My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is the most wonderful story ever written. Scratch that, this is the most wonderful story period.
If ever questioned, I would always claim that in age-specific genres, the Young-Adult industry is my favorite. But really, it’s the kids’ section that has a special place in my heart. There is something so inherently good and clean about these stories. Not that I’m saying they are free from the cruelty of realism or that they have no harsh truths within them, because not only would that be a horrible untruth, it would also be an insult to children’s books as the nastiness in these books trumps all others. My point is, the characters, they are kids and they are real and while I personally don’t care much for children below my chest and can only like them from afar, these books really make me miss those days. The innocence and un-complications of life. Because life is always cruel and vindictive, be it a kid’s or a saint’s. But when you are little, you can always see the good parts too; your gaze is not so clouded with figurative cataract that you miss all the parts that make life worth it. Growing up just hardens the gel of your lens or sometimes you escape it entirely by laser surgery but it just doesn’t remain the same.
Moving on, because sometimes I get stuck on one aspect of something and I keep on rambling about it for hours on end and after a few minutes, it starts to sound very, very sad.
When You Reach Me is a very simple, sad story about friendship, loss, sacrifices and how far would you go to correct your mistakes. The best thing I liked about this book was how the portrayal of the life of a child as she grows up and how day-by-day life gets so tangled that you have to carry a pair of scissors to chop-chop these threads and you can do that only for a few minutes because these threads have an extreme regenerative ability. So you can only be clean and free for a precious few minutes.
And even though I usually have lots of things to say, I can’t garner my thoughts in ways that would do this book justice. So what I’m gonna do is use some quotes from the book to show you all that my affection for it is not unwarranted. Spoiler-less, of course.
~”I’m an old man, and she’s gone now. So don’t worry, okay?”
~I believe that you were ready. But I still think it’s sad.
~And when we are safely across, Sal always gives a little salute. And sometimes I look up, and shake my fist at the sky.
~I don’t know. I just feel stuck, like I’m afraid to take any steps, in case they’re the wrong ones.
~Trying to forget really doesn’t work. In fact, it’s pretty much the same as remembering.
~I figure it will be there for a long time, and then, someday, it’ll just blow away.
~I make an origami frog for Richard and put it on top of his box.
I make an origami frog for Mom and put it on top of her envelope.
I can’t get enough of these origami frogs.
~Sometimes you never feel meaner than the moment you stop being mean. It’s like how turning on a light makes you realize how dark the room had gotten. And the way you usually act, the things you would have normally done, are like these ghosts that everyone can see but pretends not to.
~Pajamas are good for the soul.
~It nags at me, even though you’re gone and there’s no one to give it to anymore.
~“Well, it’s simple to love someone,” she said. “But it’s hard to know when you need to say it out loud.”
~You asked me to mention the key. If I ever do decide to write your letter, which I probably won’t, this is the story I would tell you.
And to end with:
~Of course, he’s the total hero of the story. But there isn’t a happy ending for him.
It’s one of those books that make you sad, not because they are sad even though this one totally is, but because they are so beautifully crafted.
And because this is getting too damn sentimental, a lame joke
and a horribly inappropriate one
hee hee hee