Like No Other is a very bittersweet story.
Both Devorah and Jaxson are bright, honest, and hardworking young people whose coming together would have been a welcome happening, had circumstances been different.
Though this story is touted to be a modern-day West Side Story, one quickly comes to find that this story is not so much about Devorah and Jaxon as a couple, as it is about Devorah choosing to live a life of her own making.
Being female in the highly patriarchal society of the Hasidic Jew doesn't leave Devorah with many options or freedom concerning her life path.
Her chance meeting with Jaxon and the look beyond the veil that has until that point surrounded and insulated her life, changes all of that forever.
This is at times a very hard book to read, because it is very difficult to fathom that there are still communities in America where the subjugation of women and girls is sanctioned and condoned.
That being said.
The way that this book handles the conundrum in which Jaxon and Devorah find themselves is first rate.
There is a sadness that pervades the lives of the women and girls in Devorah's life. A kind of unspoken resignation that their lots in life as mothers and wives is all that they are allowed to aspire to.
Seeing that Devorah has dared to break free from said mold and is daring to aspire to more in both life and love is...priceless!
Fate brought them together. Will life tear them apart?
Devorah is a consummate good girl who has never challenged the ways of her strict Hasidic upbringing.
Jaxon is a fun-loving, book-smart nerd who has never been comfortable around girls (unless you count his four younger sisters).
They've spent their entire lives in Brooklyn, on opposite sides of the same street. Their paths never crossed . . . until one day, they did.
When a hurricane strikes the Northeast, the pair becomes stranded in an elevator together, where fate leaves them no choice but to make an otherwise risky connection.
Though their relation is strictly forbidden, Devorah and Jax arrange secret meetings and risk everything to be together. But how far can they go? Just how much are they willing to give up?
In the timeless tradition of West Side Story and Crossing Delancey, this thoroughly modern take on romance will inspire laughter, tears, and the belief that love can happen when and where you least expect it.
Age Range: 12 and up / Grade Level: 7 and up