Read You Are My Only by Beth Kephart Online


Emmy Rane is married at nineteen, a mother by twenty. Trapped in a life with a husband she no longer loves, Baby is her only joy. Then one sunny day in September, Emmy takes a few fateful steps away from her baby and returns to find her missing. All that is left behind is a yellow sock.Fourteen years later, Sophie, a homeschooled, reclusive teenage girl is forced to move fEmmy Rane is married at nineteen, a mother by twenty. Trapped in a life with a husband she no longer loves, Baby is her only joy. Then one sunny day in September, Emmy takes a few fateful steps away from her baby and returns to find her missing. All that is left behind is a yellow sock.Fourteen years later, Sophie, a homeschooled, reclusive teenage girl is forced to move frequently and abruptly from place to place, perpetually running from what her mother calls the "No Good." One afternoon, Sophie breaks the rules, ventures out, and meets Joey and his two aunts. It is this loving family that gives Sophie the courage to look into her past. What she discovers changes her world forever. . . .The riveting stories of Emmy and Sophie—alternating narratives of loss, imprisonment, and freedom regained—escalate with breathless suspense toward an unforgettable climax....

Title : You Are My Only
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781606842720
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 240 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

You Are My Only Reviews

  • Sarah
    2019-04-02 13:38

    I found this book to be a giant disappointment. It sounded so good from the cover description and the reviews and that was the problem. What is pitched isn't quite what you get. First of all, Sophie doesn't even find out that she was kidnapped until the very end. So even though that is a MAJOR selling point of the book, you spend the entire thing reading to learn what you already know by reading the dust jacket. This isn't a story about a girl who finds out that she was kidnapped and rebuilds her life. It's a story about a girl who wanders aimlessly doing boring things with uncompelling people until she stumbles onto the truth in the last 20 pages. And Emmy is an extremely hard character to get into. The entire way her sections are written is confusing and makes it hard to relate to her. The fact that her baby is just called Baby, she doesn't even give her a name, is offputting and annoying. And her freefall wandering just gets dull after a while -- since she is in the past and Sophie is in the future, you know she doesn't find her baby. It's just a bit of torture watching her ramble and lost soul it up. It's sad, but not compelling sad. Just repetitive sad. I started skipping her chapters towards the end because nothing was happening. Also everything feels unfinished and unresolved. The book just ends. All this build up with the characters and it goes... nowhere. You don't get to see Sophie confront her Mother about her lies. You don't get to see her meet Emmy. You don't get to see how Emmy would respond to reuniting with her beloved Baby after 16 years. It just ends. What a disappointment.

  • Aleeeeeza
    2019-04-14 07:51

    This book is really difficult for me to rate.When I read the summary once the book was available on Netgalley, I went: OMG I NEED TO READ THIS BOOK! And honestly? I still think that the story of this book is phenomenal. But the execution left me feeling very bleh--and hella conflicted.No doubt some will think the writing style was breathtaking and unique and all that shizz, but to me it just came off as disjointed and wayyy too confusing. Sure, it inspired some touching moments, but they were far and few in between.

  • Deborah
    2019-03-28 07:38

    Here's the scoop: This will be the most extraordinary and probably one of the most memorable books you'll read for a long time. I suggest going right away to buy your hard copy, first edition because you'll want it in your personal library. I predict it will be one of the Top Best Books of 2011.It is so masterfully written that you could simply close your eyes and point on any given page, and you'll land at a beautiful turn of phrase or description. This is a book of the heart and soul. This is a book that only an author of the highest quality could write.The characters we learn to love: Emmy Rane, the delicate, damaged young mother whose baby is stolen; Sophie, the baby and teenager whom we come to know and love; Joey, her next door friend and companion-of-the-larger-world; Autumn, Emmy's precious person who helped; the awe-inspiring Aunts; and the man who made a difference... All of these people are believable; they come alive in the hands of Beth Kephart. I know them. I cried with and for them, and I laughed in joy and sorrow with them.The structure of this novel is one I have come to favor in every instance: the back and forth of individuals and their story lines. In "You Are My Only" we see the story from the perspectives of Emmy and Sophie. This kept the book running at such a pace that I held back to savour every page. I was so sad when the book ended. You know the feeling...didn't want it to end. But, it ended just perfectly, as I knew it would have to. The final line was poignant and rang with truth.This is a novel that can't be shared more than I have without giving too much away. This is a story that will so touch your heart and mind that you may want to reread it right after you finish it. I loved the book and recommend it to all of my friends and readers. It is a novel that will leave you somber, however, and I must tell you that; it's not one that you can expect to do other than make you think and hope.5+ stars for this very beautiful book by a genius of a writer.Deborah/TheBookishDame

