Over You

Over You

3.5 6
by Amy Reed

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An intense friendship fractures in this gritty, realistic novel from the author of Beautiful, Clean, and Crazy, which School Library Journal called “compelling and moving.”

Max would follow Sadie anywhere, so when Sadie decides to ditch her problems and escape to Nebraska for the summer, it’s only natural for

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An intense friendship fractures in this gritty, realistic novel from the author of Beautiful, Clean, and Crazy, which School Library Journal called “compelling and moving.”

Max would follow Sadie anywhere, so when Sadie decides to ditch her problems and escape to Nebraska for the summer, it’s only natural for Max to go along. Max is Sadie’s confidante, her protector, and her best friend. This summer will be all about them. This summer will be perfect.

And then they meet Dylan. Dylan is dark, dangerous, and intoxicating, and he awakens something in Max that she never knew existed. No matter how much she wants to, she can’t back away from him.

But Sadie has her own intensity, and has never allowed Max to become close with anyone else. Max doesn’t know who she is without Sadie, but she’d better start learning. Because if she doesn’t make a decision—about Dylan, about Sadie, about herself—it’s going to be made for her.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A summer on a communal farm in Nebraska proves to be a turning/breaking point for 17-year-old best friends Max and Sadie in this sharp and memorable portrait of a one-sided relationship. Max welcomes the hippie residents (which include Sadie’s absentee mother), yurts, and grueling farm work, but Sadie—volatile, self-absorbed, and always the center of attention—quickly grows bored and irate. After Sadie is quarantined with mono, Max has even more freedom to explore her own thoughts, interests, and desires—including a love/hate crush on a surly older boy that surprises even Max, who typically dates girls. Reed (Crazy) powerfully demonstrates how 13 years of personal history weigh on Max, who has always been forced into the role of protector when it comes to Sadie. The author makes Max’s growing discontent concrete, as her narration shifts from addressing Sadie directly (“You float, serene, while I am the one burdened with memories”) to referring to her in the third-person. By book’s end, Sadie is still part of Max’s story, but she’s no longer the reason for it. Ages 14–up. Agent: Amy Tipton, Signature Literary Agency. (June)
Children's Literature - Jill Walton
Max is a teen who parents her parents and her best friend. When a teen takes care of people who should be taking care of her, someone needs to grow up! Max and her best (and only) friend, narcissist Sadie, are spending their summer at the Oasis in Nebraska and it is no vacation. The girls, who are from Seattle, experience culture shock when they are left at a bus stop in the dust awaiting their ride to a communal farm...and the ride does not come. The Oasis' clock was not working. Sadie's mother lives at the Oasis commune currently and the girls discover they will have their own little trailer for their stay. Sadie's mother is busy, but not with being a Mom. Max, since early childhood, has adored Sadie and is her protector. Sadie's mother tells Max how much she appreciates Max's care of her daughter. Then Sadie contracts mononucleosis, which separates the girls so Sadie depends on others for her care and Max depends only on Max. Max works in the fields and with the domestic animals and she values her labor. She is attracted to the bad boy in the commune; Sadie is attracted to the same bad boy. This young adult novel includes some adult language; it is humorous and deals with real life choices. Reviewer: Jill Walton
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—After a few alcohol-fueled brushes with danger in Seattle, best friends Sadie and Max go to live on an organic farm commune in Nebraska with Sadie's mom for the summer before their senior year. Reliable and protective Max acts as a caregiver for wild-child Sadie. But when Sadie contracts mono and is quarantined for weeks, Max learns how to come out of her friend's shadow, and she even flirts with Dylan, the farm's bad boy. The rhythm and routine of daily farm chores help her begin to forget about her shattered home life. When Sadie recovers, Max is unwilling to go back to their old dynamics and tension grows between them. A life-threatening incident during a tornado forces Max to realize that her friendship with Sadie has run its course; she returns to Seattle to be by her drug-addicted mother's bedside. Sections between chapters relate tales about the flaws and faults of ancient gods and goddesses, which set the stage for the events to occur in the upcoming chapters. Reed keeps readers guessing about the true nature of Max and Sadie's relationship for some time. And while early on Max informs readers that she is bisexual-a fact referenced at various points during the story-her sexuality never becomes a focal point of the story. Overall, this is a captivating novel that will compel teens to reflect on the nature of their friendships.—Nicole Knott, Watertown High School, CT
Kirkus Reviews
In Max and Sadie's friendship, wild Sadie is the one who has all the fun, while responsible Max deals with the consequences. Max has never questioned that dynamic, but she begins to see how one-sided their relationship is the summer before senior year, when they stay with Sadie's divorced hippie mom on an organic farm in Nebraska. Compared to Sadie, Max finds the other commune members kind and undemanding, and the mindless farm work is preferable to Sadie's manufactured drama. Max's burgeoning flirtation with bad-boy Dylan drives them even further apart. But their bond finally breaks the night a tornado leaves Max's life hanging in the balance with no Sadie in sight. Author Reed effectively portrays the end of an obsessive adolescent relationship through Max's precocious voice, which initially addresses itself directly to Sadie. As the story progresses, Max refers to Sadie by name instead of "you," demonstrating their growing distance: "Sadie, maybe this story isn't about you anymore." Less well-developed are the secondary characters that never rise above stereotype and neglected subplots involving both girls' parents and Max's bisexuality. The strained retellings of Greek myths inserted between each chapter that seem intended to deepen Max's character and to further illustrate the girls' troubled relationship only serve to interrupt Max's more compelling first-person narration. Teen girls who have experienced similar friendships will find this resonates; other readers probably won't. (Fiction. 14-17)

