3.6 25
by Charles Benoit

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This wasn't the way it was supposed to go.

You're just a typical fifteen-year-old sophomore, an average guy named Kyle Chase. This can't be happening to you. But then, how do you explain all the blood? How do you explain how you got here in the first place?

There had to have been signs, had to have been some clues it was coming. Did you miss them, or

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This wasn't the way it was supposed to go.

You're just a typical fifteen-year-old sophomore, an average guy named Kyle Chase. This can't be happening to you. But then, how do you explain all the blood? How do you explain how you got here in the first place?

There had to have been signs, had to have been some clues it was coming. Did you miss them, or ignore them? Maybe if you can figure out where it all went wrong, you can still make it right. Or is it already too late? Think fast, Kyle. Time's running out. How did this happen?

You is the riveting story of fifteen-year-old Kyle and the small choices he does and doesn't make that lead to his own destruction.

In his stunning young-adult debut, Charles Benoit mixes riveting tension with an insightful—and unsettling—portrait of an ordinary teen in a tale that is taut, powerful, and shattering.

Advance praise for You:

"You is authentic, ambitious, and gripping. A serious book that reads like a suspense novel, the story it tells—of the ways in which we become imprisoned by our own choices, big and small—is both frightening and frighteningly real."

—Lauren Oliver, New York Times bestselling author of Before I Fall

"Charles Benoit has written a shattering, gut-wrenching novel that puts You right in the center of the story. Pick it up and you won't put it down!"

—Michael Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Gone

"I sat down to start this book—and didn't get up until I'd finished it, a riveting three hours later. You is pitch-perfect: funny, real, touching, brimming with tension and foreboding—and still surprising right up to the last page. one of the best ya novels I've read in years."

—Patricia McCormick, National Book Award finalist, author of Sold and Purple Heart

"A sandstorm of a novel, as harshly real as hell or high school. I loved it."

—Robert Lipsyte, Margaret A. Edwards Award–winning author of The Contender and Center Field

"Wanna know who the real bad guys in your school are? Read You. This book will keep you reading, and then it will start you thinking. And talking. You is good stuff."

—Chris Crutcher, Margaret A. Edwards Award–winning author of Deadline

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A sense of doom pervades this gripping YA debut from adult mystery writer Benoit, made all the more devastating by an empathetic main character. Second-person omniscient narration invites readers into Kyle's grim story: "Welcome to the official start of tenth grade. Welcome to the last year of your life." Previous bad choices have landed him at Midlands High, and as one of the school's burnout "Hoodies" (so-named for their requisite hooded sweatshirts), Kyle finds his world increasingly circumscribed. "Every day you get up, go to school, fake your way through your classes, come home, get hounded about your homework... and the next day you get to do it all over again." Bright but unmotivated, Kyle is easily swept into newcomer Zach's sinister orbit, as the wealthy and psychologically brutal Zach defends, charms, and then seeks to destroy him. Kyle's internal thought processes (frequent lists, parental nagging, one-sided conversations) convey a conflicting swirl of emotions--rage, distrust, betrayal, empathy, and love--while an overarching defeatism prevents him from acting on constructive impulses. Disturbing content blends with skillful, fast-paced writing, adding a thriller spin to the novel's vicious realism. Ages 12–up. (Sept.)
Chris Crutcher
“Wanna know who the REAL bad guys in your school are? Read You. This book will keep you reading, and then it will start you thinking. And talking. You is GOOD stuff.”
“Wanna know who the REAL bad guys in your school are? Read You. This book will keep you reading, and then it will start you thinking. And talking. You is GOOD stuff.”
VOYA - Mark Irish
Kyle Chase is a typical teenage boy trying to fit in at Midland High. Kyle feels he does not fit in with the "hoodies," but he also does not fit in with the jocks, geeks, or the more privileged students. He does not feel that he is like other kids his age. Kyle meets Zack, a transfer student, and things get a lot worse for him at Midland High. Zack tends to "talk smooth" and ace tests, and always seems to have the upper hand. After losing a job opportunity and love interest, Ashley, Kyle soon sees the real Zack and wonders how he got himself into the situation he is in. He recognizes how dark Zack can be—after all the parties and all the pranks, Kyle begins to mature and resist Zack's influence. This book is written in second person. You reads as if you are inside Kyle's head. It includes typical teenage angst—parents, school, girls, drugs, alcohol, and costly decisions. Some sexual language and adult themes make this book appropriate for older teens. Overall, this is a great read about a boy struggling with his identity and his place in this world, as well as the consequences of right and wrong. Reviewer: Mark Irish
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Charles Benoit's debut young adult novel (HarperTeen 2010) is told in the second person, hence the title. Listeners meet 15-year-old Kyle Chase, a smart, angry, bored slacker who is a member of his high school's "hoodies" group. The teenager is trying to find his way through a crush on a girl, his mother's constant questioning of what he is doing with his life, and the attention of some school bullies and Zack, the new kid in school whose daring escapades turn into something much more dangerous. Through David Baker's deep vocal patterns and deliberate pacing tinged with appropriate levels of judgmental undertones, listeners become Kyle Chase, once promising student and now frustrated and slightly apologetic slacker. The crafting that Benoit does to make Kyle seem at once sympathetic and infuriating is skillfully and convincingly conveyed in Baker's powerful performance that takes listeners through each decision (and indecision) that Kyle makes to bring him to an unforgettable impasse with his final choice to act on behalf of the girl he loves. This edgy, disturbing novel drives home the reality that each choice you make or do not make leads to real consequences that can be life changing.—Stephanie A. Squicciarini, Fairport Public Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Quiet, hoodie-wearing slacker Kyle Chase has anger-control issues and wants to be left alone by his teachers, his parents and the rest of the world. He's constantly in trouble at school, and he spends most of his time hanging out with his similarly washed-up friends or pining after his crush. That is, until he meets Zack, a mysteriously manipulative bon vivant who takes him under his wing. At first Zack's schemes seem harmless—especially when they protect Kyle—but when they turn dangerous, Kyle finds he's in too deep to escape. Told completely in the second person, Benoit's first YA effort reads sharply and seamlessly, full of staccato, cut-to-the-action prose that will rivet teen readers à la Gail Giles or Kate Morgenroth. Readers will know that a train wreck is inevitable, and clever foreshadowing hints at Kyle's eventual downfall. Characters are all fully fleshed, with the exception of Kyle's parents, who sound more like adults in a Peanuts comic strip than parents. The novel's disturbing, ambiguous conclusion will provoke discussions about choices, right/wrong and responsibility. Harrowing. (Fiction. 12 & up)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
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File size:
305 KB
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

