May 13, 2011

WHEN YOU REACH ME by Rebecca Stead

taken from the guardian

The first thing I can say about this book is that I actually didn't know what it was about until right at the end. That definitely wasn't a bad thing though, as it kept me in suspense until the very last page. When You Reach Me has been one of those books, that even though they're fiction, and could probably never happen, the way its written was so believable. I felt like the main character, Miranda, was real, and that she was really writing this story from her own experience. I found that this book was one of the ones where it's almost like you forgot you're reading the book, but instead, living in the story.

The first part of the book I read was the blurb, and a couple of lines caught my eye:

And then a mysterious note arrives:

I am coming to save your friend's life, and my own.
I ask two favours. First, you must write me a letter.

Each message brings her closer to believing that only she can prevent a tragic death. Until the final note makes her think she's too late.

It was then I decided that I would not rest until I found out who the letter was from, why they sent it, and whether Miranda's friend survives. So, for the next few days, apart from school, I read the book through and through. Although, it's not a particularly thick book, the author still manages to cram so much in, and it all works. There are so many genres in it, like mystery, suspense and even a bit of science fiction. I've never really been a huge fan of science fiction books, but that didn't stop me from liking this book, as you don't even need to like any particular genre to fully appreciate how good this book is. I love the way that the reader gets to solve the mystery of the letters along with Miranda, and we're only able to figure it out when she does.

I thoroughly believe this book deserved its title of the Winner of the Newbery Medal 2010. Even though there were some points when I wasn't really sure what was going on, it was easy to pick up, and the ending really makes it worth it. I would recommend this book to young adults, as some parts are a little confusing, and especially to those who enjoy mysteries. The book also deals with many morals, and actually taught me some things I hadn't thought of before. When You Reach Me is a book full of twists and turns, and if you're looking for a book that will keep you on your toes the whole way through, this is definitely for you.

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