Monday, January 18, 2016

Review of Young Adult Contemporary YOU WERE HERE


Jaycee is about to accomplish what her older brother Jake couldn't: live past graduation.

Jaycee is dealing with her brother's death the only way she can- by re-creating Jake's daredevil stunts. The ones that got him killed. She's not crazy,okay? She just doesn't have a whole lot of respect for staying alive.

Jaycee doesn't expect to have help on her insane quest to remember Jake. But she's joined by a group of unlikely friends- all with their own reasons for completing the dares and their own brand of dysfunction: the uptight, ex-best friend; the heartbroken poet; the slacker with Peter Pan syndrome; and...Mik. He doesn't talk, but somehow still challenges Jayce to do the unthinkable-reveal parts of herself that she buried with her brother. 

Cori McCarthy's gripping narrative defies expectation moving seamlessly from prose to graphic novel panes and word art poetry. From the petrifying ruins of an insane asylum to the skeletal remains of the world's largest amusement park, You Were Here takes you on an unforgettable journey of friendship, heartbreak, and inevitable change.



I started this book Saturday afternoon and finished it Saturday evening. I just couldn't put it down. YOU WERE HERE is a, somewhat, dark and brooding novel. It's about Jaycee who can't seem to get past her brother's death four years ago (which she witnessed when he snapped his neck on a dare on the playground). She is somewhat bitter and has pretty much alienated everyone in her life on her pursuit to masking her grief and trying daredevil stunts in order to feel closer to her brother. Everyone, except the mysterious Mik/once bestfriend of her brother's who she sees every year on the anniversary of his death. Together, each year, they explore the ruins of an old mental institution, one of her brother's favorite places to explore. But they do so in silence, due to Mik's social anxiety disorder that causes him not to talk much.

Okay, I'm making this book sound weird, aren't I? It's truly so good though. We're introduced to Jaycee's ex-best friend in the beginning. She sort of abandoned Jaycee after her brother's death because she couldn't cope. Along with her, we're introduced to her boyfriend and friend. Each charater has some sort of obstacle they are overcoming and the author takes us through the journey of them realizing their issues through amazing character growth. There's a super cute and tension-charged romance brewing through Jaycee and Mik, and ultimately he is the one that breaks through to her, along with her ex-bestie. YOU WERE HERE left me cheering for Jaycee and Mik in the end and feeling a bit of hope through the sadness laced in the novel. 

I loved it. This book is hard to describe, as I feel there are a whole host of emotions and themes running through it, so you'll just have to read it for yourself!

*I was given this book free in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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