I'll Be There

I'll Be There

by Holly Goldberg Sloan

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316122764
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 06/12/2012
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 267,098
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 12 - 18 Years

About the Author

Holly Goldberg Sloan was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and spent her childhood living in California; the Netherlands; Istanbul; Washington, DC; and Oregon. She has written and directed a number of successful family feature films. The mother of two sons, Holly lives with her husband in Santa Monica, California. I'll Be There is her debut novel.

Read an Excerpt

I'll Be There


By Goldberg Sloan, Holly

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Copyright © 2011 Goldberg Sloan, Holly
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780316122795

1

The days of the week meant nothing to him.

Except Sunday.

Because on Sundays he listened to pipe organs and pianos.

If he was lucky, handheld bells, pounding drums, or electronic beat machines might vibrate while people sang and sometimes clapped and on occasion even stamped their dressed-up feet.

On Sundays, wherever he was, whenever he could, Sam Border woke early, pulled on his cleanest dirty shirt, and went looking for a church.

He didn’t believe in religion.

Unless music could be considered a religion. Because he knew God, if there was one, was just not on his side.

Sam always came in after things had started. And he always left before the service was finished. He sat in the back because he was there only to visualize the patterns in the musical notes. And maybe grab a glazed donut or a sticky cookie on the way out.

If someone tried to speak to him, Sam nodded in greeting and, if he had to, threw in a “Peace be with you.” But he had perfected the art of being invisible, and he was, even when he was younger and little, almost always left alone.

What he could remember, when he thought of the dozens and dozens of towns where he’d lived, were sounds.

Even Junction City, where he’d spent a whole winter and made a friend, was now gone, except for the ping of the rain hitting the metal roof on the apartment off the alley where the city parked all its noisy trucks.

That was three years ago. Fifteen towns ago. Another lifetime.

After Junction City they’d been outside of Reno for a while. And then in a trailer that rattled as if every screw and corresponding piece of corroded metal was ready to come undone.

The trailer was in Baja California, and it felt like living in a cardboard box, which was one of his many recurring nightmares. But he’d appreciated those five months south of the border.

Being an American automatically meant he was an outsider, so for the first time in what he could remember of his blur of a broken life, he’d felt like he could relax. He was different. It was expected.

But even fitting-in-because-you-don’t-fit-in didn’t last.

His father got them out of the country and back to the U.S. just as Sam was learning to speak Spanish and figuring out how to swim.

For weeks, while his brother and father slept, Sam had gone down right after sunrise to the crashing waves. Teaching yourself a skill, especially one that could kill you if things went wrong, wasn’t easy.

At first, he only went in up to his knees. And then, gradually, he ventured into the swell, moving his arms in the cold surf like he’d seen people do from a distance.

He was pretty sure he looked like a real idiot.

But he was always able to get back to the gritty beach, even on the morning when the ocean suddenly shifted gears and began to pull him sideways down the shoreline. For what seemed like miles, he slapped his arms against the waves and thrashed his legs in a fury as he swallowed mouthfuls of icy salt water.

Because something inside him, even when he most wanted to give up, just wouldn’t.

After that day, Sam figured he had once gone for a real swim. But he assumed that whatever he’d learned from the experience would disappear, like so much that had come and gone in a life dictated by his father. There were so many things that were a mystery. That’s what happens when you’ve never gone to school past second grade.

But the good thing was that he didn’t know what he didn’t know, and that made it all easier.

Emily Bell was a collector.

And what she gathered and sorted and prized was carried with her wherever she went.

Because Emily’s obsession was with other people’s lives.

Her grandmother had once said that Emily would have been the greatest spy ever born. But only if spies didn’t have to guard secrets as well as unearth them. Because Emily’s own emotional wall of self-protection was see-through. She wasn’t hiding anything about herself, so why should anyone else?

It was disarming.

Emily’s interest in personal histories made her accessible to people’s deepest emotions. It was as if she had some kind of magnet that pulled at someone’s soul, often when he or she least expected it.

