{Bee Reviews} You Were Here by Cori McCarthy

Posted February 20, 2016 by Bee in Reviews / 7 Comments

{Bee Reviews} You Were Here by Cori McCarthy

You Were Here


by Cori McCarthy
Published on March 1st 2016
by Sourcebooks Fire
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon | 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 hideoutโ€”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.

I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

4.5 Stars

I’m going to be honest right off the bat here. I almost skipped this book. For reasons I don’t really know. My February TBR was so long and so I scratched some books and this was one of them. But then I decided to pick it up anyway, because something told me it’d be worth it. And you know what? It was. Because this book is so. freaking. good.

You Were Here is about Jaycee. Her brother died right before her eyes doing a crazy stunt because that’s what he did. He was a daredevil. Each year on the anniversary of his dead, Jaycee breaks into his favorite hideout, the ruins of an insane asylum. This year three classmates join her and Jake’s former friend Mik, each with their own problems. And then Jaycee discovers a map detailing her brother’s exploration and dares. Jaycee vows to complete the dares as a tribute to her brother, along with her eccentric group of friends who challenge her to reveal the parts of her she’d buried with her brother.

This book has 5 POV’s. But before you worry about that, only 3 of them are normal narration. One of the POV’s is always just one page. That’s Bishop’s. His POV is always the artwork he leaves on the places they go. Another one is Mik’s, whose chapters are told through comic/graphic novel style. Both are insanely cool and worked so well with the characters they represented. Also, major points for having so much artwork in a book that doesn’t slow my ereader at all. Usually the whole thing freezes and flips out but not with this book, so yay! I’d tell you to read this book solely for the artwork, but luckily there’s more to love than just that.

Before I go over the things I love, I need to explain why I didn’t give it 5 stars. It’s really just minor things to me and seeing as how it still gets 4.5 stars, you should focus on that. But I’m honest and I need to tell you the small things that bugged me. The first one is that sometimes characters changed a bit too fast. They made a complete 180 just like that and it took me a minute to catch up. Probably because my brain doesn’t work that fast. The second thing is that there’s one thing that happens that adds a bit more drama to the book and it didn’t feel like it needed to happen. But it didn’t bother me as much as most other unnecessary drama in other books does, so there’s that.

What I did love was the writing. It’s so real. These kids have all just graduated high school and the author doesn’t shy away from the fact that they curse and have sex. It’s not full of those things, not at all. But it’s there and it’s normal. Because that’s how young people are. My favorite parts of the book were always the interactions between the characters. They worked so well together and I loved how natural it all seemed. Was this emotional? Yes, definitely. Did I cry? No. But to be honest, I don’t cry easily with books. I’m a major crybaby for all other things, but not books.

Where this book really shined for me were its characters, who are the most important of any story in my eyes. But these five people snuck up on me. Because once I started reading this book, I was enjoying it. But then I hit the 20% mark and I noticed these people had already set their claws into my heart. I was invested in their story and I found myself loving all of them even when they’re so different from who I am. We don’t know very much about Mik or Bishop, but we know enough to get invested in their lives and care about them. Zach seems like a simple guy, but there’s so much more to him. Natalie comes across as a strict know-it-all at first, but there’s so much more to her and she grows a lot in this book. Everyone does. Jaycee the most of all. She did annoy me at times, but that’s only because I’ve never been through what she did. If I had, I’d probably be worse than her.

There’s also romance, yes, and it was very well handled and actually pretty sweet. It could’ve gone wrong in a book like this very easily, but it didn’t. And I’m very happy about that because I shipped these two like crazy right from the start. I absolutely adored all of these characters, I really did. And I want to hug them and tell them I love them and that everything will be okay. I want them to be happy. This makes me wonder if the author’s other books have great characters like these as well. I should read them and find out.

You Were Here is a touching and emotional rollercoaster ride that uses amazing artwork to help tell the story. If you’re a fan of YA Contemporary, this one should definitely be on your list for this year.

Bee

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