  • Amy (Turn the Page)
    2019-04-21 09:42

    I almost didn’t read this one. I found the opening chapters, especially Emmy’s, very awkward. It takes a while to settle into the rhythm of Kephart’s writing. But the overwhelming good reviews urged me to keep going and I’m so glad that I did.You Are My Only is told through two separate narratives. Sophie’s is a little slow to get started, but ended up being the story I loved the most. Emmy’s took me longer to get into to, as I found her ‘voice’, not to mention the way in which she refers to ‘Baby’, very off-putting,I nudged her high and sang to her: “True, true, the sky is blue,” and she smelled like baby. There is not one single other thing that smells like baby, that cheeks against your cheek like the cheek of a baby. I kissed her. I promised, “I am coming right back, Baby.”It’s immediately obvious that Emmy is somewhat mentally disabled, though clearly a loving mother. Thankfully, after a while, the over use of ‘Baby’ settles down, and from there on out, I couldn’t put You Are My Only down.So why did I love this so much? Well, as strange as it sounds, given my initial reaction, it is all due to Kephart’s language. After an unsure beginning, You Are My Only has some of the most beautiful, lyrical passages I have read. The whole story reads like a poem. The heartbreaking nature of Emmy’s story, the loss of her child and the betrayal of the people in her life who should have cared for her most. And for Sophie, finding her own way, discovering her past and falling in love for the first time, flow so well together. As I read, I increasingly felt like an outsider, peeking in on something private.I loved Joey and the Aunts best of all. It was wonderful to read about two women in a loving, committed relationship. Their ease and naturalness with each other is something Sophie sees and longs for herself. And if I was I was 14 (hell even now) and some cute boy from next door climbed up a tree in the middle of the night to bring me delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies, that would be it. Love. It’s also a huge testament to Kephart’s abilities as a writer that I never once felt negatively towards the stranger who took Emmy’s child, only pity and understanding.You Are My Only is far from perfect. The story is predictable, but in this case it doesn’t seem to matter so much. If I wanted to be picky, I could argue I wanted more. More back story on Sophie and her mother – their relationship felt underdeveloped. I wanted to know more about Emmy’s past, her marriage to Peter and most importantly, her life after Autumn. But in the end I was too caught up in the writing to care. Rather than really getting to know these characters inside out, it felt like Kephart was giving us a brief glimpse into their lives, a mere snapshot in time to take with us.This isn’t a book for everyone. It is difficult to adjust to Emmy’s disjointed, child-like narrative and some readers won’t get on along with the writing style and limited use of dialogue. But I found myself more and more in tune with the book as it went on and found much of it, particularly the second half, beautifully written; all the more poignant for it’s simplicity. I’d urge anyone curious to give this book a try.It was the fault of whoever had left you. It was the fault of them not knowing that children left untended die. I worked the Clock and Watch. I was the neighborhood streets, which were sun blazed and empty. Your hands in the grass were pale and pudgy. You had been left to the weather. I wore white, a mother’s color. The sky was blue, and it was easy.We love in our own ways.*Many thanks to NetGalley and Egmont USA for making this book available for review*

  • Kaitlin
    2019-04-21 11:27

    Check out more reviews on Books to the Sky.(I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.)I honestly don't understand what so many people loved about this book. I found the whole thing hard to follow.I know Emmy was in a drugged up weird mental state, but I could barely understand anything she ever said or thought. Even from the beginning!Also, Kephart tried to describe everything too much. I couldn't handle how some of the paragraphs of the descriptions of things are Emmy or Sophie just went on and on and on. Towards the end I would skip some paragraphs just to get to the dialogue.Two things that kept me reading this book were the good recommendations I read (and heard) and I wondered what was going to happen to Sophie. I did like Sophie's character. Along with Joey and his aunts. They're another reason I kept reading, I actually liked them.I guess this book just wasn't my cup of tea, which is a bummer. I tried so hard to like it.

