Miranda is livin' life as a normal sixth grader - going to school and rereading her favorite book over and over again - until she finds a cryptic note hidden in her house. "I am coming to save your friend’s life, and my own. " At first, she thinks it might be a joke. But then she keeps getting them. And then, there's evidence.
There were a lot of details to this book that I loved - like the fact that Miranda's stepdad taps his shortened leg when her mom calls him perfect, or the way her family won't buy the strawberries in town because of ethical reasons, or the way Miranda knows to avoid the crazy bum under the mailbox when she walks home from school. Every detail added up to this charming little town and lifestyle, and I totally fell in love with it within the first few chapters.
But it was NOT, in any way, what I expected it to be. There were twists in this book that completely threw me off guard, and it was hard accepting them when I went in expecting an entirely different setting. And genre. But I got used to the twists and it charmed its way back into my heart.
I was recommended this book by my friend Megan, and I'm definitely glad she told me about it. It was different and unique and charming, and the way it was written made me love MG. There was a childlike innocence to the characters, like when they worked at a shop after school just to get free sandwiches and sodas, but there was a lack of innocence, too, which came from growing up in New York City. (Like having to ignore catcalls and the town crazy when you're only in 6th grade.) It had both that nostalgic factor I always get when reading middle grade books, and a mature factor that mixed together perfectly enough to make itself a classic. Or at least win a Newbery.
The way Rebecca Stead incorporated another book into the plotline was intriguing enough to make me read said book, which I'll be talking more about later, in a separate review. But that wasn't the only intriguing thing about When You Reach Me. The letters, the clues, and the questions kept me reading until I closed the spine. While the end result wasn't what I expected, every page was interesting enough to suck me in. There was something a little bit quirky about When You Reach Me, and I love my quirks.