the World Trade Center. On the morning of September 11, 2001, the phone rings while Rusty is rushing to work. The news is devastating: Rusty's mother has died of a stroke, leaving his brain-damaged older brother Ben alone. This news also saves Rusty's life. He's still at home when two planes hit the World Trade Center--and only o...more
Kindle Edition, 416 pages
Published November 6th 2012 (first published March 29th 2012)
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deirdre
I have had this on my mind for the past 2 weeks, thus upping my star rating .......

I believe i found another author whose backlist i need to check out.


September 11, 2001
If that day touched you in a personal capacity, this may not be for you.

A young man's struggle with a painful past and the burdens they place on his future.
A phone call can change everything. Can a loved one save you from beyond the grave?

The journey of healing your past while moving forward
Finding love can be a blessing but ad...more
Ruth
This book is written serviceably, but so simplistically that I kept thinking perhaps I’d strayed into young adult territory. Russell misses being killed on 9/11 by being late for work because he gets a phone call that his mother died, and he must come and take care of his brain-damaged brother. Back in Nowheresville, where he definitely doesn’t want to be he falls in love with an Egyptian girl who has 9/11 troubles of her own. Everything is just too neat and tidy in this story, especially the ni...more
Lindsay (Little Reader Library)
I loved this story. It’s a wonderful, beautifully written tale. I found it compelling from start to finish, and read it very quickly as I couldn’t bear to wait to discover what happened. The author has created some lovely characters in Russell and Anat. September 11th 2001 changed many lives. Russell was running late for work at the advertising firm where he was employed, on the 104th floor of the World Trade Centre, New York. Just as he was leaving his apartment, the telephone rang, and after d...more
Toni
I really wanted to like this book better than I did. It held such promise . It had some wonderful ideas that are good starting points for discussion . Some examples: Can a mother's love reach across time and space to essentially save you ? What is a person's responsibility to a family member,should their needs eclipse yours? Does brain trauma change a personality? What does our reaction to terrorism say about us? How much can we "outgrow" our childhood? How do we survive surviving when we should...more
Brea Brown
I'm still reeling after reading this book. I felt so protective of each of the main characters that by the time I got to the climax of the book, I was simultaneously dreading and anticipating the turning of each page, unsure what was going to happen next. Beautifully written and conceptualized. I just couldn't read it fast enough.
Nenette
Russell was already running late, when he got the news that his mother died...for a while he was relieved since he wasn't late anymore; then he saw the planes hit the towers from his Jersey City apartment window. What follows was not so much an effect of the big news of that day as much as that of his mother's death. In a span of just three months or so, life as he knew it "turned on a dime", as was mentioned three times in the story....it didn't exactly turn for the worse, it "turned on a dime"...more
Ivana
...and the award for the amount of humanity woven into a book goes to Catherine Ryan Hyde. Based on my experience with the previous and first-to-me book by this author, Don't Let Me Go, I've had only a faint idea of what to expect: "small" people waging their everyday battles, love and devotion, strength of human spirit and generosity in abundance. Our heroes in When You Were Older are Russell, who worked in one of the towers and thought he had left his small town far behind; his brother Ben who...more
Susan (The Book Bag)
I read another one of Catherine's book a while back (Don't Let Me Go) and I loved it. I wasn't really expecting to but I love when that happens, don't you?

Well, here is her newest book, When You Were Older - and I have to say, I think I love this one even more! I started reading it over the weekend, when I still had so much Christmas stuff to do and I did not want to put it down. But I do have my priorities ~ and my top priority last weekend was to get to the end of this story!

I immediately love...more
Marianne D. Wallace
Compelling, emotional, causes you to examine how you would react in similar circumstances.

Catherine Ryan Hyde's characters are created with a transparency that is almost uncomfortable. Her stories often deal with tough subjects head-on including, in When You Were Older, the bittersweet life of Russell, a young New York-area man who, but for the phone call telling him his mother died, might have been at work in the World Trade Center on 9/11 when the rest of his colleagues died.

