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A World Without You Paperback – June 13, 2017
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From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Bo attends a private boarding school on an island off the Massachusetts coast. It's a prestigious school for students learning how to hone their unique powers. All the students there have special skills—Bo can travel through time; his girlfriend, Sofia, can make herself invisible; Gwen can produce fire from her hands; and Ryan can move things telekinetically. As the story opens, Bo is concerned. He's managed to jump Sofia back to 1692 and can't seem to get her back; he can see the thread that connects her, but can't grab hold. Meanwhile, Bo's supervisor, the Doctor, attempts to convince Bo that Sofia has committed suicide and that Bo needs to come to terms with this. Occasional chapters in his sister's voice help readers sort out the ramblings of a confused narrator and realize that Bo is at an inpatient facility for the mentally ill and is wrestling with fugue states that go on for days at a time. As a side note, the author's reputation for superlative speculative fiction, such as Across the Universe, casts a shadow of lingering doubt that leaves readers willing to suspend disbelief to the very end, yearning for Bo to actually be able to travel through time. VERDICT A compelling peek into the darkest corners of mental illness; hand this to those who enjoyed Nic Sheff's Schizo.—Leah Krippner, Harlem High School, Machesney Park, IL --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
"A story that’s both heartbreaking and hopeful." —Publishers Weekly, starred review
"The voices of both narrators are impossible to ignore as the lines between flawed visions and reality blur in a powerful revelation of the delusional and paranoid mind. Revis’s account of grief, loss, first love, and anguish, presented through a lens of mental illness, is a must-read." —VOYA, starred review
"A gripping exploration of a young man’s struggle with delusions and grief." —Booklist
"A page-turning psychological thriller." —Kirkus Reviews
"A compelling peek into the darkest corners of mental illness." —School Library Journal
"YA’s answer to Shutter Island." —The Horn Book
"A painfully brilliant and transporting read. This novel has the rare superpower to change and save lives." —Adam Silvera, New York Times bestselling author of More Happy Than Not
"A World Without You tackles grief, mental illness, and family dynamics with both grace and generosity. I fell in love with Bo’s story of perseverance in the face of seemingly endless struggle and was left brimming with hope. Readers will emerge from this book a little stronger than when they entered.” —Emily Henry, author of The Love That Split the World
“Beth Revis delivers us an astonishing shape-shifter of a tale that dazzles and startles at every tense turn. Themes of love, secrets, and heartbreak are woven into a taut and bewitching narrative that will pull you in and not let you go. Don't forget to breathe.” —Adele Griffin, author of The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone
“A World Without You is a beautiful, devastating, mind-bending adventure.” —Suzanne Young, New York Times bestselling author of The Program series
From the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Throughout the whole book, Bo tries to save her and keep his abilities hidden from the investigators.
The whole time you feel like Bo is an unreliable narrator, but you desperately wish he isn't. You want Sophie to be alive because he's in love with her.
I won't confirm whether he's delusional because that's half the fun. What I will say is that Beth Revis knows how to create something fresh and original with subtle references to Doctor Who. As much as I love Doctor Who, her take on time travel is more creative. Bo navigates his way through strings of time like one of the Fates, traveling back in time but unable to warn anyone of what's to come. There are restrictions to time travel. Even so, Bo stays faithful til the end.
Speaking of the ended, it goes out with a flame, an eruption of heart-pounding suspense leaving you worried about the fate of our dear Bo.
When you're done reading, there's a lot of reflection to do. What makes a person crazy? Can a person be defined by mental illness? How do their lives affect their family's?
Regardless of whether Bo is mentally ill or not, you're forced to see him as a person and not a loon. I think everyone will be able to see themselves in him. And that's great because it takes away some of the negative stigma against people who have mental illnesses. I highly recommend you read this. If you're a teacher, get a classroom set and add it to your curriculum. It fits multiple genres, and there is so much to be taken away from this book. I also deem it appropriate for all ages since the worst thing in it was the D-word as far as I recall.
If you like this book, I recommend Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane. I've only seen the movie, but they have some definite connections.
NTERVIEW WITH BETH REVIS
Jessie: Tell readers about Bo and Sofía!
Beth: Bo can travel through time using “strings” that only he can see — touch a string, go back in time. The strings connect him to all the people and places that are important to him, and the string that connects him to Sofía is red — based on the Chinese legend of the red string of fate, a string that ties together two people fated to be with each other.
This has been a long and somewhat symbolic way of saying that the best way for me to describe the love between Bo and Sofía is: true. It’s a true love. It’s a tragic love, don’t get me wrong, but it’s true.
Jessie: Who was your favorite secondary character?
Beth: The Doctor! When I originally made him, he was an homage to Doctor Who (fitting for a time-travel story), so I was already predisposed to love him. As he developed on the page, I loved him even more — he tries to help and understand so much.
Jessie: What was the best scene to write?
Beth: So here’s the thing. Bo only thinks he can travel through time, but the school for superheroes that he’s attending is actually a school for mentally disturbed youth. (This isn’t a spoiler, by the way; there’s much more to the story than this!) Eventually, his reality breaks down, and there’s a scene where he sees Sofía playing a fugue on the cello, one that dissolves into creepier and creepier scenarios. Basically, what I’m saying is that I love to write the weird and creepy stuff!
Jessie: How did you decide on which superpowers to give the characters?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Beth is an amazinh writer. I want to read all of her books <3