Title: You Were Here
By: Cori McCarthy
Best for: High school students (ages 14 and up)
This book is told from the point of view of five friends: Jaycee, Natalie, Zach, Mik and Bishop. The main character, Jaycee, is still struggling with her dare-devil brother, Jake’s, death nearly five years after it occurred. Through trying to re-live her brother’s stunts, loner Jaycee unexpectedly finds friends when she least expects it. Natalie, Jaycee’s ex-best friend, is dealing with her own identity crisis all the while playing match-maker for Mik and Jaycee. Zach, Natalie’s on again, off again booze-loving boyfriend, tries to come to terms with his parents divorce and his frat-loving, womanizer brother, Tyler. Mik is a selective mute and his part of the story is told through a series of graphics. Bishop, the artist of the group, is dealing with a heart-wrenching break-up and portrays his feelings through a series of artwork.
While I enjoyed this book, I found much of it to be far-fetched. For example, teenagers driving all across the state of Ohio with no responsibilities or parents holding them accountable seemed rather unrealistic. However, I can see how this lifestyle would appeal to teens (and in today’s society, may not be far from the truth).
I pretty much loved the fact that the book was set in Ohio. As a former Buckeye, there was a bit of history surrounding abandoned places that I found interesting (Geauga Lake, for instance, used to house Six Flags and Sea World before becoming abandoned in 2007.)
Bottom Line: Have a copy of this in your classroom library for the teens who are overly dramatic and have some serious angst. (Which is, like every teen, right?!)