He hitchhikes (all...more
Anne
When You Were Older is set in the months after 9/11 - September 2001 and is the story of two brothers and their struggle to survive and thrive in what has become a strange new world for them. Russell is the younger brother, he bailed out of the small sleepy Kansas town that he was brought up in when he was just out of school. Living in New York, working in the World Trade Centre, his life couldn't be more different to that of his brother Ben. Ben still lives in that small town, he is mentally di...more
Book-shelf Shelf
Bloody brilliant!!! Because I have read 'Don't let me go' I know this was going to be a good read...or should I say I presumed, I hadn't quite known how good a read. There is so much packed into this book that it is hard to physically put the book down. The story of two brothers touches on the subject of terrorism, racist, duty, family, patriotism, love, in-fact so many emotions and heartbreaking subjects you couldn't name them all.
The one thing that Catherine touches on is the Twin Tower Trage...more
CatherineMorland
An absolute beautiful story. If you want a happy rainbows-and-unicorns novel, this isn't for you. The events of 9/11 play a big role, so you can imagine the sadness. I was a child during that time, but When You Were Older brought back the memories for me, the tragic ones of loved ones lost, but also the way friends and families and strangers stood together. This book explored every emotion and I found myself kinda gasping at certain parts of the story and going, "Nooo...." That's what happens wh...more
Natalie
I really didn't want this book to end, and actually, I should have just not finished it, as after loving the book, I did find the ending rather rushed, and although it ended in a way I loved, I couldn't help being a tad disappointed, but not enough to give it less than 5 stars though, as I think a chunk of the disappointment was in that it was over!
At the beginning, I was set to dislike Russell, after he'd not returned home in so long, and was so emphatic about never wanting to have gone back, I...more
Marleen
Another genuinely heartfelt read by Catherine Ryan Hyde. In each of her books, this author succeeds in giving us authentic characters like I’ve seldom experienced before. Simple, ordinary people who are going through something; and you instantly relate. You want to know more. And you feel better after having read it. I tell you. Ryan Hyde has this unique talent, and she writes like no other about those ordinary people. And she does it masterfully.
When You Were Older is a novel about a survivor o...more
Samantha
A moving story about a man who might've been killed in the attacks on the Twin Towers on September 11th 2001 if not for the fateful phone call that his mother has passed away suddenly and he must return to his home town.

The story is told both in the past and present and reflects on the lifetime of tragedies that have befallen a family. The main character, Russell, struggles with caring for his older brother who has limited capabilities due to a head injury when he was a teenager and losing the l...more
Nikki-ann
Russell Ammiano is rushing to get ready and out through the door to go to work on September 11th 2011 when a phone call saves his life. As tragedy strikes New York, Russell must rush home to Kansas to take care of his brother, Ben.

Russell’s mother has died, turning his life upside-down. Ben is mentally disabled and now needs Russell’s help in order to function. Any change to routine is unacceptable and upsets Ben a great deal. Will Russell cope?

When You Were Older is a moving story set in a time...more
Phoenix Carvelli
She has done it again! The author has captured the basic emotions and fears of real people and has transferred them into her work! The raw emotion that Russell feels as his life changes on September 11, 2001, brings readers into a world closer than they may have been on that fateful day. As the days progress, the reader experiences his frustrations with a responsibility he is unable to ignore but must learn to live with again. Russell even finds a silver lining to the dark clouds storming in his...more
Amy
3.5 of 5 stars
Russell receives a phone call regarding his mother's sudden death, making him late for work at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. His coworkers, except for one man also late for work, are dead. His best friend jumped to his death to escape the flames.
Russell hitchhikes home to care for his older, brain damaged brother Ben, who has temper tantrums and meltdowns when he's frustrated. Russell falls in love at first sight with Anat, a naturalized American citizen of Egyptian...more
Barb
Wow, I'm shocked by the quality of writing in this book, it felt like it was written for middle grade readers. The characters were very flat and one-dimensional, the story was trauma after trauma but with very little depth to the depiction of how the traumatic events affected the protagonist. The entire story comes off a bit flat.

