Check out this fun interview for You Were Here by Cori McCarthy (Blog Tour Interview, Excerpt, & Giveaway)

Welcome to my stop for for Cori McCarthy's newest! Cori was nice enough to answer a few questions for me, so check that, the excerpt, and giveaway below...

You Were HereYou Were Here
by Cori McCarthy
YA Contemporary, Graphic Novel
Hardcover & ebook 400 pages
March 1st 2016 by Sourcebooks Fire


Jaycee is about to accomplish what her older brother Jake couldn’t: live past graduation.

Jaycee is dealing with her brother’s death the only way she can – by re-creating Jake’s daredevil stunts. The ones that got him killed. She’s not crazy, okay? She just doesn’t have a whole lot of respect for staying alive.

Jaycee doesn’t expect to have help on her insane quest to remember Jake. But she’s joined by a group of unlikely friends – all with their own reasons for completing the dares and their own brand of dysfunction: the uptight, ex-best friend, the heartbroken poet, the slacker with Peter Pan syndrome, and… Mik. He doesn’t talk, but somehow still challenges Jayce to do the unthinkable—reveal the parts of herself that she buried with her brother.

Cori McCarthy’s gripping narrative defies expectation, moving seamlessly from prose to graphic novel panels and word art poetry, perfect for fans of E. Lockhart, Jennier Niven, and Jandy Nelson.  From the petrifying ruins of an insane asylum to the skeletal remains of the world’s largest amusement park, You Were Here takes you on an unforgettable journey of friendship, heartbreak and inevitable change.

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Praise for the Book

“A beautiful coming-of-age story, this book will leave readers thinking about it long after they close it.” –VOYA Magazine, a VOYA Perfect Ten

“A skillful blend of storytelling, emotion, and adrenaline-fueled daring” –Publishers Weekly

“The mix of forms as well as the insights each character gleans through their urban explorations render this book both readable and teachable on multiple levels.” –Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, STARRED Review

“Readers who appreciate stories of searching for personal truths will be happy to join this meaningful quest for identity and independence.” –Booklist

“You Were Here  is wrenchingly beautiful in its honest and achingly accurate portrayal of grief and how it breaks us--and the way unconditional friendship puts us back together.” -Jo Knowles, award-winning author of See You At Harry’s and Read Between the Lines

“Through razor-sharp wit, no-holds-barred momentum, and heart-wrenching twists, Cori McCarthy dares you to climb through the broken, abandoned wreckage of the past, stand on the edge of the world, and face something even scarier: the truth.” -K.A. Barson, author of 45 Pounds (More or Less and Charlotte Cuts it Out

"The urban explorers of You Were Here dive deep into the forgotten man-made spaces all around them--and their own feelings of loss, love, and fear. McCarthy deftly intertwines the characters' stories, filling them with authentic pain and heartache as well as soaring moments of grace and humor. I dare you to read it!" --Maggie Lehrman, author of The Cost of All Things

Author Interview

I'd like to welcome Cori McCarthy here today to talk about her newest release! So, on to the questions:

1. What inspired the story?

Two ideas go into each of my stories, so You Were Here had two very different strands of inspiration. The first was that I was watching a show on urban exploring on the National Geographic channel, and I remembered all the times that I went climbing around in manmade ruins (The Ridges, for example!). I knew right then that I wanted to write about my daring (and sometimes stupid) experiences. My second strand of inspiration came from the death of my classmate and friend back in eighth grade. Although I struggled when he first died, it took me years later to really start to process his passing and the subsequent loss of his memory. I really wanted to write a story about latent grief, and well, this is where Jaycee came in!

I like that you drew from your own experiences so much for this story!

2. Can you give a brief description of each of the main characters?

Jaycee—A beautiful disaster with some arrested emotional development since the death of her big brother Jake five years ago

Natalie—Jaycee’s ex-best friend and a total Type A nightmare

Zach—A Nintendo loving, vodka swigging blondie. Also Natalie’s boyfriend with Peter Pan syndrome

Bishop—An artist and Zach’s best friend, sort of. They’ve been fighting ever since Bishop dated a girl who broke his heart and left him miserable

Mik—Last but never least, Mik was Jake’s best friend. He’s a mystery in a black trench coat who is also a selective mute, but don’t be fooled, he’s the most well adjusted one out of all of them. He’s also in love with Jaycee J.

Sounds like an interesting group of characters.

3. What was your favorite dare or stunt that Jaycee takes on?

My favorite stunt was when Jaycee climbs the roof at The Ridges. I have longingly looked up at those buildings many, many times and ached to know what the city of Athens looks like from up there.

So, you got to live that out in Jaycee. Pretty cool.

4. What was your favorite part of writing the story?

The kissing. I won’t say any more because I don’t want to give anything away.

Oooh! Tease us, why don't you?!! ;)

5. What would you like readers to take with them once they've read it?

I would like readers to reassess the idea of childhood loss. Grief is not something that can be sorted into stages. For many of us, grief is just the tip of the iceberg in understanding death, mortality, and the cost of remembrance.

Good thoughts. I think we all deal with grief so differently too.