  • Lilian Nattel
    2019-04-03 09:51

    You Are My Only is a gorgeously written YA novel. That's the first thing I want you to know about it. The second thing is that I couldn't put it down. I read it in a day, ignoring my children. My older daughter, age 13, curious about my absorption, examined the cover and picked up the book to see what it was all about. That is the beauty of a paper book.You Are My Only is told from two perspectives in alternating chapters. First there is Sophie, age fourteen, who has had a fugitive life being precipitously moved about by the woman she knows as her mother, who is always in a state of mystifyingly oppressive fear. Then there is Emmy, a young mom whose life and sanity were broken by the abduction of her baby, unnamed, but clearly Sophie.But Emmy and Sophie both find love and comfort from the kind actions of strangers who enter their lives. Emmy is helped first and last by Arlen, an unprepossessing man, unsuccessful in material goods but large of heart. Her relationship with an anorexic young woman in a psychiatric hospital is also one of tenderness and mutual support.Sophie finds courage, love, meaning and a way to better her life when she moves next door to a very different made family from the one her "fake mother" (as my daughter M called her) made. Joey, about her age, was adopted by his father's stepsister and her partner, Helen and Cloris, an artistic, nurturing and accepting couple, who are strong even in the face of evident sorrow.This is not a sensationalistic treatment of a subject that could easily be sensationalized and sentimental. I noticed a couple of disappointed reviews on Amazon by readers who expected that sort of treatment. The other reviews, the 5 star ones, loved what I did about this book: the beauty of the language, the tenderness of the characterizations, the love and hope and kindness that come to lift up a life even in dire situations and so to change them forever for good.A taste (p 1):My house is a storybook house. A huff-and-a-puff-and-they'll-blow-it-down house. The roof is soft; it's tumbled. There are bushes growing tall past the sills. A single sprouted tree leans in from high above the cracked slate path, torpedoing acorns to the ground.Another (p 36):He has taken off his jacket and given it to me, laid it across my knees like a blanket. He has kept his arm across my shoulder, and I don't mind him, not really. I don't mind how he gives me room to tell my Baby stories, how he lets things be--no questions.I pre-ordered You Are My Only and it arrived at my house the day after the release date. I read it as soon as I could and I recommend you do too!My favourite lines (p 235):"We're a sight," I say, and then we're laughing, as if nothing was ever wrong or ever could be, as if we engineered goodness. As if we have that power.You see, we do.

  • Wall-to-wall books - wendy
    2019-04-01 15:43

    Oh my gosh, I loved this story! Right up until the end. In fact I loved every page except the last one. This is such a beautifully written book. It is more like Prose and Poetry that a novel. It really flowed nicely. I was hooked on the very first page. I felt the character development right away. I loved Emmy (the mom) I liked the way the Author chose to portray her as simple minded. It made her innocent and loveable and I really really felt her pain and loss. I also loved Sophie (the daughter), her adventurous spirit, her willingness to try things and venture out and not be intimidated. Another character I loved and would have loved to seen more of was Arlen (the Hobo) what he did for Emmy was so kind and almost unheard of these days.This book was full of AWWW moments!So what was it about the end - It didn't end!!! It had what I call - a non-ending. Could it have hurt to write to write 2 more pages? Some people like to be kept wondering... I do not! I almost want to write the Author and ask what happens.I received this book from Egmont USA at Netgalley as a download for my nook.

  • Ashelynn
    2019-04-22 12:47

    You Are My Only is a unique contemporary. Emmy’s scenes are written in the past, and I guessed around the 1970s. Sophie’s is in “present”-time of the novel, and I guessed probably early 1990s. So I’m reading, trying to get into this book (I loved the prose; everything else was very, very confusing) and I stumble.Because Sophie says it’s 2004 and she’s fourteen.Blink blink.Say what now?Argh. I think that was the most annoying part of this story. It does not read like it was set in 2004; I honestly thought it was set in the 70s/90s because of the way they speak. Sophie. Oh dear god, Sophie is fourteen and I swear to you she speaks like it’s 1975. And it’s not; it’s 2004!0_oAnother annoying point is you can tell what the ending is from the summary. It’s still a good read if you get past the inconsistences, but holy wow, it disappointed me in a big way. I just wish it was easier to understand, the setting actually … less confusing, and for it to not be so predictable. I have no doubt people will like this one, though; it just wasn’t for me. And that makes me a sad Ashy.