And that same magnet, which had to have been shaped like a horseshoe, allowed someone to look at her and feel the need to share a burden.

Hers was a gift that didn’t have a name.

Even she didn’t understand what it all meant.

Emily just knew that the grocery store clerk’s cousin had slipped on a bath mat and fallen out a second-story open window only to be saved because the woman landed on a discarded mattress.

But what interested Emily the most about the incident was how the cousin had subsequently met a man in physical therapy who introduced her to his half brother who she ended up marrying and then running over with her car a year later after a heated argument. And that man, it was discovered, had been the one to dump the mattress in her yard.

He’d saved her so that she could later cripple him.

Emily found that not ironic but intriguing.

Because everything, she believed, was connected.

Now, at seventeen years old, Emily’s question was how she fit into the big scheme of things. Where was her minor incident that would change the course of major life events? So far it had all gone according to plan. Good parents. Decent younger brother. World’s greatest dog. Loyal best friend.

There had been no dramatic hairpin turns in her road. And not even any real bumps to speak of.

But she had lived in one town, and she had seen how small things changed big things. She saw every person as part of a ripple effect.

And, because of that, she believed in destiny.

At least that’s what she would later tell herself.

Emily took a bite of whole wheat toast and stared out the window. She did not have a beautiful singing voice. She could carry a tune, but that was the extent of the situation.

So why was she going to sing a solo at church?

The answer was right across from her, drinking coffee.

Tim Bell was a college music professor. But on Sundays he was now also the choral director of their congregation. And, as Emily chewed, she decided that he really must not care about that new position if he was going to subject the people to her rendition of “I’ll Be There.”

Because it wasn’t even a church song she had to sing.

It was a classic pop melody that the Jackson Five had made famous, and people had heard this song and seen this song performed and they all knew how it was supposed to sound.

Which made her singing it even worse.

Her father had a theory—because he had theories about everything—that love ballads could be used in places of worship and reinvented to have a spiritual dimension. Being an instructor, he knew that the key to emotional involvement with music was familiarity.

So the way Emily saw it, he was basically tricking people.

He was using songs that already made them feel good. The only problem in the scheme was her. It was just plain wrong to make her a guinea pig in the plan.

Emily had tried all week to appeal to her mother, who was always a voice of reason. But Debbie Bell was an emergency-room nurse and she said that she handled pain and he handled poetry, which meant she left music to her husband.

In desperation Emily had even worked on her little brother, Jared, who was only ten years old and, being seven years younger than her, would pretty much do anything she said. But even Jared didn’t think her singing was a big deal.

Emily shut her eyes and she could hear her own voice, sped up suddenly like a cartoon chipmunk, singing: “I’ll be there. Just call my name. I’ll be there.”

It was a total nightmare.

She would just have to grit her teeth and get through it.

But was it possible to grit your teeth and still sing?



Continues...

