You Know Where to Find Me

You Know Where to Find Me

3.6 24
by Rachel Cohn
     
 

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Miles has spent her whole life in the shadow of her cousin Laura. Laura is the golden one—smart, gorgeous, rich, and popular—while Miles considers herself the unwanted one—an unattractive, underachieving social outcast. As far as Miles is concerned, Laura has the perfect life…until Laura commits suicide, leaving Miles lost the wake of the event… See more details below

Overview

Miles has spent her whole life in the shadow of her cousin Laura. Laura is the golden one—smart, gorgeous, rich, and popular—while Miles considers herself the unwanted one—an unattractive, underachieving social outcast. As far as Miles is concerned, Laura has the perfect life…until Laura commits suicide, leaving Miles lost the wake of the event. Losing Laura shatters Miles and sets her on a dangerous downward spiral. When she hits rock bottom, Miles must make a choice: She can escape from it all, just like Laura did, or she can look for strength in herself and in those she didn’t believe cared about her, and try to find a reason to live.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Cohn (Gingerbread) delves into her darker side as she probes a teen's suicide and the painful repercussions for her loved ones. After her best friend and first cousin, Laura, kills herself with an overdose of prescription drugs, 17-year-old Miles is shattered: the person Miles believed would always be there for her has left without even saying goodbye. And when her flaky mother flees town to mourn with her boyfriend in London, Miles is left alone with Laura's father to endure a summer of grief at his D.C. estate. A prescription-drug addict herself, Miles must embark upon a journey of self-discovery if she is to survive. Cohn once again excels at crafting a multidimensional, in-the-moment teenage world, this time without recourse to her usual witty style. There is a bleakness to her language that superbly suits this sad, somber tale. Her work is heartbreaking, at times excruciating to read, but it rings with authenticity. In pursuing Miles's responses, she spares few details, neither the methods via which Miles and Laura procure their pills nor the actual medical causes of Laura's supposedly peaceful death. The tragedy of teen suicide has been the subject of countless novels, yet rarely has it been discussed with such gritty realism. Ages 12-up. (Mar.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Claudia Mills
Framed as a dark fairy tale, Cohn's latest novel begins with "Once upon a time." Once upon a time there was a beautiful blonde "princess," the cherished, late-life, adopted, only child of a wealthy gay man at the center of Washington, D.C.'s social and political life. Once upon a time this princess took her own life: "Sleeping Beauty decided to take a nap from which she would never wake up." The story of what happened next is narrated by Laura's overweight, Goth-dressed, fiercely intelligent but underachieving cousin Miles, who was raised as Laura's near-twin sister. Miles's mother is neglectful, her father is absent, her African-American, male best friend/crush has fallen in love with another girl. Facing the rest of her life without Laura, Miles is becoming ever more dependent on the prescription drugs she hordes to deal with her deepening depression, the drugs that allow her to enter and remain in "the dream." Miles's voice is a YA tour de force, painfully sardonic, both funny and bitter: "Laura is dead but I am having a good hair day;" "At least I know where to find Jim. Two lost souls with nothing to do other than grieve and smoke, who share nothing besides a dead person, are getting to be codependent regular players in Midnight in the Garden of Talking and Smoking." Once upon a time Rachel Cohn wrote a brilliant, haunting, despairing yet ultimately affirming book that deserves to join her lengthening list of YA best sellers. Reviewer: Claudia Mills, Ph.D.
VOYA - C. J. Bott
Cousins Miles and Laura grow up more like sisters, only months apart in age, sharing dreams and escapes. They were so tightly bonded that when Laura kills herself, an abandoned Miles barely functions. Laura was everything Miles wished for - beautiful, thin, and popular with boys. Miles loved her most, and living without her is a sentence in itself. During the summer after Laura's death, Miles, addicted to escapes - whether books, food, pills, or fantasies - does not realize how much she contributes to the lives of others. Exquisitely written and delicately told, this story belongs to Miles. Cohn wisely focuses on her and gives the reader just enough of Laura to validate Miles's grief. But Miles does not stand in isolation; the book includes a rich circle of people very involved in the world and willing to anchor Miles in that world despite her courageous stubbornness. The completeness of the book is impressive. It is an intense and fulfilling read by a skillful storyteller. Reviewer: C. J. Bott
School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up- Miles is wry, sarcastic, and smart, an almost-18-year-old Goth with a weight problem and a growing addiction to pharms. She and her "golden" cousin, Laura, were raised like sisters on their Georgetown estate, she in the carriage house out back with her mom, Laura in the main house with her wealthy gay father. In a first-person narrative peppered with flashbacks and essays written for school, Miles tells of Laur's suicide and a summer spent grieving. It's a story of Miles's changing perceptions of the people in her life: of Laura herself; Miles's best friend, Jamal, with whom she's falling in love; Jamal's affluent black family; Laur's grief-stricken father; and Miles's own parents (an artist mother who runs off to a boyfriend in London, and a formerly alcoholic, absentee father who shows up to watch over her). Cohn tackles a lot here: clinical depression, suicide, drug addiction, homosexuality, grief, Washington, DC 's racial and social stratifications, and the political fight for District statehood. Fans of titles such as Cohn's "Gingerbread" series and Pop Princess (2004, both S & S) will find a darker, more wrenching and poetic narrative, but may also get lost in the book's overabundance of social and political themes and wish for more insight into the relationship Miles mourns. While Cohn's characterizations occasionally teeter toward stereotype, the story's evolving relationships keep it compelling enough to propel readers through to its dramatic conclusion.-Riva Pollard, formerly at The Winsor School Library, Boston

Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Pudgy, pierced, eye-lined Miles and her beautiful, slender cousin Laura were inseparable, raised as sisters in an idyllic mansion in a posh neighborhood of Georgetown. Despite her angelic appearance, Laura's depression takes hold and she unexpectedly offs herself with a handful of pills the summer before her senior year. As a result, Miles's physical and emotional existence veers deep into drug use, self-destructive behavior and depression. Cohn's slick, upbeat, urban prose intensifies the sharply drawn characters that frame Miles's world: her smooth-talking African-American best friend and crush Jamal, Miles's goofy, rehabbed sandwich-master dad and the elusive presence of Laura, which haunts the novel's pages like a ghost. Miles's own voice is defiantly admirable, full of dark, black venom and determined convictions. She isn't all doom and gloom, though, and her vulnerabilities subtly seep through with Cohn's signature beat: disco, cigarettes, M&Ms and books. The author nails the setting too: Racial lines, socio-economics, politics, war and the sticky, sweltering heat of a summer in D.C. all fuel her descent. What results isn't just a story about overcoming sorrow, but rather one of a girl raging against the world and herself, waiting for someone to help her make sense of it all. (Fiction. YA)
From the Publisher
* "What results isn't just a story about overcoming sorrow, but rather one of a girl raging against the world and herself, waiting for someone to help her make sense of it all."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* "Cohn once again excels at crafting a multidimensional, in-the-moment teenage world, this time without recourse to her usual witty style. There is a bleakness to her language that superbly suits this sad, somber tale. Her work is heartbreaking...but rings with authenticity...The tragedy of teen suicide has been the subject of countless novels, yet rarely has it been discussed withsucj gritty realism."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

"The story's evolving relationships keep it compelling enough to propel readers through to its dramatic conclusion."—School Library Journal

"Teens will be riveted by Miles—intelligent, cynical, overweight, talented, and wholly authentic—and her harrowing path through grief and addiction."—Booklist

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781442430129
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
01/25/2011
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
590,453
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
12 Years

Read an Excerpt

One

My so-called parents hate my boyfriend, Shrimp. I'm not sure they even believe he is my boyfriend. They take one look at his five-foot-five, surfer-shirt-wearin', baggy-jeans-slouchin', Pop Tart-eatin', spiked-hair-head self and you can just see confusion firebombs exploding in their heads, like they are thinking, Oh no, Cyd Charisse, that young man is not your homes.

Dig this: He is.

At least Shrimp always remembers to call my mother "Mrs." instead of just grunting in her direction, like most guys my age do. And no parent could deny that hanging out with Shrimp is an improvement over Justin, my ex, from my old prep school. Justin got me into trouble, big time. I'm so over the Justin stage.

Not like Sid and Nancy care much. I have done my parents the favor of becoming more or less invisible.

Sid, my father, calls me a "recovering hellion." Sid's actually mystepfather. You could say I hardly know my real father. I met him atan airport once when I was five. He was tall and skinny and had inkblack hair, like me. We ate lunch in a smoky pub at the Dallas-FortWorth airport. I did not like my hamburger so my real dad openedhis briefcase and offered me a piece of homemade gingerbread hehad wrapped in tinfoil.

He bought me a brown rag doll at the airport gift shop. Thecashier had made the doll herself. She said she had kept the doll hid-den under her cash register waiting for just the right little girl. Myreal dad gave the cashier a one-hundred-dollar bill and told her tokeep the change. I named my dolly Gingerbread.

Nancy and I were on our way to San Francisco to become Sid's family. My real dad was on his way back to New York, to his real wife and family. They don't know about me.

I'm fairly sure that my real dad's wife would not mind that I make scissors cuts on my arms and then pick the scabs. His real wifeprobably makes fresh gingerbread every day and writes Things To Do lists and does her own groceryshopping instead of having ahousekeeper and a driver do everything for her,like Nancy does.

Nancy only met Justin once, at the expulsion hearing. The headmaster told her Justin and I were caught fooling around in a room loaded with Jack Daniels and prescription bottles. In flagrante delicto were the words the headmaster used. I failed Latin.

Nancy said Justin was from a "wonderful Connecticut family" and how could I shame her and Sid like that. It was Justin who wasselling the ecstasy out of his dorm room, not me. It was Justin who said he pulled out in time. Sid and Nancy never knew about that part.

Nancy came into my room one night after I returned home to San Francisco. Sid and my younger half-sibs were at Father's Night at their French immersion school. "I hope your friends use condoms," Nancy said, which was funny because she knows Shrimp is my only friend. She threw a box of Trojans onto the lace-trimmed four-poster bed that I hate. Shrimp is a safety boy, he takes care of those things. If it had been Shrimp back in boarding school, h ewould have come with me to the clinic.

"Can I have a futon on the floor instead of this stupid princess bed?" I said. The thought of my mother even knowing about contraception, much less doling it out, was beyond comprehension,much less discussion.

Nancy sighed. Sighing is what she does instead of eating. "I paid ten thousand dollars to redecorate this room while you were atboarding school. No, you may not, Cyd Charisse."

Everybody in my family calls me by my first and middle name since my dad's name is pronounced the same as my first name. When she was twenty years old and pregnant with me, Nancy thought she would eventually marry my real dad. She named me after this dancer-actress from like a million years ago who starred in this movie that Nancy and real-dad saw on their first date, before she found out he had a whole other life. The real Cyd Charisse is like this incredibly beautiful sex goddess. I am okay looking. I could never be superhuman sexy like the real Cyd Charisse. I mean there is only room for so much grace and beauty in one person named Cyd Charisse, not two.

Nancy fished a pack of Butter Rum LifeSavers out of her designer jacket and held them out to me. "Want a piece of my dinner?" Copyright © 2008 by Rachel Cohn

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