223 pp. HarperTeen (Harper Collins). 2010 ISBN: 978-0-06-194704-9
Summary (From the publisher): “This wasn’t the way it was supposed to go.
You’re just a typical fifteen-year-old sophomore, an average guy named Kyle Chase. This can’t be happening to you. But then, how do you explain all the blood? How do you explain how you got here in the first place?
There had to have been signs, had to have been some clues it was coming. Did you miss them, or ignore them? Maybe if you can figure out where it all went wrong, you can still make it right. Or is it already too late? Think fast, Kyle. Time’s running out. How did this happen?
You is the riveting story of fifteen-year-old Kyle and the small choices he does and doesn’t make that lead to his own destruction.
In his stunning young-adult debut, Charles Benoit mixes riveting tension with an insightful—and unsettling—portrait of an ordinary teen in a tale that is taut, powerful, and shattering.”
You worked for me as a young adult lit reader, but it worked for me even more as a teacher always on the look-out for great guy books. I’m going to be book-talking this book like crazy, but the cover alone will help draw in readers; it’s what grabbed my attention! The cover fits perfectly with the story and is incredibly intriguing. As soon as I started reading, Kyle reminded me of so many of my male students. It’s sad but true. It doesn’t take much for a student to end up like Kyle; a few missing assignments can drop a grade enough that it feels impossible to bring up. Then the nagging parents enter the picture, that is if they’re even involved. When grades start dropping privileges begin flying out the window. When all of this adds up, students often fall through the cracks- especially boys. I have boys like this in my classes and I’m constantly trying to find books for them to read and ways for them to succeed. You is going to be a huge hit with my boys.
Guy readers will enjoy this (and girls too!) because they’ll be able to relate with Kyle. Even if you haven’t been in the same position as Kyle, most teenagers can relate with parents constantly lecturing and asking questions. They can relate to liking someone but not knowing how to act on it. They can relate to feeling frustrated in class. Kyle, unfortunately, is dealing with all of this at once, plus some. I just wanted to reach out and help him.
I love the pacing of this novel. Benoit wrote a fast-paced, suspenseful novel. The very first lines should hook everyone: “You’re surprised at all the blood. He looks over at you, eyes wide, mouth dropping open, his face almost as white as his shirt. He’s surprised, too.” I couldn’t put this down after that first page. I absolutely devoured this book; it was done in about four hours or less. Amazing!
If you’ve read Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson, Right Behind You by Gail Giles or Breaking Point by Alex Flinn, you’ll enjoy You by Charles Benoit. This is a five star novel that begs to be read and discussed.