Excerpted from I'll Be There by Goldberg Sloan, Holly Copyright © 2011 by Goldberg Sloan, Holly. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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I'll Be There 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
Readingjunky More than 1 year ago
Sam has spent most of his life looking out for his younger brother Riddle. Raised by a father more interested in taking advantage of people and getting whatever he wants illegally, meant that Sam and Riddle were shuffled from one place to the next. Their contact with people living normal lives was severely limited. Using the excuse that he homeschooled his children allowed their father to keep them isolated. But it was more than mere isolation since the two boys were not only forced to stay indoors during the day to avoid being reported for truancy, but were also left on their own to scavenge for food in restaurant dumpsters. Sam developed a strong sense of responsibility for Riddle and suffered abuse at the hands of his father as he tried to protect his young brother. Riddle withdrew, and instead of talking, communicated through mechanically technical drawings made on the pages of old telephone books. Neither boy realized their lives could be better. Sam's path crossed with Emily's because of his love of music. He slipped into the back pew of her family's church on the Sunday she was to sing a solo. Being in the choir was fine with Emily, but singing a solo terrified her. Her voice wasn't exactly remarkable, and after her debut, she rushed from the church into a back alley. Sam was drawn to follow her. Something about her vulnerability made him offer comfort as she vomited behind the church. What follows is a story filled with remarkable connections. Beautifully told by first time novelist Holly Goldberg Sloan, I'LL BE THERE is a fantastic story. Readers will immediately bond with Sam, Riddle, and Emily as their story unfolds. Intense emotions, heartbreaking twists and turns, and the perfect amount of tension-breaking humor combine to make this one of the best books I've had the pleasure to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read A LOT.. seriously, finishing multiple books daily... but with all those books, really, this is the best book I've read since the Hunger Games! Beautifuly written... ohmigosh.. I get excited just thinking about it...!!!! MUST READ!
KB4EVA More than 1 year ago
I was up at all hours reading this!! I just could not stop!! The themes are great and it's a perfect love story! I LOVE THIS BOOK!
K12 More than 1 year ago
the best book i read this entire summer!!! super tender and romantic and sweet!!! it's amazing, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. all the characters are real feeling and the story is touching!!!!!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE IT
Paper_Frontiers More than 1 year ago
I'll Be There is a modern day fairy tale. The book is a great read, and I recommend it for those who wouldn't mind a calm, easy-going story. Well, you may get a little surprise at the end of the book, but you'll have to read to find out. Personally I could imagine this doing really well as a movie, maybe even better than a book, but it's still a great read nonetheless.
daya_sss More than 1 year ago
A love story like I haven't read in a long while.Pure genius!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book over my cousin's shoulder until she let me borrow it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One if the books l read by this author is AMAZING. It was clever, interesting, and it sucks you into its page. I ve not read this book, but l'm sure it's just as good.
supportourtroopsNH More than 1 year ago
Just finished reading this book. It is really good. It takes some good unexpected turns. There are also heart wrenching parts where you will feel the power of brotherhood.
A_Readers_Record More than 1 year ago
Though I'll Be There isn't a book that dips into the paranormal realm, there is definitely a magical aspect of this story. I have never read a book written how Holly Goldberg Sloan decided to write I'll Be There. It wasn't overly descriptive, and if you didn't connect to the story I could see how it could come across as vague and unorganized. Though, for me, I adored the style and connected well with the characters, rather than on a personal I've experienced that matter it was more of a I have to know what happens to them sort of way. The dialog was a bit tricky too, most of the dialog came in the basic paragraph form of telling me what was said rather than running through the entirety of a conversation. The first time I noticed this, I actually reread the paragraph and gave the book a cross look, but I quickly got over it when it became obvious to me that this is how the book was supposed to be written, should have been written, it was part of the magic that was Emily, Sam and Riddle. Sam and Riddle's situation is sad and unfortunate at best. The two boys do what they can to get by but it sure didn't seem like, up to that point, that there was anyone rooting for them to succeed in life and definitely wasn't caring for them how a parent should. Despite their situation, Sam took care of