Wednesday, May 5, 2010

You by Charles Benoit

You’re surprised at all the blood.
He looks over at you, eyes wide, mouth dropping open, his face almost as white as his shirt.
He’s surprised too.

Yowzer. Now that is an opening line. In fact that entire opening segment is pretty much a Holy Sh*t what is going on, this is crazy type of thing. What I like is that the reader thinks they know what they are getting into – after all, didn’t the book open up with an obvious violent incident? You may not know exactly who was involved, or where it happened, or what exactly happened, but I’m willing to bet you think you know. And I also am willing to bet that you’re wrong.

I’ll be honest, I’m not quite sure what to make of You. One the one hand, I think it was spectacular. The use of suspense alone was wonderful. The story arc was interesting and the conclusion was surprising while also being somewhat inevitable. On the other hand, it was written entirely in second person and that made for a really…strange…reading experience. People obviously love it, the arc has pages upon pages of blurbs from big name authors such as Crutcher, McCormick, Peck, Gantos, Lynch, and more.

This is one of the books that we’re considering for our Mock Printz and I’ll be honest, I could see myself loving it. The more I think about it the more I feel in awe of the story, I could see myself getting rabid about it. This is also one of those books that I could see being divisive with people either loving it or hating it. Especially with that second person narration. Regardless, it would be an excellent conversation.

The story features Kyle. He is undoubtedly depressed although no one, maybe not even himself realizes this. He’s a reliable narrator that has more than a touch of the unreliable about him (if you get my drift which you probably don’t because that doesn’t really make too much sense, but trust me on it). And as a character I bought everything about Kyle. He was achingly real.

The only thing that gave me pause was Zack. He’s the new kid in school. He’s sort of an evil genius that appears somewhat benign at first and then slowly becomes meaner and meaner. I loved him until the final chapter and then I thought maybe he was a bit too much.

And I don’t even think I gave you a plot summary. Oh well. Guess you’ll have to read it yourself now!

Book Source = ARC borrowed from colleague


joanna said...

This review reminds me of the one you wrote for Liar. Don't know what to think. People will love it or hate it. It could be my favorite book of the year. :)

Patti said...

You know, it reminded me of it in the sense that it pushes the boundaries of what's been done in YA.

I'm going to have to read it again, but this is the first book that I've read this year that I'm super excited about discussing. We'll see if the rest of the committee feels the same.

Unknown said...

Yeah, I need to read it a second time. It'll certainly be different, knowing the conclusion, but I already suspect it'll be just as powerful.

Have you read it yet, Joanna?

DogEar said...

ohhh, I hope I get an arc at BEA. This one sounds good.

Patti said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patti said...

Did you see the PW article about Galleys to grab?

Have fun!