November 2, 2017

Review: You Are Here

You Are Here by Jennifer E. Smith
Grade: B-
Summary: Emma and her neighbor Peter are both lonely in a way that only bothers them occasionally. They both come from families they don't quite understand. They both feel like something big is missing from their lives and they're both about to search for answers. When Emma makes a discovery that shakes the foundations of her identity, she convinces Peter to join her for a road trip. Each of them has something to find: For Emma, it is a grave - a grave that may be her only connection to her family. Peter is seeking something harder to define, but perhaps easier to navigate - a freedom, a sense of something more than what he has. Together, they take to the open road, engaging in a universal quest to make sense of who they are and where they come from and learning a thing or two about love along the way.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: From chapter one, Emma Healy is a protagonist readers can connect with. Her entire family is extremely intelligent, and she feels extremely ordinary next to them. What I don't appreciate, though, is how rude she is towards Peter at times. Yeah, he shares the same interests as her parents, but there's nothing wrong with that. She asked him to help her when the car broke down, and he didn't have to. (Of course Peter has his flaws too.) They're not Jennifer E. Smith's strongest characters, but I think this book is more about the journey.
The beginning of You Are Here is a bit slow, however (it doesn't really get going until chapter seven). After that, it's quiet in a good way. The scene between Emma and her sister, Annie, in Annie's kitchen is one of my favorite moments in the book.

The Verdict: Fairly good. Not Smith's best, but still a worthwhile read.

Will I be adding this book to my library?: Already have.

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