Read all we have left by Wendy Mills Online


A haunting and heart-wrenching story of two girls, two time periods, and the one event that changed their lives—and the world—forever.Now:Sixteen-year-old Jesse is used to living with the echoes of the past. Her older brother died in the September 11th attacks, and her dad has filled their home with anger and grief. When Jesse gets caught up with the wrong crowd, one momenA haunting and heart-wrenching story of two girls, two time periods, and the one event that changed their lives—and the world—forever.Now:Sixteen-year-old Jesse is used to living with the echoes of the past. Her older brother died in the September 11th attacks, and her dad has filled their home with anger and grief. When Jesse gets caught up with the wrong crowd, one momentary hate-fueled decision turns her life upside down. The only way to make amends is to face the past, starting Jesse on a journey that will reveal the truth about how her brother died.Then:In 2001, sixteen-year-old Alia is proud to be Muslim... it's being a teenager that she finds difficult. After being grounded for a stupid mistake, Alia is determined to show her parents that that they must respect her choices. She'll start by confronting her father at his office in downtown Manhattan, putting Alia in danger she never could have imagined. When the planes collide into the Twin Towers Alia is trapped inside one of the buildings. In the final hours she meets a boy who will change everything for her as the flames rage around them . . .Interweaving stories past and present, full of heartbreak and hope, two girls come of age in an instant, learning that both hate and love have the power to reverberate into the future and beyond....

Title : all we have left
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 23347746
Format Type : e-Book
Number of Pages : 368 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

all we have left Reviews

  • Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
    2019-05-07 01:25

    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight This book is a must read, basically. It's incredibly thought provoking, and deals with a lot of difficult issues. Frankly, this is one hell of a brave book to write, and I think Wendy Mills handled it beautifully and with a great amount of respect and reverence.This isn't an easy book to read, because while the characters are fictional, the events very much are not. They're real, they're haunting, and this book does not sugarcoat them at all. Nor does it sugarcoat the present, and the hatred that Muslims experience because of their religion on a regular basis. I loved Alia as a character more than Jesse, but Jesse's story was powerful and needs to be told. You won't like Jesse, especially at first. You won't like her family, you won't like a lot of her actions. If you're anything like me, this book will make you sad and angry- and that is a very good thing. We should be sad, and we should be angry, and I think this book does a phenomenal job of explaining why.Jesse's brother Travis was my age. We were a month apart in age- he even was ahead a grade in school like me. There was a passage in this book that hit home, something I have asked myself many times:"I wonder why it's so important that people recount their own story whenever the subject of 9/11 comes up. I want to yell 'What does it matter where you were? People were dying, my brother was dying, and you were home safe in bed!'"And the book talks about this. Why it actually is important. This book is basically full of fabulous lessons across the board, all intertwined in an incredibly moving story about how the past and present collide; how these two young women, across religion, ethnicity, and time are ultimately connected. It even debunks myths about Islam as a religion, which I think is incredibly important."Close to three thousand people died in pain and terror while the world watched in horror. I thought about what it must have been like that day, to be watching on TV as the towers fell. How could you bear to watch?How could you bear not to?"Indeed, Jesse. Indeed.Bottom Line: I'm not saying any more about this because I think you need to read it for yourself. Whether you have memories of that day like I do, or whether you're a bit too young, you need to read this. All We Have Left reminds us why now, more than ever, we need love and acceptance in place of intolerance and hate.*Copy provided by publisher for review**Quotes taken from uncorrected proof, subject to change.

  • Zainab Shah
    2019-05-21 05:09

    It's really surprising how underrated this book is....I mean...why isn't anyone talking about it??This book was such an emotional rollercoaster. Really really touching and thought provoking and shit I'm an emotional wreck right now....

