Monday, August 30, 2021

Take Me With You When You Go - David Levithan and Jennifer Niven

David Levithan and Jennifer Niven's new YA novel is Take Me With You When You Go.

Fifteen year old Ezra wakes up one morning to find that his almost eighteen year old sister is gone. Things are bad at their house - Darren is an abusive stepfather and their mother is no better, turning a blind eye. Bea and Ezra have talked about getting out, but how could she leave without him?

The authors have chosen to present the book using an epistolary method, which is one my favourite literary devices. The story unfolds through a series of emails between the siblings. Along with Ezra, the reader learns where Bea has run to, what she is looking for, and what the future might hold for her. And along with Bea, we worry at the escalating situation that Ezra finds himself in. 

The missives between the two are hard to read at times. (There are trigger situations) But on the flipside the love between the two is tangible. The two main characters are well drawn and are believable. And sadly, the situations and emotions are also believable. The reader can't help but be behind these two as they try to find a safe place for themselves where they can thrive. 

The supporting cast is just as well drawn. There are some wonderful characters such as Ezra's boyfriend, but you won't have any problem hating Darren.

The authors throw in some unexpected turns for Bea and Ezra that kept the story fresh for me. Endings are only perfect in fairy tales. And sadly, life for many young people is anything but. But the ending the authors imagined is just right. This is a story of sibling love, finding your footing and making your own future. See for yourself - read an excerpt of Take Me With You When You Go.

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