You Were Here, by Cori McCarthy

you were here
(I do not own this image. Image belongs to Sourcebooks Fire.)

Cori McCarthy was born in Guam, has lived in New England, the Midwest, Ireland, and Michigan, and has traveled all over, although she loves Washington D.C. She is the author of The Color of Rain, Breaking Sky, and her new novel, the multimedia You Were Here.

Jaycee has accomplished what her older brother, Jake, couldn’t:  live past graduation. Five years ago, daredevil, adventure-loving Jake died the night of graduation, and Jaycee’s whole world crumbled. She lost the brother she adored, and her best friend drifted away soon after. She feels lost, disconnected, and plans to reconnect by visiting some of the places Jake enjoyed going.

She doesn’t expect to have help, but her former best friend, a heartbroken poet, and her friend’s usually drunk, always childish boyfriend go along for the ride. And Mik, the enigmatic, selectively mute guy from Jaycee’s childhood, once Jake’s friend, now the one person who gets Jaycee to reveal more of herself than she thought possible, the one who gets her.

If you’re exploring an old asylum and an abandoned amusement park, it’s good to have company. No matter how crazy.

You Were Here explores many nuances of grief, and how people deal with it. It is not for the faint of heart, the characters are broken and flawed, but they learn to deal with those flaws and heal each other. Full of “Don’t try this at home” stunts and beautiful art, You Were Here is well worth the read.

I loved this book. From the first page, I was hooked, and I stayed up hours finishing it. The characters are fantastic, warts and all, and Jaycee’s growing relationships with the others, as she lets them into her wounded heart, are beautifully done. If you love YA books, you should definitely pick this one up!

(Galley provided by Sourcebooks Fire via NetGalley.)

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