Book Review: When You Reach Me

December 6, 2009

“Well, it’s simple to love someone,” she said.  “But it’s hard to know when you need to say it out loud.”

That quote doesn’t really encapsulate the main plot of When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, but I just loved it so much, it deserves to be the breakout.  The book is about Miranda, a twelve-year-old in New York, who is writing a letter to an unknown recipient who says he needs information to save her friend’s life.  It’s kind of hard to explain without spoilers, I think.

when-you-reach-meWhat I Liked

– First of all, I love that her mom is going to be a contestant on $25,000 Pyramid.  Hosted by Dick Clark!  I used to watch that show when I was a kid, so I got a kick out of the practice sessions they did and also that Stead very specifically emphasizes the importance of practice.  The mom practices every single day and gets everyone involved.  It’s very Akeelah and the Bee that way.  I also loved all of the references to the necessity of a non-idiotic celebrity partner.

– Fantastic characters.

– This is a book about friendship!  I love friendship books.  And it does some really good/interesting things with friendship as well.  My favorite.

– The references to A Wrinkle in Time, which I still haven’t read yet.  I know, I know.  I should get on that.

– Deftly handled class and race stuff.

What I Didn’t Like

I cannot think of anything!

In conclusion:  A sweet and engaging book.  It’s a super fast read, and I didn’t want to leave the characters after it was all said and done.

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  1. susan

    So are we close in age? For some reason I assumed I had you by a good number of years. Class and race? My kind of book. Not enough books address class.

    I haven’t read A Wrinkle in Time either so there, you’re not alone.

  2. Akilah

    I don’t know! To be fair, I watched a lot of old school TV with my grandmother, so I am well-versed in television.

    I’m 30, btw.


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