You Were Here

You Were Here - Cori McCarthy

[I received a copy of this book from NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.]

An OK read, but one that ultimately didn't leave much of an impression on me.

It seemd interesting at first—although, as usual in such cases, I don't really see the point of having a first person narrative for one character, and a third person one for the others. Including comics pages for one of the characters was a nice idea, as it enhanced how the guy very seldom talks, and the “silence” of the panels, combined with the black and white pictures, felt appropriate enough. I was less convinced by Bishop's chapters: I liked seeing him through his art only... but it was way too centered on his ex-girlfriend, and since I didn't care much about her, it didn't do much for me.

Unfortunately, while the premise is what drove me to request this book, I soon came to realise that didn't care a lot about any of the characters. Jayce was grieving in an intense way, keeping people at a distance by hiding behind “truth”. Natalie was bit of a pushover, with a controlling family that made her trying to control everything in turn, and secretly wanting to be someone else, to the point of “running away” by going to college—and failing to change because she planned her new life up to the clothes she'd wear, and on which days she'd wear them. Mik: OK at first, however once his selective muteness was explained, it felt that he got over it too easily. Zach: got better towards the end (his circumstances are actually rather sad), but very annoying in a “silly jock with a bottle problem” in the beginning. Bishop: too much moping about Marrakesh.

And I guess that's what didn't work in my opinion: too much drama and angst, too much of an emo streak, at the expense of real character development. Also, I guess I was hoping for more urban exploring, more strange places where Jaycee would've been trying to feel the fading presence of her brother (the asylum was definitely creepy, for starters).

It wasn't totally bad... It just didn't strike me in any way, except for a few moments when a character or other finally developed somewhat, and some more eye-rolling when it became too drama-laden.