You Were Here by Cori McCarthy

I received a digital copy of You Were Here by NetGalley for review, but these opinions are my own.

"Truth was supposed to work. It was supposed to be hard and fast and freeing, but for the first time in my life, I wondered if telling the truth could make you a liar."

You Were Here is a novel about 5 (sort-of) friends and the summer they're brought back together. The night of high school graduation Natalie, Zach, and Bishop spot fellow classmate Jaycee Strangelove standing on top of the swing set her brother, Jake, jumped from (and broke his neck on) 5 years before. 

Source: Goodreads
Afraid that she's trying to harm herself, they stop and run to her in time to see Jaycee fall flat on her back. In an effort to reconnect with her ex-best friend, Natalie tags along on Jaycee's annual lurk through The Ridge, an abandoned insane asylum, and one of Jake's favorite haunts. There they encounter Mik, Jake's old best friend. This night starts a chain of events that force Jaycee to face her brothers death and relationship issues, and starts the 5 of them on a journey to find themselves and each other.

Jaycee: brutally honest, drives almost everyone away. She's lost herself in her quest to hold on to her brother's memory and she's terrified of what that means. She believes the truth is the answer to everything, and doesn't believe in sparing people's feelings.

Natalie: type A, know-it-all, without all the answers to her own problems. Also dating Zach. 

Mik - aka Ryan: Jake's former best friend, selective mute, smart, painfully shy and in completely in love with Jaycee.

Zach: Raised in a broken home with a verbally abusive dad, not quite ready to grow up. Dating Natalie.

Bishop: Zach's best friend, artist.

I really connected with these characters and McCarthy's writing style. Each point of view really reflected the character's personalities, especially the graphic art used to tell Mik's pov and graffiti for Bishop. Not once did I believe a character was boring, unrealistic, or an exaggerated version of a teenage stereotype.

McCarthy did a great job connecting their worlds and telling their story. I would highly recommend this read to young adult fans that enjoyed Anatomy of a Misfit or I'll Give You the Sun.

Here are a few more of my favorite quotes: 
"...deep down we're all liars, Jaycee, but we don't all have the courage to admit it."
"People lie when something they love is at stake...Believe it or not, that's good."



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