You Must Not Miss: ARC Review

I received an ARC of You Must Not Miss by Katrina Leno – courtesy of NOVL – in exchange for a fair review, and I was very excited to read it. I have gotten several books from NOVL in the past and they always send good stuff! From the description, I was expecting a sort of contemporary fantasy, but what I got was something I never anticipated! This is definitely going on my recommended reads list – keep reading to find out why.

You Must Not MissThe Summary:

Magpie Lewis started writing in her yellow notebook the day her family self-destructed. That was the night Eryn, Magpie’s sister, skipped town and left her to fend for herself. That was the night of Brandon Phipp’s party.

Now, Magpie is called a slut whenever she walks down the hallways of her high school, her former best friend won’t speak to her, and she spends her lunch period with a group of misfits who’ve all been socially exiled like she has. And so, feeling trapped and forgotten, Magpie retreats to her notebook, dreaming up a place called Near.

Near is perfect–somewhere where her father never cheated, her mother never drank, and Magpie’s own life never derailed so suddenly. She imagines Near so completely, so fully, that she writes it into existence, right in her own backyard. It’s a place where she can have anything she wants…even revenge.

(summary courtesy of Goodreads)

The Review

Someday this book will be made assigned reading for high school kids everywhere (except the 5 states that will ban it, of course) and students will spend weeks discussing the symbolism and deeper meaning behind each paragraph. Seriously, it’s destined to become a classic alongside The Catcher in the Rye and The Outsiders. Every page of this story made me think and left me with a slight feeling of unease, all while rendering me unable to put it down. No lie, I finished the whole thing in one sitting, never moving from my seat on the couch for the whole 2 hours it took me to inhale it.

Magpie is such a complex character. Her life is in shambles and she is having the worst time pulling herself up out of it. Part of me wanted so badly to reach through and shake her. She claims to have no friends, but she is surrounded by a group of misfits who open their lives to her. She is angry at her mom for being an alcoholic, but she herself adds vodka into her after-school lemonade. Her teachers are doing everything they can to help her pass her classes, and she just ignores them. The part of me that didn’t want to shake her wanted to reach through and hug her. It was pretty clear that she was sinking further and further and couldn’t see a way out.

That’s where Near comes in. Near is a world that Magpie has created in her journal, but she finds that she can actually visit it through her garden shed, and whatever she wills is made so. Near is also pretty much one big piece of symbolism, and I could spend pages and pages trying to pick apart “what it all means”, but I won’t because I’d rather wait until you read it first! Just know that things turn real dark, real fast, and I did NOT see it coming. In fact, the book ends on a moment that is either very dark or very light, depending on how you want to interpret it. It was very The Giver and I am here for that.

All in all, I seriously think this book is destined to become a piece of classic lit. If you have a book club, I would strongly recommend you add You Must Not Miss into the lineup. It is the type of book that needs to be discussed in detail with others, and is best read with the support of friends. Super thanks to NOVL for providing me with a copy!

Purchase Link:

You Must Not Miss is on sale April 23rd, 2019! You can get your copy here.

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