In honor of my birthday *cough cough* here is a review of one of my favorite books!
You Were Here Review
“My face burned and my breath stung my chest. That’s what regret does well and grief does better: rips out your energy and leaves you feelings each and every heartbeat.”
– Cori McCarthy, You Were Here
In the end I had a major case of book feels and the inability to figure out what I wanted to do with my own life. While in this emotional stupor I realized why this book appealed to me and why I appreciate its existence – it is real. Lately more books are coming out that focus on the “real” so to speak of life. There is suicide and accidents and bullying. The girl next door could be dealing with A.D.D or the quiet guy in class could have a speech impediment. Mocking comments, snide looks, and gossip aside You Were Here looked at how one choice, one dare, can change everything. The novel also focused on the inability to control everything but the necessity to take a stand.
Jaycee’s brother Jake died five years ago from a freak accident. He was dared to do a backflip off the swing set. He didn’t make it. Every year on the anniversary of his death his younger sister Jaycee goes to shadow his movements, trying to remember her brother before the accident. She became a daredevil in the process. In a sense of hero worship to the extreme, Jaycee doesn’t seem to realize her obsession with finding Jake, highlighted throughout the novel as it progresses, is the root of all her discomforts. Jaycee has inevitably become her brother, blind to anyone else and why she doesn’t have an identity of her own. One the fifth anniversary of Jake’s death, coincidently the night of her graduation from high school, everything changes for Jaycee as she encounters her ex-best friend Natalie, Natalie’s boyfriend Zach, Zach’s best friend Bishop, and Jake’s old friend Mik while on her way to visit the old insane asylum.
Each character of this book has their own set of problems. Natalie wants to create herself a new and is desperate to leave for college. Zach’s fighting to find out what he wants to do for college while dealing with the fact everyone is leaving him. Bishop is recovering from a breakup. I cannot forget Mik, my absolute favorite character, that is a secret enigma I loved learning about.
Then there is the issue of grief. An ugly word, emotion, that comes in all forms and cannot be pinpointed down to one precise description. Each character reaches a realistic conclusion that wasn’t rushed. Everyone grew into their own persona, with the exception of side characters (though they never lacked in description or plot contribution).
Page after page of You Were Here reveals secrets, revelations, and the hope of suffering a bunch of bullshit to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The depth of the plot is beautiful. Another surprise in the book was the comics! The comics portrayed Mik’s P.O.V. Why?
You will just have to read the book and find out – I d a r e you.
To find out more about Cori and her books, click here!
If you missed Cori’s interview, check it out here.