You Were Here

Cori McCarthy. Sourcebooks Fire, $17.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-4926-1704-4
McCarthy (Breaking Sky) delivers a skillful blend of storytelling, emotion, and adrenaline-fueled daring, spun through with romances new and old. Jaycee has accomplished something her daredevil older brother, Jake, never did—she lived past graduation. Clinging to his memory, she is determined to follow in his urban explorer footsteps, no matter the risk. She’s joined by four friends, all revisiting Jake’s old haunts for their own reasons, driven by their own demons. McCarthy rotates among the characters, mixing visual and verbal narratives. Selective mute Mik’s chapters are told through comics sequences, while Bishop’s brief entries are sketches and graffiti; Natalie contributes a logical, slightly obsessive viewpoint while her party-guy boyfriend, Zach, is immature yet insightful. What follows over several months forces these young adults to take a hard look at their past, present, and future through the lens of urban exploration and its inherent dangers. McCarthy neither shies from nor glamorizes difficult topics like sexual assault, domestic abuse, and suicide, and each character is complexly developed, ensuring relatability for a wide audience. Ages 14–up. Agent: Sarah Davies, Greenhouse Literary. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/22/2016
Release date: 03/01/2016
Paperback - 416 pages - 978-1-4926-3591-8
Open Ebook - 400 pages - 978-1-4926-1706-8
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