Second Bookses

It's like second breakfast. Only with books.
You - Charles Benoit My daughter was fortunate enough to meet Charles Benoit -- author of You -- at a local teen book event. I was intrigued enough with the concept of a young adult book written in second person point-of-view to buy the book for her.::: The Plot :::Kyle Chase is a teen living a life he isn't sure he wanted. When he didn't get into a "better" school in his district, he ended up at Midlands, a school where no one seems to really care what happens to the kids, and the kids certainly don't seem to care what happens to them either.Kyle isn't thrilled with his friends, but doesn't do much to keep in touch with his friends that got into the better school, and while he knows he should try harder to get better grades and stay out of trouble, he just seems to keep following the same path. When a new student joins his class, he's drawn in to someone who blazes a trail of unique trouble-making until the book reaches its climax: bringing us back to the first scene of the story.::: Startling Writing :::While at first the second-person point-of-view of You is unsettling at first, it eventually draws the reader in. You feel like you're part of Kyle's decision-making process rather than hearing it in a recount, as you would have in first or third. Every time Kyle makes the wrong choice, it's like you want to climb into the book and set things right for him.Benoit doesn't follow the typical young adult themes with You; he's not concerned with having a climax and resolve in a neat arc, nor is he concerned with the resolve being what readers want for an ending. It keeps you guessing throughout, and while I generally hate books that start with a scene, then flash back only to get to that same scene later in the book, for this one it works; you don't know when it's coming, and once you realize what's happening, you're blown out of the water, something that doesn't happen often with young adult books.This review originally appeared on

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