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Out of Reach

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  2,260 ratings  ·  335 reviews
How do you find someone who doesn’t want to be found? A girl searches for her missing addict brother while confronting her own secrets in this darkly lyrical novel.

Rachel has always idolized her older brother Micah. He struggles with addiction, but she tells herself that he’s in control. And she almost believes it. Until the night that Micah doesn’t come home.
Rachel’s terr
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 16th 2012 by Simon Pulse
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Average rating 3.57  · 
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 ·  2,260 ratings  ·  335 reviews

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Tabitha (Bows & Bullets Reviews)
The review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews

WARNING: This review may contain, foul language, spoilers, general rantiness, and an over use of angry gifs.

I really wanted to like this book. Truly, I did. But it pissed me off and I can’t say that I will be recommending it to anyone. In fact, I have already told several people to steer clear. Let’s do the basics first. Out Of Reach is the story of Rachel’s journey to find her wayward brother. She enlists the help of his bestie, Ty
Jul 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
I would first like to point out the cover of this book. Cool right? It has nothing to do with the book, from what I can gather at least. At no point is a girl lying on the street in clothes like that (the book is set in summer and the girl on the cover is wearing fall/winter clothes), but you know what? The cover is one of the reasons I picked up the book. I know shameful but it's the truth. What can I say? I really liked the outfit the girl was wearing.

Rachel has an older brother that is a meth
Dec 09, 2016 rated it liked it
“It’s so hard,” she said.
“What’s that?”
“When you love someone. It’s hard to let them go.”

This was so sad. If you don't like raw, honest, brutal books, then Out of Reach isn't for you.

Though this wasn't the best realistic fiction novel I've read, I liked how personal it was. It took an extremely up close look at Rachel's life, who is on a mission to find her brother, Micah, a meth addict who was just released from rehab and has now run away from home.

The story is told in a past and present fo
Oct 28, 2012 rated it it was ok
Rachel's brother Micah is a meth addict. He's disappeared, and she carries the weight of knowing of his addiction and the guilt of not telling her parents before it was too late. She's received a message from him, telling her he's not too far away. That he might be in trouble. Rachel waits a couple weeks -- scared and worried about what the message meant -- before she contacts Micah's friend Tyler and asks him to join her in looking for him.

Arcos's book is an exploration of what addiction does t
Melannie :)


I want this book so bad.
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
I was a bit hesitant going into this book. I was reading some reviews before starting and I definitely lowered my expectations before going in. I have a goal for this year to read more backlist (older releases) titles so this definitely fit that goal but it wasn't all that great.

One major problem that I had that many other reviewers that I saw also had was the one quote about the girl who "got herself" date raped when she was drunk at a party. That really rubbed me the wrong way and that was on
With each new height, I closed my eyes and pictured myself flying away, like I used to as a kid. I wished I could go back, be a kid again, when everything was simple and the bad guys existed only in movies. Where there were no ex-boyfriends, no drugs. Where Micah and I were innocent and pure.

This was a deep, meaningful read that I am really glad I came across. It deals with the issue of how drugs can ruin the life of a person so easily and how easily that can negatively effect those around them.
Oct 20, 2012 rated it liked it

I know Rachel’s story. I’ve lived bits of it: how you’ve got your anger and your hurt and this inability to comprehend why things so good at first go to shit so fast. Except things don’t actually happen fast, as she so clearly explains. Rather it’s choices that pile up on top of another and it’s knowing things then ignoring some of it when more convenient, when easier. What’s most accurate is her wanting out of things and wanting to wash her hands of the situation; then that feeling of reli
Feb 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
There are books meant to get your heart racing with action, your stomach turning from the gore, and your heart thumping from the romance.

Out of Reach was not any of those books. Carrie Arcos wrote a beautiful, tragic, emotionally and gut-wrenching story that was all too real.

Sarah's older brother is a drug addict and she sets off on a journey with his best friend to find him and bring him home.