6. What book are you looking forward to being released this year?

Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley. I’ve had a chance to read an ARC, and I think it’s exceptionally written and oh so moving. It deals with Star Trek and anxiety disorders—both of which should get more play in YA!

I have seen that one around, but didn't know about the Star Trek angle. Definitely a plus for me and something to check out.

7. What are you working on now?

A top secret, high concept contemporary novel! I wish I could tell you more, but suffice it to say that it will hopefully appeal to those readers who liked YOU WERE HERE, but wanted a little less bleak and a little more funny!

Oh! That sounds really good. To be honest, this is the first Graphic Novel, even if only partially, book I've featured here, but I think it's a fabulous idea!

Thanks so much for answering my questions, Cori!


“What do I see?” I asked, turning back to the halo effect created by Margaret’s splayed hair. “It was a game. She died because she was playing a game.”

“Just like Jake,” Natalie said.

“Right,” I quipped, trying to mask not only my annoyance at Natalie’s psychoanalyst tone but also a flare of grief. My chest grew tight. Why wouldn’t it go away? Why did all this still buckle me to the ground? Tears burned my eyes, and I took my hair out of my ponytail. This never happened when I came here with Mik. Mik didn’t talk or prod. Mik let me be while we walked around Jake’s old haunt, wondering if he was actually haunting it.

“My dad said that OU will raze the TB ward.” Bishop pointed out the window toward the building on the very top of the hill, by far the spookiest and most unkempt in The Ridges compound. “It’s the only fully abandoned building.”

“Raze?” I asked, suddenly angry. “When?”

“End of the summer, I think. My dad said it was going to cost a ton but that leaving the old building there while it was falling in is just asking for lawsuits.”

“Jake loved the TB ward,” I said. “They haven’t stripped it down like this building.”

“TB?” Zach asked.

“Tuberculosis,” Natalie said.

Bishop squinted at his friend. “TB has been one of the leading terminal diseases in society since the dawn of civilization, Zach.”

“But it doesn’t exist anymore,” Zach said. “Like leprosy.”

“It totally exists,” Natalie said. “And so does leprosy. Where do you learn these things?”

“TB is still the leading cause of death for all people with HIV,” Bishop said. “But don’t worry, Zach. You won’t get it.”

I was surprised to find Zach looking at me. “What kind of things are in there?”

I shrugged. “I’ve never been, but I know it’s more dangerous. All the windows and doors are boarded up to keep drunk undergrads out.”

“So there’s no way in?” Bishop asked.

I shook my head. “Didn’t say that. Every building in The Ridges compound is connected by basement tunnels. If we get into the basement, we can get into any building.”

We all shuffled to our feet and stood around the last portrait of Margaret Schilling.

“I’m in,” Bishop said, and I nodded. Bishop was cool; we’d been partners for two semesters straight in woodshop. He said odd, grandiose things sometimes, but I liked him for it. Plus there was a pretty good chance that Mik would show himself with only Bishop around.

“I’ll take you two to the exit,” I told Natalie and Zach.

“Well, hey,” Zach said. “What if I want to come?”

Natalie looked at him, stunned. “You want to go? What about Kolenski’s three kegs?”

“Kolenski gets kegs every couple of weeks.” Zach shoved his hands in his pockets. He had sobered up since they’d entered The Ridges, and now he just looked worn down. Even his hair had flattened. I’d written him off years ago, but the way he’d helped me find Jake’s footprint and waylaid Natalie…maybe he wasn’t such a garden-variety “dude.”

“Who else can say that they did this the night after graduation?” he added with a shrug.

“So Natalie’s the loose end?” I said. “Big surprise.”

“Wait a second. It was my idea to follow you in the first place. And I…I want to see it.”

“Really?” Zach asked her. “Even if it’s dangerous?”

“I’m going to minor in history. It’ll be like walking around inside of history.”

I knew Natalie well enough to know that she was deluding herself, but when I opened my mouth to point it out, I saw something instead. Bishop did too.

“Apple.” He pointed to the ground. “Guys. There’s an apple.”

A shiny, green Granny Smith apple sat in the doorway. I picked it up.

“Where the hell did that come from?” Zach asked, fear trilling his voice. “Is someone else here? That wasn’t there a few minutes ago, right? Right?”

They all looked up and down the hall. Nothing.

“Maybe Jake’s ghost put it there. Or Margaret’s,” I said. A thump of what could only be described as happiness resounded through my chest. It was foreign and weird, and yet welcome.

“You’re smiling,” Natalie said. “Why are you smiling? You never smile.”

I rubbed the apple on my shirt and took a huge crunching bite. Natalie looked like she was going to pass out. I winked. “This way to the basement.”

About the Author

Cori McCarthy studied poetry and screenwriting before falling in love with writing for teens at Vermont College of Fine Arts. From a military family, Cori was born on Guam and lived a little bit of everywhere before she landed in Michigan. Learn more about her books at

Tour-Wide Giveaway

Two copies of You Were Here
Runs 3/1-3/31
(US & Canada only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

On tour with Sourcebooks.

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