Since You Left Me

Featured
 
4.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
2194 0
Since You Left Me
Author(s)
Publisher
Genre(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
August 28, 2012
ISBN
978-1606842966
Buy This Book
      
For Sanskrit Aaron Zuckerman, it isn’t easy to believe. Especially when all the people you care about leave.

His dad left after the divorce. The love of his life left in second grade. His best friend in Jewish school found God and practically left the planet. Now his yoga-teacher mom is falling in love with her spiritual guru, and she’s threatening to leave, too.

In a desperate attempt to keep his family together, Sanskrit tells just one small lie. And for a while it seems to be working. Because people start coming back. Sanskrit might even get the family he always wanted.

There’s just one little thing in his way. The truth.

Against the setting of modern-day Los Angeles, YA author Allen Zadoff presents a funny and heartbreaking novel about the search for love — and meaning — in a world where everyone is looking for something to hang on to.

Editor reviews

2 reviews

Sadder than Zadoff's usual, but still good
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Sanskrit's family is a mess, and it all hits the fan when his flighty mother doesn't show up for a required parent-professor conference at Brentwood Jewish Academy. The family is already running afoul of the school; Sanskrit's divorced parents are not involved enough, and Sanskrit himself doesn't believe in God, much less in the tenants of the Jewish faith. His friend Herschel, who became very religious after a school trip to Israel, tries to keep him from completely blowing things, but can't stop Sanskrit from telling the administration, in a moment of desperation, that his mother has been in a car accident and is in the hospital in a neighboring community, in very bad health. While the Jewish community rallies around them, Sanskrit tries to keep the rest of his life from spiraling out of control. His father is too disorganized to really have much impact on the lives of Sanskrit and his sister, Sweet Caroline, and his yoga teacher mother is more concerned with her own spiritual journey than feeding her children, especially when a guru she has met on line comes from India to meet her. Sanskrit begins to realize how angry he is with the inattention from his mother, questions his beliefs even more, and works out old problems with his best friend in the second grade whom he loved, and by whom he felt dumped at a critical point in his life.

Good Points
I love Zadoff's writing. His Food, Girls and Other Things I Can't Have is very popular in my library. He's sort of like Sonnenblick on the sad parts, but not quite as funny. Very engaging, and his books are rich with details. Reminded me a bit of Paul Zindel's The Amazing and Death Defying Diary of Eugene Dingman, for no particularly good reason.

Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 1
HIDDEN DEPTHS AND YOGA MATS
(Updated: August 29, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
In SINCE YOU LEFT ME, the new book by Allan Zadoff, Sanskrit is confused, although at first, he doesn't seem too bothered by that. Life is confusing, parents are confusing, religion is really confusing, and so on. That's just sort of how things are, and he's resignedly, if not happily, going along for the ride. Then he tells a little lie to cover up for his flaky mother missing parent-teacher conferences, and soon things are spiraling out of control.

The spiral is what engaged me. At first, I was a little wary of a story in which the main character is named Sanskrit Aaron, and who has a sister named Sweet Caroline. Yes, like the song. Lordy, I thought. Not another wacky-name-character book. I proceeded with caution, and one eyebrow raised.

It is therefore proof of Allan Zadoff's storytelling magic that by the end, I was completely engaged in the world of the book, and I knew that of course these two people (not characters, people) were called Sanskrit Aaron and Sweet Caroline, and wasn't that just the whole mess in a nutshell? Not once did I even so much as twitch a supercilious eyebrow. I was too busy reconsidering my place in the universe.

See, Mr. Zadoff is a sneaky, tricksy writer (I say that admiringly). He sucked me in with zany chapter titles like: "An Israeli woman with large breasts is calling my name." Like I'm going to resist that. So of course, I thought I was reading a fun book. A funny book. A light-and-easy-lemon-squeezy book. And so it is, right up until the moment it isn't, and suddenly I found myself thinking about the place of the divine in the universe, and what we owe (or don't) to our family and heritage, and what being a mother truly means, and what it must be like to let go of someone you believe you can't exist without, and...and... All that and more snuck up on me, softly and gently, so that I was laid bare to it, and found myself provoked into feeling and thinking about things I wasn't expecting to confront on a summer morning. It was like Brecht, only without the utterly depressingly negative view of humanity.

