It's a year after 9/11. Sniper shootings throughout the D.C. area have everyone on edge, trying to make sense of the random acts of violence. Meanwhile, Craig and Lio are just trying to make sense of their lives.
Craig's crushing on quiet, distant Lio, and preoccupied with what it meant when Lio kissed him...and if he'll do it again...and if kissing Lio will help him finally get over his ex-boyfriend, Cody.
Lio feels most alive when he's with Craig. He forgets about his broken family, his dead brother, and the messed up world. But being with Craig means being vulnerable, and Lio will have to decide whether love is worth the risk.
When I finish reading some books, I'm in awe. I'm in awe of the author's writing, of their characters, their plot, the entire book. And I close the book thinking This book was brilliant.
Gone, Gone, Gone is brilliant, too. But it shares its brilliance in a quiet way.
Throughout the entire novel, I was loving the book. I liked the characters and the plot and the setting and everything about it, and I knew for sure that I would give it at least four stars.
But then I got to the end. The ending is a hard hitter. It's beautiful and peaceful and so, so perfect. And it was at the ending that this book showed me its brilliance.
Gone, Gone, Gone takes place in 2002, in Washington D.C, around the time of the Beltway Sniper shootings. Craig and Lio are two high school boys living in the same town. They've formed sort of a strange, uneasy friendship, but their friendship becomes even more conflicted when Lio kisses Craig. As the sniper shootings continue and more and more people are killed and the atmosphere of panic continues, the boys must understand their uneasy romance.
I think Moskowitz best explained the plot when she said this: "[The book] is a love story. It is so f*ucking a love story." There isn't much plot to the story. This another one of those books that is all about the characters. But there is a plot. It's one of those quietly brilliant plots, and it's an amazing love story. The entire time I wanted Craig and Lio to fall in love with each other, to get together. The plot quietly takes them through romance, through twists and turns that are amazingly realistic. It's a brilliant love story. And really, that's all I can say about the plot of this book. It was a brilliant love story.
I do have one side note on the plot: I liked how Moskowitz explained enough information about the sniper shootings. It was enough for people who had no idea about the shootings and a good refresher for people who already knew about the shootings or lived through them themselves.
The characters....this book is all about the characters. Craig and Lio were both fully formed characters with their own flaws and problems, but with their own personalities and strengths. They were both very funny, too. Their voices were distinct and sounded like boys (Moskowitz certainly can write boys) and they were just....amazing. That's all I can say about them. They were perfect for the story and lovely and amazing. All of the characters, not just Craig and Lio, were amazing and impressive and very well rounded. While the plot may not have been heavy, the characters were packed with enough heaviness and strengths and beauty to completely make up for it -- and enhance the lovely love story.
Moskowitz's writing is stripped down. She writes what needs to be said, no extra words, no frills. It's realistic and easy to read. The writing is beautiful in its own way too; not obvious from the beginning but it, too, shows its quiet beauty eventually.
I recieved this book as an advanced readers' copy, thanks to Galley Grab, but I sure as heck will be buying myself a copy. I'll stick it on my bookshelf right in the center. And every time I see it I know I'll smile. I'm smiling wide just writing this review.
Gone, Gone, Gone is a must-read for anyone who loves romance and contemporary fiction. It's really a must read for everyone, really.