When You Reach Me is about Miranda’s efforts to solve some puzzles growing up in late 70’s New York city. One set of puzzles is about mysterious notes; another set is about navigating early adolescence, and the largest set of puzzles is about why people act they way they do toward one another.
It’s also a bit of a love letter from Steadman to Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, Miranda’s favorite book, and clearly one which made a big impression on Steadman.
I liked it a lot. It reminded me of two other books for young adults I’ve read recently: It’s Like This, Cat for its very specific sense of place and (earlier) time, and As Easy As Falling Off the Face of the Earth for its unusual, puzzle-y structure and vivid language. I had two major hypotheses about how things were going to pan out, and When You Reach Me kept me guessing between them almost up to the end. Definitely the sort of book that left me wanting to mull over it for a bit before diving into some other work of fiction. Also the sort of book that makes me want to revisit some Madeleine L’Engle.
needs more demons? nuh-uh.