WHEN YOU LEFT ME is not depressing. It is not negative. The characters are flawed, but you forgive them (much like you do your crabby Aunt Lucy, because you know it's her just her way). By the end of the book, Sanskrit is perhaps more alone, but he's also more free, and that sense of possibility is the best part of being a teenager, setting foot upon a path, not knowing what will come, but hoping it will be wonderful.
Good Points
Nutty, but believable story
Philosophically challenging, yet ultimately comforting
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 1

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Goodnight, Little Llama
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Meet Little Llama, who is about to make a very...
The Boy and the Sea
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A picture book meditation on curiosity, wonder, and finding one’s...
In Your Cozy Bed
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
A soothing bedtime board book from the creators of In...
Chicks Rock!
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Rocker Chick overcomes stage fright to find her voice in...
The Beach (Bluey)
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Read along and join Bluey's latest adventure! ...
All About Bluey
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Meet Bluey! This lovable and imaginative Blue Heeler puppy is...
Instructions for Dancing
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
THE INSTANT #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The critically...
Jonathan: Prince of Dreams
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Still recovering from the tragic loss of his mother, typical...
Missing the Beat
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The dream job? Check. The best friends? Check....
Meeting the Star
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The spotless reputation? Check. The gorgeous movie star?...
Making the Play
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The school of her dreams? Check. The perfect...
Runaway : Immortals of Indriell
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
They claim her mother died a hero. They...
The Cruelest Mercy (The Kinder Poison, #2)
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
In this sequel to The Kinder Poison—which People magazine...
Kneel
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
This fearless debut novel explores racism, injustice, and self-expression...
The Tragedy of Dane Riley
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A teen confronts his feelings about his father’s death,...
Heartbreakers and Fakers
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the author of The Best Laid Plans comes...

Latest Member Reviews

Instructions for Dancing
 
5.0
"INSTRUCTIONS FOR DANCING is an engaging YA contemporary about romance, family, and coming of age. Evie stopped believing in love..."
The Tragedy of Dane Riley
 
4.3
"THE TRAGEDY OF DANE RILEY is a compelling YA contemporary read about family, grief, depression, and mental illness. Dane is..."
The Shadow War
 
3.3
"What worked: Intriguing mix of Sci-fi with historical set during WWII. There is a lot going on in this engaging..."
Kneel
 
5.0
"Russell and his friend Marion live in Louisiana, and hope to use their skills at football to work their way..."
A Season of Sinister Dreams
 
4.3
"A SEASON OF SINISTER DREAMS is an engaging YA fantasy that follows two young women, Evra and Annalise. Annalise lives..."
I Can See Clearly
 
3.3
"Luc Ponti comes from a strong Italian family, and his father (an NCAA point guard, Princeton grad, Special Forces and..."
Fire with Fire
 
4.7
"Dani Rivera may excel at every part of her dragon slaying training, but she would rather focus on being normal..."
Better Together
 
5.0
"BETTER TOGETHER is a delightful and charming YA contemporary read about sisterhood, family, and healing. Siri lives with her mother..."
Get a Clue: A Bookish Boyfriends #4
 
4.3
"In this fourth book set at Reginald R. Hero High, we meet Huck and Win, the brother of Curtis from..."
The Fault In Our Stars
 
5.0
"I had enjoyed this book to great extent. I loved the relationship connection between the two characters and how the..."
The Cruelest Mercy (The Kinder Poison, #2)
 
4.7
"THE CRUELEST MERCY is an intriguing second book in an enthralling YA fantasy series. After the rush and danger of..."
Heiress Apparently (Daughters of the Dynasty, #1)
 
4.0
"What worked: This was a fun take on Crazy Rich Asians meets descendants of Empress Regent of China. Gemma..."
The Box in the Woods (Truly Devious, #4)
 
5.0
"THE BOX IN THE WOODS is a fantastic continuation of Stevie's story with a whole new cold case to solve...."
 
4.7
"Miles "Pudge" Halter seeks for a "Great Perhaps", and attends Culver Creek, a boarding school. Yet, he finds himself with..."
 
5.0
"To say that this book was one of my most anticipated releases for 2021 is an understatement. After the impact..."
 
5.0
"Oh my goodness what a way to end this series! I honestly took a little longer to finish this book..."
 
5.0
"I absolutely loved this sequel. The first one was such a good set up for this book. Nita is free..."
Not Even Bones
 
4.3
"So, this book was not what I was expecting it to be. First, it takes place in the real world...."
Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet
 
5.0
"What worked: I loved this engaging, heart-felt story with one strong Chicanx protagonist. Think I'M NOT YOUR PERFECT MEXICAN DAUGHTER..."
All our Hidden Gifts
 
4.3
"ALL OUR HIDDEN GIFTS was a riveting and darkly captivating YA fantasy/thriller/horror read. Maeve is a teen girl and not..."