When You Reach Me

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


When You Reach Me
by Rebecca Stead
★★★★

I heard way too much about this book before I read it. Going into it I thought it was a novel about a time-traveler that flashed back and forth between the 1970s and another time. Yes, there is time-travel, but it’s actually a rather small part of the story, which in this case worked really well.

The main plot focuses on Miranda and her single mother. Miranda is a sixth-grader and she’s helping her mom train for a game show that she’s going to be on. I love the details that Miranda shares about her everyday life in New York. Her character felt very real to me.

Sal, Miranda’s best friend, is the victim of a seemingly random act of bullying and afterwards the two friends drift apart. Then Miranda begins to receive some strange notes from someone who seems to know the future. The plot, which at first seems disjointed, all comes together by the end of the book.

One of my favorite parts of the story is Miranda’s constant references to her favorite book, A Wrinkle in Time. She carries it around with her and describes it to others. I absolutely remember feeling that way about certain books when I was growing up. I felt so attached to them. I wanted everyone else to read them and I couldn’t help applying their plots to my own life. 

Though this isn’t one I’d probably re-read, I really enjoyed it and it made me want to re-read A Wrinkle in Time.

For a few more thoughts on this book, check out the reviews at…
Stainless Steel Droppings
Fluttering Butterflies
Seaside Book Nook

12 comments:

Alex (The Sleepless Reader) said...

This was one of the best of 2010 for me. I went into it without knowing about time-travelling and only suspecting because of the references about Wrinkle in Time.

It's short, but so well accomplished.

Nymeth said...

I've actually just finished this as well! Review coming later this week :) I also enjoyed it a lot. I picked it up because I'd just re-read A Wrinkle in Time, and having the L'Engle fresh in my mind enhanced the experience.

Sandy Nawrot said...

I'm probably the only person on earth that doesn't have fond memories of A Wrinkle In Time (I just read it for the first time a couple of years ago and was not all that thrilled with it). But I have heard a lot of excellent things about this book. Scholastic was really pushing it in their book fairs. I love time traveling, even if it is only a small part of the book.

Jenners said...

I thought this worked really well -- and it made me want to reread A Wrinkle In Time too. I love how this book felt like it was written in the past (not the setting but the tone of it felt like books I remember reading when I was a kid in the 1970s. I don't think I'm expressing this right.

Kailana said...

I really enjoyed this book when I read it. I love A Wrinkle in Time and thought it was a nice companion piece.

Bittner said...

I had to stop on this review in my google reader because that cover just jumped out at me! And the story sounds really interesting, so I'll have to add this to my tbr list. I've never read A Wrinkle In Time though, so I wonder if I'll need to read that first.

Jeanne said...

I didn't much like this book, but maybe I was too old and had already read too many better time travel stories.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Alex - I wish I hadn't heard it was a time travel tale before I read it. That definitely colored my reading of it, but I still really enjoyed it.

Nymeth - I wish I'd reread Wrinkle before reading this. I love that book, but it has been years since I read it.

Sandy - Hmm, I'm not sure I would have enjoyed it if I read it for the first time as an adult. I'm always bummed when I find a book I missed out on as a kid. It's just not the same.

Jenners - I know what you mean. The 70s aren't a familiar period for me, but I love reading ones from a time or place that I recognize.

Kailana - It does feel like a companion piece and I think that's what I liked about it.

Bittner - Glad you stopped by! I don't think you need to read Wrinkle first, but it would definitely enhance your experience. Plus, it's a great book!

Jeanne - I think for me it didn't even fall into the time travel story category. The characters' stories seemed more interesting than that element.

Care said...

I have always wanted to read a time travel book. I'm keeping track on goodreads but so far I haven't read any yet.

BookQuoter said...

I have heard good things about this book. I should read it too.

I like it when books mention books I have read.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Care - If you've never read The Time Traveler's Wife I would highly recommend it! Time and Again is an interesting one too.

BookQuoter - Me too. I love the feeling that the characters I'm reading about love the same books that I do.

Jillian said...

I've heard some mixed reviews on this one, but I do like it when books mention/discuss other books that I liked or have read. I might have to read this one.