Books Thriller

You were never here by Kathleen Peacock

Kaili
You Were Never Here

Book: You Were Never Here

Author: Kathleen Peacock

Published: October 20, 2020

Publisher: HarperTeen

Pages: 400

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

About You Were Never Here:

Montgomery Falls is the town that Cat’s family founded. She hasn’t been there since she was twelve years old when she first discovered that she can do things that most twelve years can’t do. That was the year she got her first kiss from Riley and ultimately ruined their friendship. Five years later and she’s back in Montgomery Falls only this time Riley is missing. No one has heard from Riley in three months.

While Cat is there she hears all kinds of conspiracy theories about what happened to Riley ranging from he just ran away to him being killed. Even though they aren’t really close Noah, Riley’s brother asks her for help. She debates on whether she should help him because it’s between potentially finding Riley or her secret possibly getting out. When there’s a girl floating in the river with no knowledge of what happened to her or who could have done it, Cat must make a choice to either use an ability that she can’t really control or let the killer getaway.

You Were Never Here
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Rating: 2 out of 5.

What I thought about You Were Never Here:

So, this book follows Mary Catherine who goes by Cat and she’s being forced to stay with her aunt for the summer since something bad kind of happened to her back in New York.

I honestly can’t decide if I really enjoyed the book or not. The premise of it is really good but the storyline is actually kind of slow. It took a good while for me to actually finish this book because of that very reason. So, I actually picked this book up because of the cover and how it immediately grabbed my attention. After reading books like this is how I learned the hard way why everyone tells you not to judge a book by its cover. But even the blurb kind of tricked me into thinking that this book actually might be worth reading.

I’m starting to realize that a lot of young adult novels tend to focus more on romance and friendship even if the book is classified as a mystery or thriller. Don’t get me wrong I really do enjoy young adult novels just not when the focus of the story isn’t really mystery or thriller related but more romance related. Every once in a while I don’t mind a good romance novel but I really have to be in the mood for it.

The Plot

I would not really consider You Were Never Here much of a mystery or a thriller. Yes, there are elements of them being in there but the book felt more like a young adult drama. Cat is confusing as hell with her feelings towards people. At first, I thought maybe she had a thing for Riley or the Riley she once knew and that was part of the reason why she was trying to figure out what happened to him. The guy she does end up falling for is a bit weird for me. I can’t exactly pinpoint why but they are just weird together.

As I’ve stated before the plot of this book is actually pretty slow (to me). There are parts of the book that just kind of drags out and it could have had a good edit through by getting rid of some things that aren’t relevant to the story.

So, in this book Cat’s father sends her to her Aunt’s house without a phone. They live several hours away from each other and Cat has to take a bus to get there. I get that people use to survive all of the time without phones. I went through most of my life without a cell and so did a lot of others. But at this age letting your daughter go on a bus without any way of getting in touch with you doesn’t seem logical. The fact that bad news is constantly on the news would make me not want to take away a kid’s phone when they are traveling somewhere that’s a good distance away from me.

I get that her dad wanted to make sure that she didn’t have a smartphone but what I don’t get is why he didn’t just get her a super cheap flip phone or a pay-as-you-go phone? To me, that would have been the more logical thing to do. Once he found out about all that was going on in Montgomery Falls he still didn’t really do anything about it. It kind of gives me the impression that her dad really may not care all that much about her.

The Characters

To be honest I really couldn’t stand Cat’s best friend Lacey. I was hoping through the book that Cat would just forget about her and actually focus on making better friends with the kids in Montgomery Falls. In a way, she does make a really good friend with a girl named Skye. It feels like Kathleen put all of her focus on Cat and didn’t really think about her other characters because Skye definitely has multiple personalities thrown into one character. It’s almost as if the author realized that she didn’t put a lot of work into her other characters and threw everything into Skye. A lot of things she includes kind of make Skye one conflicting character.

You guys should already know by reading the blurb that Cat has an ability. But her ability is a bit vague. You find out what her ability is in the story but you soon realize that it really isn’t all that interesting and it would just suck to have it. She can’t control it and her family doesn’t really help her with it even though it’s something that runs in the family. Her family knows what she can do but her dad refuses to acknowledge it. Her aunt has an ability herself but doesn’t really put the effort into guiding Cat. I guess what would have made it a bit more interesting is if Kathleen put a little more depth into the ability instead of it is what is kind of thing that ended up making the ability a bit boring.

Normally I wouldn’t bring up a title when it comes to a book. I never really thought about bringing up how a title is relevant to the story. That’s mostly because certain titles really give away where exactly the book is going, so I never really think to include them. So, there’s only one reason as to why I’m bringing it up with this book and that’s the fact that the title has no relevance to the story! I have no idea why Kathleen decided to name it You Were Never Here because as far as I can tell it has absolutely no relevance to the story at all. But I could’ve missed where exactly it ties in.

What’s a YA novel that distappointed you?

If you enjoy these types of books then you might also like Creepshow: The Cursed.

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