Riddle the best he could and did as their father said to spare either of them the repercussions of angering their severely unstable and just plain crazy father. The dynamic between the brothers is sweet and shows us the true characters of the boys, proving that the apple sometimes does fall far from the tree. Sam's voice is the one we hear until destiny has other plans but when we do hear and see Riddle's it is obvious that Sam and Riddle are two of the most grateful characters I have ever come across. Emily is a character, like Sam and Riddle, who I instantly fell in love with. She did her best to be who everyone wanted her to be but she did have a backbone and with time that showed. With a heart of gold, this story would have never blossomed into the rocky adventure of Sam and Riddle and Emily's first love if it weren't for Emily and her head strong, heart driven beliefs on destiny, love, and helping others. Emily's parents played a big part part in this story, were realistic, and you could tell it was them who shaped their daughter to be such an amazing young woman. There were no disappearing parents for Emily, like we see in a lot of YA fiction, and that small detail alone made this book all that more fulfilling and realistic. I'll Be There is a magical tale of family, hope and love. The writing of this story is brilliant, and while everyone may not get it, I did! If you have a chance to read I'll Be There I encourage you to do so. There is something about a book based on innocence and how the world can eat you alive if it wasn't for the heart and support of others and possibly a bit of fate and destiny, weaving lives together before you have a chance to protest. This emotionally profound book is definitely in need of a second read.
BLRocque More than 1 year ago
I’LL BE THERE was recommended by a friend. I loved this YA Book! It’s a family drama that becomes an adventure. It kept me up late one night and I finished it in a few days. Holly Goldberg Sloan’s story is about two families as different as the Earth and Saturn. The families meet after the two teens connect. The themes of human connection and compassion bind the plot, characters, and choice of settings. I loved the way the author infused these aspects, until the concluding chapter. After such a wonderful read, I hate to admit that the wrap was disappointing for me. How to end a book is a difficult writing challenge for any author. Since the author has some roots in the film industry, maybe she was anticipating the screenplay already. The book is outstanding despite this, and her character named Riddle is reason alone to read this book. Expect a fast pace due to the sparse writing style which may be as much as 80 percent narrative. Kudos to the interior page designer of the edition I read (with old shoes on the cover). It had generous spacing between sentences in addition to the margin white space. Appealing and very easy to read. In the back pages, there is an interview with the author in which you’ll find out why the adventure part of the story was so well done, but restrain yourself from peeking. Savor it once you’ve finished the story. Highly recommended book.
ilikethesebooks on LibraryThing 2 days ago
This book was so different than I thought it would be- but that is a good thing. This book was more touching, heart breaking, and inspirational than I ever imagined it could be.This is not the boy-meets-girl story that I thought it would be. Yes, it is boy-meets-girl in some sense of the phrase, but it is so much more than just that. After fate led them to each other, Sam started to fall for Emily. Hard. But Sam comes with a lot of baggage. The death of his mother left him and his younger brother to his dysfunctional, criminal father. Never staying in one place for more than a few months, Sam has not been to school since second grade, he has no friends, and has the added burden of caring for and protecting his speech impaired brother. Sam cares for Emily so much - to the point where he sees the need to withdrawal himself from her in order to protect her from his toxic life. When heart wrenching, scary and suspenseful events force the teenagers further and further apart and into both physically and emotionally dangerous situations, the inspirational story that endues is one sure to leave the reader breathless. I can't even express some of my emotions during this novel. When I started reading, I was expecting a completely different story. I was expecting a romance that fixes all the problems in their lives and makes everything better - I was expecting a happy story. However, don't get me wrong, there are moments of happiness and optimism, but this is not a characteristically "happy" book. Some events are so emotionally low that tears were brought to my eyes. Or my chest would physically ache out of fright or a broken heart. Don't let that stop you from picking it up because the experience of reading this novel combined with the optimism and inspiration it fills you with is something that is very hard to find. Other than the plot line, the characters were equally interesting and endearing. There is the perfect mix of characters and plot (rather than strictly plot or character driven novels). Emily is