You Were Here by Cori McCarthy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Jaycee has just made it farther in life than her brother Jake ever did. She made it past her high school graduation and is not looking forward to college or adventure like her friends—she's just looking to connect with Jake. You Were Here follows Jaycee and her friends who are troubled in their own ways through an adventure trying to rediscover all of the places that Jake had explored: an abandoned insane asylum, old tunnels, a closed mall and an old amusement park. Throughout these adventures, Jaycee and her friends discover what their hangups really are and how in a weird way, friendship does seem to ease the pain of life.
This is one of those books that I know I'll reread in time, because after finishing it I just can't stop thinking about it. Jaycee is deeply disturbed—she claims that she doesn't have a death wish, but she keeps putting herself in dangerous situations. When her old best friend Natalie tries to get involved, she gets shut down because Jaycee thinks she abandoned her after Jake died. When the girls and the others get together, it's a total mess, just like the summer after high school usually is. But with their adventures, they discover a lot more than what they think they are going to be—they discover who they want to be.
I like that this story is told from different perspectives—a lot of authors can't pull this off well, but McCarthy does. I also like that that these perspectives vary based on the personality of each character: Jaycee has a first person POV, Natalie and Zach have third person POV, Mik (a selective mute) tells his story through comic book drawings and Bishop gives his perspective through the graffiti poetry he leaves at the places they visit. Even though its more of a self-discovery story than an action story, readers will still feel the need to read one more page, one more chapter to find out what happens to everyone in the book.
*Review copy provided by NetGalley
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