Review: Take Me With You When You Go* | David Levithan & Jennifer Niven

Take Me With You When You Go
| David Levithan & Jennifer Niven

Published: 31st August 2021 by Penguin
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Subject: You. Missing.

Ezra wakes one day to find his sister gone. No note, no sign, nothing but an email address hidden somewhere only he would find it.

Escaping their toxic home life, Bea finds herself alone in a new city - without friends, without a real plan - chasing someone who might not even want to be found.

As things unravel at home for Ezra, Bea confronts secrets about their past that will forever change the way they think about their family. Separated by distance but connected by love, this brother and sister must learn to trust themselves before they can find a way back to each other.


Acclaimed young adult authors Jennifer Niven and David Levithan have joined forces to tell a touching tale of family and the joy in learning to trust yourself in Take Me With You When You Go. What first struck me about this book is the format that it is written in. Told via emails sent between the siblings as they navigate their lives and open the doors to secrets which have the potential to turn their world upside down; it feels personal and natural throughout. The structure helps keep a quick pace but also helps you connect to the characters as they subtly reveal little fragments of their lives. 

A major aspect of Ezra and Bea's lives is the fact that they are siblings. Family as a whole can be a difficult topic to read about, especially given the home circumstances covered in this book, but Niven and Levithan have done an excellent job of highlighting that just because someone is your blood, doesn't mean you have to agree with all their choices. One the other side, they showcase how pure and deep the siblings relationship is. I found it endearing how much the two cared for and relied on one another even when they didn't realise they were doing so. It's lovely to see how they develop both individually and together and it's quite wonderful just how much development is fit into a fairly short read.

Aside from Ezra and Bea, there are a couple of side characters who really shine. They mostly demonstrate the kindness of strangers and there's a lovely sense of found family which runs throughout and warms the heart. 

There are a few topics which may be triggering for some readers so it's worth checking those before picking it up but David and Jennifer have covered everything very truthfully and sensitively.  

This is a quietly powerful book which keeps you invested and reminds you that running towards the future instead of away from the past always leaves room for new adventures and journeys. 

*This book was sent to me for review purposes. All views and opinions are my own*