ARC Review: You Were Here by Cori McCarthy

Title: You Were Here
Author: Cori McCarthy
Series: N/A, Standalone
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date:  March 1st, 2016
Pages: Kindle, 400
My Rating: 4 Stars

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  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.

  I was given an ARC by the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. 

  I don't know what it is about You Were Here, but it feels so unique, and not just because Mik is selectively mute and his chapters are in comic form. Oh, that's really entertaining too, by the way, and I really enjoyed it. Anyway, this book is about Jaycee's journey towards not letting the past define her, which group of friends take with her.

  Oh man, in the romance aspect of this book, I get Jaycee so much. I understand how scared she is of anything with Mik and how she just doesn't know how to deal with it. And when she does, she manages to screw things up. I can relate about being totally clueless at times, and it's a pain in the butt.

  More than that, however, I love how Jaycee's healing process went. She was destructive at first and wasn't able to let go of the past, and after a series of breakdowns and with the help of those around her, she finally began her healing process. I really liked that because that's how healing really is - it's usually so ugly at first, and then in the end it just happens. You just learn to accept and let go of things. I think this book really portrayed that well, and for that I commend the author.

  You Were Here is also about friendships, both old and new. I love how Jaycee and Natalie didn't just automatically reconcile with one event, but throughout a series of talks because that's how it is in real life. I don't forgive people easily, and again this is another thing that the author had down-pat. As for the new friendship, I liked the bond that formed between Zach and Jaycee, and how big-brotherly he acts with her without being overbearing. I also love how Zach and Bishop talked things out, and how Nat and Mik started being there for each other.

  The relationships and bonds formed throughout the book are just amazing, and honestly, that's what made me love this book so much. Aside from things being quite realistic, the author was able to pick a great storyline to portray all the amazing friendships formed and Jaycee's amazing process of letting go. I really enjoyed this book and I want to read more by this author! 

uniquely-realistic stars

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