Catherine's Reviews > I'll Be There

I'll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan
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's review
Mar 31, 2012

liked it
Read in April, 2012

Overall, I'd say well worth reading, I really enjoyed the story, but there were some things that distracted me, hence the 3 stars.

I liked least:
The first few pages didn't catch me. That's harsh, but hey. If someone hadn't recommended the book to me, I may have put it down based on the first few pages. Also, the ending felt a little too much like a "let's wrap up the movie with a tight little bow."
The thing writers also love to do in on t.v., especially in sitcoms, which is what I'll describe as the "Everything goes wrong, and then more wrong, then more unbelievably wrong." It feels to me like sometimes the writers make things fall apart so they can put them back together again.

I liked most:
Preempting parts of the story to tell the backstory. I liked the way she split it up, telling some parts out of order. It kept the book moving at a fast pace, and I could tell it all came together.
The villian dad was believable.
How they lived shaped everything they knew. The writer showed the details you forget when you're stuck in your own world of knowledge and forget that other people's world isn't necessarily the same.
Each character was shown from their own distinct point of view.
The writer depicted a believable story of first love without any overwhelming drama.

As much as I picked it apart, i really enjoyed the story and the characters.


If it's a perfect match, it won't last, Something will destroy it.

Tim Bell was obsessed with Sam.
Debbie Bell was obsessed with Riddle.
Jared Bell was in awe of Sam and sort of frightened by Riddle's obsessive drawing.
Felix the dog liked Sam and was in love with Riddle. But his obsession was the English setter named Cricket who lived three houses over.
And Emily Bell was finding herself more and more unable to control the situation.
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message 1: by Daria (new)

Daria R. The novel I’ll Be There written by Holly Goldberg Sloan is about being loyal to the ones you care about and to never give up even when times get tough.
The book’s climax makes you want to read more. When the main character Sam Border was separated from his friend Emily Bell, it makes the reader want to continue reading to see if they can make it back to each other. The tension between Sam and Emily’s parents was effective because Sam lives with a father who is a criminal and a girl like Emily Bell comes from a different world with loving parents. When Sam first met Emily’s parents there was tension between them because Emily’s parents didn’t know much about Sam and where he came from. They thought it was unusual that he never talked about his family.
I totally agree with the review by Catherine. The book was a little slow to start off but once it got going you couldn’t put it down. And the way Sloan let the reader see through the eyes of each of the different characters helped the reader to understand what was going on through the other characters’ minds and it helped to go from one character’s view to another’s so the reader couldn’t get bored at just one scene.
Sloan’s writing style was unique in a way that the story was seen through many different characters’ views throughout the book. One point of view was Sam’s father, Clarence, who came across something of Sam’s that Sam wouldn’t have wanted him to find. Sam was busy taking his shower when his dad noticed that Sam’s clothes were unusually neat so something had to be up. Clarence took a pair of pants and “slipped his hand in the front pocket and pulled out the cell phone” that Sam had been using to contact Emily (Sloan 136). Clarence looked through the text messages and realized his son was seeing a girl and he didn’t like it at all. Now that Clarence knew what was going on with Sam, as a reader I could tell that it was only a matter of time before Clarence would pack up the boys in the car and leave. It was just a matter of when which made me want to keep reading.
I would recommend this book to someone who loves to read books about happy endings even when life is the most challenging.

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