Reading Matters

Beth Revis’s latest: kids with powers and without

I’m not a fan of magic or super powers or, actually, books for young adults. But something arrested me about the cover of Beth Revis’s latest, due this week, “A World Without You.”

Revis is a New York Times bestselling writer, and she grew up in Appalachia with a cemetery in her backyard. On her blog Hypable, Revis says: “A World without You,” “was not the book I was suposed to write.”

As she was writing, she says “things got twisted.” She realized she didn’t want to write a book about kids with super powers. “I wanted to write a book about kids who didn’t really have any power at all, and what it means to realize that.”

The more she wrote, she says the more she ripped away the feelings she’d been hiding from herself for a long time, “feelings about my own past, my own fears, and my own family. This book became personal. My life is hidden in the white spaces between the lines.”

Wow.

In the novel, 17-year-old Bo is sent away to a school for troubled kids. But he believes he’s actually at The Academy, a home for kids who have super powers. While there, he falls in love with Sofia, a quiet girl with a tragic past and the power of invisibility.

But Sofia commits suicide, and Bo believes she’s not really dead but stuck somewhere in the past. His job: to save her.

So the book is about suicide, mental illness and grief.

Maybe there are worse things being a fan of the supernatural.

Dannye: dpowell@charlotteobserver.com

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