I'LL BE THERE is a wonderful book. I've hesitated to write a review because I'm not sure I'll be able to really pin down its excellence, explain why it was so satisfying. A lot of things I guess. The writing is beautiful and spare, balanced. Sloan communicates intense emotion, scenes both troubling and lovely, in a balanced way that sinks right down to the nerve but never gives you whiplash. The setting is contemporary, everyday, but there's a whiff of fairy tale about the whole book in the most marvelous way. The three young heroes, Emily, Sam, and Riddle, leap right off the page. I loved all three of them.
It does everything just right. The bond between Sam and Riddle. Sam's wariness, Emily's determination, the advance and retreat of their relationship. The menace of Sam and Riddle's father, who's completely unhinged. And I'LL BE THERE has one of the most satisfying endings of any book I've read in a while. No spoilers - just that in a book that's so excellent on every page, throwing out all the stops and bringing it to such a perfect conclusion is a marvel.
Highly recommended. Wonderful, wonderful book.