I'm so glad that I didn't offer this up as a choice for book club. Though it would tie into the discussion we had last month after reading 'When the Emperor Was Divine'...more
Leslie
Oh, Catherine Ryan Hyde. You had me with the very first of your books I read (Don't Let Me Go...still my favorite). In this novel, I fell in love once again with her ability to stir emotions when it comes to those that are "different". It's a true talent of hers, along with speaking thru a child's point of view. September 11, 2001 touches a very deep place in me...in all of us. And this novel, though not totally focused on that awful day, weaves a story around that tragedy with grace and humilit...more
Juju (Tales of Whimsy.com)
"I don't know what to say about this story other than it disarmed me and held me captive. These characters, their feelings, and the series of tragedies that befalls them felt so real and tangible. While I may have started When You Were Older a skeptic, I devoured it and am happy that I read it. It's one of those stories that stuck with me and I will reflect back to."

Review Copyright © of Tales of Whimsy.com

To read my review in full, please visit: http://www.talesofwhimsy.com/2013/02/...

Cathe Olson
Catherine Ryan Hyde is so great at creating characters that pull you right into the story--and that keep you invested until the last page. 'When You Were Older' was such a sweet, enyoyable story that I really just wanted to stay curled up in my chair drinking cups of tea all day to read it . . . which is more or less what I did. I loved getting to know Russell, as well as the before and after Ben. 'When You Were Older' is Just one of those books that you can just escape into . . . the perfect we...more
Alison
Another great book by this author, who really knows how to represent human emotion. This is the story about Russell Ammiano and what happens to him and others starting on September 11th 2001. Living in NYC and late for work that morning, his life spared by an unwanted phone call which changes his, and his brothers life forever.
Going back to the small Midwestern town where he grew up, and a place where he never thought he would return to. He sees the kindness but also the fears and bad choices pe...more
Lydia Aswolf
Death, death, everywhere.

Rusty should have died that day. Instead, his mother saved his life by losing hers, thousands of miles away in rural Kansas. Because if she hadn't have died; if the aneurysm would have waited even a day, the phone call wouldn't have come. Rusty would have been on time for his meeting. He would have made it to the ad agency he worked for in the World Trade Center.

But he wasn't. He answered the phone call informing him of his mother's death instead of ignoring the call and...more
Louisa
Imagine watching the twin towers collapse knowing everyone you worked with just died. Now imagine the only reason you weren't on the 104th floor was because on your way out the door to go to work you received a phone call that informs you your mother died suddenly. This leaves only you to take care of your brain damaged older brother. I picked up this book and couldn't put it down.
Kathryn
I'm blown away by this book. If I had known before I started this book that she wrote "Pay it Forward" which is in my top 10 movies of all time. I would have known immediately that I was going to like this book. I cried, I smiled, my heart broke, and it was mended. I was caught off guard quite a few times, when I was reading the story. That's always nice.
Elaine
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jo
Incredibly moving story about a young man who gets a phone call one morning as he is rushing out to work to say his mother has died : this means he is not at work in the World Trade Centre when the plane hits. Traumatised, he travels home to very small-town Kansas, where he has to re-connect with his brain damaged brother, Ben, who has no one else to care for him. He finds refuge in the bakery run by Nazir, an Egyptian widower and his daughter, Anat, and has to help defend them from the small mi...more
Ilyhana Kennedy
Initially I thought I was reading a male author. Catherine Ryan Hyde writes male characters very authentically. Her style is brisk, sometimes brusque. She gets on with the telling without dallying in descriptive text.
Relationships and characters are developed and defined for the reader through dialogue.
The narrative is engaging, securely constructed and has satisfying depth.
The characters are well developed and accessible.
The post 9/11 theme is countered with the theme of commitment to the care...more
Carole
This is the 3rd book I've read by Catherine Ryan Hyde. I've loved them all! She has a wonderful writing style, that really dives into getting to know the characters.
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126447
I'm the author of 24 published and forthcoming books.

My newest releases are Where We Belong, Don’t Let Me Go, Walk Me Home, When I Found You, When You Were Older and Second Hand Heart. Forthcoming is Take Me With You (June '14) and a young readers' edition of Pay It Forward (8-12).

Newer novels are Becoming Chloe, Jumpstart the World, Love in the Present Tense, The Year of My Miraculous Reappearan...more
More about Catherine Ryan Hyde...
Pay It Forward When I Found You Don't Let Me Go Love in the Present Tense Walk Me Home

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“You know, you think about who you might meet and when they might come. You always know that someday a door will open and in will come the one you’ve waited for. And then the waiting is done. And the rest of your life can begin. And the minute I looked up and saw you there, I thought, There he is.” 0 likes
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