the typical teenage girl; struggling with emotions, the balance between fitting in and standing out, finding a place in the world, and opening up her heart. Sam is weathered; mature, good natured, poetic and nurturing - all wrapped up in a protective armor. Riddle is removed from society; strange and different, but extremely talented, observant and kind. These characters all offer something different, and it really goes to show how much human beings lean on each other for those specific, individual things that only they can provide. Overall, this is one fantastic debut. I would recommend it over and over again - boys and girls alike. This is definitely a book that could span both genders (which is something amazing in itself). Saying too much on my part will ruin the shock, inspiration and emotional roller-coaster that is this book. So I will leave it at this; don't hesitate to pick this one up because it will blow you away. If you don't agree with what I've said the moment after reading this novel, wait until the next day, or the day after that - because each day that this book sinks in, the more of an impact it will make, and the more breathtaking it will be.
abbylibrarian on LibraryThing 2 days ago
Sam hasn't been to school since the second grade when his schizophrenic father took him and his younger brother Riddle and went on the lam. Since then, they've moved every time his father starts getting paranoid and Sam and Riddle are on their own for pretty much everything. Our story starts when Sam walks into a church and hears a girl singing a solo he's sure is meant just for him. And everything begins to change. The brilliant storytelling drew me into this book and didn't let me go until the last page. There's a little something for everyone here - contemporary, adventure, thriller, romance - and it's told in a way that feels somehow classic.
amusingmother on LibraryThing 2 days ago
This one took me completely off-guard. I just put it down and I can't stop smiling. The basis of the story is Sam and Riddle are two boys ages 17 and 12 whose father is paranoid schizophrenic. Being anti-establishment, Clarence Border, their father, pulled the boys out of school and taught them to be invisible and afraid. Their reality consisted of living in a truck, illegally in some kind of shelter or outside. Food was obtained by dumpster diving after a restaurant had opened but the sun had gone down. In some regards, the story reminded me of Room by Emma Donahue in that the life experiences did not line up with the rest of society's reality. Holly Sloan exceptionally makes the contrasts and times each event with artistic flair.So Sam and Riddle are surviving, as they have done when Sam stumbles across Emily. This is not your usual teen-age angst/soulmate love story. It's a story about believing in someone no matter what and always being there to support them. This theme extends to many of the characters of the book in a wonderful and quirky manner.Setting: Pacific Northwest. At least that's where it starts. When trouble begins and Clarence inevitably hears voices, he starts to drive to the mostly uninhabited areas of southern Utah which happens to be an area that I have been having a love affair with for the past 26 years. Sloan's description of the outdoors and survival completely fascinated me and provided accurate description of Utah terrain.Every character played a role and every role contributed to the story. Some were starring roles while others were placed simply for irony.Really loved it.
lilibrarian on LibraryThing 2 days ago
Sam and Riddle (Rudolph) were stolen by their father when they were much younger, about 10 years ago. Sam hasn't attended school since second grade, and Riddle never has. They move from place to place - their father always keeps the truck packed in case he needs to leave quickly. In this town, however, Sam, now 16 meets a girl. Her family is kind to Sam and Riddle - until their dad finds out and drives off with them again. This time, however, he doesn't intend for them to make it to the next stop.
TerryGil on LibraryThing 2 days ago
Loved it; Can't stop thinking about the characters.
StaceyMacWrites on LibraryThing 2 days ago
Though I'll Be There isn't a book that dips into the paranormal realm, there is definitely a magical aspect of this story.I have never read a book written how Holly Goldberg Sloan decided to write I'll Be There. It wasn't overly descriptive, and if you didn't connect to the story I could see how it could come across as vague and unorganized. Though, for me, I adored the style and connected well with the characters, rather than on a personal I've experienced that matter it was more of a I have to know what happens to them sort of way. The dialog was a bit tricky too, most of the dialog came in the basic paragraph form of telling me what was said rather than running through the entirety of a conversation. The first time I noticed this, I actually reread the paragraph and gave the book a cross look, but I quickly got over it when it became obvious to me that this is how the book was supposed to be written, should have been written, it was part of the magic that was Emily, Sam and Riddle.Sam and Riddle's situation is sad and