  • Bonnie
    2019-04-03 11:33

    Couldn't get into this at all. This is the story of a young, unstable woman (Emmy) whose baby goes missing and a preteen (Sophie) whose mother is secretive and isolated and insists on staying on the run from the No Good. Two guesses for how these narrators are related.Emmy seemed mentally unstable and off-her-rocker from the beginning. I mean, she keeps referring to her 4-month old child only as "Baby" and has a weirdly simplistic view of the world. I was not surprised at all that she was sent to a mental institution. Not that I think that was healthy for her, but Emmy seemed entirely incapable of functioning in the world.Sophie is a naive and sheltered child, who finally finds a friend in Joey, her next-door-neighbor, and his aunts. This storyline also played out very simplistically. I was expecting some aspects of a thriller/mystery, some kind of excitement. Instead, this is a very quiet tale of an unstable young woman who loses her baby and a lonely young girl making friends for the first time.

  • Kitty Chatfou
    2019-04-04 15:37

    "YOU ARE MY ONLY" BY BETH KEPHARTThis book is completely touching and the kind of story you just can't put down. Emmy Rane is a girl that married too young, a girl with a low mental capacity and her baby is all she has. Her husband seems to have only married her because he got her pregnant and there is no love in the relationship. So when she leaves the baby outside for just a minute while she runs in to get something and she is stolen, Emmy is blamed for it all. Even though the pain of her loss is easy to see she is dragged through the process of being treated as though she's guilty of her disappearance. Meanwhile, every other chapter highlights the life of Sophie, the baby that was stolen. Years later Sophie is still living with the woman that took her on that fateful day. Having been told time and again that they were running from the "No Good" she is forced to live a life of seclusion. When they move to a new town and she begins to fall for the boy next door she has to find a way to keep her 'mother' from finding out, scared she'll make them move yet again.The book is at once a psychological thriller and a moving story that will have you completely wrapped up to the point you can't let go. Cheering for the helpless while still unable to fully blame the ones responsible for the heartache, it's the kind of read that will leave you emotionally drained but satisfied in the end. Kitty Bullard / Great Minds Think Aloud / http://www.greatmindsliterarycommunit...Read more: http://www.greatmindsthinkaloud.probo...

  • Sheree
    2019-04-19 13:27

    This is a story full of subtleties; quietly moving, intimate, aching, escalating in tension and quite beautiful. Once I understood the reason for Beth's writing style in You Are My Only, I fell in love with it. I guess it may not be appreciated by everyone but when you think about an author's means of conveying such emotion in a small time frame, it makes perfect sense.I also love stories with alternating narratives, especially when done well and Beth portrays Emmy and Sophie with insight and compassion. Emmy's voice is almost breathless, loose and disjointed but at the same time poetic which is extremely fitting considering her distressing & pitiful circumstances.“I have Baby’s sock in my purse. I have the smell of her in my heart.”It was wonderful to see Sophie gain courage and enlightenment once she had a support network of friends with next door neighbour Joey and his Aunts. In some ways she seemed a lot younger than her 14 years with the running from the unexplained "No Good" but in other ways she was wise beyond her years.Beth Kephart gives as much attention to her 'minor' characters as she does Emmy and Sophie. I loved Joey and his adorable Aunts, Cloris and Helen and sweet Autumn, Emmy's 'roomie' in the psychiatric institution. It was easy to relate to the heartache, the circumstances beyond their control but I didn't find this a depressing read. It was equally easy to revel in Sophie's new-found joy in small wondrous things; eating a cookie, flying a kite, having a friend.I'm wholeheartedly recommending this one to mature YA readers and adults and Beth will go on my "author's who write from the heart" list!

  • AtenRa
    2019-04-20 09:32

    You Are My Only is a heart breaking story about a mother who lost her baby and a girl who is imprisoned by her mother in a life she didn't choose.Beth Kephart is an amazing writer, no question about it. I've been meaning to read Dangerous Neighbors for a while now but I never got down to it. So my first ever Kephart book was You Are My Only thanks to Egmont and NetGalley.Alternating between Emmy and Sophie POVs, Kephart gives us an inside into these girls' lives, the decisions they make and how these decisions affect them.What got to me most in this book was that it was so sad! Both Emmy and Sophie are two very unhappy individuals, each one for the same reason: they never felt loved. Emmy's husband obviously never loved her and Sophie's mother doesn't know what love is, in my opinion. Most people think that it's because she loved Sophie so much that she did the things she did. I sincerely doubt it.Wonderful thing is though that Emmy and Sophie, despite their abysmal lives, are both very capable of loving people back. Emmy loves her daughter, who was her whole world, and Sophie loves the warmth and kindness of her neighbors. Their heart and feelings are still intact, which is miraculous considering how they've been treated in their lives and that is something I loved about the book. That it manages to remain hopeful throughout, despite everything.I recommend You Are My Only to anyone who wants to read something moving and beautifully written, with real character development.Watch out for Beth Kephart, she is amazing.

