Lies About Books: Are We There Yet?

It’s October now! Who knew? It has definitely only just become October, and to acknowledge that, behold a Lies About Books review to start off the month of October! For the month of October, I will review David Levithan’s Are We There Yet?

When Elijah’s family decides to go on a family vacation from New York to Italy, he is first excited, then confused, as it becomes apparent that his parents insist on making this the road trip to end all road trips – they are quite insistent on driving to Italy.

Undeterred by the ocean separating New York from Italy, the family rolls up their car windows, drives to the beach, and begins to descend. Are We There Yet? is undoubtedly weak on some scientific matters – such as the car’s ability to stay intact for the entire journey, the very limited oxygen supply not being a problem to the family, and no one being crushed by sea-bottom water pressures. However, marine-biologist Elijah has the opportunity to explore a dizzying, beautiful variety of deep-sea life; here, Levithan shows a meticulous level of detail and accuracy.

Are We There Yet? is not a book about Italy, but a book about a family’s undersea journey, about learning about the world and one another, about bonding with those who are quite literally the only people around that you can rely on – the only people around at all, for much of the book, for thousands of miles around.

Funny in parts, frequently poignant, Are We There Yet? is a 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea for our modern era. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys museums, familial attachments, and underwater voyages.


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