rushthatspeaks: (Default)
[personal profile] rushthatspeaks
This is a difficult book to review, because I flatly refuse to tell you anything whatsoever about its plot, characters, emotional trajectory, etcetera, on the grounds that this is very good, you should read it, and you would rather not know. I had heard exactly three words about the content of this book before I picked it up, and it turned out to be more than I would have liked to have heard. I am not usually spoiler-sensitive about things, but seriously, when you pick this book up, you should know that:

-- the title is When You Reach Me
-- the author is Rebecca Stead
-- and the book is very good.

Do not read the back. Do not read the flap.

You have my permission to notice that it won the Newbery Medal, and that, for a change, that does not mean that it is cripplingly depressing beyond anyone's ability to cope with. The Newbery people should keep that up, and maybe I will start paying attention to them for book recommendations again, instead of just following the Norton and the National Book Award.

You also have my permission to notice that it is intended for children. I am uncertain as to what age of child the author, editors and so on intend it for, but then publishers always get that wrong when they put it on the spine anyhow. (You see, I am examining the cover so you don't have to.) The reading protocols of good children's books are slightly different from those of good adult books, although not as different as a lot of people seem to think.

And that is absolutely everything that I have to say about this book.

Apparently the author has also written at least one other, about which I know nothing at all. Don't tell me. I'll read it.

Date: 2011-03-07 02:57 pm (UTC)
adrian_turtle: (Default)
From: [personal profile] adrian_turtle
I loved this. I didn't think it was the sort of book where prior background knowledge would make it less powerful, but I know people have different preferences in that direction.

Date: 2011-03-07 01:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ryenna.livejournal.com
The Newbery Medal frustrates me immensely, which is why I've started branching out into the other ALA awards. I've found the Schneider and Batchelder winners to be really interesting and quite different from the Newbery list (okay, the Schneider can come close, but usually hits a slightly different note of depressing).

Date: 2011-03-07 04:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] janni.livejournal.com
I loved this book. But I did find the mystery at its heart to be ... pretty transparent. I'm in a small minority of readers in this, and it didn't affect my enjoyment of the book at all, but I did know the basics of what was going on pretty early in my reading.

Admittedly I did read the flap copy (but had no other spoilers), so I knew there was a mystery, just not what it was. Hard to say how much that influenced me.

What made the book work for me was all the small, so-real-feeling details of everyday kid life.

Date: 2011-03-07 06:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rushthatspeaks.livejournal.com
I thought it was pretty transparent too. I would have found it significantly less transparent if I hadn't heard the wrong three words, because my expectations would have been in a different place. I think it's a relatively easy thing to figure out, but I think figuring it out is one of the things the book intends you to do and have fun with, which is why I didn't mention any details.

Date: 2011-03-07 05:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jinian.livejournal.com
I have a copy of First Light; if you can't get it for any reason, I'll share.

Date: 2011-03-07 06:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] marzipan-pig.livejournal.com
I loved this book and thought it was beautiful on so many different levels, I was really impressed with it. I think I read it on the strength of [livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija's review but not sure.

Date: 2011-03-07 08:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thomasyan.livejournal.com
Ordered from Amazon! The Kindle is the same price as the mmpb, but in case I want to lend it, a physical copy is better. Plus, when I pick stuff to reread, I seem to almost never think of going to an e-book.

I am amused that I had a cookbook in my cart, and so placed a single order that included both books. I have no idea what WYRM is about, I just find it entertaining to order a novel and a cookbook together, particularly a YA/juvenile.

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