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I'll Be There (2011)

by Holly Goldberg Sloan(Favorite Author)
4.03 of 5 Votes: 4
0316122793 (ISBN13: 9780316122795)
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
I'll Be There
review 1: I love romantic, teen books. I love when I can relate to these kinds of books because some of the characters are my age, and I know exactly what they’re going through. Sometimes it’s hard to find the kind of book I like because I can be pretty picky, but I got lucky with this one. Nobody recommended this book to me, I kind of just found it in the library. But after I got it, I got multiple comments about how good this book was and how much they loved it. So, I thought, maybe I finally chose the right book! I read the first few pages in the book and I could already tell that I was going to like this one.This book definitely takes place in the 2000’s to the teens, because a lot of the technology and advances they have give clues about what time period they’re living ... morein. Also by context clues, I can tell that Emily and Sam live in a small, but nice town. There’s not many people so everyone pretty much knows everyone. I know they have a town church, so that must mean the town isn't very big in size. It’s a peaceful community with lovely people.There could be many conflicts discussed in this book, many for Emily and many for Sam. The biggest external conflict for Sam I think would be how he can’t tell Emily his story. He can’t tell her anything about himself, that’s true that is, he can’t tell her anything about his family, he can’t have her over, he can’t hangout with her as much, all because of his way of life. His father, Clarence, moves a lot. He’s a good man, but he makes poor choices. Their family isn't very wealthy and they don’t have a lot of things. Sam and his little brother Riddle, have to get their basic necessities from other people. Same with Clarence, he steals. He’s not very much of a planner, and they never stay in one city for too long. How would Sam tell Emily all of that? That he lives under the threat of his criminal, uncaring, father? He can’t. His dad always tells him and his brother to not get noticed. But now that Emily stepped foot into his life, he’s definitely being noticed.If I were to characterize the main character Sam, I would say he keeps to himself. He’s shy, but he’s also very caring. He doesn’t want to draw attention to himself. He’s always looking after his little brother and tries to keep him safe all the time. He hasn't had much experience with the outside world, so he’s kind of new to this whole Emily thing. Also, he’s very musical. He tells Emily’s father that he basically self-taught himself, with the help of his grandmother. “Sam’s musical education, if it could be called that, began at five years old, when his grandmother had taught him basic chords on a four-string guitar. Once Clarence had plucked him and his brother from the plastic wading pool in the backyard and tossed them in the truck never to return, it would be a year before he’d hold another musical instrument. But when he did, he knew it was his salvation.” (p. Goldberg Sloan 112) Lastly, I would say that Sam is very creative. Even though he doesn’t have much to work with, he can make anything into something special.I don’t think the book really has much of a theme, other than maybe you shouldn't hide who you really are because if someone loves you, they will love you for who you are. It’s a modern fairy-tale and love is within every page of the book. I also think the theme could be about how if you hide behind the shadows of other people, you won’t get noticed. Sometimes that’s what people want, but other times the best things happen if you put yourself out there.I would most definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves unique, young-adult love stories. In many ways, it can speak to you on many levels. I loved this book, and it’s definitely on my top favorite’s list. I could relate to it in many ways and that’s why it hit me more than any other book I have ever read.
review 2: Sometimes you come across a story with a plot so interesting and unique that you become entranced after the first few pages…At the beginning of this novel, I had felt that so much had happened, I could imagine the story ending right there, but nevertheless the journey continued…What I love most about Sloan's writing style, is it has this amazing quality that allows you to visualize everything that is going on as if it were being projected onto a movie screen. Taken from another reviewer named Thomas (as I couldn't reword it better myself): "Readers are disconnected from the characters, but not in a bad way - it's like you're watching them from faraway, yet standing close enough that you can discern their thoughts and emotions."I especially enjoyed how characters who were present for only a short period of time were also described to the same standard of importance as the leads. While usually passerbys would stay black and white, every character in this narrative was given flashes of colour and truly brought to life with amazing detail that made them vivid and imaginable. Adding onto this feature, the story continuously changes perspective with ease, making it feel natural to be able to explore each individual's mind. As a note, I LOVED the poetic internal dialogue of Riddle SO MUCH, and some other lines were just so hauntingly beautiful and accurate in their depictions of human nature.The only aspect of the story I had some trouble with was that the conclusion was no where near as strong as the beginning. I expected much more emotion to be evoked, but instead felt the story ended rather rushed and played-out, and a tad bit cheesy. (This may have also been due to the lack of described relationship development between Sam and Emily).However, overall this book was very engaging and did an excellent job of intertwining the lives of such different and compelling characters (Bobby, Emily, Sam, Riddle, Clarence...each one brought their own fire to the text). less
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Holly Goldberg Sloan is my new favorite author. I loved this book. She is a great author.
I loved this book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
StyleBlueprint Rec July 2014
*slow claps it out*
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