This Is the Story of You
Booklist Reviews 2016 March #2
Six miles long and a half-mile wide. That's the size of the barrier island of Haven, home to year-rounder Mira, which comes under siege during a powerful hurricane that's supposed to bypass the Jersey Shore. With her little brother, Jasper Lee, afflicted by the rare Hunter syndrome and her mother far away at the hospital, Mira's responsible for defending her home. The storm changes everything, fracturing contact with the outside world and leaving Mira alone to grapple with the fallout: her best friend Ava gone missing, their belongings swept out to sea, and a stranger breaking into her home. Kephart's beautiful, poetic prose will sweep readers into this worthy addition to disaster literature. With sharply painted details, she offers a keenly sympathetic portrayal of a small community coming together in the wake of a terrible disaster. Revelations at the book's end may feel rushed, frustrating readers longing for a bit more resolution. At once an exploration of the unrelenting power of nature and a reminder of the one thing in the world that is irreplaceable: family. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2016 Fall
Seventeen-year-old Mira adores her quirky, close-knit New Jersey island community. Her mother and sick brother are on the mainland when a freak hurricane decimates their beloved home, leaving Mira to navigate the storm's wreckage on her own. Mira's narration is striking and stylized, if occasionally challenging to follow; persistent readers will be rewarded with a quiet survival story that speaks to the importance of community. Copyright 2016 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
PW Reviews 2016 January #3
Having a younger brother with Hunter syndrome is hard on Mira Banul and her mother, Mickey, who works multiple jobs to pay for Jasper Lee's treatments and necessities for the cottage they inherited from Mira's aunt on the barrier island of Haven. Though 17-year-old Mira loves her family, she wishes life were simpler for them—a wish she regrets when a hurricane pummels the island while her mother and brother are on the mainland. Using her forward thinking and bravery, Mira survives the storm and joins the trash-strewn beach with its collection of islanders reeling after half the town is washed away. Days from rescue, Mira and friend Deni search for survivors while the rest of the town gathers resources. Though the novel feels uneven in places, with a prolonged beginning and abrupt plot developments toward the end involving Mira discovering heretofore unknown family members, Kephart (One Stolen Thing) establishes relatable characters and a poetic style that artfully blend the island days before and after the storm. Ages 12–up. Agent: Amy Rennert, Amy Rennert Literary Agency. (Apr.)[Page ]. Copyright 2016 PWxyz LLC