  • Jacinda
    2019-03-29 07:26

    Thank you read-a-thons! I think if it wasn’t for a read-a-thon I participated in, I may have never actually finished this one. Initially, I was really drawn to reading this one, but once I started reading it, I couldn’t get into it. I was hoping I would be shocked and crying…but that wasn’t in the cards for me.Sophie is the character in the book I wanted to read about. I felt sorry for her. I was rooting for her from the get go. The situation, being abducted that is, without her even knowing it most of her life, was horrible. She was so sheltered. I was so happy when she finally started lying to her “mother” and ventured next door.Emmy was the character I struggled with. I’m almost 100 percent positive she was the reason it took me 26 days to read You Are My Only. I couldn’t connect with her. I felt I should have been able to connect with her more than Sophie because she had her child abducted from her and I have children. The situations after the abduction that Emmy put herself in seemed…I’m not sure….unbelievable? Forced? Too out there? All I know is that I didn’t like it. I found her story rather boring and repetitive.The best aspect to the story was Beth Kephart’s writing style! I’m curious about the other novels she has written and what she may come up with next. You Are My Only COULD be a heartbreaking story, but it wasn’t to me personally.

  • Lydia Presley
    2019-04-17 12:54

    Original review posted hereI’ll be honest, it took me a good 30 minutes or so of reading to really start getting into this story. The alternating narratives, the thought process of Emmy, the strange events (and you cannot help but know they are connected), took every minute of that time and really got my mind working.Once I got everything straight, I began to see just where the beauty of this book lay. While I understood the outcome early on, this is more the story of getting to that point. That journey is so beautifully written that I could not help but feel as if I was not only acquainted with Emmy and Sophie – but that I was intimately involved with them – like they were sisters. I felt their pain, I felt their fear, and it was, quite frankly, more than a little scary.I understand why this book is getting the buzz it’s getting in the book blogging community. It’s a subtle, straight-to-the-heart, story that has left me thinking about it days afterward.

  • Kayla
    2019-04-12 12:36

    When I read the blurb for the book, I just knew that this would be a book that I would enjoy. Instead, this book is nothing like the blurb would lead you to believe. I was incredibly disappointed.While we're lead to believe that this is the story of Sophie's life after finding out that she was kidnapped, that's not the case. That's left for the last few pages. So, what's the majority of the book about? A whole lot of nothing actually.The alternating stories do absolutely nothing to save this book. Sophie's parts are boring. Emmy's parts are confusing (and boring). The whole book just left something to be desired and the only reason I kept reading was in hopes that things would get better. Nope, things just end. No resolution, no confrontation, nothing.After looking forward to reading this book while it sat on my to-read shelf for two years, You Are My Only takes home the most disappointing read of the year.

  • Sarah (Workaday Reads)
    2019-03-30 07:42

    While there does not appear to be much mystery to the story, the beauty of it is in the characters themselves. Emmy is a simple-minded girl who just wants to find her baby. Her misadventures along the way are quite heartbreaking.Sophie is the real star of the story. Her adventure focuses on her daring move to become friends with the boy next door and his family. I was swept along her adventures with the two aunts. They were such sweet old ladies.Joey was a great hero. He was super sweet and so friendly and accepting of Sophie and her odd way of life. He very gently encouraged her to become a beautiful young woman. There relationship was definitely one to be encouraged and "aww"-ed over.Overall, this was a tragic story that was told in a beautiful and positive way. It was a clean read that is very sweet.

  • Caryn Caldwell
    2019-04-20 07:33

    You Are My Only tells the intersecting stories of Emmy and Sophie. Emmy is a young mom whose daughter is kidnapped when she turns away for a moment. The resulting breakdown lands her in a mental hospital. Sophie and her mother have been constantly on the move, escaping from the No Good for as long as she can remember, but the boy living next-door to her new house reaches out to her. For the first time Sophie is ready to defy her domineering mother to form a connection with someone else. Will Emmy find her kidnapped daughter? Will Sophie solve the mysteries in her past?The story is lovely and heartbreaking and bittersweet, filled with moments both tragic and beautiful. Both Emmy’s and Sophie’s stories are suspenseful, and many readers will appreciate Kephart’s poetic voice.