Mixed with heartbreaking pieces of back-story and the sometimes funny, sometimes sad, sometimes sweet
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
I liked that Rachel finally let her guilt over brother out. I liked that she put herself first instead of trying to fix her brother's issues. She took care of herself at the end and finally let her brother's worries go. It was really relatable and kind. ...more
Michelle Wrona
This review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!

*3.5 star rating*

This book was actually a 'National Book Award' finalist, and I really do believe that it deserves that specific award. With Carrie Arcos' short but defining tale, Out of Reach gave me an understanding of what it's like to be in the place of someone, a character, with no hope or faith left inside of her when everything slowly begins to fall apart from her angle. It's not everyday when we get to see a
Oct 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If i had to choose my absolute favorite book of 2012, it would be this one. Out of Reach was so perfect and amazing i couldn't help but to just marvel in its amazing-ness after i read the last page. i can't totally pinpoint what about this book that made me love it, maybe because i can kinda relate to the situation that Rachel is going through. maybe i love this book because of Micah, God i loved him. No, i didn't love the Micah that came to be i loved the Micah before. With every glimpse back i ...more
Nov 29, 2012 rated it it was ok
The actual story of this book is interspersed with the narrator's memories and recollections about her brother & the drug that has claimed him. The actual search for him was okay, but left completely unresolved. The flashbacks just read like drug-awareness brochures & AA anecdotes that have been poorly rewritten in the style of the narrator's voice. So while the book probably would've been alright, the bulk of it is inauthentic and disengaging. Most of the time I just hoped that everyone would d ...more
Jan Wollet
Aug 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Started out much better than it finished. Surprised it was a National Book Award Winner, would not of been my pick.
Nov 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviews
Carrie Arcos’ Out of Reach is an incredible story of understanding, clemency, and finding romance along the way. It gives detailed accounts of how substance abuse can have dangerous lasting effects not just on the user, but also the people around them. When Rachel’s brother Micah goes missing, she feels she’s responsible for his disappearance. Micah, who she idolizes, has been besieged with addiction but Rachel is convinced that his life is unaffected by it. Rachel and Micah’s best friend, Tyler ...more
Nov 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars. An eerily quiet story about a teen's search for her meth-addicted brother. The perfect amount of action weaves beautifully with the main characters' meandering flashbacks and budding romance. The ending rings of truth, heartbreak and hope. A well-deserved nominee for the National Book Award. I read it in one sitting. ...more
Misty Wilson read.fine.print
Apr 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
#bookreview #readfineprintreviews I wish I could remember who recommended this 2012 National Book Award Finalist young adult book to me! It’s Out of Reach by Carrie Arcos.

Rachel and her brother’s best friend set out to find her brother, who is a meth addict. While searching for him, she reminisces about their childhood, struggles with mistakes she’s made, and asks spiritual questions too.

This would be a good book to hand a teen who struggles with addiction of any kind, or whose family is strug
Cooksey Elle
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was a bit of a ride i loved it though and wish i could see more of these characters.
Ali Inzunza
Apr 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Out Of Reach
By: Ali Inzunza
English period 3

Carrie Arcos, the author of the National Book Award Finalist novel “Out of Reach”, does an outstanding job creating an emotional stress inside the characters that is easily relatable. This novel is as extremely realistic, dealing with young drug addicts and they affect their abuse has on their loved ones. This story reveals a powerful theme, that teaches a lot about accepting change and remaining strong.

Rachel, the narrator, is hardly one year young
Jul 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is so realistic i think it can happen to anyone. It already happened to lots of people.

One of the reasons I like this book so much is that the story kind of go and back between the present and the memory.
It gives the feeling to understanding characters much more because what we remember and how we are affected from the experience define us, in my opinion.

