Review: The Longest New York Minute

Thirteen-year old Jessica Bianchi has it all. A close-knit Christian family, an apartment in New York City, the greatest city in the world, a best friend who knows her inside and out, acceptance into an awesome art school, and a crush on one of the cutest boys in the class. Her biggest problem is that her father doesn’t seem to understand her anymore. Besides this, life couldn’t be better.

But then Tuesday, September 11, 2001, happens. The safe, secure world Jessica knows crumbles right in front of her eyes. The Twin Towers are attacked, her father is missing, and her mother is in another state. Jessica’s faith is tested in ways that didn’t seem possible. Will she survive the terror around her long enough to find her father and right the wrong between them?

This book takes place back in 2001 when our country was devastated by the tragedy of 9/11. The story follows Jessica and her family in the months leading up to the tragedy and in the days after.

Jessica comes from a Christian home, her parents came to faith at young ages and raised both Jessica and her sister to know God. So when the planes hit the World Trade Center, and Jessica’s dad is missing, her faith is tested as she tries to find out where her dad is and why this is happening.

Though the premise of the story was good, I found the book to just… fall flat. The characters were one-dimensional and didn’t grow in any way when faced with this tragedy. There was no struggle of faith for the characters either, from what I noticed. I feel that in a tragedy such as that, there would be more of a test of faith for Jessica and her family in that maybe they’d struggle just a little more during this time.

Just as well, the pacing of the story was kind of shifty in my opinion. It built up nicely, knowing that soon these characters were about go through a major event. And even after the attacks on the Twin Towers happened, there wasn’t a rush and it still felt like the story was going along well… then the end just seemed rushed to wrap up nicely and be done.

It was very disappointing how this book turned out, especially as this is a Christian fiction novel for middle-grade/young adults. Honestly, there needs to be more captivating and inspriational teen fiction in the Christian category, and this one missed its chance to do that.

Rating: 2 stars

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