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Over You Hardcover – June 4, 2013
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-After a few alcohol-fueled brushes with danger in Seattle, best friends Sadie and Max go to live on an organic farm commune in Nebraska with Sadie's mom for the summer before their senior year. Reliable and protective Max acts as a caregiver for wild-child Sadie. But when Sadie contracts mono and is quarantined for weeks, Max learns how to come out of her friend's shadow, and she even flirts with Dylan, the farm's bad boy. The rhythm and routine of daily farm chores help her begin to forget about her shattered home life. When Sadie recovers, Max is unwilling to go back to their old dynamics and tension grows between them. A life-threatening incident during a tornado forces Max to realize that her friendship with Sadie has run its course; she returns to Seattle to be by her drug-addicted mother's bedside. Sections between chapters relate tales about the flaws and faults of ancient gods and goddesses, which set the stage for the events to occur in the upcoming chapters. Reed keeps readers guessing about the true nature of Max and Sadie's relationship for some time. And while early on Max informs readers that she is bisexual-a fact referenced at various points during the story-her sexuality never becomes a focal point of the story. Overall, this is a captivating novel that will compel teens to reflect on the nature of their friendships.-Nicole Knott, Watertown High School, CTα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Max, a responsible 17-year-old, has always taken care of her erratic best friend, Sadie. When Sadie decides to spend the summer at a farming commune in the middle of nowhere in Nebraska, Max figures that she had better come, too. The girls are looking forward to their time together. Then they meet smoldering Dylan, who takes an interest in Max, and Sadie becomes threatened. Who will Max choose? At first, this seems as if it will be about Sadie’s growth, but readers will be pleasantly surprised when it’s quiet, kind Max who becomes empowered. This is a win for Reed, who delivers a fresh teen voice and an unexpected setting, both of which combine for an unpredictable read. Grades 8-10. --Bethany Fort
Top customer reviews
The first half of OVER YOU is told in second person. The protagonist, Max, narrates to her best friend, the spontaneous and adorable Sadie. And Sadie is Max's world. Max doesn't seem to know how this happened, but they've been best friends for so long, and Max needs to be Sadie's friend because Sadie can't survive without Max. So when Sadie decides to go live with her absentee mom at a commune in the middle of nowhere for the summer, Max goes along. And it's not long before things start to change.
First, there's the fact that Sadie's mom manages to still be kind of absent. And then there's the fact that Max is way better than she'd ever imagined at connecting with people. Like Dylan. Dylan for whom Max is falling hard. Max isn't used to getting the guy. And Sadie isn't used to not getting what she wants. These girls are about to hit an obstacle that neither of them expected, but which both of them desperately need.
Amy Reed's elegant prose is the perfect vessel for a story that so many real life girls experience, and one that needs to be told as much as the characters in OVER YOU needed to experience in the novel. This is a book that I'm hoping to see on lots of "must read" lists, both informal and authoritative. Amy Reed is a genius, and I can't wait to see what she does next.
Sadie and Max are best friends. In fact, Max's whole life has pretty much revolved around Sadie....looking out for her, being her best friend, always putting her first. When she accompanies Sadie to Nebraska for a visit with her mother, who has been absent from Sadie's life for the most part, things begin to change. First of all, they find themselves on a commune of sorts. Then they meet bad boy Dylan, who they both like. One thing leads to another, and Max soon finds out she must discover who she is apart from and without Sadie.
The synopsis for this book sounded pretty good and I was looking forward to reading it, but unfortunately, I didn't enjoy it as much as I had hoped. The point of view that the story was told from was a bit confusing. It was told from Max's point of view, and she would refer to herself as I, but she also referred to Sadie as you, like she was talking to her in the narration, which in turn made me feel like she was talking to me and I was Sadie. I just wasn't crazy about this. Nevertheless, this is the writing style the author chose to use for this book. I haven't read anything else by Amy Reed, but have heard good things about her. Secondly, I just didn't like Max or Sadie too much, which is just my personal opinion of course. Max didn't impress me and Sadie was a kind of a brat. The commune itself was really just a bunch of modern day hippies, ranging from young to old. There was drugs, partying, drinking, etc. going on quite a bit. It kind of reminded me of one of those placed that winds up on the news, and not in a good way. Then there was the love interest, Dylan, who is personified as a bad boy. Usually, I love the bad boys, but Dylan did nothing for me. He was just a jerk all the way around.
Overall, I wasn't crazy about this story, but I have seen mixed reviews, some of which were positive. My advice to you is to go to goodreads and check the reviews out for yourself. Even though I wasn't crazy about it, you may like it, especially if you are a fan of this author.
Max and Sadie are best friends, and have been inseparable since they were small. Max is Sadie's keeper though. She is always doing damage control, always making Sadie leave when she's too drunk, always the designated driver, and always the one that clears up Sadie's messes.
This summer Sadie and Max are going to visit Sadie's mom who lives in a commune on a farm. Sadie and Max are expected to work in the fields harvesting the crops, and both are a little concerned about how bad it is going to be.
Only a few days into their summer Sadie becomes ill and is diagnosed with mono, she's told that she must be quarantined so that the rest of the commune don't catch it, and Max must move out of their shared trailer, and continue working without Sadie.
It is this forced absence from Sadie that lets Max realise that there is more to life than looking after Sadie, that she has her own ideas and dreams.
How will Sadie feel about this though? How will she react to the fact that Max is no longer going to be her slave? And what will happen at the end of the summer?
This was an interesting `coming-of-age' story, but it won't be to everybody's taste.
Max was clearly the responsible one of her and Sadie's friendship. She was always looking after Sadie, clearing up her messes, and performing damage control, and had been doing it for a long time. The dynamics in their relationship was a little difficult because of this, and I liked it when Max realised that she wasn't only Sadie's friend, and that she had a life of her own.
Sadie was quite a spoiled character, and was ultimately very selfish. Everything was about her, and Max was expected to go along with whatever she was doing, and be there to pick up the pieces afterwards. Even though the whole summer at the commune was Sadie's dad's idea, Max was expected to go along like a lapdog, and it was unfair the way that Max was like a replacement mother to Sadie.
There was a love interest in this book called Dylan, but he wasn't as much a feature in the story as the blurb has you believe. Max and Dylan did have a sort-of relationship at points, and Sadie was jealous, but this wasn't the main storyline.
There wasn't really all that much romance in this book at all really, there were some romantic encounters, but overall the book was quite light on romance.
I liked the storyline in this book, mainly as I really wanted Max to come to her senses and stop pandering to Sadie. Sadie really needed a wake-up call, and some lessons in how to treat her friend. Even though she did apologise at points, and she did begin being nicer to Max, it was obvious that she didn't really want Max to have a life outside of her.
The first ~40% of this book was written in a strange way, it was first person, but it was written like Max was writing/ talking to Sadie - `You ran away from me', `"No way!" You say'. This was a little odd to get used to, and I liked it better when the author changed this style half-way through the book to a normal first-person way of writing.
Each of the chapters also had a little intro to it, some of which were a little odd. Each intro was about a Greek god, or the devil and other stuff (I don't remember them all!), one was definitely about Artemis, another was Nereids (Goddesses of lakes?), and then there were pieces about love and war. I think these intros were supposed to relate to the next part of the story, but many were just a bit too obtuse for me to really get!
Overall; this was an interesting YA coming-of-age story, but the lyrical way of writing, and the letter-style narration of the first half of the book will not be to everyone's taste.
7 out of 10.