“You’re surprised at all the blood…You’re thinking, this wasn’t the way it was supposed to go, this shouldn’t be happening.”
Written in the second person, the opening of YOU draws us into the story of teenager Kyle Chase. Kyle is a tenth grader In many ways, he is a typical teen- he fights with his parents over getting a job, over school, over lots of thing, he hates English but likes Math, he has a crush on a girl named Ashley. He is smart but didn’t earn good enough grades to get into the elite high school so he is stuck at Midlands High. He often wishes he could go back to eighth grade to work harder. He often wishes he could go back to do many things differently.
At Midlands, Kyle is part of the “Hoodies” who wear jeans, black t-shirts and hoodies every day to school. Kyle thinks of his friends as losers but hangs with them anyway. Then Kyle meets Zack- a new student who seems too smart for his own good. Slowly, Kyle makes a series of choices that Zack uses to manipulate and hurt Kyle, leading up to a very surprising ending!
This suspenseful novel gave our group opportunity to discuss many of the challenges of adolescence- stereotypes, friendships and parents. The familiar hierarchy of high school was seen in a new way as we spent time discussing the virtues of Courage, Justice and Hope. Our students realized that like Kyle, we cannot go back to do things differently and so focused on how we can make more Prudent decisions now.
This book was a great pick for a medium-heavy readers- it moves fast and challenges YOU to consider the outcomes of your choices.