  • Milka
    2019-05-18 00:04

    Two girls. Two stories. One event that shocked and changed the world.Alia is trying to visit her father in World Trade Center when she gets stuck in an elevator with a guy called Travis. Was it just a malfunction? Could it have been an explosion? Is someone going to come and help them? What happens next is something no one ever expected to happen.Jesse lost her brother almost 15 years ago at the September 11th attacks. While her parents are still together, they are both trying hard to keep quiet about Travis and what happened to him. Her mother keeps herself busy with work and other activities, while her father drinks and rages on the television. When Jesse befriends a group of graffiti artists, she ends up tagging an anti-Muslim message and gets caught. Forced to do community service at a Muslim Peace Center she starts to learn more about herself and also becomes curious about her brother, a young man who will forever be 18, a guy she never really knew and a person she has only come to known as the brother who died tragically. I think the way Mills is able to balance the two stories and the two time periods is excellently done. As the novel processes, the two stories start to intricately weave together and more and more parallels are found between the two. Both Alia and Jesse are extremely interesting characters who both struggle with issues of confidence and finding your place in a world that is constantly changing. Alia's story is mostly tied up to the 11th of September, while Jesse's story spans a longer time and thus allows for more character development. I was ten years old in September 11th, 2001 and I also have a clear recollection of where I was when I heard about the attacks to the World Trade Center. I lived in Finland at the time, so the events felt quite distant for me, but even then, I feel like I was aware of the fact that what had happened was extremely tragic and that it would change things. Not only in United States, but all over the world. In the novel, Jesse never really knew her brother. She was only a toddler when 9/11 happened, and for a long time she has been trying to figure out how to grief for someone she never really knew. She knows that she is supposed to be sad, and she is, but without knowing anything about her brother it feels to her like her sorrow is very superficial.She knows she makes a mistake when she generalizes that all Muslims are to blame for what happened to her brother, and I think she really learns from that mistake, in many different ways. Due to its subject matter, this novel is obviously very sad. The events that happen in the tower and as well as the discrimination also Jesse engages in made me both angry and heartbroken. Both 9/11 and the treatment of Muslims in US are very controversial topics to write about, but I think Mills shows sensitivity in her treatment of both. The acknowledgements at the end of the novel thank both 9/11 survivors who have shared their stories, as well as Muslin families who have welcomed Mills to their home for research purposes, so I would like to assume that readers from both of those groups (survivors and Muslims) can read this book without feeling like they are wrongly or unfairly represented. I am really looking forward to reviews from young Muslim reviewers in order to read their thoughts on this one.Thinking about the current political climate in the United States with the election coming and Donald Trump trailblazing his way forward, the way this novel depicts attitudes towards the Muslim population made me kind of sick at times. I think Mills has done wisely to include that discrimination here to show the reality of the situation, and I think she handles the treatment of it well. But just thinking that there are some so narrow-minded people out there baffles me. I won't go into more political discussion here, but if you are politically inclined, I think you might find this one an interesting read!I have a feeling All We Have Left will be making waves once it is published. It is beautifully and sensitively written, sad but occasionally uplifting tale about human endurance, bravery, forgiveness and second chances.

  • Nora Baskin
    2019-05-22 01:22

    All We have left is told in two female voices, one in 2001 and the other present day, but somewhere in this story you will find the voice of someone you know. Possibly yourself. I was first drawn into the lives of the two main characters, and their individual journeys as teenagers navigating their particular worlds, dealing with issues of bigotry, family tragedy, and romance. At the half way point, as I went through my day, I found myself constantly wanting to pick up the book, and return to theses unique, engaging characters. At two-thirds in, I couldn’t go to sleep. By telling the intimate story of these two girls and their intersecting lives, Wendy Mills tell a universal story of our shared history. There are no good guys good and bad guys. There are human beings, flawed, and brave, frightened, and courageous, angry, and forgiving, wounded, and transcendent.

  • Jana
    2019-04-24 05:32

    Wow, you guys, this book.I haven’t really heard anyone talk about this book or even mentioned it. It is a new release and it is a fictional account about the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. Following two point of views in two periods of time, this book illustrates the experiences the victims of those attacks had based on many real life accounts from real life victims, which Wendy Mills used to create her own - fictional - characters.One part of the book is set 15 years after the attacks. We follow Jesse, whose brother Travis died in the World Trade Center. Her father is a massive Muslim hater, and she has very similar beliefs in the beginning, that is, until she actively tries to find out why her brother was there that day and what exactly happened to him.The other point of view is Alia, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl, who is in the World Trade Center at the very moment of the attacks, becoming herself a victim.This book made me feel so many things. It gives what feels like an extremely realistic account of what the victims might have felt about it (as much as I as a non-American, non-Muslim person who knows absolutely no one who was directly affected by the attacks can judge that). All the Islamophobia that followed the attacks was very present through Jesse’s narrative, obviously, but so upsetting to read about, especially with Alia’s side of the story. I think the only way the story could have been more powerful would have been had it been written by a Muslim author who could actually say what it is like to live as a Muslim in New York post-9/11, but I think Wendy Mills tackled the topic pretty sensitively for a white author who cannot know what it’s like. She stays pretty clear of talking about what things are actually like for a Muslim person except from the obvious, so while the story could have benefitted from those experiences, I think it’s good that she didn’t just assume things. Reading the Author’s Note, it also becomes obvious that she researched quite a lot for this book and the outcome is, as I said, very authentic and heartbreaking. If you can handle the kind of content (there are relatively graphic descriptions of people trying very hard to get out of a building that is about to collapse), I would definitely recommend checking this book out.

  • Jen
    2019-05-04 01:29

    This book is SO powerful and necessary, especially now. It shines a light on how hatred and violence can become a vicious cycle, passed from one generation to the next, and how it's up to the generation it is being passed down to to break the cycle once and for all.I completed LOVED this book. I loved the alternation between the past and the present. I actually skipped back and forth in the book myself. It didn't feel like it had to be read linearly in order to appreciate it. The flow of the book was great. The message of understanding and acceptance, rather than hatred and anger, was so necessary. This book pulls no punches when discussing racism and how ugly it is. The characters are all people you could meet on the street, with realistic flaws and parts you can see reflected in yourself. This book is REAL.It's also sad. It deals with 9-11 and the fallout one family had with the loss of a loved one, as well as how their inability to deal with it reverberated out into their community. The characters grow, with secondary characters that are strong and loveable. Well, not all of them. But they all helped in the development of the main character. She LEARNED, which I loved. This is a must read book, especially for middle grade and higher. 5 stars, recommended for all. I think it would be a good "one school, one book" book. So beautifully well written, with heart and love. This is a keeper, but one I will be passing on for others to read. It's that good and important.My thanks to NetGalley and Bloomsbury USA Children's Books for an eARC copy of this book to read and review.