I also can relate to this book, in a way. I don't have anyone in my family who have addiction but I do have some memory that i want t
May 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Out of Reach is kind of like an extended road trip. As a reader I probably wouldn't have read it if I had known that. The main character Rachel, is searching for her brother who has run away after developing an addiction to meth. Rachel is desperate to find her brother, since they used to be so close and now she feels as if him returning will be the only way to bring her family back together again.

The book goes back and forth between the past and present which slows the reading down a little bit
Zemira (Kylo Ren fangirl) Warner

3.5 stars

Carrie Arcos,you did a wonderful job with this debut novel.

I'm gonna label this as a road trip book. They did drive around in a car a lot.

*sigh* There is no doubt this book is beautifully written but I'm a little bit angry at the thought how selfish addicts are. First of all they are killing themselves,then they put their families and other loved ones through hell and lets not forget how they spend a lot of money on drugs if not everything. I'm not only talking
I finished this on the plane last night and it was hard not to cry because crying on the plane would be weird so

This. Book. This is a story about substance abuse and how it affects everyone around the addict. If I had to use a word to describe this book, it would be quiet. There is something about the writing that feels...quiet. The story is intense, but not in-your-face intense, get my drift?

I feel Rachel's desperation to find her older brother Micah, her dilemma to keep going or to give up ho
Jan 21, 2013 marked it as skimmed-and-lost-interest
I appreciated the way Arcos handled the subject of drug addiction — that is, giving highly descriptive, informative, and appropriately gruesome details of what happens to drug addicts — physically and otherwise — if they continue on their path. Even I, a person who doesn't enjoy the subject of drug addiction very much, found these details interesting on a certain level. Still, the characters didn't do anything for me emotionally, and after skimming to the back and seeing how it ends, I don't thi ...more
Jenn O'Brien
Aug 18, 2016 rated it did not like it
I did not "get" this book, nor do I understand why it was a National Book Award finalist. I wasn't sure what it was supposed to be. A teenage angst? A budding romance? A summer road trip? The dangers of drug addiction? A novel of faith? The open ending left me scratching my head and thinking of the old song ... "is that all there is?"

And yet another book where the cover completely does not match the contents. What does a girl bundled up in cool weather clothing have to do with a two person road
Oct 17, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: contemporary
Eh. This was so-so. The protagonist wasn't anything to write home about, she was actually kind of bland, a plain Jane and the fact that she couldn't tell the truth - ever - was just annoying, she couldn't even be honest with herself which brings me to question what the point of this book being written? The storyline is about a meth addict brother and her adventures in San Diego, she brings a male friend along with her and they aren't even cute together because she is so weird...just odd.

Just a b

First of all: you can't write a good book if the whole novel occurs in a single day. Just no. Because then you have to make lots of flashbacks and useless flashbacks for me are a big no no.

The worst thing is that if I wouldn't have read "Saving June" this book would have been pretty good, but Saving June has ruined this genre for me, it was too amazing to even try to compare anything else to it.
Aug 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rev, ya
This is just beautifully done. The sibling relationship rings very true, and the end (without saying more) is perfect.

I would definitely recommend this over other books that deal with meth addiction -- it has a much more complex take on addiction than Tweaked or the Ellen Hopkins books.
abbylee Oqueli
I liked this. It was a fast read and it kept me going, but it was really short and seemed like it just kind of ended. I wanted more closure . . . I guess that made it real though - that's what it's like to have an addict in your life. ...more
Lexi (seraphimchick)
DNF Ch 5
First 5 chapters were slow and boring and I heard from my friend that nothing truly amazing happens. I have other things to read and for now this isn't it. I'm not sure if this will be something I pick up again.
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Out of Reach Book Review 1 4 Oct 01, 2014 01:23PM  
Free Books, .99, ...: Interview with Carrie Arcos + Giveaway 1 21 Oct 20, 2012 12:58AM  

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Carrie Arcos is a National Book Award Finalist for Young People's Literature for OUT OF REACH; her fifth novel SKYWATCHERS will be available August 2020. She lives in Los Angeles with her family. For more information, check out her website:

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