I discovered this through Amazon’s trending books and luckily able to reserve it with the library. The attraction this time was not the book cover but the non-linear series of vignettes, that begin with Miranda’s mother winning an entry to a television show. Named after the Ernesto Arturo Miranda of the Miranda Rights by her law-loving mom, Miranda’s life is nothing but normal when a one-off incident involving her best friend changes her otherwise boring life introducing new friends, new discoveries and her ultimate conversation with the Laughing Man. Who is the Laughing Man you say? Well, if you believe in the saying “Looks can be deceiving” then the Laughing Man represents this saying.
Miranda’s favorite novel is Madeline L’Engle‘s “A Wrinkle in Time“, and although she doesn’t dwell much into the details of time travel, a chance encounter with a schoolmate sparks off a conversation on time travel. It is around the same time that Miranda starts to receive mysterious letters with clues as to the whereabouts of the writer. Miranda’s resolve to follow the note writer’s instructions to the very end, changes not just hers but her friend Sal’s life as well. It also help her solve the mystery of the Laughing Man.
The book had a sort of surrealism to it! Rebecca Stead‘s ability to build an emotional depth into the storyline makes one overlook her simplistic writing style. I say simplistic because it doesn’t have complex phrases nor is its protagonist a complete mishmash of complexity. The protagonist is a 12 year old much like Meg Murry from A Wrinkle in Time and possesses the typical commonsense of a pre-teen. So when Miranda freaks out after getting the first note, she chooses to trust the mystery writer over seeking an adult’s help much like Meg who travels with the 3 angelic beings to rescue her father. All in all, this beautiful written book is pretty short and so easy to zip through in a day! If you’ve read or liked reading A Wrinkle in Time, or are looking forward to solving a puzzle then you would definitely appreciate Rebecca Stead’s “When You Reach Me“.