  • Amanda
    2019-04-29 08:05

    This review was originally published on [a cup of tea and an armful of books], where I post other reviews, interviews, and thoughts on books! People were living their lives, doing everyday things, when suddenly the planes hit, and time ripped into two pages titled ‘Before 9/11’ and ‘After.’ With their clumsy stories, they are saying: ‘We all felt it. We remember where we were when the world changed.’But what about those of us who could not remember that day? I’ve seen the footage, watched the big, clumsy planes crash into the towers like some sort of low-budget action film. Which is worse? To know that things used to be different, or to have never known that more innocent day at all?* All We Have Left is a story about two girls affected by one of the most infamous moments in US history, the attacks of September 11th. Although they don’t know it, that day left its mark on them in ways that will bring them together 15 years later. Alia and Jesse’s stories are woven together through past and present, before and after. All We Have Left brings up the questions that many dealt with in the aftermath of 9/11: whether they were there, like Alia; someone who lost a loved one, like Jesse; or one of the many who just remember. What do you do when the world has changed and you can’t understand why? What do you do when your family has been fractured out of your control?Although September 11th happened 15 years ago, the setting is very contemporary. All We Have Left is divided into the two periods, the now and then. The “then” is very vivid, even before it gets into the events of that day. I felt that it was the strongest of the two settings, even though I thought that the characters were weaker. The “now” is up to date with what’s going on in the world, especially in relation to racism, terror, and the way that they’re sometimes horrifically connected. The characters in the “now” setting were initially very bland and typical of a young adult high school setting. I was glad that it switched between the two.Both Alia and Jesse grew on me as I continued to read. At first, I only liked Alia. There was tension in her family and changes that she was going through against the backdrop of a historical event. In contrast, Jesse came off as a whining brat. She had a hard time growing up with the shadow of the death of her brother hanging over her and her family, but I didn’t feel that it was portrayed very well at first. Part of this was due to the fact that the book began slowly. It only allowed Jesse’s storyline to be the cliched high school one. Eventually as the story continued I found myself eager to see what would happen next with her. I ended up being interested in what Jesse did because she was a character who was alive during this event, but too young to remember. I liked that the author used her as an example of the many people who were young during this time. There’s a definite disconnect from not being conscious of the event at the time. Jesse is interesting because although she was too young, she does have that anger and sadness from losing a loved one. I liked that both sides were inside of her character.Something that I thought Wendy Mills did well was her presentation of Islam in the book. I’m not sure how correct it is because I only know as much as I’ve learned in the few religion classes I’ve taken. I really liked how Adam and Alia looked at the world around them. Adam especially, because he had to deal with people treating him differently due to prejudice after September 11th. Even though there was this prejudice against them, they both looked at the world in a clear way. I really enjoyed that he was able to teach Jesse (and hopefully the reader) about how he saw the world.All We Have Left, although written in a dual narrative, is primarily about Jesse’s growth. Because her brother died when she was really young, she’s not really known life any differently. I liked that Wendy Mills charted how she came out under the shadow of that and the way that it had fractured her family. We as readers know that Alia and Jesse’s brother are connected, but it takes a long time for Jesse to discover that. The mystery of why her brother was in the Towers is something that has so haunted her family that it was interesting to read as Jesse went about solving it. Another thing that I appreciated was the fact that Mills didn’t let the little romance that was in the book cheapen the more important aspects of it. I would have felt very annoyed and cheated had this book changed tact.The hardest part about reviewing this book is trying to understand how much of it was I genuinely liked it and how much of it is the emotional connection I had to the characters and my past. It’s hard to read and review a book when it makes you emotional. I’m not sure if I’m emotional because of the book or because it’s about an event that was a shocking part of my childhood. I feel like it masked issues I had with the book, which is why I’ve taken so long to get my thoughts together on it. While it was a good book and I thought that the characters, both main and supporting, were written well, I do think that I was blinded a bit by my own personal memories of that day.What was good about this book is that the ending leaves Jesse and the reader with hope that she will find peace. Through Jesse, hopefully the reader has found a little bit of peace as well. Although the world is oftentimes full of horrible things, people will always stand up to help and support the others around them. I found the ending very emotionally touching. I recommend this book for readers who like dual narratives and who maybe want to discover a little bit about how the world around them still needs to change for the better.3.5 stars.I received a copy of All We Have Left from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All We Have Left will be available on August 9th, 2016.*Quotes come from an advance reading copy and may be different in the final release.

