Monday, November 1, 2010

You Are Not Here - Review

Here's Sarah's review of You Are Not Here by Samantha Schutz. Her reviews have a way of making me interested in books that were not even on my radar, let alone my TBR pile. Here's her review:

The most wonderful part of being a bookseller is picking up a book that you would never, ever seek out of your own accord, and being introduced to something new and compulsively readable. My moment of serendipity came on a chance run-in with You Are Not Here, a story of teenage loss and recovery rendered entirely in free verse. Don't get too wrapped up in that last part - what could be cliché and gimmicky is instead fresh and with a rhythm perfectly suited to its topic.

The story is refreshingly simple: a teen girl, Annaleah, has to face life after the boy she was secretly seeing suddenly passes away. Because he was a secret, her outlets for grief are limited at best, and nonexistent at worse. The pace of the verse is almost like the deep breaths one takes to make their way through a difficult time, and each step Annaleah takes comes viscerally across because of the structure of the narrative. What I appreciated most was that Annaleah feels like a real teen - one who is certainly imperfect - but infinitely relatable.

My rating system for books has become how badly I nearly miss my stop home on the train, and I came very close to ending up in San Francisco while reading this one. I'll be keeping an eye out for more books by this author, and would recommend it for both teens and adults alike.

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