Sunday, April 10, 2011

Review: When You Reach Me

Title: When You Reach Me

Author: Rebecca Stead

Release Date: July 14, 2009

Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books

Pages: 199

Finished Reading: May, 2010

Source: I checked this book out from my local library

Synopsis (via Goodreads): This remarkable novel holds a fantastic puzzle at its heart.

By sixth grade, Miranda and her best friend, Sal, know how to navigate their New York City neighborhood. They know where it's safe to go, and they know who to avoid. Like the crazy guy on the corner.

But things start to unravel. Sal gets punched by a kid on the street for what seems like no reason, and he shuts Miranda out of his life. The apartment key that Miranda's mom keeps hidden for emergencies is stolen. And then a mysterious note arrives, scrawled on a tiny slip of paper. The notes keep coming, and Miranda slowly realizes that whoever is leaving them knows things no one should know. Each message brings her closer to believing that only she can prevent a tragic death. Until the final note makes her think she's too late.

In a Sentence: When mysterious notes begin showing up for Miranda, she could never realize what finding the answers could mean for her present and future.

Overall Rating: 4

Plot Rating: 4

Character Rating: 4

Writing Rating: 4

Review: I found this book to be slow, but I kept at it and just loved the ending. I figured it out about the same time as the main character. The twist is something that I didn't see coming, which made it all the better. I think this would be a great book to re-read now that I know what happens.

There are quite a few subplots in this book that, while I see why the author included them, could have probably been removed to make the book stronger.

The story focuses on Miranda and her best friend Sal, who live in the same apartment complex in New York. After Sal gets punched by a kid on the street, Miranda's whole world changes because instead of talking about his humiliation, Sal becomes an isolated and refuses to talk to her. Then, mysterious things start happening, like the extra key to her apartment being stolen and mysterious notes showing up in places where only Miranda would see them. She is forced to, not only discover who has been leaving the notes and why, but, in the end, make choices that will have life or death consequences for those she knows.

It's really hard to explain the story of this book because very little happens in the first 2/3 or so of the book. The true action doesn't really take place until Miranda starts actually figuring out what's going on.

Cover: I love the cover! I love how it shows the main, important landmarks in the book.

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