35) When You Reach Me, by Rebecca Stead
In love. This book and I are getting married.
I’m sorry, can you just see the semester melting my brain?
So, one day, Miranda is walking home from school with her friend Sal, and some random kid just walks up and punches Sal. That’s when things change, because Sal doesn’t want to be friends with Miranda anymore. She throws herself into helping her mother prepare to be on a quiz show, and she makes some new friends, and they all start working at a deli counter during their lunch breaks. Eventually, Miranda even befriends Marcus, the kid who punched Sal, and Julia, her school enemy, because they all know A Wrinkle in Time. Not long after Marcus and Julia start trying to explain how time travel would work to Miranda, she starts getting these notes that seem to be saying that they know what’s going to happen in the future.
It’s another friendship book! Ugh I love friendship books. Enough of these romances. I was every book I read to be about the horror and beauty and tumult of friendship. This book is about time travel and quiz shows, yes, but it’s also about losing friends and making friends.
It’s a book that definitely has appeal because of nostalgia for that time when you were a kid and A Wrinkle in Time blew your mind a little. I went looking for my copy about halfway through this audiobook, but I couldn’t find it, and I was thinking maybe I donated it to my teacher friend for her classroom library, and then I remembered what happened to it.
I loaned it to a girl I was really close to back in eighth grade because I really liked it and wanted her to read it. That was the year the friend who held our little circle together moved away, and we fell apart, and this particular girl got very pretty by high school, and we were never really friends again, so I never ended up getting my copy back. Now she’s married and lives in Utah and I’ve only seen her a handful of times since then, but I still have to make awkward smalltalk with her mother like she and I are still close, when in reality, we’ve barely been acquaintances since ninth grade.
Kind of appropriate for that memory to be dragged up because of this book.
Also I just looked her up on Facebook and she and her husband look like they’re in an LL Bean catalog in her profile picture. It’s kind of bumming me out.