Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Review: You Were Here by Cori McCarthy

By 8:00 AM , , , ,

You Were Here
   by: Cori McCarthy

Publication Date: Mar. 1, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Contemporary
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: e-ARC received via Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 400 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars

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.

This book completely took me by surprise and it is one that I cannot recommend enough! From the flawed characters, to a shipworthy romance, and unexpected formatting that knocked my socks off, I was hooked from the beginning.
I did not expect multiple POVs, but I have to say it really worked. I liked getting to know all of the characters and the way McCarthy handled two character's POVs in particular, was pretty genius. As I said, the characters are flawed. They are all dealing with their own issues, which I really liked because it was so realistic at their age. Some issues are heavier than others, but they ultimately all find themselves banding together to follow Jaycee's daredevil dead brother's footprints across the state.
I'll start with Jaycee. I wasn't sure if I was going to like her initially because she's so abrasive and isn't afraid to speak her mind, even at the risk of hurting others. However, my heart absolutely ached for her. It has been five years since her brother's death and she isn't living. I feel like she's stuck in time and to see her still so shattered and broken really hurt. She doesn't realize that her pain is actually affecting those around her. There is this huge chasm between her and her best friend, Natalie, and she makes her brother's childhood best friend feel invisible because she doesn't really see HIM for who he is. Her self destructive nature really hurts them and she is in so deep that she can't see beyond her grief. I can't imagine what it's like to lose a sibling, and everyone has their own way of coping, but Jaycee isn't. She wears her brother's clothes. She lives in his room. She is even starting to act like him. It's absolutely heartbreaking.
Her relationship with Mik was complicated too. She has always had a crush on him, but after Jake died, she just couldn't seem to look beyond the boy from the past. She doesn't see the guy he is now and that hurts him because he has strong feelings for her. She pushes him away when he gets too close, because she doesn't know how to deal with her feelings for him. They have been recently connected by her brother's death, so it's pretty awkward for her to try and see him in a new light. I shipped these two so hard, even as frustrated as I could be with Jaycee for how she could be with him.
Natalie's character was probably my least favorite. She was hard to warm up to because of her superior attitude. She is ready to leave her current life behind and start new. She acts much older than she is and is pretty condescending. I hated how she treated her boyfriend Zach and she really doesn't deserve him, especially after something she did. Jake's death has affected her more than we know and because of that she has pushed Jaycee away, which felt like the ultimate betrayal to Jaycee. These two are constantly at odds during the book, but their screwed up friendship kind of works.
Zach is too dependent on Natalie and he just lets her belittle him and make him feel like crap. He doesn't stand up to her because he doesn't want to be alone. He clings to the scraps Natalie throws at him, because there are those times when things are great and they actually get one another. Those moments are few and far between though. Natalie isn't Zach's only issue. Zach's family is pretty messed up and once Natalie and Bishop go off to school, he really won't have anyone left. I hate that he felt left behind but his reasons for staying are so noble that it made me choke up a bit.
There isn't too much to say about Bishop, other than he is dealing with heartbreak over a girl leaving him and heading back across the pond. He is loyal to Zach, although he has been trying to distance himself from him, so that when he leaves it won't be such a blow.
I just can't do this book justice. These characters are all broken in their own way and even though the way they came together was unexpected, I liked that they really formed this tight knit group, even despite the shit they go through. I like that they follow Jake's map of places he's been to and the dares he's left behind because it gives them purpose and they discover so much about themselves and each other because of it. Friendship isn't always pretty- it can be messy, but true friends will be there for you no matter what and I really felt that in this book. Definitely pick this one up. It's one that won't be leaving my mind any time soon.

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  1. The multiple POVs definitely intrigues me and I'm liking the sound of the characters! I'm glad this one took you by surprise :) I'm definitely going to have to pick this one up when I can!

    Lovely review

    1. Thank you Magen! I really hope you decide to pick it up! I am such an advocate for reading this book! LOL.

  2. I really want to read this so badly! It sounds amazing! Although I have a feeling it'll make me cry. Awesome review Jessica!

    1. Oh gosh Annika! I teared up so many times! It was so beautiful and moving...

  3. I hadn't heard much about this book, but it sounds really good and I love the sound of the multiple POV format. Great review!

    1. Thanks Teresa! I saw this as read now on NG, so I grabbed it, never imagining I'd love it like I did!

  4. After I saw this on your Monday Musts, I have been wanting to read this one! It sounds so good and your review makes me super excited to read it!! ♥

    1. Eeep! Thanks Eva! I really hope you do! It's wonderful! And sigh. THE ROMANCE. SO PERFECT.

  5. This is the second glowing review of this book that I read today. I think it is a sign. Added on my TBR pile. :D

    1. Oh yay! I hope you really like it Kay! This book blew me away!

  6. Okay, you have definitely convinced me that I need to read this. Lol! Sounds so good.,

    1. Haha. Anna, I hope you do read it! And then I hope you love it as much as I did. I always get so nervous rec'ing books that I loved for fear of people hating it. LOL.

  7. You might be qualified for a complimentary $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.


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