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You Are My Only

3.34  ·  Rating Details  ·  803 Ratings  ·  231 Reviews
Emmy Rane is married at nineteen, a mother by twenty. Trapped in a life with a husband she no longer loves, Baby is her only joy. Then one sunny day in September, Emmy takes a few fateful steps away from her baby and returns to find her missing. All that is left behind is a yellow sock.

Fourteen years later, Sophie, a homeschooled, reclusive teenage girl is forced to move f
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published October 25th 2011 by EgmontUSA
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2011 YA Contemporaries
138th out of 165 books — 597 voters
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12th out of 17 books — 18 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dec 12, 2011 Sarah rated it did not like it
Shelves: ya, novel, contemporary
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Here's the scoop: This will be the most extraordinary and probably one of the most memorable books you'll read for a long time. I suggest going right away to buy your hard copy, first edition because you'll want it in your personal library. I predict it will be one of the Top Best Books of 2011.

It is so masterfully written that you could simply close your eyes and point on any given page, and you'll land at a beautiful turn of phrase or description. This is a book of the heart and soul. This is
This book is really difficult for me to rate.

When I read the summary once the book was available on Netgalley, I went: OMG I NEED TO READ THIS BOOK! And honestly? I still think that the story of this book is phenomenal. But the execution left me feeling very bleh--and hella conflicted.

No doubt some will think the writing style was breathtaking and unique and all that shizz, but to me it just came off as disjointed and wayyy too confusing. Sure, it inspired some touching moments, but they were fa
Amy (Turn the Page)
Jul 10, 2012 Amy (Turn the Page) rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-library
I almost didn’t read this one. I found the opening chapters, especially Emmy’s, very awkward. It takes a while to settle into the rhythm of Kephart’s writing. But the overwhelming good reviews urged me to keep going and I’m so glad that I did.

You Are My Only is told through two separate narratives. Sophie’s is a little slow to get started, but ended up being the story I loved the most. Emmy’s took me longer to get into to, as I found her ‘voice’, not to mention the way in which she refers to ‘Ba
Sep 30, 2011 Kaitlin rated it it was ok
Check out more reviews on Books to the Sky.

(I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.)

I honestly don't understand what so many people loved about this book. I found the whole thing hard to follow.

I know Emmy was in a drugged up weird mental state, but I could barely understand anything she ever said or thought. Even from the beginning!

Also, Kephart tried to describe everything too much. I couldn't handle how some of the paragraphs of the descriptions of things are Emm
Feb 14, 2014 Lilian rated it it was amazing
You Are My Only is a gorgeously written YA novel. That's the first thing I want you to know about it. The second thing is that I couldn't put it down. I read it in a day, ignoring my children. My older daughter, age 13, curious about my absorption, examined the cover and picked up the book to see what it was all about. That is the beauty of a paper book.

You Are My Only is told from two perspectives in alternating chapters. First there is Sophie, age fourteen, who has had a fugitive life being p
Wall-to-wall books - wendy
Aug 25, 2011 Wall-to-wall books - wendy rated it really liked it
Oh my gosh, I loved this story! Right up until the end. In fact I loved every page except the last one. This is such a beautifully written book. It is more like Prose and Poetry that a novel. It really flowed nicely. I was hooked on the very first page. I felt the character development right away. I loved Emmy (the mom) I liked the way the Author chose to portray her as simple minded. It made her innocent and loveable and I really really felt her pain and loss. I also loved Sophie (the daughter) ...more
Oct 27, 2011 Ashelynn rated it it was ok
You Are My Only is a unique contemporary. Emmy’s scenes are written in the past, and I guessed around the 1970s. Sophie’s is in “present”-time of the novel, and I guessed probably early 1990s. So I’m reading, trying to get into this book (I loved the prose; everything else was very, very confusing) and I stumble.

Because Sophie says it’s 2004 and she’s fourteen.

Blink blink.

Say what now?

Argh. I think that was the most annoying part of this story. It does not read like it was set in 2004; I honestl
Jan 23, 2014 Bonnie rated it it was ok
Couldn't get into this at all. This is the story of a young, unstable woman (Emmy) whose baby goes missing and a preteen (Sophie) whose mother is secretive and isolated and insists on staying on the run from the No Good. Two guesses for how these narrators are related.

Emmy seemed mentally unstable and off-her-rocker from the beginning. I mean, she keeps referring to her 4-month old child only as "Baby" and has a weirdly simplistic view of the world. I was not surprised at all that she was sent t
Oct 28, 2011 Sheree rated it really liked it
This is a story full of subtleties; quietly moving, intimate, aching, escalating in tension and quite beautiful.

