Title: We All Fall Down.
Author: Eric Walters.
Genre: Fiction, survival fiction, 9/11, YA.
Publication Date: March 2006.
Summary: The story follows Will, a ninth grade student, spending a day with his father at the World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001.
My rating: 6/10
My Review: I thought that generally, this book was a good read, though there were a few too many things wrong with it for me to praise it too much. The relationship between an estranged father and his son in a circumstance of extreme crisis was well portrayed, as well as an inside look of 9/11 from a teenage boy's perspective. The writing style wasn't spectacular, and it had a little too much "U.S. is so great and innocent and that's why everyone hates us" propaganda, in one speech in particular. The ending seemed very out of place and rushed, as if the author finished half a thought and then just stopped writing. And I very much dislike it when authors use their characters as walking encyclopaedias to relate facts that would be completely irrelevant unless a character randomly decided to list them. Overall, not bad, though not very good, either.
♥ "When they were first built, some people complained about how ugly they were. They had interviews with architects saying that they were unimaginative, boring, that they proved the bankruptcy of American design. I think that they actually show the imagination that this country is built on. They are big, impressive, and represent the boundless energy that makes this country great. They are beautiful. They symbolize New York, the way the Eiffel Tower is Paris, or the pyramids are Egypt, or Big Ben is London. These towers are New York. Big, bold, clean lines stretching up into a limitless sky. If New York is the center of the universe - and really, who could dispute that? - then these two towers are the center of the center."
♥ My father thought the World Trade Center was what represented America, but for me it was the Statue of Liberty. Maybe new people didn't come to our country by boat any more, but that statue was what we were about. What did it say? "Give me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses..." Looking out over the city it was obvious that while the huddled part still fit, there were no poor to be seen from where I stood. Everywhere I looked was money, money and more money. Maybe my father was right and the World Trade Center and all the money that passed through here each day really did represent the United States.
♥ What would it have been for those passengers? Would they even have known what was happening? Would they have had any idea they were about to die? At least it would have been quick. Instant. Not like those who were trapped by the fire. I could only hope that they'd all be saved, just scared and worried until rescue came. It was better to be worried and alive than oblivious and dead.
♥ Then I thought about what Mom must be going through, and I flashed forward to how relieved she'd be when she finally heard from us. We had to get down and let her know. She was probably going crazy trying to reach us on my dad's cellphone, not understanding that we were unreachable because we were in the stairwell, not unreachable because... because...
How many other people were trying to make calls, either out of the building or in? How many people were trying to get confirmation, or reassurance? How many people would never connect again? How many people would never be coming home again? I stopped myself. I couldn't think about that. Not now. Not yet. I felt an ache in my chest thinking about what had happened, wondering how many lives had ended, or been altered forever. All I wanted to do was be home, standing there with my mother, all of us safe.