10 March 2016

Review - You Were Here

You Were Here
by Cori McCarthy

What they say: Grief turned Jaycee into a daredevil, but can she dare to deal with her past?

On the anniversary of her daredevil brother's death, Jaycee attempts to break into Jake's favorite hideout—the petrifying ruins of an insane asylum. Joined by four classmates, each with their own brand of dysfunction, Jaycee discovers a map detailing her brother's exploration and the unfinished dares he left behind.

As a tribute to Jake, Jaycee vows to complete the dares, no matter how terrifying or dangerous. What she doesn't bargain on is her eccentric band of friends who challenge her to do the unthinkable: reveal the parts of herself that she buried with her brother.

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Published 1st March 2016 by Sourcebooks Fire - ISBN: 9781492617044

Buy links:
Amazon US * Amazon UK

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review!

What I say: You Were Here is a highly emotional YA contemporary story, focusing on the lives of five young adults. I'm not usually a fan of multiple POVs but I didn't mind it here because the different voices helped demonstrate the widespread impact of the tragedy. 

The book is essentially a coming of age story with the backdrop of grief - This may sound flippant but the book really isn't. Since the death of her older brother, Jake, Jaycee has taken dysfunctional to another level. Thankfully she's not alone; Natalie, Zach, Mik and Bishop all have their own share of problems.

What I most appreciated about McCarthy's story is how tactfully she handles the difficult topics. She also never belittles other 'smaller' issues - You Were Here juxtaposes heartbreaking grief with more typical teen problems, such as breakups and starting Uni.

I could have done without some of the relationship dramas but they did seem more realistic than I was expecting. I didn't always manage to get a handle on Jaycee who was rather changeable. Also I did wonder what had happened to the adults in the story and would have liked to see certain characters developed more, but I found the book intriguingly complicated and hopeful.

3.5 Stars in my Sky!


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