Once I understood the reason for Beth's writing style in You Are My Only, I fell in love with it. I guess it may not be appreciated by everyone but when you think about an author's means of conveying such emotion in a small time frame, it makes perfect sense.

I also love stories with alternating narratives, especially when done well and Beth portrays Emmy and Sophie with insight and co
Oct 17, 2011 Jacinda rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2011
Thank you read-a-thons! I think if it wasn’t for a read-a-thon I participated in, I may have never actually finished this one. Initially, I was really drawn to reading this one, but once I started reading it, I couldn’t get into it. I was hoping I would be shocked and crying…but that wasn’t in the cards for me.

Sophie is the character in the book I wanted to read about. I felt sorry for her. I was rooting for her from the get go. The situation, being abducted that is, without her even knowing it
Sep 29, 2011 AtenRa rated it really liked it
You Are My Only is a heart breaking story about a mother who lost her baby and a girl who is imprisoned by her mother in a life she didn't choose.

Beth Kephart is an amazing writer, no question about it. I've been meaning to read Dangerous Neighbors for a while now but I never got down to it. So my first ever Kephart book was You Are My Only thanks to Egmont and NetGalley.
Alternating between Emmy and Sophie POVs, Kephart gives us an inside into these girls' lives, the decisions they make and how
Kitty Honeycutt
Oct 08, 2011 Kitty Honeycutt rated it really liked it

This book is completely touching and the kind of story you just can't put down. Emmy Rane is a girl that married too young, a girl with a low mental capacity and her baby is all she has. Her husband seems to have only married her because he got her pregnant and there is no love in the relationship. So when she leaves the baby outside for just a minute while she runs in to get something and she is stolen, Emmy is blamed for it all. Even though the pain of her loss
Lydia Presley
Nov 18, 2011 Lydia Presley rated it really liked it
Original review posted here

I’ll be honest, it took me a good 30 minutes or so of reading to really start getting into this story. The alternating narratives, the thought process of Emmy, the strange events (and you cannot help but know they are connected), took every minute of that time and really got my mind working.

Once I got everything straight, I began to see just where the beauty of this book lay. While I understood the outcome early on, this is more the story of getting to that point. That
Aug 03, 2015 Kayla rated it did not like it
When I read the blurb for the book, I just knew that this would be a book that I would enjoy. Instead, this book is nothing like the blurb would lead you to believe. I was incredibly disappointed.

While we're lead to believe that this is the story of Sophie's life after finding out that she was kidnapped, that's not the case. That's left for the last few pages. So, what's the majority of the book about? A whole lot of nothing actually.

The alternating stories do absolutely nothing to save this boo
Sarah (Workaday Reads)
While there does not appear to be much mystery to the story, the beauty of it is in the characters themselves. Emmy is a simple-minded girl who just wants to find her baby. Her misadventures along the way are quite heartbreaking.

Sophie is the real star of the story. Her adventure focuses on her daring move to become friends with the boy next door and his family. I was swept along her adventures with the two aunts. They were such sweet old ladies.

Joey was a great hero. He was super sweet and so f
Caryn Caldwell
Jul 19, 2013 Caryn Caldwell rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
You Are My Only tells the intersecting stories of Emmy and Sophie. Emmy is a young mom whose daughter is kidnapped when she turns away for a moment. The resulting breakdown lands her in a mental hospital. Sophie and her mother have been constantly on the move, escaping from the No Good for as long as she can remember, but the boy living next-door to her new house reaches out to her. For the first time Sophie is ready to defy her domineering mother to form a connection with someone else. Will Emm ...more
Nov 08, 2011 Kerri rated it really liked it
As I have said before, I love Beth Kephart’s books because they give the young adults who read them a lot of credit. The language and subject matter are complex. In You Are My Only the writing is like poetry on every page, but never overdone or forced. This and Beth’s other works are just the kinds of books young adults should be reading.

One of this novel’s many strengths is its use of two voices, each distinct and beautiful. You will feel like you know these two young women, and you will fall i
Alyson Hagy
Jan 06, 2012 Alyson Hagy rated it it was amazing
Beth Kephart is one of the most moving and lyrical writers working today. You Are My Only displays her gifts for character development, riveting storytelling, and gorgeous prose all at once. I couldn't put the book down. I read it in two sittings, and that's only because my job called me away from my reading chair. The story here is unforgettable--a stolen child, a brutal marriage, the gift of wise neighbors, the saving grace of strangers. Kephart has published some fantastic novels (Nothing But ...more
May 15, 2014 Amanda rated it it was ok
This book was one of the books that goodreads had recommended based on similar books I've read. When I read the description I didn't think this would be a book I was interested in so I passed on it. While at my library looking for new books to read, I came across this book and the description sounded good. When I got it home and started reading it, I was a little put off by the writing style. The way the characters talked was a bit bothersome to me. For some reason I was compelled to continue re ...more
Sep 24, 2011 Wendy rated it really liked it
Shelves: sep-11
This book not only had me from the first page but held my interest throughout and I couldn't put it down til it was done.

