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This book took me by surprise and is exactly why adults shouldn't restrict themselves from reading children's fiction. When You Reach Me is about Miranda who begins receiving notes that claim to know about things that haven't happened yet. A sci-fi book the likes of A Wrinkle in Time (not-so-coincidentally a book Miranda is reading throughout the novel), When You Reach Me takes the reader through the complexities of time travel with heartbreak and warmth along the way.
This is such a perfect sci-fi/mystery book for people of all ages.
We all love solving mysteries. I recently read a book titled "when you reach me" which is really fill of mysteriesand is mind boggling. It is one of those books that makes you both happy and sad, that leaves you wanting to read more . I recommend this book to people who like puzzles and breaking the codes. This book is very interesting and is full of suspense . The story is really fantastic and is very well written with brilliant characters, each with their own tale that intervines as the story goes on. I recommendyou to read this book because it is full of turns and twists.
I read this as I was looking for new books to recommend to my class and this is multi faceted enough to appeal to many of them. It has a lot to say about friendship and how they shift with time and maturity. It has a sense mystery that really keeps you engaged but this is wrapped up nicely at the book's conclusion. The setting and characters are vivid and I found myself engrossed as it bought back a time of my own childhood. A different and interesting read.
I bought this book a few months ago, having seen it recommended somewhere - perhaps on that pesky page-a-day Book-Lovers' calendar that's been the cause of way too much money draining out of my bank account over the last couple of years - but I picked it up to read on the day after I finished Peter F Hamilton's 1.25-million-word Night's Dawn Trilogy (genre: science fiction, sub-genre: space opera). Admittedly, I picked it up principally because it looked like an archetypal `slim volume'. I didn't even read the blurb. I just started reading it. After a few pages, I read the blurb and realised it was something called `middle-grade' fiction, which I now know to be a genre for - is this the right term? - `tweenies' - children who are too old for children's books but not old enough for YA (young adult) books.
At any rate, I'd read it in under three hours, and enjoyed it very much. From an adult perspective, it's more of a novella, which is fine, but, to my mind, the length was just right. I quite like reading (nearly) YA books from time to time. The audience forces authors to stick fairly closely to the point, avoiding too many digressions.
The story takes place in 1979 (or does it? hehe). Miranda (12) lives in New York City with her mother in an apartment. The story begins as, for reasons she knows not, her male friend (Sal) who she's known all her life no longer wants to talk to her. She makes some new friends and starts to receive bizarre notes on small scraps of paper.
The story develops quickly and, bizarrely, for me, having just finished, as noted, a mammoth science fiction trilogy, morphs into neat little SciFi tale. I'm not quite sure why the author set the book in 1979 - perhaps to avoid the characters having mobile phones (which they would do these days) and to avoid having to put too much in the book about `stranger danger' and the (what would now be seen as) malevolent overtones to someone sending messages to a 12-year-old girl.
At any rate, this is a delightful, insightful, clever, well-written, poignant book. Highly recommended to all readers from 10 to 100!
'When you Reach Me' is a remarkable book, which mingles science fiction and mystery together without every belonging to those genres. Indeed, for what looks at first sight like a campus novel, it has a lot of very clever tricks up its sleeve and each short chapter advances the story along like a master magician. It's set in New York in the late 70's but it doesn't have the usual heavy handed signifiers that might give this away, although (to an adult reader) the opening chapter gives quite a hefty clue. To be honest, I think adults will get as much enjoyment, if not more from it, than younger readers, much of the dialogue between the heroine Miranda and her teenage friends is deadpan and ironic and reminiscent of the children in the 'Peanuts/Charlie Brown cartoonstrips. A knowledge of the classic US children's book 'A Wrinkle in Time' (the book is undoubtedly indebted to it) might help but not essential. This is a short, easy to read piece of fiction, that is funny, moving and sad with some very profound things to say about the nature of friendship, and utterly, utterly brilliant to boot!
A story is a web of clues, I read somewhere. And When You Reach Me is exactly that - with every disparate element clicking into place at the end into a satisfying whole. You find yourself nodding and gasping as even the most casual of references turns out to have a role in the story's denouvrement. It's a whiz-by read - but with a deep emotional core that is never melodramatic. Miranda's voice is vivid, in-loveable, and every character is clearly etched. No cardboard characterization here (Respect from this fellow writer!)! No wonder it won the Newbery Medal. I've only just gotten round to reading this book and I wish I hadn't put it off for so long. i would have been all the richer for it much sooner. Congrats, Rebecca Stead - and thank you. I loved it!
Great story but a little slow, I felt that the whole story could have been fitted into a book half the size, there was an enjoyable building up the characters and life of the main character however it didn't seem clear why the time traveller visited this particular person and strange and rather disturbing baring in mind the audience that this is aimed at that they didn't tell anyone else about the notes, considering the possible consequences. I enjoyed the story but my 11 year old daughter was not gripped by it, the build up around the point of the story was too slow, she gave up on it.
Really enjoyed this book! I read it more as research into YA books but was completely drawn in. The writing style made a nice change and short chapters made it easy to read. I loved the way it came together and did not guess the ending which is always good! Have told my 12 yr old niece to read it too!