Tag Archives: rebecca stead

Sci-Fi Mystery Mash Up

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Sci-Fi Mystery Mash Up

I have to say When You Reach Me was not what I expected it to be. I guess in my mind, from reading the synopsis on the back, I had conjured an image of a small Nancy Drew being thrown into some kind of crime, solving the case with some mishaps along the way, and catching the bad guys. But this book was something wholly different. Heavily influenced by Madeleine L’Engle’s book A Wrinkle in Time, When You Reach Me follows a 12 year old girl who mysteriously begins to receive letters from an unknown person telling her to write a letter with specific information included.

I read this book in one sitting, it flowed effortlessly from chapter to chapter that I couldn’t stop myself. Like the last book I read for the Book Battle, The Secret Place, this novel also deals with themes of friendship, growing up, and sacrifice. How do you branch out on your own, solve challenges for yourself, and become a better you?

The story begins with the friendship of Miranda and Sal, the epicenter of the book and for the events that follow. After Sal gets punched by an unknown boy, things start to get weird and Miranda begins to receive letters asking her to look for signs in order to prove to her that the letters are real. Of course she’s scared, though probably not as much as most adults would be. Then her friendship with Sal seems over and she can’t understand why. So she has to formulate new friendships and an identity outside of the Miranda and Sal bubble.

And of course there’s the time travel. It’s quite a thinker when the author begins to describe how it could be possible. You have to eliminate the possible, the rational, so that all that remains is the impossible. It’s a conundrum but a wonderful one. This book was incredible, subtle, and touching. I highly recommend it to both adults and to children. There is something here that everyone can connect with.

Rating: 5/5

Stay tuned for the next book of Book Battle 2015. Teaser well!

When You Reach Me

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When You Reach Me

The next phase of Book Battle 2015 is to choose a novel based solely upon the cover. Now I admit, I played around with this a lot and came up with Rebecca Stead’s When You Reach Me. I’ve been wanting to read this book for awhile now and can’t wait to start. The premise is so promising, the blend of science fiction and mystery fascinating. Plus it takes place in the 1970’s in New York and won the Newberry Medal. Where can you go wrong?

The novel’s inspiration comes from a newspaper article about a man who was suffering from amnesia. Apparently while under hypnosis the man recalled his wife and two daughters died in a car accident. However, when he and his wife reunited it turned out that the woman was his fiancee and that they had no children. Taking the article, Stead creates a collage of her own childhood and favorite childhood book, A Wrinkle in Time, and creates something wholly new.

What are you reading next for Book Battle 2015? Anyone read When You Reach Me?