Title: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Author: Jonathan Safran Foer
# of pages: 368

Comments: I have a mega crush on Jonathan Safran Foer. His writing is all at once bizarre and commonplace, beautiful and strange, and comes at you from all angles until you can (mostly) figure out what’s going on in the story. Much like Everything is Illuminated, much is revealed but there is a little mysticism and a little of the story that is left in the dark for you to figure out. Also like EiI, there is a very strange character that you just can’t help but fall in love with. In this book, it’s Oskar, a very gifted little boy who lost his father at the World Trade Center on 9/11. This is not the first book I’ve read that centers its story on 9/11 (The Good Priest’s Son by Reynolds Price was), but it certainly captures aching loss and the incomprehensible things–like voicemail messages from the dead and no bodies–that families faced for maybe the first time ever on that day. I also love Oskar because he is such an amazing kid–and since I’ve worked with gifted children and young adults for most of my life, I definitely recognize other children I’ve known in him. I love this book, but I’m not sure if it will be one that I re-read ever; it is very emotional, and is punctuated with some hard images from 9/11. But overall, a great read, and I look forward to JSF’s next book.