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Wide Awake

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  3,661 Ratings  ·  330 Reviews
I can't believe there's going to be a gay Jewish president.

As my mother said this, she looked at my father, who was still staring at the screen. They were shocked, barely comprehending.

Me? I sat there and beamed.

Everything seems to be going right in Duncan's life: The candidate he's been supporting for president has just won the election. Duncan's boyfriend, Jimmy, is wi
Hardcover, 221 pages
Published September 12th 2006 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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Vee S
May 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: queer-ya
Actual rating: 4.5 Stars

This book was so fantastic. How do I describe it? Basically, imagine if Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump won the nominations for their parties, only Bernie was gay and instead of being mostly focused on Wall Street &c he was more idealistic and about all of us coming together as "great community." Then imagine he's elected president, but the opponent refuses to concede the election and instead tries a mass voter disenfranchisement tactic to try and make himself the vi
Oct 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
I want you to believe me when I say that David Levithan really is one of the best writers in YA. I won't pretend he's consistent, but when he's at his best (Every Day, Will Grayson Will Grayson, Love is the Higher Law), he creates complex characters, with strong voices, and unique premises that only could've come from him. He's also one of the best writers of LGBT fiction I can think of, except maybe Malinda Lo. He's one of the few authors who really explores the different people that identify a ...more
Sep 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
David Levithan's books make me so happy young people have access to his writing - perhaps making their personal journeys a bit less isolating and a lot more promising. Wide Awake in particular becomes a must-read YA novel in this insane election year. What a sense of hope Levithan gives all of us for a near-future full of possibility.
Jul 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-read, ya-lgbt
This is a most interesting YA read.

The U.S. has an elected a gay, Jewish president -- or so it seems until Kansas decides maybe the count is off. The group of 16-yr old teens who worked so hard on the campaign are devastated, just as the "Decents" who opposed the candidate are. The tag line of the book is "What are you willing to do for what you believe in?"

Levithan is an excellent writer and may have missed his calling when he decided not to become a political speechwriter (the speeches by the
Aug 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Everyone should read this book. If 1984 shows us how bad the world can get, this book shows us how good things can get, gives hope that ultimately we humans, though we do bad things, will pull together for the good of everyone.
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Christian C. for

Decades from today, the results of the election are out, and for the first time in the history of the United States, a gay, Jewish president, Abraham Stein, has been elected. After the Greater Depression, the War to End All Wars, the Reign of Fear, and the Jesus Revolution, the moment has arrived. Seventeen-year-old Duncan, who has spent the last few months working with his boyfriend, Jimmy, as a volunteer at the campaign headquarters, can finally sta
Sean Kennedy
The two books I have read from David Levithan so far have required quite a bit of suspension of disbelief - in "Boy Meets Boy" it was a bit easier to get over the initial resistance to it, but "Wide Awake" suffers because of it. It's a shame, because it could have been a truly great and inspiring YA novel. Levithan's world-building always seems to push a bit too far - my first stumbling block was the notion that in the future we no longer shop for stuff, but just go to look at them and then dona ...more
Nov 15, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: not too sure
Can it be historical fiction if it's set in a fictional future? Because this book is all about making the future. When a gay Jewish man becomes president. You know, when that happens. Someday. Maybe. Possibly...

This was not my favorite Levithan and I've been trying to work out why this book didn't sear into my soul like his other books. (Alright, maybe not my soul, but definitely into my beneath the surface emotions. Definitely there.)

I think it's because this book felt like a proje
Cara M
Aug 30, 2011 rated it liked it
David Levithan was recommended to me as an author who could write about homosexuality front and center and give it a happy ending. But this book was not really what I was looking for. It was an interesting journal of a political movement, but honestly, it was really a one note samba. It definitely wanted to give a positive message, but the nuance it had in the beginning was swept away as Duncan joined the protest.
In the end, the only thing i found convincing about the book was the relationships.
Nov 07, 2008 added it
Shelves: ya_lit, 2009
There are three things about David Levithan's books that I adore: the tenderness with which the protagonist views the world, the writing that has so much energy it seems to pop off the page, and finally, the creation of a world that is so idealistic and believable that I want to pack my bags and move to it. It's the last one that I had a problem with in this book.

Wide Awake is set sometime in the distant future where teens hang out at non-shopping malls and give their money to charity rather tha
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David Levithan (born 1972) is an American children's book editor and award-winning author. He published his first YA book, Boy Meets Boy, in 2003. Levithan is also the founding editor of PUSH, a Young Adult imprint of Scholastic Press.

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“I am proud that I defy your categories. I am proud that I don't fit easily into any box. I am proud of all the things I am and all the things i can be. Question yourself every time you think you only see one thing in me.” 95 likes
“It was the most amazing feeling in the world. to know that something right happened, and to know that it had happened not through luck or command but simply because it was right.” 72 likes
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