Kendra Beewings's Reviews > I'll Be There

I'll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan
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's review
Jan 19, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: young-adult, read-2012, realism

Overall, the style was interesting, sometimes even heart-breakingly beautiful, and I genuinely liked the "good" characters and disliked the "bad" characters. So far so good. But... for me Sloan's decision to switch points of view so frequently was jarring, especially at the end, and many of the events came out extremely unrealistically.

Furthermore, there were two or three sentences in the middle, irrelevant to the story, that absolutely infuriated me. A woman's character is painted, and it is said that she had a disabled child, that he climbed into a on old refrigerator and died, and that she thought it might have been better that way, because his heart wasn't too good anyway. I do not have the words to say how much that infuriated me. And now that I'm recalling this, I really don't know how I got myself to finish the book. I just don't have the words.

I also really dislike how she painted Sam's father, clearly schizophrenic, as purely evil. I would have liked to see him with medication, not getting his just rewards at the end. Was it impossible to show that while he was a terrible awful parent, that he could have been a victim too?

I did like how she painted Riddle, the little boy with terrible asthma and possibly Aspergers or Autism. He was my favorite character and I loved him dearly, so much more than the heart throb hero who I liked but didn't love.

Overall, I'll Be There was a mixed bag. I wanted so badly to love it, especially with that incredible cover! Oh well. Worth reading, but I think I'll skip it during the annual rereading of my favorite books.

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