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Content Review: I'll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Hardcover: 400 pages
: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (May 17, 2011)
Language: English
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Raised by an unstable father who keeps the family constantly on the move, Sam Border hasn't been in a classroom since the second grade. He's always been the rock for his younger brother Riddle, who stopped speaking long ago and instead makes sense of the world through his strange and intricate drawings. It's said that the two boys speak with one voice--and that voice is Sam's. Then, Sam meets Emily Bell, and everything changes. The two share an immediate and intense attraction, and soon Sam and Riddle find themselves welcomed into the Bell's home. Faced with normalcy for the first time, they know it's too good to last.

  • Sexual Content:  Moderate
  • Profanity:  Moderate
  • Violence:  Moderate
  • Other Notables:  Moderate
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I have been reading books for many, many years and it is very seldom that I feel as strongly about a book as I do "I'll Be There".  I LOVE this book.  I love the characters, the story and the writing.  It has been about 3 weeks since I finished reading it and I am considering reading it again.  My interest was captured from the first few pages and increased from there.  It is a story that touched my heart, made me laugh and made me cry.  It is sweet and sad and warm and suspenseful.  I couldn't wait to finish it to find out how it was resolved but hated the thought of coming to the end and no longer being a part of this incredible story.  The story is told from alternating perspectives.  Sam Border is the 17 year old son of a man who is a criminal and moves his two sons from town to town when the authorities get too close.  Sam has not attended school since the second grade and spends most of his time trying to provide for his 12 year old brother who was special in many ways.  Emily Bell is 17 and lives with her parents and younger brother.  She is a good student and is basically just an average girl except that she sees every person as a part of a ripple effect--and she believes in destiny.  Although Sam and Emily are polar opposites of each other, something happens when they meet and both of their lives are changed forever. This is not your average high school romance.  It is unique in the way the characters respond to life and it is unique in the way it is told.  We are allowed to experience the perspectives of both Sam and Emily.  One particular aspect of the story that I really enjoyed was how the minor characters were handled.  The author doesn't just mention these supporting players.  She gives them a story of their own and tells us how they are affected by their interaction with the main characters.  This is a wonderful story and it is satisfying in so many different ways.    
Subpages (1): I'll Be There Content