You are Here Book Review


You are Here

Jennifer Smith

Simon & Schuster Books, 2009

“So how was it possible that in the midst of so many people she could still feel so terribly lonely?”

Rating: 2.5/5 stars

Another Jennifer Smith book. You are Here comes close to the story of The Geography of You and Me but I like the latter more. But still, You are Here has its moments, albeit fleeting ones. This one is a slow read, and I am having difficulty writing a review for this book, but I will try.

When Emma Healy found out that she had a twin, a brother who died two days after they were born, she set off for a journey to visit his grave, with her neighbor Peter Finnegan in tow. It turns out that Emma has this very brilliant family, all professors, doctors and the like.  By going to a journey, they both comprehend their lives (Peter’s father was a cop, strict cop), their dreams and the things that are holding them back in discovering themselves.

There were a lot of road trips in the story, but these trips were kind of tiring, no exhilarating feeling like the Papertowns road trip, just two teenage kids driving on a lonely road. As I said, it was a slow read. Which kind of surprised me, because: 1) I love to travel, 2) I love history, and 3) I most certainly is addicted to geography. All of which were present in the story.

But I did not find anything special on this one, maybe because the story is focused not on those things, and certainly not on the love story of the two characters. Instead, it is focused on their separate lives and the problems they were both facing at the time.

I must say that reading Peter Finnegan is like reading my own story, we have many things in common which scares me. Although I admire his courage, one thing I sure don’t have.

You may wonder why I keep on reading books with his kind of typical plot. Well I read not for the plot but for the experience of it, and for all its worth, You are Here gives us this experience that we would never forget, because by reading it you would experience the road trips they had, somehow like you are riding inside their beat up truck, the sensations, the emotions were for a moment real for you to feel. Maybe, after reading this, you could be convinced to take a road trip of your own, and find what you are looking for.

Favorite Quote/s:

“Ah, a prodigy, huh?” “No sir, just above average.”

I hadn’t read every single book by Charles Dickens or memorized every state capital for nothing.”

“So I always read a book, and he’d get annoyed at me for reading.”

“He spent so much time charting out the world that he barely had a chance to get lost in it.”

“She knew she was wired differently from most people, that she wasn’t often understood and was even less inclined to try to understand others.”

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