|You Were Here by Cori McCarthy|
pub 3/1/16 by Sourcebooks Fire
YA - Contemporary
Received at ALAMW
Ever since Jaycee’s older brother Jake died, she held onto her grief by re-enacting Jake’s reckless ways, wearing his old clothes and scouting his favorite hideouts. That’s how she finds herself at the abandoned insane asylum every year on the anniversary of his death. Usually it’s just her and Jake’s best friend Mik who share this strange but understandable moment together but then three of Jaycee’s classmates, including her ex-best friend Natalie, find out what she’s up to and surprisingly invites themselves along. And with them comes their own set of baggage which slowly gets revealed with every passing chapter. I’ll admit, I wouldn’t say that one single person here is 100% likable (except for maybe Mik) but that’s part of why I liked it so much. They’re teenagers who are growing up and making a lot of mistakes along the way. They felt incredibly real and each person was brimming with emotions about the past, present and the future. It was inevitable that someone (or all of them) would eventually snap and let those feelings out, which was vital to moving the story forward. I think most of all, it spoke candidly about the grieving process and the importance of having friends in your life.
(No) reservationsIt's one of those books that I can't pinpoint anything that I have reservations about but at that same time, it wasn't a 5 star book for me.
Do I recommend?I do! I really enjoyed how the author presented each person’s POV, using words and visual elements to differentiate them.