Miss Riki’s Review:
As the consummate good girl, Devorah has never challenged the ways of her strict Hasidic upbringing. Everything she knows to be true and understands as law is challenged one day when she gets stuck in an elevator with sweet, handsome, nerdy Jaxon. Despite having grown up just on the other side of the same street from one another, the two never crossed paths until that fateful day during a hurricane. Although their relationship is strictly forbidden, Devorah falls in love with Jaxon, and the two arrange secret meetings, risking everything to be together. As the stakes get higher, Devorah must decide how much she is willing to risk to be with Jaxon. Can she turn her back on her family and religion, or will she say goodbye to her first love?
I fell in love with Jaxon and Devorah in this novel. Both characters are extremely well developed, with intrinsic motivations and complex backgrounds. From their initial meeting in the elevator, there’s a wonderful instant connection that grows from mere infatuation into a love for all times. There’s a delightful forbidden aspect to this love story much like that in Romeo & Juliet or West Side Story, with a wonderful tension driving the plot forward.
This novel is a wonderful story of a girl trying to make her way, forging a first young relationship while navigating the depths of her faith. The stakes are so high for Devorah, and the emotions run deep as she tries to reconcile her love with her upbringing. Meanwhile, Jaxon is infatuated beyond belief, taking increasingly more dangerous risks in his attempts to see Devorah.
Like No Other is a compelling look at Hasidic Judaism and a sweet, realistic romance between two unlikely teens. It is a worthy addition to the discussion of diverse young adult literature, with complex themes and deeply ingrained emotion.