What People are saying about this

Chris Crutcher
“Wanna know who the REAL bad guys in your school are? Read You. This book will keep you reading, and then it will start you thinking. And talking. You is GOOD stuff.”

Meet the Author

Charles Benoit is a former high school teacher and the Edgar Award-nominated author of three adult mystery novels and the teen novel Fall From Grace. He lives in Rochester, New York.

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You 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Annibebe More than 1 year ago
I gave this book 4 stars because it kept me guessing right up to the end. Sadly, the ending wasn't to my liking, however I do recommend it; it's a quick read (I finished it in a few hours) and could foster good conversation.
megtuttle More than 1 year ago
In the book You by Charles Benoit, it simply talks about a boy named Kyle who kinda struggles fitting in. He goes throughout life doing the same thing everyday, getting up in the morning having his mother yell at him about getting a job and constantly struggling with how he sees himself as a person. This book offers a wide variety of different literary elements and always keeps you on the edge of your seat. Throughout the book, Kyle has this crush on a girl names Ashley and they are best friends as well, but when the new kid Zack moves to town, at first Kyle hates him but when he starts to talk to him more often and starts to go to some of his parties, he gradually becomes closer to him after Zack sticks up to the school bully/jock and saves Kyle from getting beat up in the locker room after school one day. This is a very suspesful book especially in the ending when something happens that you never would have seen coming. It shocked me and I'm sure it will shock you as well. I would definetly recommend You as a book to read if you are looking for something to keep you on the edge of your seat and never wanting to put the book down because it is so interesting.
Nikkayme More than 1 year ago
Kyle Chase is a loser. Or at least he is the high school equivalent of a loser and he knows it. For whatever reason, he chose to ditch the life he knew and the friends he had, the possibilities that were endless, to become a hoodie. He hangs with 'the wrong crowd' and gets into trouble. His grades are horrendous and his own mother tells his sister that she shouldn't want to be like him. Kyle's going nowhere fast, yet somehow, Benoit makes that story incredible. Benoit tells Kyle's story all in second person (you) so the reader is Kyle. I've never read a story in the 2nd person POV before, but I really enjoyed the way Benoit went about it. I felt like I became Kyle and I couldn't believe where my life had ended up. The story opens up with a shocking start and moves back to tell the story from the beginning of the school year. Kyle's reflections on his life are tortuous because they are so raw and honest. He had everything going for him and he threw it all away. And for what? He isn't even sure. Benoit does more than just write a tragic story of a good kid who fell in with the wrong crowd though. He examines how we make our own fate and how everything we do is on us. We decide what is right and what is wrong and just what choices to make. We don't always make the right ones or the smart ones, but we have the power to control our own actions. Kyle's story builds to this crescendo as everything crashes down around him. The story is powerful and intense, but I wish it had been longer. My only complaint is that it left me wanting to know so much more. Told in searing prose that is rife with foreboding, You is an addictive thriller that never lets up. Charles Benoit's YA debut is a shatteringly realistic and deceptively honest tale about the choices we make and the consequences they have. I couldn't put it down. Opening line: You're surprised at all the blood. ~ pg. 1 Favorite line(s): The feeling passes, and what two hours ago was the most criminal thing you had ever done seems suddenly insignificant. Another line crossed. And you didn't even notice. ~ pg. 28
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Kyle is a hoodie. One of those kids that sits in the back of the class, tries not to be noticed, doesn't do his homework (only because he doesn't see the point), and dresses in the same "uniform" every day - black jeans, black shirt, black hoodie. You can find hoodies in every school, even though they might be called something else - slackers, freaks, stoners. Whenever you see them walking down the hall or through the mall, you don't know exactly what to expect - you just know it won't be good. YOU by Charles Benoit provides a glimpse into the mind of Kyle. By writing in a second-person point-of-view, the reader actually walks around inside Kyle's head. You are the character going through the story. * You are the one listening to the teachers explain how important it is you turn in all your work the rest of the grading period even though you still won't be able to pass the class. * You are the one attending Midlands High School because your grades weren't good enough to go to the private school with the people you already know. * You are the one with a secret crush on a girl you're afraid you have no chance with. * You are the one who thinks that your cute, kindergarten-age sister is the best person you know. * You are the one with a tragic end. Kyle is a good guy. Is he misunderstood? No - he projects exactly what he wants to project. The people in his life don't give him a reason to do anything differently. EVERY educator needs to read this book!
