You Were Here by:Cori McCarthy

You Were Here

I received this book by the publishers through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.   The publication date for this book is March 1, 2016.  I was interested in this book because of its’ description and cover art.  It was described as a YA book told through prose, graphics and novelization.  I have never read a graphic novel before and I thought that this would be an interesting way to get into it.

Synopsis from Sourcebooks Fire:

Cori McCarthy delivers an emotionally taut page-turner from multiple points of view – combined with stunning illustrations. Jaycee is about to accomplish what her older brother Jake couldn’t: live past graduation. Jaycee is dealing with her brother’s death the only way she can – by re-creating Jake’s daredevil stunts. The ones that got him killed. She’s not crazy, okay? She just doesn’t have a whole lot of respect for staying alive. Jaycee doesn’t expect to have help on her insane quest to remember Jake. But she’s joined by a group of unlikely friends – all with their own reasons for completing the dares and their own brand of dysfunction: the uptight, ex-best friend, the heartbroken poet, the slacker with Peter Pan syndrome, and… Mik. He doesn’t talk, but somehow still challenges Jayce to do the unthinkable—reveal the parts of herself that she buried with her brother. Cori McCarthy’s gripping narrative defies expectation, moving seamlessly from prose to graphic novel panels and word art poetry, perfect for fans of E. Lockhart, Jennier Niven, and Jandy Nelson. From the petrifying ruins of an insane asylum to the skeletal remains of the world’s largest amusement park, You Were Here takes you on an unforgettable journey of friendship, heartbreak and inevitable change. – See more at:

My Review:

I was excited to get into this story because the subject matter seemed to be like those that are covered by Ellen Hopkins (an author study of her work coming later this year).  I am always intrigued by YA books that deal with topics that today’s teens may deal with.  Most of these topics are hard to discuss and handle but when tackled in a YA novel, they may be easier to discuss.

I was hoping for more graphic novelization and prose but was given more novel.  I thought the images in the book would match the gorgeous artwork on the cover, but they seemed like they were brief  “pencil drawings”.  The prose were mere one liners.  Although the story itself was good, I was let down by its’ description.

Jaycee is trying to deal with the loss of her brother by participating in reckless behavior; the same reckless behavior that killed him.  She does become acquainted with some of her old friends and they help her though her grief even though she doesn’t realize that is what they are doing.  I thought that the effects of grief that Jaycee exhibited were important to portray for teens who may be going through similar situations.  I do however, prefer Ellen Hopkins work.

As I said before, this was good but I was disappointed in the lack of accuracy in the description compared to the actual book.  I still gave this 4 crowns though because it was readable and a younger audience may enjoy it.



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