By Amber McBride
My rating: 4 stars
Goodreads Rating: 4.19
Genre: YA Poetry / Fantasy / Contemporary
Format Read: Audiobook
Goodreads summary: A debut YA novel-in-verse that is both a coming-of-age and a ghost story.
Moth has lost her family in an accident. Though she lives with her aunt, she feels alone and uprooted.
Until she meets Sani, a boy who is also searching for his roots. If he knows more about where he comes from, maybe he’ll be able to understand his ongoing depression. And if Moth can help him feel grounded, then perhaps she too will discover the history she carries in her bones.
Moth and Sani take a road trip that has them chasing ghosts and searching for ancestors. The way each moves forward is surprising, powerful, and unforgettable.
Here is an exquisite and uplifting novel about identity, first love, and the ways that our memories and our roots steer us through the universe.
Trigger Warnings: Child abuse, family death
I wrote about Me (Moth) in my very last post for a Words Wednesday, and I’m back again to bring you a full review. McBride’s novel-in-verse is about a 17 year old named Moth who is an outcast at her school, destined to drift alone after her family died in a car crash, stealing all of her joy and dreams of dancing at Juilliard with it. Her life starts to make sense again after she meets Sani, a boy who is similarly drifting due to an abusive relationship with his family.
The novel is about their relationship with both each other and themselves. McBride did an incredibly good job of painting a vivid and real world surrounding these two people in their little bubble of life. I listened to the audiobook, and I felt completely immersed by the power of her words. I’m not sure how my feelings would have changed had I read the book rather than listened. On the one hand, I often hated not being able to pause and reread certain sentences that I fell in love with. On the other, listening emphasized the supernatural element of the book for me.
There was a section of this book where I felt like i was probably going to rate it just 3 stars. It was falling a little flat for me around 2/3 of the way through, and I just didn’t know how they were going to wrap it up in a way that felt genuine. Then, the ending did happen and I nearly went all the way up to giving it 5 stars. The “twist” ending was so good and well executed, so beautifully described, that I fully cried. It’s not that I didn’t see it coming, but there was so much power in the way McBride chose to let the ending unfold. It’s rare that a book can take me so off guard like that, but this one certainly did.
It’s difficult to write about this book in any real way without spoiling, and I do believe this book is better if you go into it blind. I just wanted to write this review to share how incredible I thought it was with all of you. Read the book.