Friday, February 26, 2010

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead J FIC STEAD

Miranda thought she had her life pretty figured out before 6th grade, but then everything (no seriously EVERYTHING) changes. Her best friend Sal gets punched for no reason and won’t speak to her anymore. Then her hidden apartment key is stolen and nothing in the apartment is missing. However,something is left: a note that tells her someone is coming to save her friend’s life, but only if she writes a letter. As notes keep coming they start revealing things no one should be able to know: things that haven’t happened yet. Miranda has to decide if she believes these notes are serious, if time travel is real, and if she can really do anything to prevent a tragedy.

This one is a total brain twister! It starts out like an ordinary girl’s story of growing up poor in New York in the 70s, but slowly starts introducing ideas about time travel and the connectedness of all things. It really works too, because as Miranda starts questioning reality she starts to notice how much larger the world is then she previously realized. Miranda is a great narrator because she is funny in an understated way. She makes really clever observations without realizing it, so she makes you laugh without ever showing off. I really loved how the story develops over time and how almost every character turns out to be more complex and interesting than the reader or Miranda first assumes. This is a can’t-put-it-down-and-think-about-it-for-weeks-after page turner of a book. It’s good for just about any age and I think guys and girls alike will like the book.

If you enjoy the book you may want to check out Miranda’s favorite book that she mentions throughout the novel (and inspired this book too) A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle J SF LENGLE.

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