Book Review: You Are My Only by Beth Kephart

Title: You Are My Only
Author: Beth Kephart
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Publisher: Egmont USA
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: E-galley from Netgalley
First line: My house is a storybook house.

Emmy is a very young mother trapped in an abusive marriage. The only thing that keeps her going is her baby – until the day she leaves her outside for just a moment to get a blanket, and comes back to find only Baby’s yellow sock.

Sophie is a homeschooled girl of fourteen, living a reclusive, nomadic life with her mother, always trying to outrun the “No Good.” When she decides to break the rules and go outside, she meets her neighbor, Joey, and the beautiful old women who are raising him. As Sophie spends time with the first friends she’s ever had, she finds out that sometimes you’re not born into your family, sometimes you stumble into it.

The way that Emmy’s and Sophie’s stories are connected is no secret. This isn’t a mystery, and as a reader, the link between the two is easily discovered. There isn’t a slow unraveling of clues – You Are My Only isn’t that kind of book. The story of Emmy and Sophie isn’t a Lifetime Movie or after-school special, either, with everything tied up in a neat little bow, all problems solved within the allotted time slot. This isn’t that kind of book.

Emmy and Sophie are young women who have each been robbed of something precious. The way that Beth Kephart tells their stories is haunting and beautiful, heartbreaking and joyful, full of bittersweet ache and tender melancholy. I read Beth’s words with a constant lump in my throat, hurting for Emmy, longing for Sophie to know that she is smart and brave and beautiful. And when the story came to its much anticipated conclusion, I was so amazed at the courageous way that Beth chose to close the door on these two beautiful young women.

For the last few days, since I turned the last page and read the final words, Emmy and Sophie have been continually in my mind. I find myself imagining the next scene, and the next, and the next, because I don’t want to say goodbye to them. You Are My Only is that kind of book.

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24 Responses to Book Review: You Are My Only by Beth Kephart

  1. Beth Hoffman says:

    Wonderful review, Carrie! I’m really looking forward to reading this book!

  2. Kay says:

    I’m looking forward to this book so much. The whole little yellow sock picture is just too poignant for words.

  3. bermudaonion (Kathy)
    Twitter: bermudaonion

    Beth Kephart has such a way with words, doesn’t she? I’m not surprised you loved this so much.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Kathy – I am in awe of authors like Beth who can put words together that way!

  4. Stephanie says:

    The reviews for this one are so positive that I cannot wait to read it!

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Stephanie – I’m glad it’s getting such good buzz – it’s very well-deserved.

  5. Marg
    Twitter: MargReads

    Wow! That is quite the positive review!

    I have this on my ereader at the moment!

  6. Kailana says:

    I had this from NetGalley, too, but I just hate reading pdf files. I am thinking I will have to see if the library has a copy…

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Kelly – I don’t like reading pdf files, either – but will do it for books I really want to read and can’t afford or get any other way. 🙂

  7. stacybuckeye says:

    What an endorsement. I’ll have to look for this one.

  8. Serena
    Twitter: SavvyVerseWit

    I’m looking forward to reading this when it finally arrives in the mail.

  9. Florinda
    Twitter: florinda_3rs

    I’ve had an ARC of this since BEA and have been making myself wait to read it until pub date neared, so it’s almost time! I’m bursting with anticipation, and so glad to see the great reactions this novel has received.

  10. Jess Haight

    Wow! What a review. This book sounds amazing and I look forward to reading it. I love books that keep me thinking about them after they are over!

    I found you through Book Blogs and signed up toget your posts on my feed (I think I did it right). When you have a chance- please stop by the blog for my middle grade novel that I am hoping to get published.

    Also, my co-author, Stephanie, liked your fb page today. Please like us back at:

    Take care-
    Jess- although I may show up as Fairday, the main character from my novel. I can’t figure out how to fix it. 🙂

  11. Jess Haight

    I just noticed the twitter box, so I completed it.

  12. Jess Haight

    I just realized I said I found you through Book Blogs- when actually I visited Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf through Book Blogs and she had a post about what a grea blog you have. I clicked on it and came here. You do have an awesome site!

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