Books I've Read

REVIEW: You Were Here by Cori McCarthy

You Were HereTitle: You Were Here

Author: Cori McCarthy

Pages: 400

Genre: YA Contemporary

Series: none

Edition: Library eBook

Blurb: 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.

Review: I wasn’t planning on posting a review today, but then, I wasn’t planning on reading this book in 24 hours either. Let’s start with how I found it. I was on NetGalley checking to see what pending book requests I was waiting to hear back from when I noticed that I had a title listed under “Will Not Give Feedback.” How it got there, I’m not sure, not when I requested it back in 2016. It has long since been archived, but I found an eBook copy of it through my library, so I figured why not?

Have you ever read a book that blew you away so completely, you had to talk about it right away, just to get the feelings out? That’s how I felt about this one.

I’m not sure why it hit me so hard. It’s a tough subject, sure, but I could not stop reading. This is a well-written character study in grief and what it does to people. Jake died doing something stupid (he did a back flip off the top of some playground equipment and broke his neck), but everyone in this book has processed it differently. Jaycee has distanced herself from everyone and has started doing the same reckless behaviors as her brother so that she can feel close to him. Her former best friend, Natalie, has never told Jaycee that she witnessed the accident, as she was hiding from the older boys, who were all drunk, waiting for the chance to tell on them all. Mik, one of Jake’s best friends, has pretty much stopped talking to people, but silently has joined Jaycee in her trips to the abandoned mental hospital every year on the anniversary of Jake’s death.

Rounding out our group is Zach, Natalie’s boyfriend, who takes nothing seriously as a way to distance himself from his abusive home life. And Bishop, Zach’s friend, who is recovering from the breakup of his emotionally abusive girlfriend. All of these characters are incredibly flawed and struggling with different issues in their lives. It all came across as very real. Real people are flawed. Real people are confused and don’t know what to do with their lives. Real people don’t know how to move past something terrible that has happened to them.

This is a sad story, but there was also quite a bit of dark humor. That helps a lot, because despite the sadness, I didn’t actually get misty-eyed until the very end. I’m not going to spoil it, but I will just say this: the paper airplane. You’ll know it when you see it.

GoodReads rating: 5 stars. This book will stick with me for a long time. Why didn’t I read this back in 2016?

Weekly Wrap-Up

Weekly Wrap-Up – 7/26/19

Weekly Wrap-Up

This week has been a little bit busy for me. Work has been a bit hectic and, at times, confusing, but thankfully several things were straightened out and I feel much less out-of-sorts about it. Also, Sister Act opened last weekend, which was so exciting and a lot of fun. I was a bit worried because our preview night was a bit rough, but the actual performances went great. I get back in the habit again tonight for another weekend of shows and I can’t wait.

Speaking of community theater, I also got to see Hairspray at another theater I have worked with. The cast had a lot of my friends in it, and it was so much fun! I will be forever grateful that I took the plunge five years ago and auditioned. It’s an amazing community to be a part of.

Now let’s talk about blogging, since that’s what I do here. This week, I have had ten posts to Life With No Plot, which is pretty good, but I am also excited to announce that I have started a new blog this past month and finally have it up and running.

Welcome to A Trip Through Eriador!

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This new blog will strictly chronicle me playing Lord of the Rings Online (or LOTRO) and, to many people, it might be a bit boring, especially right now. Currently I am just tracking game stats, but I also want to do some art with screenshots and maybe some storytelling/fanfiction with it. I’m still playing around with some things. I do love that game though, and if you are a fan of Tolkien and video games, you should check it out.

Reading Progress:

  • I reading chapters 34 through 47 of Silken Scales by Alex Hayes, which finishes that one up.
  • I started reading the next book in that series, Perfect Pitch by Alex Hayes, reading chapters 1 to 3.
  • I read chapters 12 through 40 of Ever Alice by H.J. Ramsay.
  • I started How the Light Gets In by Katy Upperman and read chapters 1 through 22.
  • I read chapters 38 through 68 of Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas, which finishes that book. Yay!
  • I read chapters 1 through 10 of Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas – let’s finish this series!
  • I read and blogged chapters 14 through 17 of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling.
  • I read chapters 1 through 15 of You Were Here by Cori McCarthy which, I know, is a book I haven’t mentioned at all on the blog. It’s an old NetGalley approval that I didn’t realize I had. And by old, I mean it came out in 2016. So I figured I should probably jump on that.

That’s . . . a lot of things! I think my brain is trying to make up for those two years worth of reading slumps, apparently all in one go! According to GoodReads, I have six books that I am currently reading, and it’s not just that I have it listed that way – I am actively reading all six books. For any that I get for review, either from blog tours or NetGalley, I actually create reading schedules so I can make sure that I’m staying on track. Is it a bit excessive? Um, maybe? But it works for me somehow. I like schedules, I like to-do lists, I like being able to check something off as I do it. Makes me feel productive.

Have a wonderful weekend, beautiful people!