Clare Cannon's Reviews > When You Reach Me

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
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's review
Nov 08, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: 13-15yrs, young-adult, favorites
Recommended for: 13+ years

This intriguing modern day story draws inspiration from Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time.

When Miranda's mother unexpectedly fell pregnant during college, she put her studies on hold and took time out to care for her baby. Twelve years later mother and daughter are poor but happy together.

Miranda is a good girl, but like many her age her world is small and revolves mainly around herself. When strange notes appear which tell her about things that will happen in the future, she is intrigued. As she tries to solve the mystery she is gradually drawn out of herself, and for the first time she understands the needs of those around her.

This book is a little like Spinelli's Stargirl. It helps you to value living in the present moment, gradually removing the veil of selfishness that prevents you from seeing the world and the people around you.

It is a puzzle that gradually pieces together, only truly coming clear on the last page. It's brilliantly structured and crafted in clear prose, and when you reach the end you realise that every detail was important... so you read it all again.

I'd recommend this for relatively mature readers who can handle a mystery that may at times appear worse than it is, they can be assured that the resolution is as inspiring as it is surprising.

Rebecca Stead's story is enjoyable, enthralling and leaves you with something positive that you'd like to invest in your life.
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Quotes Clare Liked

Rebecca Stead
“Mom says each of us has a veil between ourselves and the rest of the world, like a bride wears on her wedding day, except this kind of veil is invisible. We walk around happily with these invisible veils hanging down over our faces. The world is kind of blurry, and we like it that way. But sometimes our veils are pushed away for a few moments, like there's a wind blowing it from our faces. And when the veil lifts, we can see the world as it really is, just for those few seconds before it settles down again. We see all the beauty, and cruelty, and sadness, and love. But mostly we are happy not to. Some people learn to lift the veil themselves. Then they don't have to depend on the wind anymore.”
Rebecca Stead, When You Reach Me

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