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Out of Reach Hardcover – October 16, 2012

20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-When Rachel's brother begins using crystal meth to fuel his music, she turns a blind eye, hoping the issue will resolve itself. Then Micah disappears, and Rachel is wracked with guilt. Could she have tried harder to help him? An anonymous email tips her off that he is in Ocean Beach and in serious trouble. Teaming up with Micah's former bandmate, Tyler, she sets off to search for her brother. It's soon apparent that this is not only a journey to find Micah, but one that Rachel must take to make peace with herself. At its simplest, this is a story about addiction and its far-reaching impact on the user and those close to him. It is also about love, family, and personal growth. None are new topics to YA literature, but it is how the author approaches them that sets this book apart. Rachel's voice is painfully honest as, more and more, she opens up about her life and how her brother's addiction is affecting her. A budding romance softens the knowledge that the search for Micah might not come to a happy or conclusive ending. A powerful debut.-Alissa J. Bach, Oxford Public Library, MIα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Rachel’s older brother Micah is using crystal meth, and he is lying, stealing, and hurting those who love him in order to feed his addiction. After Micah leaves home without a word, an anonymous e-mail warns Rachel that Micah is in serious trouble. So Rachel teams up with Micah’s fellow band member, handsome bad-boy Tyler, to find her brother. Micah’s disintegration is revealed as strangers tell Rachel exactly what she doesn’t want to hear. Her sad journey is a route traveled by many who have lost a loved one to drug addiction. There is no happy reunion scene to anticipate, no reclaiming one of the most important relationships in her life. But, despite the heartache of the search, Rachel begins to see that her life isn’t destroyed—and that Tyler is surprisingly kind and caring. In addition to the fictional elements, the book deftly incorporates solid information about drug addiction, and teens affected by drug use may see their own experiences reflected in Rachel’s story. Recommend this to readers of Ellen Hopkins’ similarly themed novels in verse. Grades 9-12. --Diane Colson

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse (October 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442440538
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442440531
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,288,300 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Carrie Arcos was born in Albany, New York and still mourns the day her family left for the West Coast. She earned an MA in creative writing and English literature and writes young adult fiction. She loves teaching English--first high school and now college. Carrie currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and three children. OUT OF REACH is her debut novel and has been selected as a 2012 National Book Award finalist for young people's literature. Visit her at carriearcos.com.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Shane Morgan on October 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
A journey of realization, forgiveness, and finding a little romance along the way. Out of Reach gives a realistic look at how the dangers of substance abuse affects not only yourself but those around you. And Carrie captures the situation in straight-to-the-point verbage and unsugarcoated descriptions.

The book isn't just about the addiction, it explores the path in which it takes you. Homelessness, giving sexual favors to purchase drugs, mental problems, and often times death.
I like the way the story's told; Rachel spent the entire book in between searching for her brother while reflecting on life leading up to the day he left. It was a great way for readers to connect to the characters, Micah included. I could establish an idea of the kind of person he was from the details given by Rachel's memories. He seemed really protective of his sister, and wanted desperately to be the older brother she could look up to. In fact, it seems he left more so because he felt like he had let her down with his addiction and was too embarrassed about facing her or his parents. Rachel on the other hand kept her brother's secrets because she didn't want him to hate her. Whether or not she realized, Rachel was also protective of her brother and even of the fact that he had started doing drugs.

The whole journey of finding Micah turned out to be one of Rachel learning to let him go, forgive him, and most of all forgive herself. All along she felt guilty about not doing enough for him, and even blamed herself for the seriousness of his substance abuse. If Tyler hadn't gone along with her I don't think she would've found closure because like Rachel, Tyler also thought he should've done more for Micah.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Heather Rose Chase on October 18, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
With my own children on the cusp of their teenage years, Out of Reach was a good reminder that I need to be intricately involved with my kids and where they are. It felt very mature for a young adult book, but it could just be the stage of life I'm in. I certainly would have read it in my own teenage years. I can see introducing it to my kids in a few years and letting it be a great conversation builder about drug use and destructive choices. Rachel carries a lot of weight on her thin shoulders and it's good to see her working through that and the conclusion she comes to. I found the ending to be exactly what I wanted... more like read life instead of a neatly resolved quick story like the 30-minute sitcom Rachel was hoping her family conflicts could be. Great first novel, I look forward to reading more from the creative mind of Carrie Arcos.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sheri Mackey on November 8, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great story, well written and thought out. I enjoy the perspective of a younger sister struggling to reconcile her hero complex of her older drug addict brother. The people she meets in this journey are great characters who bring depth to the subject and perspectives a not easy found. I highly recommend it for anyone who deals with a family member or helps other's deal with addict behaviour. Thank you for writing this book.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tabitha @ Bows & Bullets Reviews on February 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover
WARNING: This review may contain spoilers and general rantiness.

I really wanted to like this book. Truly, I did. But it pissed me off and I can't say that I will be recommending it to anyone. In fact, I have already told several people to steer clear. Let's do the basics first. Out Of Reach is the story of Rachel's journey to find her wayward brother. She enlists the help of his bestie, Tyler to assist her and they head out to search in the areas she thinks he might be. A few weeks before, she received an anonymous email stating that her brother was in a lot of trouble and she should come and try to help. Why she thinks she will be able to find her brother by simply looking on street corners in a single day was beyond me, but hey, more power to her misguided hope.

I started off really enjoying this novel. Rachel didn't seem so bad and I was intrigued by Tyler. There was obvious chemistry between the two though Rachel does her best to deny it. Plus, I was hoping she would find her brother, bond with Tyler over the experience, and things would end more or less happily. I know, it was a pipedream, but I try to start every novel from a happy place.....unless I'm reading it because I want to be depressed, but that is a different matter entirely. The further I got into this book, the more irritated I became. The more I read about Rachel, the more my dislike started to creep in. She gives these flashbacks from when they were younger and her and Micah (her brother) were just sssssoooo close. But here is what I don't get, if you were so bonded and lied to your parents for each other and all this other crap, then why did you wait all summer to start searching for him?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J&R on October 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book accomplishes a task that is so very hard to do. It puts the reader right into the emotional space held by the loved one of an addict. Unless you've lived through the dance of secrets, shame and co-dependency, it is impossible to know these things. The author nails it. This book belongs in every library in America so it can reach teens who feel alone in their inability to fix their family. I'm grateful it was written. It is a gem.
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