When You Reach Me

May 16, 2012

Author: Rebecca Stead
Rating: 5
When You Reach Me is an amazing book. I bought it when the Scholastic Book Order came around and there it was, on the front page: Rebecca Stead's Newbery-Award winning book!

It was such a good buy I absolutely could not put it down until I finished it. All I have to say is good work Newbery Commitee! This was last last year's book (2011's books was the illustrious Moon Over Manifest, and this year's was Dead End in Norvelt, not as good as I had expected, since over the past two years I have been spoiled into thinking all years have good Newbery winners!) and I was absolutely thrilled with it.

 It's so good that if you haven't read it yet, you're really missing out! It's really gripping and has a really neat twist, not to mention a really confused-mysterious tone (as opposed to a suspense-mysterious tone, e.g. a genie comes out and says, spookily, "You will die!")

It's about a girl named Miranda who receives mysterious notes that say things no one should know. Her best friend since kindergarten, Sal, is completely ignoring her after a kid punched him on the street. It's a little confusing, and it all gets wrapped up in the end. However, it's REALLY gripping. This is the main reason I liked it--- it's confusing!

This book seems like realistic fiction (one of my personal favorites), but it's science fiction-- it's not really clear until the end. That's okay, for me it set two personal records-- "Read a science fiction book and enjoyed it THOROUGHLY" (Madame L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time didn't impress me much when I read, I being much too small to understand anything..) and "Reread and reread again a science fiction book".

As Gram in Walk Two Moons would say, "Huzzah, huzzah!"

If you've already read it, I'd like to know your personal thoughts and opinions on this book (very much obliged, sir!). This is a very complicated, jumbled-up book, and it may take a couple of rereads to fully understand the story. That's okay, we have all the time in the world! :) But my favorite chapter, if I had to name one, would be the one titled "Magic Thread".

The whole book is very abstract, depending on scientific theory and things like that. I'm not really into that but now I have some questions about time travel that I'd like any Julias out there to be able to explain to me.

 1) Say every single point in time is happening at the same time, like Marcus explains it, "like a drawer full of pictures." Okay. Bob from 2080 AD went back in time to, say, 2056 AD, during his childhood which took place in wartime. Now let's suppose that while he was in 2056 AD, adult Bob was able to change something really significant. Like prevent a war or something. When he went back to 2080 AD, what would happen? Did he prevent the war or not? Because it really happened, but then it didn't. Or is this the exact reason why time travel isn't possible, as of now?

Very sorry that the above is confusing.

Hope you read it and like it!