  • Tiff at Mostly YA Lit
    2019-05-02 05:09

    Review originally posted on Mostly YA Lit:Hi guys, today I have nice, light-hearted reviews for you, perfect for sum--I'm just kidding. And I probably shouldn't kid about this. Today I'm reviewing All We Have Left by Wendy Mills and 738 Days by Stacey Kade. These are two very different books about trauma and that deal with grief in different situations and circumstances. They're not super easy to read, but they're both pretty good and portray trauma with honesty and compassion. Read on for my thoughts. Two Books About Trauma and Its Aftermath A moving portrayal of the before and after of 9/11 and how it affects two teens and their families. Alia is a Muslim teen trying to break free of her parents’ wishes. She ends up at her father’s workplace in the Twin Towers on Sept 11, 2001. Jesse McLaurin is a teenager who lost her brother in the 9/11 tragedy. Jesse's family is now broken and silent about the event. Alternating narratives tell how the past informs the present, and how grief and memory merge and linger.Warning to readers: this is a slow read at the beginning. It took almost 35% before the action really built. And it’s somber, as befits the topic. But the thing is, even though this isn’t an easy read, I think it’s one worth reading, for a few reasons:1) I've never read a book that tries to portray what happened on 9/11 to people who were in the Towers. I felt this was done accurately, honestly, and respectfully for a teen audience.2) The portrayal of grief, trauma, and a family still broken by what happened that day was really well done as well, showing the after effects of 9/11, even 15 years later.3) This book tackles racial issues, hatred, prejudice, and grief in a way that is really compassionate and comprehensible.If I have qualms, they are that I just didn’t fully connect with either Alia or Jesse. I think the concept of the book overcame the actual characterization of them. That said, I’m glad I read All We Have Left. It showed such a variety of perspectives on grief and trauma, and how to articulate and move past them. It definitely made me think about how we’ve changed as people and as a world after 9/11 .Teachers, this is one for the school library and the classroom, and it’s a great one to spark discussion.738 Days is a very, very good new adult romance book that deals with trauma. I just want to be clear about that because there are some sexy and dark scenes in this book, and I want people to know what they’re getting into. This is not a young adult novel. It's a novel about a girl who is struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder after being horrifically kidnapped, raped, and locked in a room for, yes, 738 days when she was 16.Fast-forwards to a year after she escapes. It’s...not good. Amanda is terrified to leave the house, her family is either overly protective or ignoring the problem and nothing is getting better.Enter Chase Henry, the washed-up TV star whose poster was on the wall of the room where Amanda was locked up. He represented hope for her then. Now, his publicist wants him to go meet Amanda to convince her to help him improve his image.With this somewhat implausible premise, we’re launched into a story about trust, respect, honesty, and courage. What really sings in this novel are the characterizations of Amanda and Chase - both so different on the outside than they are in private. Kade peels back the layers of Amanda and Chase so carefully that even though it's sorta insta-love, you believe in this relationship. Their sense of humour is the same. They’re both dry wits, with a lot to offer, but unable to get past themselves. Amanda and Chase are both battling demons, internal and external; it’s amazing to see how their support for one another changes and shapes them.The only thing I didn’t love about this novel was the last quarter, which brought more intrigue suspense than I expected - and honestly, not in a good way. Even though I enjoyed the story all the way through, I couldn’t help wishing that this long book had four acts instead of five.Nonetheless, this is a very good new adult romance that deserves your attention. If you’re okay with some explicit scenes and language, and you’re ready to deal with some really emotional characters, this one is for you.Have you read All We Have Left or 738 Days? Are you okay with really heavy reads? What books about trauma have you read recently that you think I should read? Hit the comments and let me know!

  • Vir
    2019-05-02 05:17

    Sin palabras. Totalmente recomendado.

  • Emily
    2019-05-25 00:15

    I'm conflicted in my rating of this one. I want to give it five stars, but if I'm being honest I think that has more to do with my emotional reaction to the story rather than the novel being five-star worthy. I'm glad I waited a few more days before reviewing so I could think because when everything is taken into consideration, it's definitely more of a three star.The story is incredibly emotional and I was in tears at the end. How could I not be knowing the experiences of Travis and Alia are based on real stories? Knowing how many people suffered and lost their lives in the attack? It seems, from the little I know, that Mills did her research well which I appreciate a lot. I wasn't a huge fan of the writing, though. It was hard to get into in the beginning and the secondary characters felt so flat - I really wanted to know more about them and feel we could have gotten so much! I was also way more invested in Jesse's story that I wish this had only been her story and we could find out what happened to Alia and Travis through her some way. Then we could get more involved with Jesse's story because I feel like the dual perspective let us only barely scratch the surface. It was also a bit slow in the beginning and it wasn't until the last 25% or so that I felt like I couldn't put the book down.I wanted to like this so much more than I did and it's a very emotional and at times touching story. But once I set aside my emotions, there are things the writing and plot lack that I can't get past.

  • Alissa
    2019-05-21 07:23

    Please see my review of All We Have Left featured on Diva Reads.

