Brothers in arms

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 November, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 26 November, 2007, 12:00am

Are We There Yet?

By David Levithan

Published by Harper Collins

ISBN 978 0 00 719140 6

Are We There Yet? is a beautifully written and cleverly observed story about growing up and growing apart. It is packed with as much suspense and tension as any first-rate adventure thriller.

Danny Silver, 23, is an upwardly mobile New York business man with success written all over him. He is a rising star in the advertising world, smart, talented and driven to succeed at almost any cost. Danny's headed for the top, and he doesn't care what it takes to get there.

By contrast, Danny's younger brother, Elijah, is a soon-to-be school senior. He looks on life as something not to be taken too seriously too soon.

Elijah enjoys chilling out and taking things as they come.

He looks on his brother's focused life as something to avoid at all costs.

Mr and Mrs Silver look on their two sons with pride and frustration: both boys are great sons in their own right, but get them together and the atmosphere is an explosion waiting to happen.

They decide to act by tricking both their boys into taking a trip to Italy. . . together.

Danny and Elijah agree to the trip even though it's a risky idea that is likely to end in complete disaster.

Will the tenuous bond between the two brothers be broken forever by the interference of their parents?

Time will tell in David Levithan's novel, which packs in a level of interest and a freshness lacking in so many young-adult books around at the moment.