When You Reach Me
I picked up this book after a recommendation from a friend of mine. I had never heard of Rebecca Stead or the book itself previously. I’ll be honest: it took me quite a while to get into. The timeline of the book was somewhat choppy to follow at times and it seemed like not a whole lot was going on. For a good portion of the book, I was wondering what the story was and where it was going, and it took me a while to start to care about the characters, which is something that is important to me when reading a book. However, as I got to probably the halfway point or so, my interest was piqued and I was excited to see what happened.
This book is about a girl named Miranda who lives with her mom. The book takes place in the late 1970’s in New York. Miranda receives a mysterious note that begins with:
“I am coming to save your friend’s life, and my own.”
She doesn’t know who the letter is from or what it means. The letter asks her to write a letter back, explaining everything from the beginning, which is what becomes the book. She isn’t sure what to do or what the “beginning” even is, but it becomes clearer to her later on. Miranda kind of loses her best friend at the beginning of the book, for reasons she doesn’t understand. That leaves her alone for a while, until she starts making new friends, they even find a job to work together. Plus, her mom is going to have the chance to compete on a game show, the $20,000 Pyramid, so, her life could be looking up.
The notes keep coming to Miranda, and things are getting weirder with their content. As the book went on, and as I started to see what was happening, there were some good foreshadowing elements in the novel that I picked up on. Although I didn’t see how everything would play out, I was able to make some accurate guesses about events and the ending. As I reached the end and was able to look back on everything, it was actually a very good book. It is set in the past, in normal life, but has elements of science fiction you don’t even notice right away. It was unique from any book I’ve read, and although it took me a while to get into, I really enjoyed the conclusion. Miranda is able to figure out where the notes are coming from, and some of the other things that come together in the novel are very thought-provoking and carry good messages as well. This book is worth a read if you are looking for something different and interesting.