When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

November 7, 2016

When You Reach Me, written by Rebecca Stead, makes one really think about life. It’s a book written from the point of view of a tween girl who’s still figuring out life. Miranda, the protagonist, puts things so simply beautiful and beautifully simple. For example, “Sometimes you never feel meaner than the moment you stop being mean.” It was incredible the moment I read that. I had to stop to read it a couple more times to actually get what it meant, and when I did, it totally blew my mind, because I’d felt that way before. Little quotes like this happen throughout the entire book, and it had me hooked from the beginning with how pure and uncomplex it all was. It’s wonderful to see such simple questions and read such insightful quotes.

Miranda, though struggling through the tween years, learns many lessons that some don’t learn in an entire lifetime. She’s also burdened with letters from a mysterious “you,” which doesn’t make life any easier for her. She understands the concept of time, probably because her favorite book is called A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle, which is a book based on this concept. It’s important because the entire book, When You Reach Me, is based off of time, how it works, and how to help others through it. She has to solve lots of mysteries, make friendships, and also break them in order to grow and learn.

I really loved the way Rebecca Stead writes. It’s so refreshing to read about life from a point of view that isn’t yours. I also liked the character’s relationships to one another. There’s the classic relationships, like Mother and Daughter, Best Friends, Boyfriends, but then there’s the not-so-common relationships. In this book, Rebecca Stead knew that anything could happen, so she made it that way. Some people are the same person, some people are crazy. It only makes sense when you read the book. And the funny thing is, for some people it won’t make sense even if you’ve read it three times. It really is very cool.

This book also uses themes, and a lot of them. For example, racism. Jimmy, Miranda’s employer, makes racist comments that escape Miranda’s knowledge. Also, relationships. I’ve mentioned these relationships a bit, and they really are quite important in this story. Most of Miranda’s thoughts include a person or people in the book. Rebecca Stead uses her understanding of relationships to her advantage, and for me, it worked out well.

I would highly recommend this book to the reader who wants to think. Someone who would love to see the world as it is, not as they would like to see it. It’s a really good book.

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