Monday, October 4, 2010

You by Charles Benoit

Title: You
Author: Charles Benoit
Publisher: Harper Teen
Hardcover, 223 pages
Date Published: August 24, 2010


Description (Taken from Goodreads):
This wasn't the way it was supposed to go.

You're just a typical fifteen-year-old sophomore, an average guy named Kyle Chase. This can't be happening to you. But then, how do you explain all the blood? How do you explain how you got here in the first place?

There had to have been signs, had to have been some clues it was coming. Did you miss them, or ignore them?

Maybe if you can figure out where it all went wrong, you can still make it right. Or is it already too late?

Think fast, Kyle. Time's running out. How did this happen?

In his stunning young-adult debut, Charles Benoit mixes riveting tension with an insightful—and unsettling—portrait of an ordinary teen in a tale that is taut, powerful, and shattering. 

Kyle Chase is a loser. Or at least he is the high school equivalent of a loser and he knows it. For whatever reason, he chose to ditch the life he knew and the friends he had, the possibilities that were endless, to become a hoodie. He hangs with ‘the wrong crowd’ and gets into trouble. His grades are horrendous and his own mother tells his sister that she shouldn’t want to be like him. Kyle’s going nowhere fast, yet somehow, Benoit makes that story incredible.

Benoit tells Kyle’s story all in second person (you) so the reader is Kyle. I’ve never read a story in the 2nd person POV before, but I really enjoyed the way Benoit went about it. I felt like I became Kyle and I couldn’t believe where my life had ended up.

The story opens up with a shocking start and moves back to tell the story from the beginning of the school year. Kyle’s reflections on his life are tortuous because they are so raw and honest. He had everything going for him and he threw it all away. And for what? He isn’t even sure.

Benoit does more than just write a tragic story of a good kid who fell in with the wrong crowd though. He examines how we make our own fate and how everything we do is on us. We decide what is right and what is wrong and just what choices to make. We don’t always make the right ones or the smart ones, but we have the power to control our own actions.

Kyle’s story builds to this crescendo as everything crashes down around him. The story is powerful and intense, but I wish it had been longer. My only complaint is that it left me wanting to know so much more.

Told in searing prose that is rife with foreboding, You is an addictive thriller that never lets up. Charles Benoit’s YA debut is a shatteringly realistic and deceptively honest tale about the choices we make and the consequences they have. I couldn’t put it down.

Opening line: You're surprised at all the blood. ~ pg. 1

Favorite line(s): 
The feeling passes, and what two hours ago was the most criminal thing you had ever done seems suddenly insignificant.
       Another line crossed. And you didn't even notice. ~ pg. 28
4.5
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it. 
 

3 comments:

Melissa said...

Nikki, this is such a fabulous review! I definitely want to read this now :)

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

It was so different being in the 2nd person POV, but it was so well written that I couldn't put it down.

Bere said...

Fantastic review, Nikki! I just added this one to my wishlist. I don't think I've ever read a book in the 2nd person POV, but I'm glad you enjoyed. I need to pick this one up. Thanks Nikki. =)

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