Review: You Were Here by Cori McCarthy
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 parts of herself that she buried with her brother.
Cori McCarthy’s gripping narrative defies expectation moving seamlessly from prose to graphic novel panes and word art poetry. 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.
You Were Here is a brutally raw and honest account of a sister’s grief for the loss of her brother, five years on from the event itself. Jaycee has become completely consumed by her brother Jake’s tragic and accidental death, she lives in his bedroom and wears his clothes.
We meet her on the fifth anniversary of his death, consumed by grief she is relieving some of his favourite past-times. He was a fan of UrbEx (urban exploring) along come so of his/her old friends, people she hasn’t spent time with since his death and so begins a summer of forgiveness, letting go, and accepting of his loss, each other, and life.
This book is so well written, it shows that grief is all-consuming, can hold on for years and tear through your life in a destructive fashion. It shows how the death of one person can have an affect on people you wouldn’t even consider.
This book is told from the point of view of each of the characters in this motley crew of friends Jaycee and her ex-best friend Natalie, Natalie’s on/off boyfriend Zach, their artist friend Bishop who tells his story through word art, and the brooding and silent Mik, who tells his story through comic strips.
This book is multi-faceted with some chapters in comic strips or art but it flows beautifully and looks wonderful.
This is a wonderful book to read, and for younger readers will be a great book for helping to understand grief. I can’t recommend this enough.
A huge thanks to Cori McCarthy and Sourcebooks Fire for the ARC via NetGalley to provide an honest review of this novel.
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Title: You Were Here
Author: Cori McCarthy
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: 1 March 2016
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: Hardcover