Thursday, May 12, 2016

ARC Review: You Were Here by Cori McCarthy

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks
400 Pages

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 the parts of herself that she buried with her brother.

Cori McCarthy's gripping narrative defies expectation, moving seamlessly from prose to graphic novel panels and word art poetry, perfect for fans of E. Lockhart, Jennier Niven, and Jandy Nelson. 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.

Grief. It means something different to everyone. It's also something everyone handles differently. Because honestly, who's to say what's right and what's wrong? When Jaycee witnesses her older brother, Jake's,  horrific death it inevitably changes her and everyone around her. Her best friend stops talking to her. Her mother ends up in a mental ward of sorts and her father acts like he's going to lose her every time she walks out the door. Then there's Mik, Jake's best friend. He's the only one Jaycee can find comfort each year on the anniversary of Jake's death. But something is different about Mik lately. Something is different about everyone. 

This story follows 5 people: Jaycee, Mik, Natalie, Bishop, and Zach. Each one is struggling with something internally, whether it's grief or change or fear. They are 5 very different people who end up finding solace in each other - somewhat rather unwillingly. 

This book was interesting to me. Mostly because I didn't really like any of the characters. Almost all of them were horrible people who did horrible things to each other. The one who surprised me the most was Zach. He first comes across as the boy who doesn't want to grow up, he just wants to party all the time and make out with his girlfriend. But as the story progresses, he becomes the most interesting character of all and one with the most depth. 

Even though the story focused on Jaycee and how she was coping, or not, with her brothers death, I just didn't care for her. But I understood her, if that makes sense. Grief makes people do and act in ways people don't care for. And that's why this story was so different. It's about change and acceptance. In a way, it's a road map of the five stages of grief. And the way it's told - Jaycee, Natalie, & Zach with words, Mik like a graphic novel, and Bishop with just one piece of art (his own paintings) was a brilliant decision by the author.

This is definitely one to judge for yourself because I think everyone will get something different out of it. The writing style was done really well and I am interested in checking out more from this author.

I received an e-copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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