You Were Here by Cori McCarthy March 1st

netgalleyYou Were Here is the touching story of an unlikely group of friends who are stuck between childhood and adulthood and all of them are not sure how to get from where they are to the next place they are supposed to be. At the center is Jaycee who has spent the last five years haunted by her brothers death, and by simply surviving graduation night she will out live her brother Jake, but it does not change how she feels about her brother or her life. She remembers the anniversary of his death by visiting the old abandoned asylum in town, Jake was an urban explorer and the asylum was one of his favorite places. Jaycee is often joined by Mik her brother’s best friend, they don’t talk, actually Mik does not talk much at all, but sharing the evening with him is something Jaycee has looked forward to fo the last year. Before she meets up with Mik Jaycee spends time on the playground where the accident happened and even climbs to the top of the swings like her brother. Her former best friend Natalie finds her there and rushes over to save her convinced she is going to follow in Jake’s footsteps. Natalie is accompanied by her boyfriend Zach and Bishop who is lamenting the lost of his true love. Together the rag tag group slowly finds they have more in common than not and all of them have issues and baggage all their own, over the course of summer they will follow Jake’s urban explorer map, but the map and the journey will lead them to places they never thought they would go, all of them are trying to move on yet not quite ready to let go of things the way they are. Jaycee is stuck, unable to move forward and forget Jake, Mik and Natalie also carry guilt about that night, Zach wants the summer to last forever so Natalie and Bishop won’t leave him behind and Natalie and Bishop can’t escape their small town fast enough, but each of them will change over the summer and together they will move on different and stronger than they started. A wonderfully warm story of life and moving to the next phase. Jaycee is caustically honest, Natalie is panicked and doing all she can to hide it, Mik’s silences speak volumes, Bishop’s art speaks for him and Zach is trying to enjoy his last summer before the world crashes in on him. You won’t forget these friends or Jake who brings them together.

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