unfortunate at best. The two boys do what they can to get by but it sure didn't seem like, up to that point, that there was anyone rooting for them to succeed in life and definitely wasn't caring for them how a parent should. Despite their situation, Sam took care of Riddle the best he could and did as their father said to spare either of them the repercussions of angering their severely unstable and just plain crazy father. The dynamic between the brothers is sweet and shows us the true characters of the boys, proving that the apple sometimes does fall far from the tree. Sam's voice is the one we hear until destiny has other plans but when we do hear and see Riddle's it is obvious that Sam and Riddle are two of the most grateful characters I have ever come across.Emily is a character, like Sam and Riddle, who I instantly fell in love with. She did her best to be who everyone wanted her to be but she did have a backbone and with time that showed. With a heart of gold, this story would have never blossomed into the rocky adventure of Sam and Riddle and Emily's first love if it weren't for Emily and her head strong, heart driven beliefs on destiny, love, and helping others. Emily's parents played a big part part in this story, were realistic, and you could tell it was them who shaped their daughter to be such an amazing young woman. There were no disappearing parents for Emily, like we see in a lot of YA fiction, and that small detail alone made this book all that more fulfilling and realistic.I'll Be There is a magical tale of family, hope and love. The writing of this story is brilliant, and while everyone may not get it, I did! If you have a chance to read I'll Be There I encourage you to do so. There is something about a book based on innocence and how the world can eat you alive if it wasn't for the heart and support of others and possibly a bit of fate and destiny, weaving lives together before you have a chance to protest. This emotionally profound book is definitely in need of a second read.
resugo on LibraryThing 2 days ago
I enjoyed this story. It was not what I expected, and I love to be surprised. I thought it was interesting and well written with great descriptions and characters. However, I felt Sloan's writing style was more of a summary. I felt too much of the story was skimmed over. Emily and Sam supposedly have a deep relationship, but as a reader I wasn't ever privy to the building of the relationship. I just was told by the narrator that they talked and spent time together. I wanted to read about it, not just be told about it. So the fact that this relationship was so important to the story kind of put a kink in my love for the book because I didn't buy into it. This novel was written from multiple perspectives, and I really enjoyed that. I thought it opened up a lot of the characters by seeing them through anothers eyes. I didn't really care about him and though he was important to certain plot points, he got old really fast. I wanted out of his head, especially when it came to the prom. Too many pages were wasted on him. Though I did like the multiple perspectives, at times it got annoying. Mostly I wanted the story to focus on Sam and Riddle and Emily, but a few characters went off on tangents that took away from the main story. And that bothered me because I didn't care about the tangents, I cared about the main three characters. Bobby was the worst offender. So I did like the book, I thought the story and characters were compelling. I just didn't love it like I wanted to.
stephxsu on LibraryThing 2 days ago
Their whole lives, Sam and his little brother Riddle have been moved from place to place by their paranoid father, Clarence. In one quiet California town, however, Sam meets Emily, and their lives are changed forever. Emily and her family wonder about the mysteries surrounding the two boys, and are determined to draw them out of isolation and into society. When Clarence gets wind of his sons¿ new relationships, however, he packs them up and makes a run for it, despite the fact that it may put Sam and Riddle¿s lives in danger.When one describes a novel as being ¿magical,¿ we often think of lyricism, of rhythm and beautiful descriptions. But Holly Goldberg Sloan¿s debut novel, I¿LL BE THERE, is magical in quite a different way. A story of how the little things add up to the big things, I¿LL BE THERE takes extraordinary characters and ordinary moments and weaves them together into a suspenseful and unforgettable story, one of the most unique books I¿ve read in 2011.I want a Sam in my life. He is undoubtedly an extraordinary boy¿model-worthy looks, raw musical talent, swooningly romantic¿but made sympathetic and real by all the hardships he has had to endure. Unlike other beautiful and talented love interests in YA fiction, Sam does not seek the spotlight, which endears him all the more to us. His lack of awareness of his own specialness is his best trait.I¿LL BE THERE is told from multiple points of view, covering everyone from Emily, the girl who draws Sam and Riddle out of their shells, to Riddle, smart and determined and existing in a bubble of lack of oxygen, to the various adults who come in and out of these two boys¿ lives. This is a technique we don¿t see often in YA, and yet I think works exceptionally well at riveting our eyes to the page especially during the later, most suspenseful moments of the book, when I literally couldn¿t put the last 250 or so pages down.There is nothing flashy about Holly Goldberg Sloan¿s writing: instead, the magic of the writing and story comes from the characters and predicaments themselves. Don¿t expect to find a regular ole contemporary story of trial and triumph in these pages: I¿LL BE THERE contains truly enviable story craftsmanship, and is a unique, and uniquely told, story that you will find difficult to not read in one sitting. Magical, indeed.
