You Know Where to Find Me by Rachel Cohn
Release Date: March 2008
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Once upon a time, Sleeping Beauty decided to take a nap from which she would never wake up. (pg. 12)
Miles and Laura were always close. The two cousins grew up more like sisters than anything else. They had their own language, rules to fairy tale games, and secrets they shared between them. As they got older, Miles slide further and further into Laura’s shadow. Nicknamed 8-mile, the overweight and standoffish Miles could never compare to her cousin/sister. Laura was the fairy princess living in a big castle. She was smart, beautiful and charming. Her life appeared to be perfection…but then sometimes appearance can be deceiving.
When Laura commits suicide, Miles life is turned upside down. She’s never imagined a life without Laura and has no idea how to live in world without her. Her only solace is found in highs from pharmaceutical drugs…no matter that they are the very same thing that killed Laura. Miles swears that she’s in control and only uses them to take the edge away off of her grief and loneliness, but the more she depends on them the quicker she hits rock bottom. Once there she discovers that her life isn’t as empty as she thought and with the help of family and friends, she may just be able to piece her life back together.
I have to admit that I was a little caught off guard by this book. Cohn had been on by TBR author list for a while, so when I saw this book come in I decided to pick it up and read it without knowing anything about it. I think part of me expected something along the lines of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist or Ely and Naomi’s No Kiss List and instead found a book dealing with dark and serious issues such as suicide, drugs, and body image. Thankfully, Cohn sets the stage pretty well and I knew what I was getting into within the first 20 pages.
While Laura is central to the plot as a reader you don’t really have any true connection to her. What is seen of her is through other’s eye and never actually met the character. Laura is merely something that allows for the story to manifest, but the real star is Miles. This is her journey through grief and trying to come to terms with losing her sister/cousin. Grief is universal and it’s easy to understand why Miles would be so upset and the struggles that she is going through. Her voice was true and real and easily came to life to me. There were times I wanted to hug and comfort her and then shake her until she saw the errors of her ways. I will say that Miles is probably the only character truly fleshed out. We get a glimpse of them through Miles’ eyes, but never who they truly are. Jim was probably the only other character that I felt any connection to. The rest I was pretty indifferent to.
I will also warn that the book can be slow moving and confusing. There were several things that made me go “huh?”. For example, the second chapter is entitled A Love Letter to Percocet, which is a review by Miles explaining how to use Percocet and the “lovely” effects it has. While I struggled with this a bit, I do believe that it was a good reflection of the mental state Miles was in.
The only thing that really bothered me was the fact that her best friend found her several time in a drug-induced unconsciousness and did nothing. In fact, when she ends up in the hospital, he gets mad at her for allowing it to go that far! If one friend had just died due to over-dosing wouldn’t you be sure that the other didn’t follow? I would have been telling someone who could get her help rather than believing that she was in-control or would eventually stop. I understand that getting mad at her is a natural reaction, but I didn’t think he truly had a right to. He saw it happening and did nothing to stop it from going that far. But maybe that’s just me?
If you’ve read the book, I would love to hear your thoughts as well!