Google+ Reading Teen: Book review: YOU by Charles Benoit

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Book review: YOU by Charles Benoit

  •   Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; 1 edition (August 24, 2010)
  • Language: English

  • As the book opens, Kyle Chase wonders how he got himself into the dire situation he's in. Reflecting on the start of the school year, he recalls how his grades fell and he enrolled at Midlands High, while his friends headed to Odyssey. He met the hoodie crew and adopted their uniform of jeans, T-shirt, and black-hooded sweatshirts. He suppressed the guilt he felt after the group broke into the school. He tried to do the right thing and return a stolen wallet, but got suspended for three days for fighting. Doing catch-up work in the library, Kyle encounters witty and sarcastic Zack and chooses to follow him around. However, after losing a job opportunity, a potential girlfriend, and the respect of a teacher, Kyle begins to suspect that he is being sabotaged. Benoit's choice of second-person perspective allows readers to explore Kyle's motivations fully, but infuses the narrative with a moralizing undertone; an undertone that erupts during the teen's climactic self-evaluation. However, the sense of persecution and unfairness that dominates the text accurately captures his perspective. While the teen characters are well developed, the casual attention paid to the adults is obvious. When Kyle is offhandedly dismissed by his mother in an overheard conversation with his younger sister, the emotional response is honest and visceral. The rapid pace is well suited to the narrative, though sophisticated readers will be able to identify the twist exactly halfway through. In the end, Benoit creates a fully realized world where choices have impact and the consequences of both action and inaction can be severe.

My review:
When I first started reading this book I really liked it.
Since Charles Benoit wrote YOU in 2nd person, it was like nothing I've read before,
I absolutely loved it.
I would love to find more books that are written like this.
It started out great, and I started getting so excited because I thought I found an amazing book.
I read a lot of reviews with people saying that it was stunning.
But about half way through the book I starting thinking,
"Alright, so where exactly is this story going?"
I felt like the story was just kind of... Pointless.
And I know its just a novel and it can be pointless if it wants to be.
But I felt like this book absolutely accomplished nothing.
Nothing happened.
The entire book, it was just 15 year old Kyle Chase flirting with this girl he likes,
sneaking beer to the park with his friends, complaining about his mom, and trying to get a job.
So pretty much every single high schooler's life.
Man, doesn't that sound interesting? Yes! So lets make a book out it.
Alright, so now I'm getting carried away with my rant, 
and I think everyone knows how that can turn out to be a little messy.
So besides everything I disliked about YOU,
I really loved how Charles Benoit did a nice job of developing the characters,
I also really liked how he captured Kyle's teenage boy thoughts so well, 
without making it explicit.

I didn't hate YOU, I just wasn't very impressed with it.
The writing was incredible, I just felt like the story could have been a little bit more interesting.

Sexual - Moderate (reading Kyle's thoughts)
Profanity - Moderate
Violence - Mild

For full content info of this book go to Parental Book Reviews.

1 comment:

  1. Not my kind of book... =(

    PS: I'd like to watch your vlog about Deadly Little Lies and Deadly Little Games but I came too late... What happened?!


Leave us a comment. Commenting people are our favorites! And we like to give things to favorites :)