You Were Here
by Cori McCarthy
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.
You Were Here delivers a fascinating tale about a sibling love, formidable friendship, new-found relationships and healing hearts. All in the hopes of facing tomorrow and understanding the kind of death that plagued Jaycee and her friends.
Jaycee’s brother Jake died on his graduation day, after doing a break neck stunt. Jaycee still hadn’t move on from it, hadn’t come to terms on how to accept it, hadn’t been ready even after she had survived graduation, the day her brother never got the chance to live.
Then she reconciled with her bestfriend Natalie and met her boyfriend, the happy-go-lucky, heavy party drinker Zach. There was also Bishop who couldn’t stop thinking about his gal friday, Marakesh. And finally, Mik, a selective mute, who never liked to talk. I think, in the entire book, I’ve only heard/read him talk twice, except for the text messages he sent to the group.
Told in 4-5 unique and alternating points of view, I think Cori McCarthy was able to reach all walks of life through the character’s narrations. I liked Bishop’s graffiti, creative and deep. And I enjoyed Mik’s comics artistry. I easily got lost with the illustrations, I even forgot that I was actually reading a book and not a graphic novel. Natalie’s, Jaycee’s and Zach’s POVs were also beautifully told. The places they’d been to, the experiences they’d encountered, the grief and hurt, the ghostly adventures, the comic relief, the deep emotional attachments, everything else including the writing was exquisite. ‘Tis a recommended read for those reeling with broken hearts.
NOTE: I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.