Saturday, September 20, 2014

If You're Reading This by Trent Reedy

Reedy wrote a couple of other YA novels, both of which draw on his experience in the military.

Imagine what it might be like for your father to have been killed years ago in the Afghan war, and then one day, mail arrives from him? For you, with no return address? His handwriting, his stories, his voice: all captured within a letter written distinctly for and to you. In If You’re Reading This, author Reedy twists the reader’s perspective into a what-if mystery. When a letter arrives from his father, he doesn’t know what to think or do. The mystery grows as more letters arrive, and the wishes of his father grow more obvious. Since Mike’s father didn’t make it back from the war, he wrote the letters to ensure that when Mike turned 16, he would have the opportunity to hear what his father wished for him as he grows up.

And indeed Mike takes his father’s wisdom and advice, making decisions to join the football team and pursue dating a girl he really likes. But there is a circling tension that comes from Mike not telling anyone about the letters and his decisions sometimes need the support of a parent first. Mike gets himself into hot water pretty deep, pretty fast. But you gotta keep reading to see where it all lands. Find this book if you are hungry for a story about a football-loving, book-smart, curious young man who wants to be like his little-known father in all of the best ways. 

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