Two stories (two narratives) intertwined with tragedy, love, fear, blessings, and friendship - this novel had it all.

Her characters and character development was unique and a pleasure to read.

I am thrilled to have discovered this author and plan to read more of her work in the future.

Thank you to NetGalley and Egmont USA for allowing me to read an advanced copy.
Dianne Salamone
Aug 21, 2012 Dianne Salamone rated it it was ok
It didn't grab me at all, just read it cause book club!!
Michelle Arrow
*2.5 star rating*

After reading this book, I felt like I was bound to get into a reading slump sooner than later, as soon as possible. I've been feeling like all of my newest reads have sucked, and I'm probably going to return all of my leftover library books back to the library eventually.

You Are My Only sucked, compared to what I wish and what I sort of expected it to become. It was honestly something that could easily sprout out of a small town news story—not to say that those aren't inter
You Are My Only is one of those novels where the reader knows from the first word that all is not well but that the danger or key issue is well-hidden. A tale of two novels, the narrative bounces between Emmy and Sophie, balancing the despair and desperation of one with the terror and curiosity of the other. It is a powerful little novel that showcases the evil in the world as well as the good.

On the surface, Sophie’s childhood is odd but not overly so. She is homeschooled, which is not unusual,
Courtney (Storybook Slayers)
More reviews at Rondo of a Possible World: YA Book Reviews

I enjoyed reading this book, coming back into contemporary settings is like a breath of fresh air for me. Kephart's narrative was engrossing and made time fly while I was reading. Though some of her sentence structure was choppy other lines were poetic, which gave it an airy feel. Even though this story is predictable from the beginning, the message and emotions that Kephart conveys kept me flipping through the pages.

The dual POV story
Oct 02, 2011 Bookworm1858 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2011, ya-read
Some spoilers...possibly...

My first Beth Kephart was a mixed bag as I didn't feel much for the characters but I still thought she was a fantastic writer so I eagerly requested her latest when I saw it available on Netgalley. I confess, I thought almost thought this was a ghost or horror story as that is the imagine conjured by the cover for me.

Instead, told in alternating perspectives, this is the story of Emmy, a young mother whose baby is taken one awful day and Sophie, a young girl whose life
Oct 31, 2011 Kris rated it really liked it
Review copied from original post at Imaginary Reads!

You Are My Only is told from the perspective of Emmy fourteen years ago and Sophie from the present day. Emmy has been abused and degraded by her husband, and now she suffers the blame for the disappearance of her baby. She feels the despair of losing the one bright spot in her life. Sophie has been homeschooled all the life, which isn’t much of a life as she’s always been on the run from what her mother calls the “No Good” people. She wants to
Sep 25, 2011 Lauren rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalleybooks
A couple of years ago a little book astounded me with its writing, characters, and plot events. Its name was Nothing but Ghosts and it was written by the magnificent Beth Kephart. So when the chance arose to read Beth’s newest release You Are My Only, I jumped at the chance, eager to get another taste of a Kephart book, and I’m so glad I did, as not only is You Are My Only beautifully written but also it contains the heart and emotions I’m coming to expect with Kephart’s books.

You Are My Only te
Sep 01, 2011 Hannah rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011
First off, I love this book's cover. The girl looks so sad but so beautiful, and I love the whole idea with the rain.

What I first noticed when I started reading You Are My Only is the incredible writing. It's poetic, rich and beautiful, with just the right balance of sparse and descriptive - sometimes, when something needs to be left to the reader's imagination, the writing is sparse, and the rest of the time, the author uses rich descriptions with great imagery.

The story itself, though, was kin
Sep 09, 2011 Leah rated it liked it
Beth Kephart is a relatively new author to me, but she appears to be very well-known in the US, as her books seem very thought-provoking and well-written. So when I noticed You Are My Only on NetGalley, I jumped at the chance to read and review the book because I really wanted to see what everyone else saw about Beth’s writing and her novels. Despite the fact You Are My Only wasn’t my favourite novel ever, I can see why Beth’s so widely regarded as a brilliant, brilliant author.

You Are My Only t
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Though I've been writing since I was nine years old, I didn't publish beyond my high school literary journal until I was a new mother. My first published essay was in Iowa Woman; subsequently, I published short stories in dozens of literary magazines—learning, always, what worked or what didn't by reading far more than I wrote.

My first book, A SLANT OF SUN, a memoir, was a National Book Award fin
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