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You Are My Only Hardcover – October 25, 2011

37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Beth Kephart is the author of thirteen books, including the National Book Award finalist A Slant of Sun, Undercover, The Heart Is Not a Size and Dangerous Neighbors. Kephart is a winner of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts fiction grant, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, and a Pew Fellowships in the Arts grant, among other honors. You can visit her online at www.beth-kephart.blogspot.com.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 800L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: EgmontUSA (October 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606842722
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606842720
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,945,433 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Following the publication of five memoirs and FLOW, the autobiography of Philadelphia's Schuylkill River, I've had the great pleasure of turning my attention to young adult fiction. UNDERCOVER and HOUSE OF DANCE were both named a best of the year by Kirkus and Bank Street. NOTHING BUT GHOSTS, A HEART IS NOT A SIZE, and DANGEROUS NEIGHBORS were critically acclaimed. In October YOU ARE MY ONLY will be released by Egmont USA. Next summer, Philomel will release SMALL DAMAGES. I am at work on a prequel to DANGEROUS NEIGHBORS, a novel for adults, and a memoir about teaching. Please visit my blog: http://beth-kephart.blogspot.com/

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sarah on October 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
While there does not appear to be much mystery to the story, the beauty of it is in the characters themselves. Emmy is a simple-minded girl who just wants to find her baby. Her misadventures along the way are quite heartbreaking.

Sophie is the real star of the story. Her adventure focuses on her daring move to become friends with the boy next door and his family. I was swept along her adventures with the two aunts. They were such sweet old ladies.

Joey was a great hero. He was super sweet and so friendly and accepting of Sophie and her odd way of life. He very gently encouraged her to become a beautiful young woman. There relationship was definitely one to be encouraged and "aww"-ed over.

Overall, this was a tragic story that was told in a beautiful and positive way. It was a clean read that is very sweet.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Figment Review on December 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover
By Caleb

From the cover: Emmy Rane is married at nineteen, a mother by twenty. Trapped in a life with a husband she no longer loves, Baby is her only joy. Then one sunny day in September, Emmy takes a few fateful steps away from her baby and returns to find her missing. All that is left behind is a yellow sock.

Fourteen years later, Sophie, a homeschooled, reclusive teenage girl is forced to move frequently and abruptly from place to place, perpetually running from what her mother calls the "No Good." One afternoon, Sophie breaks the rules, ventures out, and meets Joey and his two aunts. It is this loving family that gives Sophie the courage to look into her past. What she discovers changes her world forever. . .

A great plot, emotional characters, Kephart's status as a National Book Award Finalist--You Are My Only holds a lot of promise. But hold on to your hats: the plot moves quickly. While a fast pace can be exciting, it can also lead to a lack of detail, and description can be sparse. In You Are My Only, a lot happens at once, without being much explained. And then, mostly in the middle chapters, the book hits a lull-we get nothing but mopey pondering and sad ruminations from our characters.

The storyline is just plain confusing. Not only does the perspective change every other chapter, but so does the time period. We switch back and forth between Emmy and Sophie, and between present and past. While this can be an interesting book format, I find it works best with an omniscient narrator. In You Are My Only, both perspectives are narrated in first person, so I often forgot whose perspective I was reading and where we were temporally.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By bookworm1858 VINE VOICE on October 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Some spoilers...possibly...

My first Beth Kephart was a mixed bag as I didn't feel much for the characters but I still thought she was a fantastic writer so I eagerly requested her latest when I saw it available on Netgalley. I confess, I thought almost thought this was a ghost or horror story as that is the imagine conjured by the cover for me.

Instead, told in alternating perspectives, this is the story of Emmy, a young mother whose baby is taken one awful day and Sophie, a young girl whose life is wrapped up in secrets as she and her mother constantly flee the No Good.

I'm not sure if the fact that Sophie was Emmy's daughter was supposed to be a surprise or not because it seemed really obvious to me (why else would their stories be connected?) but perhaps it would catch some people off-guard so that's why I marked this post as containing spoilers. Despite the fact that this wasn't suspenseful, I was able to really feel for both narrators, which is good because if I didn't, I would not have liked this book. The focus is definitely on characters, not plot so it's super important to like them.

Both of the characters are really young: Emmy is just twenty, married and a mother of an infant while Sophie is fourteen and their innocence and naivety really shone through. Each is entangled with less than decent people (the former with a no-good husband, the latter with an often cruel mother) but they also end up having experiences that open up their worlds and lead them back to each other.

Overall: Beautifully written with sympathetic characters if a little light on plot.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on October 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Despite its subject matter--the kidnapping of a baby and the unusually restrictive upbringing of a homeschooled teen--You Are My Only is a hopeful book, a book that explores unexpected relationships and the power of love. I have already highly recommended this book to adult readers and to teens.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lilian Nattel on November 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Beth Kephart writes a gorgeous novel, the characters tender, the story uplifting though it deals with a difficult subject. This is a story that could be sensationalistic and sentimental. Instead, in Kephart's hands, the characters are tenderly portrayed. A baby is abducted and raised by a stranger pretending to be her mother; the mother's life is devastated by the loss. And yet the baby, now a 14 year old girl, meets another family who show her how life can be and give her the courage to try. Her mother meets a man whose complete acceptance is a revelation to her. There is kindness and love in this book and great beauty in the language. My older daughter, seeing how engrossed I was in this book, asked to read it and took it to school with her. Highly recommended!
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