Book Review: You Were Here by Cori McCarthy

You Were Here by Cori McCarthy
Sourcebooks Fire
Pub Date 01 Mar 2016
Received to review by Netgalley
Teens & YA


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 parts of herself that she buried with her brother.

Cori McCarthy’s gripping narrative defies expectation moving seamlessly from prose to graphic novel panes and word art poetry. 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.


Cori McCarthy has blown me away. I knew this book was going to be good but wow I’m seriously struggling trying to come up with the words to describe my love for this book.

Jaycee Strangelove lost her brother and can’t seem to cope with it. She watched him die from a dare gone wrong. Each year on the anniversary of his death she goes back to the park where he died and the abandoned asylum he loved to go to where she would always meet with Mik. Jaycee feels as though she’s loosing touch with her brother so she decides to start doing his dares to feel closer to him. Only problem is it takes her a step closer to death.

After the accident Jaycee’s best friend Natalie turns her back on her and leaves her to mend her broken heart alone. Natalie has unbearable guilt for leaving Jaycee and needs forgiveness before she starts her new life in New York but she also wants her friend back. On this last summer after graduation Natalie catches Jaycee doing a “dare” and takes it upon herself to fix Jaycee. The last thing she expected was to spend of summer full of crazy adventures in abandoned building and a roller coaster of emotions.

I have a deep love for books with multiple POV’s. I didn’t it was possible to make 5 POV’s work but man Cori McCarthy killed it! The main POV’s are from Jaycee, Natalie and Zack (Natalie’s boyfriend). Mik is a selective mute which is pretty awesome because all of his chapters are formatted like a graphic novel. Bishop’s are his graffiti artwork.

This book sucked you in to each character and made you feel what it was like to be in each persons shoes. Jaycee pushed her emotions on everyone to the point that you could feel her deep loss. I loved to see the growth in each person and how they become firm in who they are. I could honestly go on and on about this book but all that matters is that you go and read it yourself. It may sound a little depressing but seriously give it a chance. It will change your perspective and shine light on things that you wouldn’t have ever thought about!


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