Title: You Were Here
Author: Cori McCarthy
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Format Read: ARC
Rating: Four Stars
Description from Goodreads: Grief turned Jaycee into a daredevil, but can she dare to deal with her past?
On the anniversary of her daredevil brother's death, Jaycee attempts to break into Jake's favorite hideout-- the petrifying ruins of an insane asylum. Joined by four classmates, each with their own brand of dysfunction, Jaycee discovers a map detailing her brother's exploration and the unfinished dares he left behind.
As a tribute to Jake, Jaycee vows to complete the dares, no matter how terrifying or dangerous. What she doesn't bargain on is her eccentric band of friends who challenge her to do the unthinkable: reveal the parts of herself that she buried with her brother.
Ever since I read the description, I've wanted to read this one. Sibling stories are some of my absolute favorites (We have an incredible lack of them in the YA world) and when I find one that sounds deep and dark and emotional, I'm all over it. So I requested YOU WERE HERE, and pretty quickly it came in the mail. The excitement level was high, and though it wasn't quite as epic as I was hoping, it was still a great read, and I'm glad I read it.
Rotating between five points of view, not each chapter is written. Some characters' chapters are consistently drawings or paintings or some sort of art form, while another's is composed of a graphic novel format. This, plus the changes between first and third person pov, made YOU WERE HERE an interesting read.
And then you get to the plot, Jaycee recreating the dares that her brother accomplished, while forming and mending friendships that end up healing her in ways she never would have imagined, and you want nothing but to read this story and see how it plays out. Each of the characters were distinctly different, and fresh, and their own life struggles meshed into the overall plot in a perfect way.
YOU WERE HERE is a four star read for me, and I recommend it to those who enjoy a good, emotional contemporary. It's about finding yourself, and coming to terms with the bad things that have happened in your life, and the importance of friendship, even when college is right around the corner. Be warned, though. This book is not light on language and/or sexual references. It is the one thing that dampened this book for me, so if you do not enjoy those things then you may want to stay clear of this one.