The Compulsive Reader: You Were Here by Cori McCarthy

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

You Were Here by Cori McCarthy

Happy YOU WERE HERE day!

Today is the release of my friend Cori McCarthy's newest book, You Were Here! You Were Here is a beautifully written book about grief, urban exploring, heartbreak, and love.

The story centers around Jaycee Strangelove, who lost her brother Jake five years ago after a dared stunt that went terribly wrong. Now Jaycee has just graduated from high school and she's haunted by the fact that she's older than her brother will ever be. When she finds a list of abandoned places in Jake's room, she sets out to visit each of them in the hopes that she'll feel closer to her brother. She's joined by Natalie, her uptight ex-best friend who is haunted by her own actions and memories; Zach, the jock who's afraid to grow up; Bishop, the poet who can't stop mourning girl who broke his heart; and Mik--Jake's friend, selectively mute, and hopelessly in love with Jaycee.

You Were Here is told from each character's perspective, which shows impressive skill on the part of the author. Jaycee's chapter are told in first-person, Natalie and Zach's in third, Bishop's perspective shines through in his poetry and the street art he creates, and Mik's is told through graphic novel panels. The mixed media blends together beautifully as the five teens traipse across Ohio to various abandoned places and deal with the emotional wreckage of their past and present.

One of the coolest things about this book (besides the beautiful artwork, which is done by Sonia Liao), is that each of the five places the characters visit are actual places. The Ridges is an old insane asylum that still stands, Manville Tunnel is an abandoned railroad tunnel in the woods, The Gates of Hell is a creepy-looking old drain, Randall Park Mall really was a mall that was abandoned and stood empty for a while (and has since been torn down), and Geauga Lake was once the world's largest amusement park. These places really come to life through Cori's vivid storytelling and Sonia's artwork.

This is a darkly funny, surprisingly sexy, and highly emotional story you don't want to miss! You can even order a signed copy from my local indie by clicking here!

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