This is the Story of You – Beth Kephart

This is the Story of You by Beth Kephart on a wooden floor background

“Blue, for example.
Like the colour the sun makes the sea. Like the beach bucket he wore as a hat, king of the tidal parade. Like the word I and the hour of nobody awake but me. I thought blue was mine, and that we were each ourselves, and that some things could not be stolen. I thought the waves would rise up, toss down, rinse clean, and that I would still be standing here, solid.
I was wrong about everything.”
 
Haven is a six-mile long, half mile wide island. Mira and her friends are a handful of a smaller community of year-rounders on the holiday island. They have proudly risen to every challenge. However, when a superstorm, predicted to miss the island, hits it head on, it strands Mira’s mother and brother on the main land and Mira has to survive, alone. A stranger appears in Mira’s home, a friend obsessed with vanishing is gone, and mysteries surround the island. How can Mira hold on and find the strength to carry on?
***
I LOVE Beth Kephart. I have only read a few of her books but they always, always sweep my off my feet and This is the Story of Us was no exception. Its magical from the start, set in a world so similar yet so distant from our own. With added tension that every page brings and the need to turn the page.
Mira is an odd main character and asa protagonist she takes some getting used to. The books very much written as if you are inside her head and thats not necessarily an easy place to be. The narrative is a bit mixed up and you don’t always get a steady train of thought – but thats like most teenagers’ heads, so I loved it. It took a while to get my bearings but once I did I was in love with Mira, her friends, and the island they called home. It sounded like a beautiful place that was torn from the mainland without a second thought.

 

There main plot of the story doesn’t happen until a while into the book but once it all got going I didn’t put it down. I was obsessed with finding out what would happen next, and who the stranger was!
I read this over a month ago now and I keep thinking back to the characters and the setting of the book. It was so alive in my head that I can’t help but feel like maybe it was more than fiction and a place like Haven exists in the world. It wouldn’t surprise me, because honestly it was so vivid. I loved every mile that Mira took on her blades, every mention of the skateboard owned by her friend. I loved the relationship she had with her brother and the fear you feel when she thinks about them after the storm. This book is alive and its one that will stick with you for quite some time.
Another fantastic thing about the book is the lack of main love story. There are romantic elements throughout, with one relationship blossoming between the pages – but its by far the main plot of the story, unlike so many contemporary fiction books aimed at teenagers with main female characters. It was so refreshing to read!
As I say, I love Beth Kephart so I knew I’d enjoy this one, but I didn’t expect the feelings around it to linger quite as long as they have. I keep thinking back to it, about things that happened in it. And I already want to go back and read it again.
This is the Story of You was published by Chronicle books in April 2016. My copy was sent to me from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 
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