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Cher-y-lynne {sher-uhl-lin} –noun 1. One who formerly sold and recommended children’s books at a bookstore; a specialist in young adult, middle grade, and picture books. 2. A para-educator at a middle school. 3. A struggling young adult writer. 4. A lover of chocolate and popcorn. Archaic: An Audiology and Speech Language Pathology major at Brigham Young University. Questions? Suggestions? Books you'd like me to review? E-mail me at cherylynne1 (at) gmail (dot) com.
This is a blog for my ranting, raving, and occasionally brilliant opinions. You have been warned. Enter at your own risk.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Book Review: When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

Stead, Rebecca. When You Reach Me. New York: Random, 2009.

Back when I still walked home with Sal, it was easier to pretend that the laughing man didn’t scare me, because Sal was pretending too. He tried not to show it, but he freaked when he saw the laughing man shaking his fist at the sky and kicking his leg out into traffic. I could tell by the way Sal’s face kind of froze. I know all of his expressions.
I used to think of Sal as being a part of me: Sal and Miranda, Miranda and Sal. I knew he wasn’t really, but that’s the way it felt.

When Miranda receives a strange note in her book, she assumes it was a fluke, a weird coincidence that it seems to be talking to her. But when the notes keep coming, she realizes the person knows all about her...and knows her future. So when the note reader asks her to write a letter, telling her story, she finally decides to do it. And the story, she decides, starts on the day that her friendship with Sal ended.

I LOVED THIS BOOK. Amazing. Incredible. Phenomenal. I don't even have enough words to describe how much I loved it. Every single word is exactly where it should be. Everything that I thought was around for symbolism actually has an essential part of the plot. It is totally flawless, tying everything together in a way that I would never have thought possible.

The characters make sense, the plot works out, and she ties in A Wrinkle in Time, which just makes me happy in general. The only problem was that the grammar is sometimes a little weird. Part of it is in second person, part is in present tense, and the rest...I don't even know. I kept getting confused. I think on the second reading, it might work out, but just be prepared to get lost a few times.

And even though the cover art looks totally blah, never fear. There is a science fiction twist in it. You'll love it. I promise.


  1. I'm one of the few that liked the cover. It gave so many clues.

  2. It is a good cover for adults, who are willing to look for clues and things like that. But every time I show that cover to kids, they don't even want to hear about it. Kids hate it. Just like the cover of The Giver. I know everyone's against this recent wave of giving new covers to old books, but it really is helping sales. Kids are into things like pictures of real people and such. But you're definitely right about the clues. I love it when you finish a book and suddenly the title and cover art take on a whole new dimension.

  3. I adored this one too! Read it weeks ago and can't stop thinking about it.

    Also, I love your take on the covers. Really interesting.

  4. It's definitely one of those novels that stays with you. I keep recommending it over and over, but most people are so jaded about Newberys that they don't even want to try it...sad...