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Take Me With You When You Go – David Levithan & Jennifer Niven

Thank you so much to Netgalley and the publishers for sending me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Subject: You. Missing.

Ezra Ahern wakes up one day to find his older sister, Bea, gone. No note, no sign, nothing but an email address hidden somewhere only he would find it. Ezra never expected to be left behind with their abusive stepfather and their neglectful mother – how is he supposed to navigate life without Bea?

Bea Ahern already knew she needed to get as far away from home as possible. But a message in her inbox changes everything, and she finds herself alone in a new city – without Ez, without a real plan – chasing someone who might not even want to be found.

As things unravel at home for Ezra, Bea confronts secrets about their past that will forever change the way they think about their family. Together and apart, broken by abuse but connected by love, this brother and sister must learn to trust themselves before they can find a way back to each other.

Jennifer Niven is one of my favourite authors. Her books got me back into reading as a teenager so I always have a soft spot for her writing and her stories. David Levithan is an author I’ve enjoyed for a long time now. He is one of those authors I know I can rely on for a good story and an author whose books I will always pick up. So, when I found they were co-authoring a book together I was so excited. The minute that I had the chance to read this book, I did just that!

I adored this book, it’s characters and the story that it has to tell. I loved how the entire story was told in a series of emails. It made for a very unique storytelling experience. I enjoyed how the emails gave us little snippets into the lives of Bea and Ezra and kept the story at a fast-pace. I did have some fears going into this book that due to it being told through emails we would not get the real emotions of the characters but that really was not the case. All emotions came across excellently and although it was a tough book to read in parts, due to the underlying themes, I would highly recommend it. 

One of my favourite things about this book is that it is a story of siblinghood above anything else. There is not enough books out there that just tell a story of siblings so this filled my need for exactly that. We see Bea who has run away from her broken home, leaving behind only a secret email address she is using to communicate with Ezra, her younger brother. Ezra is left at home to deal with the fall out from Bea running away alongside his own issues. It was lovely to see the pair find solace in one another even though they are miles apart. I found both Ezra and Bea endearing. We get to feel their pain, their strengths, their vulnerabilities and their journeys to healing. 

The characters in this book are dealing with a lot of things in their home life which can be difficult to read at times. It deals with child abuse, emotional and physical abuse and it deals with this in an open, honest and raw way. Please be aware of the trigger warnings before reading this book. Jennifer and David write these difficult topics in such an extraordinary, sensitive and respectful way.

The found family aspect of this book left me feeling a lot of hope. We get to see that even though Bea and Ezra are having difficulties with their own family, their found families are looking out for them, caring for them and giving them the love that they truly deserve. It left me feeling hopeful and happy after quite a harrowing read. 

Overall, Take Me With You When You Go is a beautiful, raw and thought-provoking read that I thoroughly enjoyed. David and Jennifer write beautifully together and I would love to see more books co-authored by them in the future. This is a story of sibling love, a story of self-love and a story of hope that I would highly recommend!

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