Title: You Must Not Miss
Author: Katrina Leno
Genre: YA Contemporary / Magical Realism
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: April 23, 2019
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
Source: Physical ARC provided by publisher
I know I ramble a lot about how much I love thrillers, but the genre that quietly sneaks up on me every once in a while to remind me how much I adore it is, magical realism. I just love when an author can weave a story in a way that keeps you wondering, is the magical thing real, or just in the heads of the characters? Katrina Leno does such an amazing job of that with You Must Not Miss.
The story centers on Magpie who is sixteen and struggling. Months ago, Magpie’s world was turned upside-down when she walked in on her father and her mother’s sister in bed together. This event ultimately lead to Magpie losing her best friend and she has just sort of been floating along in her life since then. She does not complete any of her assigned homework, she doesn’t go out the way other teenagers do, and she makes herself the same dinner every night: boxed mac and cheese that she eats standing over the kitchen sink.
One of these nights, standing over the kitchen sink, Magpie notices the light on in the shed. When she finally works up the courage to investigate, Magpie finds herself pulled into a world of her own making. She is always writing in her yellow notebook about a place called Near where everything is perfect. Now her world has come to life and she is able to visit whenever she wants, but of course, this comes with a price and as Magpie discovers her power everything gets a little twisted.
I loved this book. It has such an interesting concept and I love that it explores subjects like mental health in a way that I haven’t seen before. If you’re looking for something a little bit different, definitely add this one to your list.
Thank you to TheNovl for sending this one my way!
“You felt so deeply, and for so long, that your very sadness grew limbs and walked away from you. You have moved mountains, Magpie Lewis, and you are only just getting started.”
-Katrina Leno, You Must Not Miss
*Please note, this quote is from an ARC copy, so it may change in the final copy.
Synopsis: Magpie Lewis started writing in her yellow notebook the day her family self-destructed. That was the night Eryn, Magpie’s sister, skipped town and left her to fend for herself. That was the night of Brandon Phipp’s party.
Now, Magpie is called a slut whenever she walks down the hallways of her high school, her former best friend won’t speak to her, and she spends her lunch period with a group of misfits who’ve all been socially exiled like she has. And so, feeling trapped and forgotten, Magpie retreats to her notebook, dreaming up a place called Near.
Near is perfect–somewhere where her father never cheated, her mother never drank, and Magpie’s own life never derailed so suddenly. She imagines Near so completely, so fully, that she writes it into existence, right in her own backyard. It’s a place where she can have anything she wants…even revenge.
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