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Light Years

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  175 ratings  ·  25 reviews
He went to school to learn how to kill me. The Israeli girl who ruined his life. Seven people were killed instead. A single mother of two. A computer programmer. Two college students. A grandmother and her four-year-old grandson sharing an ice cream. And Dov, my boyfriend, my heart, the man I wanted to marry, who was there waiting for me.

Maya leaves Israel to study astron
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published October 26th 2011 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published January 11th 2005)
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Community Reviews

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Beautiful--I loved it. Heartbreaking, lyrical, unflinching. One of my new favorites. It was imperfect and accurate emotionally and so, so genuine. I can definitely relate to the emotions she experiences with all her new experiences in college--maybe that's why I connected with it so much.

Some of my favorite lines:

"I wondered how he knew that. I wondered if he was trying to break my heart. I was still trying to decide that when I fell asleep."

"I gently hung up the phone and sat in bed, blanket ar
I don't believe you can pass judgment on a book that you haven't finished, so officially, I cannot say what I think of this book. I can say that the plot intrigued me. From the beginning of the book, the reader knows that the protagonist's boyfriend is killed in a suicide bombing. Yet somehow as I made my way through the first half of the book, I began to care less and less about the boyfriend or the protagonist or the narrative itself. I also have an aversion to similes and metaphors that distr ...more
It was pretty good had some history in it not as much as I would've expected but it was pretty good. It told about a girls point of veiw in Israel with the bombings and how she got through it all its a pretty good book but I've read better. It was an easy read that had some Arabic in it like dad is Abba!!! I don't remember what mom is but it just show how much can change in a new country, like who you meet, personalities, News, names, meanings, places, foods, takes on subjects, personal business ...more
I just finished reading this book about half an hour ago and I can't even remember the main character's name. Obviously the book didn't affect me all that much! It's about a girl (whose name I can't recall) whose boyfriend was killed in a suicide bombing in Israel. She then narrates the book from both the present day (going to college at the University of Virginia) and from the past (recalling the events that led to tragedy in Israel). I don't think the book was poorly written, although I found ...more
yet another piece of teen fiction i took home because i no one was checking it out and i felt sorry for it. i'm really glad i did!

"light years" switches back and forth between maya laor's past and present to tell the story of how she lost her boyfriend to a suicide bombing in her native israel, and how she begins to heal and move on during her freshman year at UVA. i really enjoyed the description of israel's mandatory army service for 18-year-olds as well as life in tel aviv. (snarky comment: a
I wanted to like this book more than I did. I found the Israel sections more gripping than the UVA sections, but overall I felt like the book suffered because the author tried to make it relatable to the "ordinary" college student. That made the story uneven -- some fascinating material (especially the heroine's military experience) and some lovely descriptions, but overall it was slightly too cliched to really work. Reminded me a little of Naomi Shihab Nye's "Habibi" (which I thought suffered f ...more
Maya Laor was on her way to meet with her boyfriend at a cafe in Israel, when a suicide bomber attacked the cafe. Of course Maya was stuck in traffic avoiding death, but is left living with the guilty conscious of how this could have been avoided. And so begins this this excellent, engrossing young adult novel.

After the bombing Maya leaves Israel to attend college in Virginia. And is thrown into a new world of youthful, innocent American students. Maya floats through college trying to hide her
Tammar Stein
Mar 14, 2013 Tammar Stein rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)
Light Years, my first novel, will always have a special place in my heart. I worked for five years on it never knowing if it would ever see the light of day. That was a huge commitment to put into a dream.

I poured everything I had to make Israeli soldier Maya Laor come alive to my readers. Everything I learned from interviewing IDF soldiers, reading about the military and Israeli life, and my own experiences in Israel went into creating her and to this day, she's my most intense character. She d
The main character in this book is a student at UVA

Find it at JMRL:
I liked this book a lot. At times predictable, but I still enjoyed getting to know the character through two events and times in her life.
Dec 17, 2009 Krista rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone over age 15
Recommended to Krista by: Adolescent Lit Class
As a newcomer to America, Maya Laor comes to flee the memory of her dead boyfriend. Tangled with guilt for his death, she wants a new start. But this is harder than it seems. I really enjoyed the theme and the culture that was in this book. The portrayal of Israel seemed realistic and the relationship seemed very haunting. The flashbacks between America and Israel kept the book interesting and worth reading.
What a beautifully written and captivating story! I finished this one in a day and a half because the story was compelling and original. While I'm not personally tied to Israel or the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, this was an interesting way to capture one experience without being terribly judgemental. A great story and I look forward to getting my hands on this author's second novel.
This book was written to share the perspective of the same character at two different points in her life; the style really exemplified the ideas in the writing and was easy to follow. Although I didn't love the way this book ended, I enjoyed seeing Maya's progression throughout the book and would definitely recommend this to others!
An interesting look about a girl from Israel who then attends college in the United States. It also provided an interesting look at loving and losing and surviving. I don't have anything spectacular to say about this book, but I also don't have anything terribly negative to say about it, either.
A really good book and an easy read--I read it in one day (I was also on vacation...). The story of a girl who grew up in Isreal and experienced a tramatic event so came to the States to study at UVA. The chapters go back and forth between events in Isreal and present day at UVA.
Great young adult book...The main character moves to the US after her boyfriend is killed by a suicide bomber in Israel. She struggles to make sense of her life in a new country while dealing with her guilt for his death.
This is a teen version of the adult book The Attack (which I love). Shows prejudice between ethnic groups very well. helps the reader to understand the tension between Israelis and Palastinians. I think teens would like this.
Devyn Herron
This was a beautifully written novel that I believe really captured the emotions of a girl moving from Israel to the United States. I was able to gain knowledge about life in Israel.
This was an exceptionally good book. Interesting because it focuses on UVA and the Isralei/Palestinian situation. Very well written. Offers a unique perception.
Gwen Hamlin
One of those books marketed as a YA novel, but emminently suitable for adults. Probably a little mature for many high school students.
Janice Herrington
I ended up really enjoying this book despite some portions earlier that I felt were irrelevant and unnecessary.
She loved him so, and always asks how she will be forever changed by the events that have happened.
Not as good as High Dive, but still a lovely, heartbreaking story. She is a fine writer.

i enjoyed this book a lot
Jayna marked it as to-read
May 29, 2015
Susan Briand
Susan Briand marked it as to-read
Apr 25, 2015
Catherine marked it as to-read
Apr 07, 2015
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Tammar Stein is the award-winning author of the YA novel, Light Years, a Virginia Reader's Choice book and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, 2006. Her second novel, High Dive, was nominated for an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, 2009. Kindred, her third novel and the first in a series, was nominated for Teen Choice Best Book Award and received a starred review on Publishers Weekly. Spoils, a comp ...more
More about Tammar Stein...
Kindred Spoils High Dive Debts: A Novella 15 Views Volume II: Corridor

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