Monday, February 8, 2010

Mini-Review of When You Reach Me

When You Reach Me 
by Rebecca Stead
Pages: 199
Published: July 2009
Genre: Young Adult (A Mix of Sci-Fi and Realistic Fiction)
My Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Goodreads says, "Four mysterious letters change Miranda’s world forever. 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, like the local grocery store, and they know whom to avoid, like the crazy guy on the corner. But things start to unravel. Sal gets punched by a new kid 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 Miranda finds a mysterious note scrawled on a tiny slip of paper:  I am coming to save your friend’s life, and my own. I must ask two favors. First, you must write me a letter. The notes keep coming, and Miranda slowly realizes that whoever is leaving them knows all about her, including things that have not even happened yet. 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."

This book won the 2010 Newbery award and rightly so.  There are many things to enjoy with this novel, such as the twists that the reader won't see coming, an interesting setting, sci-fi characteristics, and short chapters.  There were parts of this novel that definitely took me by surprise.  Also, Stead's writing style is very compelling and in combination with the short chapters, you will find this to be a quick read. When You Reach Me is a unique and quirky coming of age story with memorable characters.  I can't say that I have read a young adult book like this lately. 

I didn't give this book four out of five stars and some people may strongly disagree with me as this book has received much praise.  My only issue with the book is that it is very Wrinkle in Time-ish, which for some people may be exciting, but I personally wasn't a fan of A Wrinkle in Time.  I know this isn't the norm, but that may explain why I didn't give this book four stars.  Lastly, I must confess that I am definitely in a Newbery funk as I haven't LOVED a Newbery winner since 2004, which was The Tale of Despereaux.  So, perhaps it is just me?

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