I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on March 1st 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Psychology, YA Romance, Young Adult
Grief turned Jaycee into a daredevil, but can she dare to deal with her past?Amazon •
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.
Mature-Content Rating: Language, Violence, Mild Sexual Content, Underage Drinking
1. the remains of a man-made structure that has succumbed to decay and abandonment
2. the god-awful downfall of a person
I didn’t expect to like this book as much as I did. From the blurb I expected a main character that was off her rocker and possibly a bit suicidal. What I picked up from Jaycee and band of misfit friends was so much more.
Jaycee witnessed her brother, Jake, die during a dare. During the five years that pass between the accident and the time the book takes place she’s stuck between a mother that refuses to let go and a father that seems all too willing to forget. Jaycee herself is afraid of losing Jake; she sometimes can’t remember his face or his voice. She finds a map and a notebook of Jake’s that he used for his urban exploring and that’s what the majority of the book is about, chasing Jake’s ghost.
Jaycee’s character can be very mixed. From the first pages she’s dressed in Jake’s clothes and living in his room. She’s taking on Jake’s personality in order to not forget her brother, but at the same time some of her own personality shines through.
Natalie is Jaycee’s ex-BFF, who has the opposite personality of Jaycee. She’s uptight and planned, and overall a perfect balance for Jaycee’s daring.
Zach is Natalie’s childish boyfriend of four years who has a troubled home life.
Bishop is an artist/poet that is having trouble recovering from heartbreak. The chapters that center on Bishop are only one page and it’s a picture of the profound art he creates at each site they visit.
Then there’s Mik. Mik was Jake’s friend when they were younger, and after his dead Mik became a selective mute. His chapters were my favorite! Short as they were, Mik’s chapter were depicted comic book style. It could have been very cheesy, but I loved how Mik was able to get his ‘say’ in the book but still keep his mute characteristic.
This was really a ragtag team of misfits with personalities off the charts, but it worked. Each character had a reason for the way they were and that is a very important detail to this book. Each character was effected by some deep tragedy and had their own way of overcoming it or dealing with it. I didn’t always understand their actions. They didn’t always understand each others actions.
I have to remove a star because some of the characters seemed more concerned with sex and being a matchmaker when there was a way bigger issue. It didn’t really have a point in the story and honestly it just seems like YA is becoming gotta-have-a-something-about-sex books.
Overall, You Were Here is a heart wrenching story with characters that I dearly enjoyed reading about.