What would you do to bring back someone you love? After the unexpected loss of his girlfriend, a boy suffering from delusions believes he can travel through time to save her in this gripping new novel from New York Times bestselling author Beth Revis.
"A story that’s both heartbreaking and hopeful." —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Revis’s account of grief, loss, first love, and anguish, presented through a lens of mental illness, is a must-read.” —VOYA, starred review
“A heartrending, beautifully complex look at mental illness, life, and loss. I tore through the pages, and, days later, this story still has a hold on me.” —Alexandra Bracken, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Darkest Minds series and Passenger
Seventeen-year-old Bo has always had delusions that he can travel through time. When he was ten, Bo claimed to have witnessed the Titanic hit an iceberg, and at fifteen, he found himself on a Civil War battlefield, horrified by the bodies surrounding him. So when his concerned parents send him to a school for troubled youth, Bo assumes he knows the truth: that he’s actually attending Berkshire Academy, a school for kids who, like Bo, have "superpowers."
At Berkshire, Bo falls in love with Sofia, a quiet girl with a tragic past and the superpower of invisibility. Sofia helps Bo open up in a way he never has before. In turn, Bo provides comfort to Sofia, who lost her mother and two sisters at a very young age.
But even the strength of their love isn’t enough to help Sofia escape her deep depression. After she commits suicide, Bo is convinced that she's not actually dead. He believes that she's stuck somewhere in time — that he somehow left her in the past, and now it's his job to save her.
Not since Ned Vizzini’s It’s Kind of a Funny Story has there been such a heartrending depiction of mental illness. In her first contemporary novel, Beth Revis guides readers through the mind of a young man struggling to process his grief as he fights his way through his delusions. As Bo becomes more and more determined to save Sofia, he has to decide whether to face his demons head-on, or succumb to a psychosis that will let him be with the girl he loves.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Beth Revis, author of the YA science fiction series Across the Universe, grapples with real-world issues like mental illness and suicide in A World Without You. Her novel centers around Bo, who attends a boarding school for teenagers with special needs but sees it as a school for kids with special powers; Bo thinks he can time-travel. When his girlfriend dies, Bo’s convinced he can bring her back. In Revis’ hands, his heartbreaking story of self-discovery is always human and engaging, never maudlin.
Through two gripping and very different narrative voices, Revis (the Across the Universe trilogy) examines a family struggling with a child's severe mental illness. Bo, whose omnipresent visual delusions have left him believing that he can manipulate time, attends a boarding school for children with "exceptional needs" while his sister, Phoebe, excels socially and academically back at home. "I don't have the luxury of allowing myself to break," she reflects, thinking of her parents. "Because if I break, they'll break too." Unable to accept that his girlfriend, Sof a, committed suicide, Bo blames himself for trapping her in 1692 Puritan Massachusetts, and focuses relentlessly on saving her. Though striking imagery, Revis conveys the vitality and terror of Bo's reality: "I stare down at the chaotic, beautiful timestream spreading out in front of me.... Any chance I had of pulling the end of Sof a's string from the vortex disappears before my eyes." The siblings' perspectives capture the family's daunting emotional, financial, and clinical challenges, conflicted feelings, and growing mutual compassion, creating a story that's both heartbreaking and hopeful. Ages 12 up.