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Product Details

Simon Pulse
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Over You ’Άρειος
The story of Troy was never about the wooden horse. That is only what people want to remember, something tangible and easy to imagine, something children can build with the popsicle sticks in their minds, then shove full of plastic warriors. The story people know goes like this: a gate, opened; the horse thrown inside; an explosion of violence accompanied by a soundtrack of killing, dying, and victory.

But the horse was only ever just a prop, something to hold the imagination, something simple to focus on instead of what the war, what any war, is really about. The horse was not full of soldiers but hopes and dreams and fears and secrets, all the things tucked inside the hearts of people who are lost. The story started long before that, with the gods and their eternal bickering, their jealousy and revenge and desire and all the other dysfunctions they passed onto their children, cursing man to a life of eternal wandering.

Heroes claim all sorts of things, but their journeys are never all that complicated. They pound their chests and show off their bloody trophies, but no one ever really remembers why they fight. They say it was about a woman, or land, or honor, or God, but in the end it is always about one thing—paradise—losing it and wanting it, finding it and defending it, and yearning, always yearning, for somewhere or something or someone that will make them feel whole.

Home. That is what the hero is always searching for. Sometimes other words are substituted. Love, for instance. Or God. But these are just other ways of saying “home.”

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Over You 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't ask for anything better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an ok book. I read it without stopping. And to be honest the ending pissed me off. The book seemed unfinished. The ending wasnt great.
BlkosinerBookBlog More than 1 year ago
    The perspective in this one threw me at first, but not enough to put it down. The point of view is just weird. It is from Max's pov, so she is the "I" but it is also second person because Sadie is  "you". So it is like she is writing a letter, or telling the story to us, but as the reader we are in Sadie's pov. Like I said, confusing, but I got used to it. It also changed at about the halfway point because Sadie got sick.      Oh, and I didn't like the things at the beginning of chapters. I have seen lots of authors use a short quote, but this was like page or more long of stuff about the goddess and stuff, and it just wasn't my style, so I skipped over it. I do think it is neat in theory because Max is interested in the classics as for literature and she grew up hearing myths.       The setting is also unique. Sadie and Max are on a commune, what her called an intentional community." They chose to live a different way, and they chose to be around each other, sharing the work, the places to sleep, cook, eat and shower. The animals, and the people help Max to learn so much about herself and realize what she wants changed and how she needs to change for that to happen.       One of those things is the codependency and her need to rescue Sadie from herself. I don't think that she fully gets there, but over the course of the book she definitely starts changing the friendship to a more healthy and standing up for herself more. So, in the end, I feel like there is so much hope and promise for Max's future and what she learned over the summer.       This is a book for mature teens only because it deals with drinking, marijuana use, language, codependency, and some sexual situations. Nothing is too explicit though. The drinking goes a little far, but it comes with consequences, it shows how scared Max is when Sadie over does it or makes poor decisions because of it.       The ending wasn't as wrapped up as I'd have liked it, but like I said it does end at a good spot, where Max is making a huge stand for herself. She is going back to figure out if she can piece together the mess that is her family, because she'd neglected them to some extent for Sadie, and I think that is a good first step. She will def have to stay strong though because if she let them, they could be the next place where she self sacrifices herself.            Bottom Line: Over You is a dark, gritty but realistic book that had some powerful themes and messages. 
Amabe421 More than 1 year ago
This sounded like a great summer contemporary so I was really excited to read it. It was totally not what I was expecting at all, and not in a good way. I was bored with it, and wanted Max to stop being such a wuss and stop trying to do everything for Sadie and letting her own needs and feelings be constantly pushed back. There wasn't really much of a story to it either. It was really supposed to be a character driven book, but with lack of connection to the characters, it made it hard to enjoy. Max is a total pushover. At first I felt a little bad for her, but as we learn more and more about her and Sadie, I had anything but sympathy for her. I actually couldn't believe that she would stay friends with someone like Sadie. It's not that she didn't have other people who wanted to be friends with her, but everything was always about Sadie. She couldn't hang out with other people because her and Sadie had plans, blah, blah, blah. I get that she is her friend and loyal to her, but what I didn't understand was why she put up with