Early Review: You Were Here by Cori McCarthy

You Were HereYou Were Here by Cori McCarthy
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: March 1st, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Grief turned Jaycee into a daredevil, but can she dare to deal with her past?

On the anniversary of her daredevil brother’s death, Jaycee attempts to break into Jake’s favorite hideout—the petrifying ruins of an insane asylum. Joined by four classmates, each with their own brand of dysfunction, Jaycee discovers a map detailing her brother’s exploration and the unfinished dares he left behind.

As a tribute to Jake, Jaycee vows to complete the dares, no matter how terrifying or dangerous. What she doesn’t bargain on is her eccentric band of friends who challenge her to do the unthinkable: reveal the parts of herself that she buried with her brother.

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Wendy’s Review

You Were Here wasn’t exactly what I expected it to be.  First, it jumped around with POV’s, which I didn’t expect.  It was also made up of art, and graphic novel pages, which I didn’t expect either.  I ended up really liking it though, which was good since I was nervous going in.  The reviews were up and down, both good reviews from people I trust and bad reviews from people I trust.  I wasn’t sure where I would fall upon completion.  I’d say it was somewhere in the middle.

On a whole, I’ve read gritty YA stories that were far better, like Friday Brown by Vicki Wakefield.  However there were definitely parts of the book that will stick with me, and that’s what counts the most.  Like Mik.  Call me ridiculous but there’s something that I really love about characters with social anxiety.  I relate to them.  I’ve never had the urge to not speak, not from nerves, but I could understand the feeling of being uncomfortable with conversation.  In addition, the idea that he was willing to wear, or be, whoever Jaycee needed in order for her to enjoy being around him.  Having been her brothers best friend, hanging out with Mik brought back all her memories of Jake.

I also really liked Zack.  He was carefree, wild, and a little bit of an alcoholic.  He was also sweet, and had a way of making everyone feel good.  He knew how to talk to everyone, how to put people at ease.  And there’s nothing wrong with just enjoying the moment, even when everyone else is looking forward, or back in Jaycee’s case.

It’s not surprising at all that the part of the book that lagged for me was anything that had to do with the girls.  Usually I try to make allowances for characters that are traumatized, and that’s exactly what this book was about, people who were traumatized.  Even knowing that I still struggled with how horrible Jaycee was.  Particularly a scene that happened with Zack.  She was just mean.  Period.  She was a mean person.

So overall, giving the things I liked and the things I didn’t, I’ll give this a badass score of 3.5 stars.

Rating: 3.5 Stars = C+

Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire and Netgalley for providing a copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review.

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