  • Ms. Yingling
    2019-04-30 03:23

    ARC from publisher ( back and forth between the present day and the morning on September 11, 2001, we follow the story of two girls. Jesse (in the present day), was a baby when her brother was killed in the towers, but her family has never been the same. Her father is obsessed with hating Muslims, and her mother is just sad but trying to put on a good front. To act out, Jesse gets involved with Nick, who is hot but trouble. Her friends warn her away from him, but she joins in with his group, spray painting hate messages around town. She gets caught painting an Islamic center, and her punishment is to spend time there. In 2001, we meet Alia, who is a talented artist who has run afoul of her Muslim parents' rules and is denied the opportunity to go to an art workshop over the summer after she was caught in the bathroom smoking marijuana. Of course, she really wasn't, but since she had also run away previously (being upset that the family had moved from California to New York City), her parents think she is in need of consequences. She chooses to start wearing the hijab the morning after she is punished, which even she knows is not the best timing. Sad that she argued with her father, and hoping to convince him that she should still attend the art workshop, she goes to visit him at his office in the Twin Towers. There, she gets stuck in an elevator with Jesse's brother, Travis. We see both how Alia and Travis got through the bombing, and also how Jesse and her family deal with a 15th anniversary commemoration put on in the town. We find out why Travis was in the tower, and Jesse is finally able to make some peace for her family. Strengths: This seems to be a big year for 9/11 books, and we do need them. This is more Young Adult, but certainly appropriate for middle school students. The intertwining of stories was clever (if a bit unbelievable), and the inclusion of a Muslim main character was a nice touch. The cover on this is really beautiful. Weaknesses: This had a lot of instances of people acting very poorly to occurrences in their lives. Jesse was rather a brat, her father was really awful, and Travis was the worst of the bunch. It did seem far fetched that Jesse was able to locate Alia.What I really think: I loved this author's Positively Beautiful, even though it was too Young Adult for my school. I will probably buy this one, especially since the 8th graders are usually the ones who do an entire unit on this event.

  • 郭茗茗(Sarah Guo)
    2019-04-29 07:24

    Good book! :D

  • The Owlery (Elizabeth)
    2019-04-25 06:15

    I have several negative things to say about this book but please do not mistake how much I fell in love with these characters and their journey! Jesse has spent her life not knowing the story of how her older brother died, when she goes searching for answers she finds more than just a lost story in the process. When the story begins Jesse is getting mixed up in the wrong crowd and their is a love interest introduced but it all seemed very inconsequential and unnecessary to the story but as more of the pieces fall into place it starts to make sense. I recommend giving this book at least 100 pages because it really takes some time to get a feel for the story, But once you get over that hump it is so worth it! Alia's and Travis' story naturally is so heart wrenching. Their experience of the 9/11 attack makes you feel like you are in the building feeling the heat of the flames and breathing in smoke. I have read quite a few documentaries and stories from survivors of the 9/11 attacks and I can tell that Wendy Mills did an extensive amount of research and made Alia's and Travis' experience authentic. There were so many heart stopping moments and I never truly knew how the story would end until the second to last chapter. I loved how real the characters reactions, prejudices, and feeling were; Islamophobia is unfortunately a very real thing people experience and it was dealt with in just the right way while still being true to each character's personality. I have a love hate relationship with the dual perspectives in this novel only because they literally left me on the edge of a cliff at the end of every chapter but for most of the chapters this made my reading experience exciting and continuous. I cried a half dozen times and read this story in just two sittings. It was a huge roller coaster ride of feelings from, anger to hatred and depression and longing. In short this book was amazing and everyone needs to read it!Final ThoughtsI could not walk away from these characters without knowing how their story ended. This novel was perfectly written and definitely one of the best books I have read in 2016.

  • Jen
    2019-05-03 01:23

    I was so incredibly touched by this beautiful story of 9/11. It was told in two perspectives from during the attacks and after. The story reflects events of that day and events that have shaped our lives from that day forward. This was without doubt one of the best fictional accounts of 9/11 that I have ever read and I have read almost everything there is out there. I was so impressed with this book and the beautiful writing of the author that I conducted a short interview with her and did a special review of this on my youtube channel. Please check it out to hear more thoughts from the author and my thoughts on this story.

  • Bianca
    2019-05-03 07:16

    “Maybe everybody’s story is important, because 9/11 didn’t just happen to the people who died, it happened to the entire country. People were living their lives, doing everyday things, when suddenly the planes hit, and time ripped into two pages titled “Before 9/11” and “After.” With their clumsy stories, they are saying: “We all felt it. We remember where we were when the world changed.”

  • Coconath
    2019-05-07 03:12

    “Hate is just fear. Fear that we are powerless, ugly, small, nothing, so we hate people to make us feel better about ourselves, so we don't have to be so scared all the time.” 5 stars - It was amazingI don't understand why this book isn't spoken about more. I loved it! The story is heartbreaking and beautifully told.Both perspectives were very interesting and kept you want to know more about the story. The author did a really amazing job describing both sides of the spectrum on how 9/11 affected both the Muslim community and families that built up hate after the attacks. It was also one of the only books I have read that actually described an accurate portrayal of the Muslim religion and culture without discrimination and ignorance, which is unfortunately so widely spread nowadays, and it felt like a breath of fresh air. The description of what was happening inside the towers felt also so real and was based on several stories told by survivors which made the story feel very authentic. It broke my heart more than once.The characters were also well developed and you could really understand their struggle and the fights they had to endure throughout the book.I can't say it enough, it was an amazing book and you should definitely read it right now

  • Brianna
    2019-05-10 06:30

    I was surprised by how moved I was by this book, and by then end I was racing through it to find out how it ended. The author does a great job of weaving together the stories of Jesse and Alia, and offers a hopeful ending after dragging you through both the horror of 9/11 and the ugly emotional and cultural aftermath of it. The relationship between Jesse and Adam was a bit too cheesy/on the nose for my tastes, but oh well.PS I loved the Lia superhero. Where can I read that comic book??

  • Grace
    2019-05-07 08:12

    3.5 stars

  • Mary Gubitose
    2019-05-11 05:04

    My absolute favorite book, I don't want to spoil it for anyone but when I realized she was with him! Oh my gosh, I practically fell out of my chair, it had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. I read them in a matter of days. I would 100% recommend this to a friend, but it tugs at the heart strings so have a box of tissues at hand when reading.

  • Cynthia (Bingeing On Books)
    2019-05-17 03:12

    I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.This book was such an amazing and emotional and thought provoking book about one of the biggest events in our history. I was in college when the Towers fell. I admit that I was kind of naive about just how big this event was and how much all of our lives would be shaped by it. There is "before 9/11" and "after 9/11."This book alternates between two characters and two different timelines. It would seem like this would be confusing, but it's not. In the year 2001 we meet Alia, a Muslim who is struggling with her parents' expectations and her faith with who she wants to be. The morning the towers fall, she decides to wear her hijab for the first time, gets in a horrible fight with her mom and then goes to the World Trade Center to talk with her father. In the year 2016 we meet Jesse, a girl struggling with her parents' neglect and her father's hatred towards Muslims, both of which started after her brother Travis died in the Towers fifteen years earlier.Alia was so interesting and I just loved her character. Her parents wanted her to be a lawyer or a doctor. She wanted to write comic books. She even had a comic strip about a Muslim superhero she named Lia. Awesome, right? When she decides to wear the hijab for the first time, I could see how big of a deal that was and how much her faith meant to her. When she goes to the World Trade Center, I wanted to shout at her, "DON'T DO IT!" I knew what was coming and reading her chapters were so hard. When the planes hit, there was panic and smoke and confusion and no one really knew what happened or why it happened. There were so many heroes in that building and so many people who helped perfect strangers. I think I cried every time I read her chapters. I am tearing up now just thinking about it. I can't imagine what it must have been like to be in the World Trade Center on that day. One thing I didn't realize until reading the author's note was just how many people survived on that day. I guess I thought that most of the people in the Towers died. There was so much suspense around Alia's chapters because I had no idea if she was getting out or not. I wanted her to so badly, especially because her last words to her mom were, "I hate you." I'm not going to give away the ending. I will just say that I don't think I stopped crying for the last 10% of the book. It took some time before I was as invested in Jesse's chapters. I guess she was just kind of a blah character at first, but she did grow on me. I hated her family and I hated the things her dad would say about Muslims. More than that, I hated that she was absorbing some of that hate. She had so much anger inside of her and I could see her going down the wrong path. Even though the Towers fell when she was only three years old, she felt the effects of her brother's death every single day. I can see why she took on some hate for Muslims, even though I didn't like it. Her parents refused to talk about her brother AT ALL and the only time her dad acknowledged her was when he was yelling about Muslims at the TV. This author did a good job of showing how much prejudice Muslims went through (and continue to go through) since 9/11 and sometimes those things were so hard to read about. Maybe that's a bigger reason why it took me a bit to invest in her: the anger that her and her father showed just made me uncomfortable. There was so much incredible character development and growth and I loved it. I also thought the romance was slow burn and it was sweet, even though it was incredibly complicated. It's hard to tell too much without giving things away. But I will say that there were so many ways that this book made you think . . . about religion and race and death and even new ways of thinking about this incredibly tragic event. This book is a must read!!

  • Caitlin Christensen
    2019-05-01 02:15

    I feel like if I start talking about this book I will never ever stop, so I’m just gonna dive right in and apologize ahead of time for any stream-of-consciousness that flows out of my head.Wendy Mill’s All We Have Left is riveting. It’s a bone-jarring, earth-shaking, pulse-racing read that you will eat in one sitting only to find yourself unable to move on and let go because every single person in this world NEEDS to read this book. If you are on the fence about reading All We Have Left, JUMP OVER THE FENCE ALREADY AND READ IT. We may not have cookies, but we have something even better – we’ve got an unbelievable novel that tackles the complex topic of 9/11 – the day the world changed forever – in a way that is profound, powerful, and completely mesmerizing. This is a book that I will now and forever recommend to all of my friends (and my enemies too, because seriously, every ignorant and spiteful person on this planet needs to read this book and learn the error of their ways). This is a book that I will proudly hand my children one day, and say, “Here. THIS is what I want you to know about 9/11. Here is a story I want you to absorb and learn from. Here is book that will change you forever and leave you irrevocably a better, more empathetic, more humane person.” “People do terrible things. People do beautiful things. It’s against the black backdrop of evil that the shining light of good shows the brightest. We can’t just focus on the darkness of the night, or we’ll miss out on the stars.” This quote is everything this book is about. It tells the story of 9/11 in a way that highlights the acts of kindness, bravery, and selflessness which defined many survivors’ experiences while still showcasing the gritty, horrifying reality of the situation inside the towers, including the all-encompassing terror and desperation to escape, to survive, and to keep living. September 11, 2001 changed the world forever. While the majority of Americans weren’t experiencing the tragedy from inside the World Trade Center, all Americans were united as we watched in horror as the events of that day unfolded. Now, nearly fifteen years after the attacks, most of our teenagers weren’t old enough (or even alive) to remember that fateful day. Wendy Mills brings history to life in a way that is sure to stay with readers, and she does it with the reverence, respect, and gentleness such a harrowing tragedy deserves. But what I love best about this novel is that, while she doesn’t shy away from the grief and pain left in the aftermath of that day, she also doggedly chases after the hope and optimism that united so many wounded people as our nation tried to rebuild and heal. All We Have Left is everything you could ever want in a novel centered around 9-11. While the story is fiction, the heart of it is anything but. This is one historical narrative you cannot afford to skip. It’s a painful read, but fear not – there is light at the end of the tunnel, and you may find (as I did) that you come out the other side better for it.

  • Genesis Sheli (Latte Nights Reviews)
    2019-05-19 03:17

    This review was originally posted on Latte Nights Reviews.I cannot begin to express how this story impacted me, helped me learn, opened my eyes, and made me feel so much. There were moments when I felt I was inside the tower and picture everything in my head. I tried to stop reading this book so I could do my normal life stuff, but this story gripped me so hard and it begged me to keep reading. This was more than I imagined it would be. I knew it would be emotional, but not like this.A lot of the events that Wendy Mills included in the story are actual events that happened on September 11, 2001. While reading, you know they have to be real. There's no way it could be faked with the rawness of the situations. I even thought the author had been there for the events to be so detailed, but she actually did lots of research and was able to include the tragedies that a few people went through on that day."I think bravery is trusting yourself enough to know you can hold on for that one more minute."One aspect I wasn't expecting of the story was the Muslim side. Let me tell you, I loved that the author added so much of this in the story. She talks about the hatred towards Muslims back in 2001 and in 2016, and the sad truth is that sometimes we judge all of them for just a bunch that committed a crime. We shouldn't judge any of them at all and this story taught me that.I was happy to see that Ramadan was in this story! I actually learned about this around a month ago, thanks to a friend from Instagram who explained everything to me. To see it in the story and know that everything mentioned was exactly how it's done in real life, filled me with joy because there's truth behind it all. The author didn't just include it for the sake of writing a story. She did her thorough research and it shows because I felt the conviction of the author through her writing.There are so many life lessons throughout the story, with Alia's life and Jesse's life. I wasn't a fan of Jesse at the beginning. She was ignorant, blaming every Muslim for what had been done to her family, making reckless decisions. Along the way, she's able to see that not all Muslims are mean, that a lot of them are just like her. When the realization happens, you see her slowly develop into a better person."When you see a mountain, you either want to go around them, climb over them [...] But the one thing you never can do is ignore them."All We Have Left conveys a powerful message about acceptance, understanding, and most of all, love and unity. My review will never make this book justice. You have to go in blind and experience everything that this story will make you feel.I received an eARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.This review was originally posted on Latte Nights Reviews.

  • Kristen
    2019-05-02 07:14

    My brother died here. The towers fell here. Close to three thousand people died in pain and terror while the world watched in horror. I thought about what it must have been like that day, to be watching on TV as the towers fell. How could you bear to watch?How could you bear not to?This was a tough read at times, mostly because the target audience is teens who were babies (if even) when 9/11 happened--not grown adults who were college sophomores like me. I WAS watching on TV and I felt just that way...I couldn't bear to watch, and yet I couldn't bear not to. Even in the Midwest we lived in a surreal fog of confusion and fear, watching the towers burn and fall.The story is told in two narratives--one from the POV of Alia in 2001, a Muslim teen who tries to escape the burning towers with another teen, Travis; and the second POV from Jesse in 2016, the younger sister of Travis, who doesn't survive. Ultimately a story of how families deal with guilt and fear and hatred, and how a country can possible overcome those things, All We Have Left is an important read considering where our country appears to be heading."A ton of Muslims were arrested after 9/11, some of them for less reason than my dad. It's always been like that and always is going to be like that, one group singled out for one reason or another. It's just our turn." He says this so matter-of-factly that my stomach turns. "What?" He sees my face, and shrugs. "Yeah, I know, it sucks. But eventually there'll be another group to hate on."That's a harsh truth, America.

  • Cristina Roock
    2019-05-03 06:16

    On September 11, 2001 Alia and her mother get into a fight over Alia's decision to wear a hijab for the first time. Her parents recently grounded Alia over a misunderstanding at school and believe she's not taking her academic future seriously. Alia storms out after telling her mom she hates her. She's determined to make things right and decides to visit her dad at his office in the World Trade Center. Alia is trapped in a elevator when the Towers are hit.In present day Jesse is struggling to keep control of her life. She was two when she lost her oldest brother during 9/11. Her family has no idea why he was at the World Trade Center. Her father will not allow anyone to talk about it, drowning his grief in rage and booze. Jesse is caught vandalizing the new Islamic Peace Center and is assigned to community service there. She decides to find out what happened to her brother on 9/11. This is a dual POV plot about two different women before and after 9/11. I usually think dual POVs are a cheesy trope but this book was an exception. It blew me away. For obvious reasons this was a hard book to get through. I've never read a 9/11 themed book but with the fifteenth anniversary coming up I am sure it'll become a theme in YA and other genres. I wonder if the author interviewed survivors because the descriptions are heartbreaking and terrifying. I had to stop reading several times just to collect myself but it was worth it imo. I recommend anyone to take the time to read it.

