March 2, 2016
Hello Readers! We are so excited to have author, Cori McCarthy, on the blog today to celebrate the release of You Were Here! Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
Jaycee is about to accomplish what her older brother Jake couldn’t: live past graduation.
Jaycee is dealing with her brother’s death the only way she can – by re-creating Jake’s daredevil stunts. The ones that got him killed. She’s not crazy, okay? She just doesn’t have a whole lot of respect for staying alive.
Jaycee doesn’t expect to have help on her insane quest to remember Jake. But she’s joined by a group of unlikely friends – all with their own reasons for completing the dares and their own brand of dysfunction: the uptight, ex-best friend, the heartbroken poet, the slacker with Peter Pan syndrome, and… Mik. He doesn’t talk, but somehow still challenges Jayce to do the unthinkable—reveal the parts of herself that she buried with her brother.
Cori McCarthy’s gripping narrative defies expectation, moving seamlessly from prose to graphic novel panels and word art poetry, perfect for fans of E. Lockhart, Jennier Niven, and Jandy Nelson. From the petrifying ruins of an insane asylum to the skeletal remains of the world’s largest amusement park, You Were Here takes you on an unforgettable journey of friendship, heartbreak and inevitable change.
Praise for You Were Here
“A beautiful coming-of-age story, this book will leave readers thinking about it long after they close it.” –VOYA Magazine, a VOYA Perfect Ten
“A skillful blend of storytelling, emotion, and adrenaline-fueled daring” –Publishers Weekly
“The mix of forms as well as the insights each character gleans through their urban explorations render this book both readable and teachable on multiple levels.” –Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, STARRED Review
“Readers who appreciate stories of searching for personal truths will be happy to join this meaningful quest for identity and independence.” –Booklist
“You Were Here is wrenchingly beautiful in its honest and achingly accurate portrayal of grief and how it breaks us–and the way unconditional friendship puts us back together.” –Jo Knowles, award-winning author of See You At Harry’s and Read Between the Lines
“Through razor-sharp wit, no-holds-barred momentum, and heart-wrenching twists, Cori McCarthy dares you to climb through the broken, abandoned wreckage of the past, stand on the edge of the world, and face something even scarier: the truth.” –K.A. Barson, author of 45 Pounds (More or Less and Charlotte Cuts it Out
“The urban explorers of You Were Here dive deep into the forgotten man-made spaces all around them–and their own feelings of loss, love, and fear. McCarthy deftly intertwines the characters’ stories, filling them with authentic pain and heartache as well as soaring moments of grace and humor. I dare you to read it!” –Maggie Lehrman, author of The Cost of All Things
Thanks so much for taking the time and spending time with us here at Chapter by Chapter!
Hello! It’s great to be here. You’ve written some awesome questions.
Describe your book in 140 characters or less (like a Tweet)
Five misfit teenagers figure out death, friendship & love the hard way while climbing through manmade ruins
What was your inspiration for writing this book? Was it in a dream? A thought while taking a walk?
I was watching a show on the National Geographic channel about people who urban explore, and I remembered all the times I’d climbed through manmade ruins as a teen. I had been thinking about writing a grief novel from personal experience for a long time, and the setting and story idea just merged sort of beautifully.
Tell us about the main character(s).
I think people are saying that Jaycee is the main character because she is written via a first person perspective. I believe that there are five main characters in this novel, and that this a collective story, i.e. without one of their perspectives, it wouldn’t be the same novel, you know? Jaycee is a beautiful disaster who is emotionally stuck five years in the past when her brother died. Mik is a selective mute, pre-med major with a crush on Jaycee that only rivals his guilt over Jaycee’s brother’s death. Bishop is my heartbroken, artistic poet. Natalie is in control of everything except Jaycee, and that terrifies her. Last but never least, is Zach. You should read to find out who Zach is; I don’t want to spoil it. He’s a hoot.
Do you have a favorite quote or specific part in the book that you really love?
My favorite parts are always the kissing scenes because I’m a hardcore romantic deep down!
Was there a specific part in the book that you had an especially difficult time writing? If so, why?
Jaycee’s bleak depression and Natalie’s anxiety attacks were written out of personal experience, and that was REALLY hard to put words to…
What sort of projects do you have going on right now. Any new books coming out?
I’m working on something top secret! But it is another contemporary, ambitious, crazy story like YOU WERE HERE.
It was great having you on the blog today! We hope you’ll decide to stop by again someday, and we wish you much success!!
Thank you so much! And I hope everyone likes the story!
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