Skip to main content

When You Reach Me

From about age 10 on to several years after Madeleine L'Engle was my hero.  I can't tell you how many times I read A Wrinkle in Time and A Ring of Endless Light .  A Wrinkle in Time especially, it was my favorite book through my middle school years.  When I read that this year's Newbery Award recipient When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead incorporated and paid tribute to A Wrinkle in Time I was intrigued but also a little concerned.  I didn't like to think about someone messing about with such a cherished piece of my childhood.   That's why it took me so long to get around to reading it.  I shouldn't have been worried.  Much.  When you Reach Me is a book about the complexities of being 12 (no matter the decade) with a dash of mystery and a sprinkling of science fiction tossed in for good measure.
What I liked:
  • Miranda, the main character, is a typical 12 year old living life in the 6th grade.  There is nothing extraordinary about her.  She is smart but not genius.  She is having problems with her best friend since babyhood.  She has discovered the swoopy feeling in the belly a boy's smile can cause.   She has prejudices about fellow classmates and is not always nice to others. She loves her mother but is embarrassed by the way she dresses and is snarky and often argumentative with her.   In short, Miranda is completely identifiable for the book's intended audience.
  • The plot is intriguing and the book hard to put down.  I read it in one sitting.  Despite the fact that I had it figured out early on I wanted to keep reading just to see how it all fit together.  As an adult cluing into who Miranda is telling the story to is not at all difficult.  I think it would be just as easy for some intermediate readers to figure it out but some, maybe most, will have one of those "Oh my goodness!" moments that are so delightful when reading a book for the first time.
  • Despite the fact that it takes place in 1978-79 I think it is accessible for modern readers.  6th grade is 6th grade.  I liked that this book was written in 2009, about a girl in 1978, who loves a book written in 1962.  A book kids still read and fall in love with today.
  • It pays homage to and mentions A Wrinkle in Time.  A lot.  
What Could Have Been Better:
  • The pacing of the book was a bit off.  It switches back and forth as Miranda thinks about the past months and the current moments she is living in.  At the beginning I found this really annoying.  I was engrossed in what I was learning of the story and then I was zapped back into whatever she was doing at the time.  It was choppy for over the first third of the book.
  • I really got kind of tired of having the rules and format of The $20,000 Pyramid explained to me.  I feel as though once would have been enough.  (And may I say this show was before my time just as it would be for current children.)
  • I found the way Miranda came to the realization of who her mystery person was kind of hard to swallow.
  • It pays homage to and mentions A Wrinkle in Time.  A lot.  So much so that I don't think you can fully appreciate this book if you haven't read A Wrinkle in Time.  And it sort of tells you the whole plot, including the ending so if you hadn't read it before why would you need to after?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Future Favorite Friday: June 2018

I take the 2nd Friday of every month to highlight some upcoming releases I am looking forward to that I hope are Future Favorites. Feel free to do your own post, just please link back to my blog and tell me about your post in the comments.

Two Naomis was one of my favorite reads of 2016 so I was understandably excited it's getting a sequel. 

In this sequel to Two Naomis, now that Naomi Marie’s mom and Naomi E.’s dad are married, the girls have learned to do a lot of things together, like All-Family Sunday dinners, sixth-grade homework, navigating the subway system by themselves, and visiting their favorite bakeries. Until sixth grade in a new school presents a whole new set of surprises and challenges.

Trusting her gut has worked for Naomi E. all her life, and she figures that it will be an asset to her role as a Peer Mediator—until she realizes how much of the job requires the Art of Compromise, which she’s only just starting to get used to at home.

Naomi Marie is excited about maki…

TTT: Most Recent Additions to My TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly themed blog hop created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl.

This Week's Topic: Most Recent Additions to My TBR List

From Most Recent to Least:








What books have recently caught your eye?


Lovely War

When I first heard about Lovely War by Julie Berry, I remember thinking, "Whoa, that's ambitious." And it is. The scope and depth of this story with all of its intricacies and thematic elements is massive. Berry manages to hold it all together beautifully. She managed it so beautifully that it is so far my favorite YA read of 2019.

The ecstasies and the wounds of love were Aphrodite's work. Forging passions was what she was born to do. She, too, was a welder, a mistress of fire of a different sort, working in materials more powerful and resistant than carbon and iron. And what did that toil do to her?

In 1942 New York City while men are partying on the eve of shipping off to war, a stunning couple arrives at a hotel in the midst of the revelry and departs for their room followed by an overly enthusiastic bellboy. But none of these figures are as they appear. The couple is Aphrodite and Ares on a secret assignation that turns out to be not so secret as the bellboy is Ap…

Shorter Musings YA Realistic

Here are some shorter musings on some recent YA realistic fiction reads.

American Pandaby Gloria Chao
I bumped this up my TBR list after seeing several really favorable reviews for it in a row. I'm so glad I did. This is an excellent story of the child of immigrants trying to find her place in the world. Mei struggles with how to be herself and the perfect, obedient daughter her parents expect her to be. They have already officially disowned her brother. Mei's journey is one of self-discovery, which is interesting since it is advertised as more fluffy and more of a romance that it truly is. (There is a romance, but it is definitely not the central relationship in the book.) I really loved how much this story was about Mei's relationship with her mom and the complications of relating to each other.

Fame, Fate, and the First Kissby Kasie West
I enjoyed this as the quick, fluffy read it is intended to be. Kasie West is the ultimate at YA romance that is perfect for any age YA re…

TTT: Auto-Buy Authors

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly themed blog hop created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl.

This Week's Topic: Auto-Buy Authors

Here are my auto-buy authors and their most recent or coming soon release. Also, I got stuck on twelve and couldn't cut it down any further. So it's really Top Twelve Tuesday today. Or Thirteen rather as I sort of combined Emma and Genevieve. (I auto-buy all their individual projects too.)








Who are some authors whose books you buy no matter what?

(I don't know what it says about me that there is only one male author on this list, but I don't dislike whatever it is.)