Tuesday, November 08, 2011

I'll Be There (YA)

I'll Be There. Holly Goldberg Sloan. 2011. Little, Brown. 392 pages.

The days of the week meant nothing to him. Except Sunday. Because on Sundays he listened to pipe organs and pianos.

How resilient is the human spirit? How powerful is love? I'll Be There is a wonderfully bittersweet novel that answers those two questions. Readers meet Sam and Riddle Border, the two sons of a horrible, horrible man. Riddle has been sick most of his life--and needlessly so since medicine could greatly improve his life--what joy he has he gains from drawing extremely detailed mechanical pictures. His older brother, Sam, doesn't believe in God but takes comfort in church music whenever, wherever he can. They move a lot. His father is more than a little anti-government, anti-society (and that's just the start of it.)

One Sunday, Sam slips into the back row of a Unitarian church. There is a singer, Emily Bell, who is trying her best--and not really hiding her nerves--to sing "I'll Be There." She's decided to focus on one person, one face on the back row. And guess who that would be?!

Sam feels that Emily (though of course he doesn't know her name just yet) is singing this song just for him. And what they share in those few minutes changes everything...

Sam is strange--to be sure--especially to Emily's family and friends. He won't talk about his Dad. He doesn't have a phone. He won't give anyone his address. He won't talk about his past...at all. He doesn't go to school. He doesn't say much of anything about himself...but there is something about him that Emily loves and treasures.

This novel is bittersweet, it goes to some dark places before the end. But it was worth every intense moment...

What a great book! Very emotional, very touching!

© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Allison said...

I have a copy of this I plan on reading soon, so I'm so glad to see you enjoyed reading it! Next time I'm in the mood for an emotional read I'll be picking it up.

Kailana said...

Sounds good!

Debi said...

I'm continually amazed by how many awesome sounding books you introduce me to, Becky! This really does sound fantastic. Thanks.

Laura H said...

I read this too and enjoyed it.