Author Cori McCarthy
Publication Date 1 March 2016
Genre Young Adult Fiction
Cori McCarthy delivers an emotionally taut page-turner from multiple points of view – combined with stunning illustrations.
Jaycee is about to accomplish what her older brother Jake couldn't: live past graduation.
Jaycee is dealing with her brother's death the only way she can – by re-creating Jake's daredevil stunts. The ones that got him killed. She's not crazy, okay? She just doesn't have a whole lot of respect for staying alive.
Jaycee doesn't expect to have help on her insane quest to remember Jake. But she's joined by a group of unlikely friends – all with their own reasons for completing the dares and their own brand of dysfunction: the uptight, ex-best friend, the heartbroken poet, the slacker with Peter Pan syndrome, and... Mik. He doesn't talk, but somehow still challenges Jayce to do the unthinkable-reveal the parts of herself that she buried with her brother.
Cori McCarthy's gripping narrative defies expectation, moving seamlessly from prose to graphic novel panels and word art poetry, perfect for fans of E. Lockhart, Jennier Niven, and Jandy Nelson. From the petrifying ruins of an insane asylum to the skeletal remains of the world's largest amusement park, You Were Here takes you on an unforgettable journey of friendship, heartbreak and inevitable change.
A graduation day turned into a nightmare. Jake was a dare devil but he did one dare too many on his graduation day, leaving friends and family in mourning.
Jaycee is Jake's younger sister. His accident has affected her in such a way that she starts to behave like Jake.
Natalie has been Jaycee's best friend since they were kids but she turns her back on Jaycee on the day of the accident. She is very organised but it's a form of escapism from her own problems. Ying and Yang as Jaycee's father calls them.
Zach is Natalie's boyfriend of four years. He doesn't act his age as his childhood wasn't ideal. His older brother's bullying doesn't help matters.
Bishop is Zach's and Natalie's friend. He is a love sick artist and the voice of reasons.
Mik grew up with Jaycee and Jake. He was Jake's best friend until Jake chose a new set of friends. He is a "selective" mute.
On the fifth anniversary of Jake's accident, Jaycee decides to relive some of his stunts. When she is doing a dangerous back flip, she is spotted by Natalie, Zach and Bishop. They go to make sure that she is not injured. Jaycee is surprised since Natalie hasn't been the best of friends for the past five years. They follow her to an old building. Mik happens to be there too. The five of them embark on a series of adventure, following in the steps of Jake.
During that time they start to rekindle their friendship. They are all grieving in their own way and it turns out that Jaycee doesn't have all the facts about Jake's accident. Will her relationship with Natalie go back to what it used to be once she learns the truth? Mik had a crush on Jaycee when they were kids and despite the fact that Mik doesn't say much, they become close to each other again. Will Jaycee feel the same once she learns what Mik has kept buried?
This is a very well woven story about love, friendship, grief, insecurities and guilt. The way the author narrates the story from each of their perspectives is rather impressive. It gives a good insight on what each and everyone of the characters is going through and I like the way it's nicely wrapped up.
I received a complimentary ecopy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.