SpartanReading More than 1 year ago
I gave this book 5 stars because I loved the story and plot and it kept me wanting to read more. I've never felt that way about books because I don't read much. So, saying that, it's a pretty good book. The book You is in the form of YOU/ 4th person point of view, hence the title You. I thought that made it VERY interesting because it was the first book I read in 4th person. In the book, you are Kyle Chase who is a Sophomore in High School. Kyle has MANY problems. He still doesn't have a job, is failing every class you can think of, he's always in trouble, and he can't even get the guts to ask out the love of his life. Also, he once tried punching someone but, it backfired because he missed and he hit the bus window. There were shards of glass everywhere and blood everywhere. But, one day, Kyle (or your) life changed forever. A new kid moved in named Zack. Zack instantly became popular and one of Kyle's friends. But, there's more to Zack than everyone knows. Zack like pushing people around. Pushing them till they crack and cry for mercy. What does that mean? Well, YOU're going to have to read the book to find out. I would recommend this to Middle School kids and High Schoolers. Mostly because the setting of the book is in High School. This lets the reader connect more to the setting and situations that happen in the book. For example, in the book, Kyle describes how you can tell who's part of what group: The Jocks, The Nerds, or The Hoodies. High Schoolers can connect to that and how it's like that in there school. Also, in the book, Kyle talks like a High Schooler. He talks in his own teenage slang. Most adults may not know what he's trying to say and the language he's using may seem confusing. All and all, this book is great for all ages and one of the best books I've ever read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The books 90 pages
Lil_bookette More than 1 year ago
Even though Kyle seems hopeless and bored and dead-ended, he's not a bad kid, just at the end of a road built with a lot of bad choices, and you can't help but hope for him to pull himself together. You know from the beginning of the book that something gut-wrenching is going to happen, and it's pins and needles waiting to see how bad it's really going to be. Kyle's mom is a total wake-up call for me. I can see so much of myself in the way she talks to him. I'm guilty of those long speeches/rants that are thoroughly negative and wouldn't inspire any child to change. I will definitely be sharing this book with my son.
Jorge Noguera More than 1 year ago
I saw this in my school and got it so i could kill a few minuets during class..... from the first page i was sucked stright into the pages and suddenly began living the life of zach I did not find my way back to the real world till after i finished the last page Amazing book that will draw you in and wont let you go, not even a single dry page in YOU
Brooke_Lynn_G More than 1 year ago
This book was crazy. It's written so well, it sucks you in and holds you. It was such a quick read, i finished it in one night. This book is truly unique and one of a kind with the use of second person (you). The way in which YOU is written is powerful, "you do this", "you think that" it's just fascinating! I have never read anything like it and I am glad I did! I liked the main character Kyle a lot, you get to know him really, really well and it was really easy to connect with him. He is soo relatable with all his talk about high-school, grades, college, and even some conversations with his parents! I was nodding my head throughout the whole thing! Then there was the character of Zach, who ultimately was like comic relief! There was this scene in the locker room that was hilarious. He had perfect timing, knew the right thing to say and do at the right time.. but he ends up being a total ass, and I would have punched him in the face. Not going to lie, the ending confused me a bit.. but still overall a sharp book & I think a must read! best quote: "Ms. Casey is standing in front of the class explaining how she worked all weekend to get the tests graded so she could hand them back on Monday morning, and you're wondering if you're supposed to be impressed that she did her job." <--- TRUTH!
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I like reading long books like 300 pages and up but this sounds good. 4 star for being interesting but needing 2 no the # of pgs.
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Snapperworth More than 1 year ago
This book is crap. It does not describe an average teenager life, and I hated the main character. The second person narrative is the only thing that can make this book worthy of its one star.
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What age