  • Mayela
    2019-05-12 01:06

    Two beautiful stories, separated 15 years, that lace together seamlessly and deal with identity and how it is forged and how it can be changed and how we express it, trauma and how skeletons in the closet usually do more harm than good even to those who don't know they exist, courage to do the right thing or to admit you've done the wrong one. Th 9/11 portion of the story was, I thought, extremely well written. Gripping and heartbreaking and shocking without ever feeling morbid or like it was being exploited to tug at our heartstrings. The narrative kept me wondering if Alia had survived til the very last part of the book. There's something about 9/11, not just for Americans but for everyone who was alive and old enough to remember it. There's a part in the book where Jesse, the character living in 2016, wonders why people feel the need to tell a 9/11 survivor speaking at a center about where *they* were when 9/11 happened. She concludes that it's a way of saying that we're there for them, that our lives also changed. I guess that's part of what made me love this book so much. I remember the day when the world changed, because it did, and that one day continues to impact millions of lives til this day.

  • Kelly Hager
    2019-04-24 08:22

    There are several 9/11 themed YA and MG novels coming out soon, which makes sense considering that we're approaching the 15th anniversary. The two YA novels (this and The Memory of Things by Gae Polisner) deal with the day and immediate aftermath but neither are gratuitous. All We Have Left is about two teen girls in two different times. On September 11, Alia goes to the World Trade Center to convince her father that she needs to go to a special camp for artists. When the plane hits, she is trapped inside. In present day, Jesse is struggling with anger (at basically everyone but mostly Muslims and her family) because her brother died on 9/11 and ever since then, her family has spiraled out of control. Her mom can't stop moving; her dad can't stop getting angry. The chapters alternate between the two. I loved both girls but preferred Alia's chapters (I had so much anxiety over whether she'd get out). These books are so important. We say we'll never forget but soon it'll be like Pearl Harbor and very few will still have the visceral reaction to the day that we do. These will help with that. I imagine it'll be nearly impossible to read this and not feel Alia's panic. Recommended.

  • The Rad Books
    2019-05-24 04:08

    Disclaimer: I received an ARC in a Goodreads giveaway. This does not affect my review. I was shocked at how amazing this story is. It focuses on two girls whose lives have been drastically affected by 9/11. Their stories intertwine in a beautiful way. During a time, still, of prejudice against Muslims, this book does a great job of showing how that affects the Muslim community; as well as giving insight about Islam to non-Muslims. This novel is geared towards young adults. I was only 7 when 9/11 occurred. As such, I have few memories of the actual event. This story did a good job of reminding me of how so many people's lives changed that day. I'm sure this story will stay with future readers.

  • Paula M. of Her Book Thoughts!
    2019-05-12 03:10

    I was floored by Wendy Mill's first novel.. I cannot wait to get in line for this book. I WANT!

  • Kauser
    2019-05-22 04:11

    3.5*When I went to New York last summer, I remember going to the One World Trade Centre and the 9/11 Memorial Museum and feeling so haunted by the experience. It's hard to describe but standing on "Ground Zero" and seeing fragments of the destruction that those terror attacks unleashed, hearing first-hand accounts of life and death, horror and survival, watching live footage of the eerie moments before and the wreckage amid the aftermath, chilled me to the bone. It is something that I will never forget. It's like every nerve ending went is an experience that makes you feel, from the inside out, the depths of the horror that victims and survivors alike suffered. I can't remember ever feeling so raw and emotionally disturbed. All We Have Left, while fiction, captures that. The two "eras" between which it is split is an insight into two innocent lives that were destroyed, among thousands, by the events of 9/11 as well as into the ripple-effect that inevitably claimed the lives of loved ones as collateral damage. It is pain-stakingly accurate, as far as I'm aware, in painting the horror-scape of the explosions over a course of 102 minutes. It is a heartbreaking appreciation of how tragedy forces out the strength and fragility of human nature, how it pushes relentlessly on innate survival instinct that is both selfish and a cruel twist of fate can bring out the best during the worst. It somehow lets us imagine a fraction of the surreal terror that hundreds of people just like you and I experienced on a day that should have been just like any other but instead became a day that changed the world...that saw a destruction of epic proportions that even to this day, feels like something of the worst-imagined nightmare.It's also a glimpse into lives that were torn apart by the events that day. How it fuelled hatred for a religion that ironically, felt the impact of those attacks too and then had to take the brunt of its aftermath, how it created a vessel that couldn't possibly contain the grief and pain only loss can inflict and so instead, was forced to hold the fury of a nation. And it is the perfect illustration of how damaging that fury can be. How grief can blind, how ignorance can blind, how being uneducated about other people's beliefs can painting everyone of a certain religion, or colour, or race with the same brush, can blind. All We Have Left shoulders that weight.While I feel that the post-9/11 segments felt stilted and could have been written with a more mature, authentic approach, I thought that the two time periods were distinctive, the narratives compelling, and the evocative nature of Wendy Mills' writing worked damn well. It is significant in so many ways; it is a lesson in compassion and humanity, and how important it is to see the wider picture enough to embrace the knowledge that not all Muslims are terrorists. It's a brave venture into exploring both sides of the coin and all things considered, it's open, honest, and a walk in the shoes of every single person - you and I and the seven billion others in this world - who felt the impact of 9/11. And beyond that, in the day and age that we find ourselves in now, it is a painfully relevant read.