HollyRae on LibraryThing 2 days ago
I really loved this book, The story was awesome. The pace of the book was great. I think the characters of Riddle, Emily and Sam worked really well together. At times reading this book you find yourself holding your breath in anticipation of what is going to happen. I personally wanted to punch Clarence in the face haha! Overall, I think the author did a great job! I loved the ending : ) I look forward to reading more books by this author.
Cuna on LibraryThing 2 days ago
I expected much more of a deeply emotionally riveting story, in which "I'll Be There" seemed lacking. The summary inside the jacket said that the novel "explore[d] the idea of human connection", so I expected a slow establishment of a relationship. However, from the moment that Sam first sees Emily singing in the church, there's some sort of instant connection and Emily desperately tries to find him. That, and the way that their boyfriend-girlfriend relationship status bloomed so suddenly, was superficial to me. It seemed like a Romeo and Juliet timeframe, where the two fell deeply in love in an impossibly short amount of time.Sam and Riddle are likable characters. It was heartwarming to see Emily's family finally warm up to the two of them, and it was especially nice to see the brothers being integrated into the Bell family. Emily herself seemed a little lacking in character; her personality seemed undefined. What I really enjoyed most was the familial interaction with her family and the brothers, because the two had lacked a real home from a very young age rather than Emily and Sam's relationship. While the rest of the characters weren't particularly bad, some of them were intensely annoying. Bobby, for one, started out kind of suspiciously and then began grating on my nerves. Spoiled rich kid who only knew how to use his parent's name, and not to mention he was definitely crossing over into the land of obsession and stalking. I was also displeased with how he pretty much took advantage of Emily when she was grieving. Nora, who was supposedly Emily's loyal best friend, was rather annoying too. From Emily's description I expected her to be...well, a loyal best friend. Instead, she was petty and boy crazy. Another annoying aspect was the random little tangents that were incredibly distracting. They were long-winded metaphors and analogies that really didn't work and simply took away from the moment. I can't really say I enjoyed the writing style too much, especially since I expected a more detailed emotional account if it was "exploring the idea of human connection". The short, broad sentences seemed to be simply skimming the surface of what was supposed to be highly emotional. However, sometimes it worked, and sometimes it didn't. "I'll be There" picked up towards the end, once the search for the boys is actually getting somewhere. The small connections that Sam forged when he was trying to get back were nice--Buzz Nast, Hal. The brothers' reunion with the Bells and each other was heartwarming.The Hiro "Hero" Yamada scenario with the penny collection was a nice touch, as well as Sam sending back money to everyone who had helped him out along the way. There were several parts of the book that were enjoyable, yet the book was also a bit bland and distracting. Overall, not a horrible book but not the best either.
lifeafterjane on LibraryThing 2 days ago
I read this one after seeing Melissa @ Book Nut rave about it and it is indeed a very lovely, sweet little story. We have two brothers who live in very bad conditions with their abusive, schizophrenic father. Hurried from town to town whenever the opportunities run out for their thief father¿s quick sticky fingers, the boys have no home, no education and the only food they get is the food they scavenge out of trash cans. Their situation is so heartbreaking that I went through most of the story a little misty eyed. I wanted nothing more than to feed them and most of all, to get my sweet, precious little Riddle some much needed medical attention. The romance between Sam and Emily, was just one big ¿Awwwww!¿ fest- so sweet and clean- something I found surprisingly refreshing. If Miz Sloan, would care to write some more about my dear little Riddle, I¿d be quick to read it. This story was so beautifully told, I think it warrants an audio download.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read this book multiple times it is SOOOO GREAT!!!!! please please please make a movie of this book!! I love it so much!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago