Review: You

Author: Charles Benoit
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Summary: 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 are surprised at all the blood.”

The book hooked me from the very first sentence.  

I had a few reservations about the book. I thought the employment of second person would be “gimmicky” and put me of the story completely. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The second person narrative brought this book to life. It was disturbing and painfully realistic. I’ve never felt so “connected” to the main character.  I felt his pain, anguish and his hopelessness.  There were times I was overwhelmed with this emotional rollercoaster.

“You” are Kyle, a high school sophomore loner who made some bad decisions and is now one of the “hoodies” in his “loser” school.  Kyle biggest regret is been in Odyssey High (the "better, smarter" high school) with his old friends. The constant use of “you” intimately connects you with the plot; you can’t help wondering what you would have done in this situations.

I found most of the other characters to be quite bland and two-dimensional. Zack, however, is a fascinating YA psychopath. When we are first introduced to Zack, I liked him. He was unique, and initially, he almost makes a great 'good guy'. I thought he would be the guy who would “save” Kyle. The guy who would push Kyle. I was in for a little shock. Kyle has a sick obsession to hit everyone’s “spot”. The thing that would drive you mad. This drives the plot forward which inevitably leads to the bloody scene we are introduced to on the first page.

As the book was hurdling towards it climax, I started to feel desperate. I didn’t want to end up down this road.  I felt like I was being pushed towards situations I didn’t want to be a part of.  Situations that Kyle didn’t want to be a part of. But “You” chose this. “You” have to deal with it.