cover image A World Without You

A World Without You

Beth Revis. Razorbill, $17.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-59514-715-8

Through two gripping and very different narrative voices, Revis (the Across the Universe trilogy) examines a family struggling with a child’s severe mental illness. Bo, whose omnipresent visual delusions have left him believing that he can manipulate time, attends a boarding school for children with “exceptional needs” while his sister, Phoebe, excels socially and academically back at home. “I don’t have the luxury of allowing myself to break,” she reflects, thinking of her parents. “Because if I break, they’ll break too.” Unable to accept that his girlfriend, Sofía, committed suicide, Bo blames himself for trapping her in 1692 Puritan Massachusetts, and focuses relentlessly on saving her. Though striking imagery, Revis conveys the vitality and terror of Bo’s reality: “I stare down at the chaotic, beautiful timestream spreading out in front of me.... Any chance I had of pulling the end of Sofía’s string from the vortex disappears before my eyes.” The siblings’ perspectives capture the family’s daunting emotional, financial, and clinical challenges, conflicted feelings, and growing mutual compassion, creating a story that’s both heartbreaking and hopeful. Ages 12–up. [em]Agent: Merrilee Heifetz, Writers House. (July) [/em]