In a city near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, lives a twelve-year-old girl named Charlotte. Over a thousand miles away, in the small town of Lanester, Louisiana, lives an eleven-year-old boy named Ben.
Charlotte’s and Ben’s lives intersect through only an online Scrabble game. At first glance, they seem drastically different—Charlotte possesses a rock collection and aspires to be a geologist, while Ben loves anything related to presidential history, recycling, and Harry Potter.
Yet somehow, as the story escalates, Charlotte’s and Ben’s lives begin to tie together in completely unexpected ways. Throughout their journeys, similarities between the two rise to visibility. Charlotte and Ben learn more about each other, and even more consequentially, themselves, as they figure out the obstacles and challenges thrown into their lives.
You Go First by Erin Entrada Kelly is a truly touching, inspiring, and reflective novel. The parallels drawn between the two main characters’ lives are skillfully crafted, and it is even more so when it is considered how different they really are. You Go First truly impressed me, and I’m sure I’ll be rereading this story countless more times, as readers may if they decide to give this one a try.
I would definitely recommend You Go First, especially for younger teenage readers. I absolutely fell in love with this book, and I’m sure you will too! Hopefully, you will enjoy this tale spun of friendship and family, humor and grief, growing up and breaking down, and finding one’s true identity. Happy reading!
You Go First by Erin Entrada Kelly is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.