Content Warnings: sexual assault, suicide, underage drinking, unhealthy habits, bullying, anxiety
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Magpie Lewis started writing in her yellow notebook the day her family self-destructed. That was the night Eryn, Magpie’s sister, skipped town and left her to fend for herself. That was the night of Brandon Phipp’s party.
Now, Magpie is called a slut whenever she walks down the hallways of her high school, her former best friend won’t speak to her, and she spends her lunch period with a group of misfits who’ve all been socially exiled like she has. And so, feeling trapped and forgotten, Magpie retreats to her notebook, dreaming up a place called Near.
Near is perfect–somewhere where her father never cheated, her mother never drank, and Magpie’s own life never derailed so suddenly. She imagines Near so completely, so fully, that she writes it into existence, right in her own backyard. It’s a place where she can have anything she wants…even revenge.
Hello! My name is Andy, I am Mari’s husband. Hopefully I have been mentioned before and if not, I would like to introduce myself before I get into my review.
I love music – I would not be able to function in a world without it. I play a lot of video games, and I love all things spoopy! I am not a very avid reader because I have some kind of learning disability that makes it pretty hard for me to read. To help me understand things, I usually have the audiobook playing through some headphones so I can follow along in the book. This or just read comics.
When I do read, I typically am reading fantasy or horror, and more often than not I am not reading YA. Nothing against YA, it’s just I am not the target audience and as such I tend to roll my eyes and groan because I can be quite pretentious. However, I am very proud of all the work that Mari has been putting into her blog and I wanted to show my love and support for her by reading the occasional YA title (horror or fantasy) and writing a review, so she can take the day off to watch Netflix or whatever it is that she does when I am not around and she doesn’t have a post due.
The reason that I picked this book is because, as I mentioned before, I pretty much require an audiobook playing in the background while reading. I went onto Overdrive and selected
‘available now – horror – young adult’ and sorted the result by release date. What I got was You Must Not Miss; I thought the cover was pretty cool so I dove right in.
It was a lot of fun reading this book not knowing what it was even about.
I liked the tone of the story. It was giving me Stephen King vibes; however, Katrina Leno did a great job of almost replicating that tone while still having her voice at the same time. It didn’t just read like a ripoff of Stephen King’s work.
There were massive similarities between this and King’s Carrie. The main difference between the two is that Carrie is a lot easier to sympathize with than Magpie. She has had a shit run of things lately, but for whatever reason, the way she communicates situations comes off as playing the victim. I am not trying to downplay the wrongs that have happened to her (this is exceptionally difficult to write about to give away any spoilers). Just stick through the whole thing – it’s all explained and justified in the end. The ending literally gave me goosebumps!
Another thing that I enjoyed was how self-aware it was. There were moments when I would groan, eye roll, or think it was being pretentious and the book would comment mentioning one of those things. It helped validate the way I was feeling as a reader.
Overall, I can’t recommend this enough. While I wouldn’t consider it horror (take this with a grain of salt as I am probably overly desensitized), there were a lot of moments that were quite unsettling. It was the perfect length and does a great of keeping you engaged with all plot points.
Are there any young adult horror or fantasy books you think Andy should read and review? Let us know in the comments! He’s always looking for suggestions.