You Were Here by Cori McCarthy | Review

selective focus photo of woman smiling holding white paper airplane
<strong>You Were Here</strong> Book Cover
You Were Here Young Adult, Romance Sourcebooks Fire Hardcover 400 pages Amazon

Jaycee is about to accomplish what her older brother Jake couldn’t: live past graduation.

Jaycee is dealing with her brother’s death the only way she can―by re-creating Jake’s daredevil stunts. The ones that got him killed.

Jaycee doesn’t expect to have help on her insane quest of urban exploration to remember Jake. But she’s joined by a group of unlikely friends―all with their own reasons for completing the dares and their own brand of dysfunction:

Natalie: the ex-best friend

Bishop: the heartbroken poet

Zach: the slacker with Peter Pan syndrome, and…

Mik: who doesn’t speak, but somehow still challenges Jayce to do the unthinkable-reveal the parts of herself that she buried with her brother.

From the petrifying ruins of an insane asylum to the skeletal remains of the world’s largest amusement park, You Were Here takes you on an unforgettable journey of friendship, heartbreak, and inevitable change.


The loss of a friend or loved one can affect people in different ways. Jaycee lost her brother, Jake, a year ago when he was performing a dangerous playground stunt. His loss changed who she was and she struggled with a world without him. On the night of this tragic anniversary, Jaycee visits one of her brother’s favorite locations. Wanted or not, Jaycee is surrounded by four friends and they discover a map with Jake’s explored territories. Together, they decide to visit each location and perform the dares left behind.

I found this to be a beautiful story of loss, friendship, romance, and self-discovery. Each chapter is told from the perspective of a member of the group. Two of these are told through imagery, though not enough to call this a graphic novel. There is so much going on in this novel, which I believe imitates life very well. Not only does the story cover grief and mourning, but shows characters transitioning into adulthood and the changes that come with it.

I really enjoyed this book. Once it started, I couldn’t put it down. I laughed. I cried. I asked questions about life. McCarthy created a magnificent story that exposed the vulnerability and secrecy one person can hold. I highly recommend this one.

And lastly…

I don’t normally discuss book covers, but it is hard not to with this one. It is gorgeous. Sometimes a book gets a beautiful cover and sometimes not. You Were Here definitely did. I also like that after reading this novel, the cover speaks volumes to me. Great job to the artist/designer on this one.

I received a complimentary e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

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