Rave Reviews Log: Science Fiction

November 30, 2009

When You Reach Me

By Rebecca Stead
Rating: 4 1/2 stars

The day an unknown kid walks up to Miranda's best friend Sal and punches him in the stomach, everything changes. Suddenly Sal doesn't seem to want to be her friend anymore. A crazy guy she nicknames "the laughing man" is always on their corner. Their spare apartment key gets stolen. Her one solace is to continually reread her favorite book, A Wrinkle in Time. And then she finds the first note in her library book, part of which reads: "I am coming to save your friend's life, and my own." At first, Miranda doesn't think it is meant for her, but then the second note arrives with her actual name on it. And the third lists proof, proof of things that haven't happened yet. How can someone be sending her notes with things that haven't happened yet...from the future? As Miranda muddles through making new friendships, puzzling out Marcus (the kid who punched Sal), helping her mother prepare to be on the tv game show the $20,000 Pyramid, and the painful process of growing up, she starts to see things in a different light. But when she finally puts all of the pieces together, will it be in time to change anything? Can you change the past? This story is part-mystery, part-science fiction and pulls you in as you try to figure out exactly what is going on. Miranda is an interesting character, especially as she grows and changes as she discovers more about the world she lives in and the choices people make. Even if readers figure out the more mysterious piece of the story early, they will still be eager to see how everything fits together at the end. A very good story!


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