Sunday, July 31, 2016

Review: You Were Here by Cori McCarthy

You Were Here by Cori McCarthy is a new young adult coming of age novel, featuring a quirky and cute heroine, and an impossibly irresistible -- but usually silent -- book boyfriend.  Set largely where yours truly grew up, I couldn't help but fall in love with it.  I'm biased; whatever.

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.

@ Goodreads - @Amazon

So yeah.  LOVED. IT.
Please note: This title was provided to me free of charge in exchange for an honest review, courtesy of Netgalley and the publisher. 

Let me back up -- I strongly disliked You Were Here at first. I hated the main character right off the bat what with her ridiculous death wish, and her shallow, shitty "friends". However, a New Year resolution of mine forced me to press on, and give it a chance without abandoning it around the 25% mark, and boy, am I glad I did.  The main character -- and her shitty friends -- ended up being not quite so awful, after all. 

I'm pretty sure I'm in love with Ryan Mikivikious (Mik) and his selective mutism (which, I should add, annoyed me greatly in the earlier chapters, and later consumed me with a hunger for this motherfucker to speak. When he did, my life felt complete.) 

Also -- this was big for me -- the setting for the last quarter of the novel was my old stomping grounds: NE Ohio, specifically the abandoned Randall Park mall (which I've frequented), and the defunct amusement park, Geauga Lake, which I frequented a lot throughout my childhood, and well into adulthood. The rides they discuss, I've ridden. The nostalgia was strong with this novel. 

Fans of emotional YA reads are going to gobble this one up; those that have been to Geauga Lake are going to love it. 

For more on Geauga Lake, and its current state of neglect, click here (2:14 YouTube video, news broadcast from 2013)

For a drone flyover of Geauga Lake from 2014, click here (4:38 YouTube video) 


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