Sometimes to find out where you’re going, you have to discover what you’ve left behind......
You Are Here by Jennifer E. Smith is a delightful Young Adult read with surprising depth. It follows two characters, Emma and her neighbor Peter, who find that they don't really understand or fit in with their families.
Emma finds it hard to believe that she is biologically related to her brilliant, intellectual professor parents and highly intelligent siblings. Being the "average" one in a family of geniuses, Emma doesn't know exactly how to fit in or engage her family. Where does she belong? How does she fit into the puzzle? For Emma, there seems to be something missing. On the other hand, her extremely intelligent neighbor Peter has no trouble fitting in with her family. Peter can talk with authority on anything from the Civil War to Mayan rituals. What Peter does have trouble with is understanding and getting along with his own father. Peter has spent his whole life planning and preparing to make his escape from a dingy house and a father who has never understood him and doesn't even seem to like him.
I enjoyed this book immensely, far more than I thought I would. Up to now, I wasn't a huge fan of YA books, feeling that they didn't quite have what it took to hold my interest. They seemed to lack depth. You Are Here changed my view. This book had real depth, I found the characters well developed and relatable, and the plot interesting. I could particularly relate to Emma, as she finds out that she had a twin brother who passed away shortly after birth. Emma coming to terms with that newfound knowledge is one of the main forces driving the book. I can relate because I had a brother (we were triplets) who passed away when we were only three months old. So I've had to come to terms with that knowledge myself.
I would definitely recommend You Are Here to readers looking for a good, enjoyable read with a solid story and relatable characters, and a happy ending to boot. ;)
I give it 7/10.
Liz Austin. Bibliophile. Writer. Book hoarder. I would rather be reading....