- Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire; Reprint edition (January 1, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 149263591X
- ISBN-13: 978-1492635918
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.4 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 72 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #278,257 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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You Were Here Paperback – January 1, 2017
An Amazon Book with Buzz: "Ghosted"
Seven perfect days. Then he disappeared. A love story with a secret at its heart. Learn more
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""You Were Here" is wrenchingly beautiful in its honest and achingly accurate portrayal of grief and how it breaks us--and the way unconditional friendship puts us back together." - Jo Knowles, award-winning author of See You At Harry's and Read Between the Lines "
"Through razor-sharp wit, no-holds-barred momentum, and heart-wrenching twists, Cori McCarthy dares you to climb through the broken, abandoned wreckage of the past, stand on the edge of the world, and face something even scarier: the truth.
" - K.A. Barson, author of 45 Pounds (More or Less and Charlotte Cuts it Out
"The topic of urban exploration and the inclusion of graphic novel style chapters will appeal to teens" - School Library Journal
"The mix of forms as well as the insights each character gleans through their urban explorations render this book both readable and teachable on multiple levels." - Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review
"Readers who appreciate stories of searching for personal truths will be happy to join this meaningful quest for identity and independence." - Booklist
"A beautiful coming-of-age story, this book will leave readers thinking about it long after they close it." - VOYA Magazine, a VOYA Best Book
"A skillful blend of storytelling, emotion, and adrenaline-fueled daring" - Publishers Weekly
About the Author
CORI MCCARTHY studied poetry and screenwriting before falling in love with writing for teens at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Cori is an Irish-Lebanese American and, like many of their characters, a member of the LGBTQ+ community. They live in New England with their partner, YA author Amy Rose Capetta. Learn more at CoriMcCarthy.com
Top customer reviews
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to put it mildly, this book changed me.
immediately after reading this book, i reached out to the author & she told me that writing this book was a very cathartic experience for her, & that's exactly what my reading experience with it was. i have known grief since i was a young girl, & sometimes i am still so consumed by it, to the point where i feel suffocated by it. that's why books like this, that capture that all encompassing essence of grief so well, speak to me so very loudly. these type of books bring me so much relief, & i feel like i can breathe again after reading them.
grief is such a strange & unique thing, & this book does an excellent job of showing its many facets, & how all of us an individuals deal with our traumas & losses. there is no right or wrong way to grieve, just as there is no timeline for how long it is acceptable to grieve for.
this book has multiple characters, all of whom were deeply affected in one way or another by the loss of a daredevil teenager named jake. while it would seem that jaycee, his younger sister, is most traumatized by his death, we learn that the other characters within the story also have deeply rooted emotional scars in relation to his untimely death. each of these characters had so much depth to them, and to see them all so broken over the loss of one boy really gives such a glimpse into just how much a single loss can change us all in so many different ways.
perhaps one of the best things about this book is the unique & original way in which some of the character's povs were narrated. it combines typical storytelling with graphic novel style and art (one of the characters, bishop, is constantly tagging, and his pov is shown through pictures of what he has tagged throughout the story). i have never seen a book written this way, and it was amazing. upon reading the story you will see why it was written this way, and why it makes so much sense. this unique form of storytelling alone is worth picking the book up for.
this is a coming of age story that will shatter you into pieces & stitch you back up little by little just when you're least expecting it to. honestly this book is so underrated, & i hope that more people will unearth this hidden gem & find solace in it just as i did.
Truth or dare? Five years ago, on his graduation night Jake Strangelove (his actual last name) flipped off a swing set on a dare and broke his neck, forever changing the lives of his best friend Mik, his sister Jaycee, her ex-best friend Natalie, Natalie's boyfriend Zach, his best friend Bishop. Now, Jaycee has graduated from high school and outlived Jake. She's on an odyssey to recreate the dares he never accomplished, with the others in toe. They all have secrets about that fateful night five years ago, and the struggles they've had dealing with the trauma of seeing Jake die.
YOU WERE HERE started off slowly for me. The introduction felt overwritten with superfluous language. As I got into the story, I didn't understand why Jaycee's first person account needed Bishop's and Mik's graphic accounts, and Natalie's and Zach's third person POVs were necessary. Once I was thoroughly pulled into the story, I realized Cori McCarthy's set up was the best way to tell not only Jaycee's story, but the others' tales as well, even though she was the definite main character.
Jaycee was unlikable more often than not, but underneath her nastiness lied pain so deep it jumped off the pages. Natalie was my favorite character, although I didn't understand why she wasn't honest with Jaycee about her withdrawal from the get go. Her reasoning felt flimsy. I loved that Mik suffered from selective mutism, and McCarthy did a good job researching the condition, as she did with Natalie's OCD tendencies.
Aside from the overwritten into, I enjoyed McCarthy's writing a great deal. Her clever way with words made for engaging sentences and paragraphs. The ending provided enough closure without easy answers for complex problems.
THEMES: death, grief, siblings, mental illness, OCD, selective mutism, violence, peer pressure.
YOU WERE HERE is a complicated story about the ripple effect of one young man's death on those closest to him.