For Sanskrit Aaron Zuckerman, it isn’t easy to believe. Especially when all the people you care about leave.
His dad left after the divorce. The love of his life left in second grade. His best friend in Jewish school found God and practically left the planet. Now his yoga-teacher mom is falling in love with her spiritual guru, and she’s threatening to leave, too.
In a desperate attempt to keep his family together, Sanskrit tells just one small lie. And for a while it seems to be working. Because people start coming back. Sanskrit might even get the family he always wanted.
There’s just one little thing in his way. The truth.
Against the setting of modern-day Los Angeles, YA author Allen Zadoff presents a funny and heartbreaking novel about the search for love—and meaning—in a world where everyone is looking for something to hang on to.
From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Sanskrit has a few problems. He’s got a self-absorbed hippie mom and an absentee dad. He goes to a Jewish school and doesn’t believe in God. He has a crush on a girl who hasn’t talked to him since second grade. And his former best and only friend is now a “super Jew.” When Sanskrit’s mom doesn’t show up for parent-teacher conferences, he tells a lie that ends up snowballing into a very big one. His mom has fallen in love with a Buddhist guru and is talking about leaving Sanskrit and his sister, Sweet Caroline, to move to India with him. As Sanskrit tries to deal with his lie and prevent his mom from leaving, he learns about love and responsibility, and even makes his peace with God. This novel is well written and has easy-to-like (or hate) characters, but its appeal is likely to be limited to fairly observant Jewish teens, who will understand the references. Other readers won’t quite get the book.
— Melissa Stock, Arapahoe Library District, Englewood, CO?(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
“…it isn’t the plotline that makes Allen Zadoff’s Since You Left Me special: it’s Sanskrit’s voice. As he lies and lies and lies, as he works through his heartache, deals with his family and comes to terms with his feelings about religion and responsibility, his voice is so snarkily hilarious that you’ll laugh through all of the painful moments.”
“Not many YA books dare to tackle the issues of faith and religion, but Since You Left Me is a rare gift. It grapples honestly and thoughtfully with these topics, and it cares enough about its subject matter not to make light of it, but not to take it too seriously, either. The result is a story that’s hilarious and hopeful–and one you should definitely add to your reading list.”
—Pick of the Week, 60SecondRecap
“Allen Zadoff tells the story of California’s new Jewish family… a humorous and introspective read for any age.”