her. I know that she has her own personal issues that she was dealing with, but I couldn't get past some things. When she finally starts to break out of her shell basically because she is forced to not be spending every second with Sadie, I really thought that she would grow as a character. For a while she did, but then she reverted back again. Though she had a bit of growth by the end of the book, it wasn't enough for me. I felt very let down. Sadie is full of herself and thinks everything is always about her. Even though we get away from her a bit in the story, she is always the center of it. She was selfish, arrogant, and not a great friend. She would act like a good friend when Max would finally get upset with her over something, but that was all. She literally would completely tune everything out and live in her little bubble. I couldn't stand her, and I don't know how anyone else could either. Max and Sadie never seemed like a great match to me even from the start. Right off we discover that Sadie is in charge and Max is like her little dog. She is there only for the purpose of making Sadie happy. They are spending the summer working at the Farm Sadie's mom lives at. The mom who has never been part of her life. It's not just any farm though. They are self sufficient, live in trailers and yurts, have community showers or just take a swim in the lake to bathe, and seem more like a cult at times then a community living on a farm. There are some secrets and weird things that go on there too. There was a bit of a story, but it was lost to the characters that, unfortunately, weren't well developed. Of course there is a guy involved, but I didn't really see it as a romance. It was more Max trying to rebel than anything. She does some things that she normally wouldn't do. She's always the safe one, not the one to get crazy drink or do drugs, but she acts different around Dylan.Yes, she was attracted to Dylan, as was Sadie, but once she starts getting to know him, the less there is to like. Then when Sadie finds out, things get all weird. Sadie is jealous, but it's not even about Max liking Dylan. It's because now she's not the center of attention anymore. Basically this was all about Max trying to discover herself and break away from Sadie, but it was just too drawn out and kind of aggravating for me to read. It's hard to really enjoy a story when you don't like a single character. I thought at first I might grow to like Max, but I liked her worse by the end. One thing to note was the interesting format of writing though. It starts off as Max telling Sadie's story, kind of like she's telling it to her, then it goes to first person once she starts to decide that things aren't all about Sadie anymore. Everything still is though, it's just not directed to her anymore. I wish I had liked this. If the characters hadn't been so flat to me and I had been able to connect to at least one of them, maybe I would have enjoyed it more, but as it is, I just wasn't into it. * An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another beautiful piece from a talented author. Always pushing the bounds of YA fiction with both her  style and subjects, Amy Reed does not disappoint with OVER YOU. The characters are fascinating, and she draws you instantly into their world with a brilliantly-executed second-person narrative. Many teenage  girls can probably relate to being either Max or Sadie at some point in their lives, and will certainly enjoy and benefit from reading their story.
AlwaysYAatHeart1 More than 1 year ago
2.5 Stars Sadie and Max are best friends.  In fact, Max's whole life has pretty much revolved around Sadie....looking out for  her, being her best friend, always putting her first.  When she accompanies Sadie to Nebraska for a visit with her mother, who has been absent from Sadie's life for the most part, things begin to change.  First of all, they find themselves on a commune of sorts.  Then they meet bad boy Dylan, who they both like.  One thing leads to another, and Max soon finds out she must discover who she is apart from and without Sadie. The synopsis for this book sounded pretty good and I was looking forward to reading it, but unfortunately, I didn't enjoy it as much as I had hoped.  The point of view that the story was told from was a bit confusing.  It was told from Max's point of view, and she would refer to herself as I, but she also referred to Sadie as you, like she was talking to her in the narration, which in turn made me feel like she was talking to me and I was Sadie.  I just wasn't crazy about this.  Nevertheless, this is the writing style the author chose to use for this book.  I haven't read anything else by Amy Reed, but have heard good things about her.  Secondly, I just didn't like Max or Sadie too much, which is just my personal opinion of course.  Max didn't impress me and Sadie was a kind of a brat.  The commune itself was really just a bunch of modern day hippies, ranging from young to old. There was drugs, partying, drinking, etc. going on quite a bit.  It kind of reminded me of one of those placed that winds up on the news, and not in a good way.  Then there was the love interest, Dylan, who is personified as a bad boy.  Usually, I love the bad boys, but Dylan did nothing for me.  He was just a jerk all the way around.  Overall, I wasn't crazy about this story, but I have seen mixed reviews, some of which were positive.  My advice to you is to go to goodreads and check the reviews out for yourself.  Even though I wasn't crazy about it, you may like it, especially if you are a fan of this author.