Monday, June 25, 2012

You Are Here

This is the paperback cover.
It is much better than the
original cover.

by Jennifer E. Smith
Simon & Schuster | May 19, 2009
paperback April 24, 2012

Emma is an almost-17 year old living with her academic parents in a college town. She has siblings who are are far older than she, all of whom are also very smart and academic-focused. She has always felt out of place and like something is missing. When she finds the birth certificate of the twin she never knew she had, she heads out on a road trip to find his grave in the town where they lived when she (and the twin) were born.

After the car she "borrows" dies, she calls her neighborhood friend, Peter, to come with her, since she's stranded at a rest stop on the Jersey Turnpike. He arrives in yet another "borrowed" car, from the tow lot at the police station where his father works, and he and Emma set off on a road trip. Peter is a Civil War buff, a lover of maps, and can't wait to get to the academic life of college. He and Emma are an unlikely pair.

The story is well-written and the pacing is good. The character development is fine, but could be stronger - I don't really get a good feel for who Emma is, so it's harder to root for her (and cheer later). Peter is better developed, I think.

In any case, it's a story about loss and love and figuring out where one belongs even when "you are here."

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