Thursday, September 6, 2012

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

When You Reach Me
Good Reads Summary
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

Winner of the 2010 John Newbery Medal
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.

My Thoughts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s 11:00 in the morning and I want to strangle whoever is on the other end of the phone. Who the hell calls a body at eleven in the morning not knowing if the one answering is a morning person? Though, 11 isn’t exactly the crack of dawn. Though how could they have known that I was just about to get some shut eye? But then, bits of the story trickle back and though I’m still grumpy (read raging mad pissed) at having been roused, I’m not as grumpy… because I’m grinning and grinning and maybe looking crazier by the minute bed head, morning breath and all because WHEN YOU REACH ME took me by surprise.  

Going in on this one, the less you know the better, except I dare you not to love WHEN YOU REACH ME once it’s over. I’m struggling here, attempting to sum it up, but without giving anything away: I will say it’s short, sweet, sad and funny. The narrator is delightful in her observations, honest in her reactions and over all just wonderful. It’s a story about friends, losing some, and then making some. It’s about her family and saying the right thing, doing the right thing and then making mistakes along the way. 

It is a young book, she’s a young girl but the way she sees things: unusually; the way her story unfolds, unusual as well. But then throw in a game show and then time travel and secret note from God know who… and well, I loved this. (Yes, even that surprise moment that had me ugly-crying.)

Now, lessons learned:  one, I can go without sleep so long as a book is worth my while. Two, working overtime sucks. Most important, do not call me at anytime before lunch.

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