“Can we choose each other?” It’s a question without an easy answer: Jaxon is black, and Devorah comes from a strict Hasidic community. She’s not allowed to be alone in a man’s company before marriage, let alone date a non-Jewish boy, and marriage is arranged by one’s parents. These are the norms in Devorah’s world, and she’s never questioned them—until she and Jaxon find themselves stranded in an elevator during a power outage. How can Devorah and Jaxon choose each other, when to do so could ostracize Devorah from the only world she’s ever known?

Like No Other is a lighter, less intense version of Eleanor & Park, and is just as good. Despite the struggles Jaxon and Devorah face regarding their love, the story never loses its wit and humor. Devorah’s religious life is not without limitations, and though she loves her faith and her family, she hopes to go to college and enjoy the same freedoms as her non-Hasidic counterparts. Meanwhile, Jaxon worries that he won’t live up to everyone’s expectations. Smart, charming and responsible, Jaxon can select any college he wants, but he hasn’t found his passion yet.

Like No Other is a contemporary romance about finding first love, but just as important, it’s a story about finding oneself.

 

Kimberly Giarratano is the author of Grunge Gods and Graveyards, a young adult paranormal mystery.

This article was originally published in the August 2014 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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