You, by Charles Benoit
Reviewed by Isabella, age 14, New Jersey
Kyle Chase is a hoodie, one of the disaffected boys given up on by everyone. Except he's not really like the rest of them - he just made a few bad choices and then had to suffer their results. But now there are more and more consequences, and he's drowning beneath them, because while he started out as an ordinary fifteen-year-old boy, he ended up standing over a bloody body. Nothing will ever be the same.
As indicated by the title, You makes use of a generally neglected writing style: second person point-of-view. Initially, this style was jarring and a bit difficult to read, but after a chapter or so, it's barely noticeable and reads easily. By the end, this point-of-view demonstrated how well it worked with the story because it seamlessly integrates the reader into the story.
The emotion in this relatively slow-paced book was nearly palpable, yet certain parts were not as powerful as they could have been. The ending in particular came abruptly and felt incomplete, which was disappointing considering the mounting build-up preceding it. Not everyone will find the ending quite so unsatisfying, and much of it comes down to personal taste.
Told in spare prose, You is a dark, intense novel that makes for an addicting read, grabbing readers from the first page to the last. The writing style immerses the reader in the story in a way few authors have dared to try. In Kyle Chase, there is a character many can relate to, regardless of gender, age, or situation, because nearly all of us have blamed the situation when it really comes down to our own choices. Though some may dislike the ending, You is a book everyone should read.
I give You 4 stars (of a possible 5).