Monday, October 24, 2011

You Are My Only by Beth Kephart

Sophie is fourteen years old and living with her mother in run down houses. She is home-schooled, and the two of them have moved to new locations more often than Sophie can keep track of. When they land at a little house next to a boy named Joey and his two Aunts, Sophie realizes she is no longer interested in the nomadic life she has been living. Emmy is a nineteen-year-old mother whose child is taken from her in broad daylight. Emmy is heartbroken, but doesn't have a lot of time to mourn before she is thrown into a mental hospital on the outskirts of town. With little hope of finding her Baby, Emmy maneuvers through her grief and loss.

This is the first book by Beth Kephart I have read and it was very interesting. Most notable is her writing style, which is loose and poetic and really quite beautiful. There is not a lot of happiness in this story, but the prose puts a softer edge to everything and makes it magical. The voices of the characters are also unique, as no one sounds all that educated. I'm not sure how else to describe the dialog, but once I got used to it, the dialog morphed into a character of its own. The alternating chapters between Emmy and Sophie were also confusing at first, with their ages being similar but so different. But as the reader realizes these girls are somehow connected, the pace becomes faster and more urgent until the climax at the end. It is a strange topic for a YA novel, with teen pregnancy, mental illness, and kidnapping, but I think YA readers will ultimately enjoy it. This is a challenging and tragic book that is well worth the time and effort. If you have not yet read any Kephart, give this new one a try!

Overall Rating: 4 Stars

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