Home > book reviews > Book Review: When You Reach Me

Book Review: When You Reach Me

Editor’s Note: This was first posted in August 2009 and every time I pick up my eReader, I consider reading it again.

First caveat: I only picked up this book because I was talking to a friend of mine who works for Random House and asked “Any new good books coming out?” and she said, “Oh, yes, read When You Reach Me!” so I downloaded it without even reading the description.

Second caveat: Any book that repeatedly references A Wrinkle in Time automatically is going to get at least three stars from me. Just sayin’.

Third caveat: I don’t actually have one of these; I just like the word “caveat” out of principle. It’s snobbishly delicious.

So, I went into the book not having any idea what it was going to be about, just prepared for it to be good because I trust my friend’s judgement. As such, I was delightfully confused by the first few sections because the narrator, a twelve-year-old girl named Miranda is talking to someone, but I had no idea who. Luckily for me, I enjoy books that reveal themselves as you’re reading.

Which, I suppose, is inseparable from books that deal with time travel. See: Rant by Chuck Palahiuk or The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. If you enjoy this book, I suggest you read those other two just so you can see the similarities.

What pleased me most about the book is that it actually required the reader to think. Some yalit books assume that children are unable to critically think at all and instead of nurturing that ability, give the precursor to Danielle Steele level books. I’m all for getting kids to think. Easier books are good for getting kids to read, but after that, the process needs to continue, otherwise we get adults who are happy reading the same story repeated with only a change in locale.

The story itself is well told, revealing each piece of the mystery so that you discover what happened as Miranda had discovered it. The ending was somehow simultaneously happy and sad…but I’ll leave it at that rather than spoil it.

Of course, the downside (if this can be considered a downside) it also had the side effect that now I have to go buy A Wrinkle in Time…which will probably make me buy the whole series…so I guess I have some reading to do. 😉

Stead, Rebecca. When You Reach Me. 2009. eBook.

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