  • Alyson Hagy
    2019-04-13 15:40

    Beth Kephart is one of the most moving and lyrical writers working today. You Are My Only displays her gifts for character development, riveting storytelling, and gorgeous prose all at once. I couldn't put the book down. I read it in two sittings, and that's only because my job called me away from my reading chair. The story here is unforgettable--a stolen child, a brutal marriage, the gift of wise neighbors, the saving grace of strangers. Kephart has published some fantastic novels (Nothing But Ghosts, Undercover), but this one takes the cake.

  • Kerri
    2019-04-24 12:42

    As I have said before, I love Beth Kephart’s books because they give the young adults who read them a lot of credit. The language and subject matter are complex. In You Are My Only the writing is like poetry on every page, but never overdone or forced. This and Beth’s other works are just the kinds of books young adults should be reading.One of this novel’s many strengths is its use of two voices, each distinct and beautiful. You will feel like you know these two young women, and you will fall in love with them from the first chapters. Beth, thank you for another great read!

  • Wendy
    2019-04-24 14:45

    This book not only had me from the first page but held my interest throughout and I couldn't put it down til it was done.Two stories (two narratives) intertwined with tragedy, love, fear, blessings, and friendship - this novel had it all.Her characters and character development was unique and a pleasure to read.I am thrilled to have discovered this author and plan to read more of her work in the future.Thank you to NetGalley and Egmont USA for allowing me to read an advanced copy.

  • Dianne Salamone
    2019-04-04 07:44

    It didn't grab me at all, just read it cause book club!!

  • Melissa
    2019-03-30 12:26

    It's kind of bizarre when you feel you're the absolute last person to read a particular book ...and the book hasn't even been officially published yet.Chalk this phenomenon up to being a book blogger, many of whom (yours truly included) get our kicks out of peeking at books before they hit the streets (or the e-readers). And in this particular case, you can also attribute this "everyone's read it but me" feeling to the wide appeal and popularity of beloved (and immensely talented) author Beth Kephart.A brief sidebar and disclaimer: Beth has been someone (thanks to our shared Philadelphia connection) who has been on my literary radar for nearly a decade, beginning with her first book, A Slant of Sun. That's a book that has become incredibly special to me, for many reasons. Quietly sitting on my bookshelf, it serves as a beacon of light, of hope. And over the past few years, that role has been transformed to Beth herself (through her books, her blog, her photographs, the snippets of conversation we've had online and in person), as she has become that ray of light, someone whom I have been so fortunate to get to know and to call a friend, someone who has inspired me as a writer, as a mother, as a person in the world. With all this in mind, I celebrate my friend Beth today as her 13th book, You Are My Only, officially makes its way into this bright world. It is a world that is ready to receive it, judging from the acclaim You Are My Only has already garnered from bloggers and reviewers alike. Advance praise has been enough to push this novel into a second printing, even before publication day. That's a true accomplishment, a hallmark of a brilliant writer, and - make no mistake - You Are My Only is a novel deserving of all the praise it has received. You Are My Only is the story of Emmy Rane, a devoted young mother who does what every mother has innocently done: leaves her baby unattended for the briefest of moments. On a still, bright day, outside in the yard while tucked snug in the branches of a tree swing, four month old Baby goes missing. The only trace of her is one single yellow sock.You can see this unfold because we have all experienced this - a simple act that results in the shifting and forever changing of lives - and you can see this in the opening pages of You Are My Only because Beth Kephart takes you right there. You're with Emmy in her moments of desperate terror (anyone who has ever had a child wander off, gone missing even for mere moments, knows this piercing anguish). You're right there when Emmy's emotionally and physically abusive husband is in her face, accusing her of being a bad mother by causing Baby's disappearance through her carelessness.From there, You Are My Only alternates between two timeframes and two points of view: Emmy Rane's, as she endures the days and months after Baby's disappearance, and Sophie Marks' (formerly Baby) who is now 14 and living an always-on-the-run-from-the-No-Good life with Cheryl, the only mother she has ever known. Cheryl is protective, a waitress, a possessor of secrets and of knowledge about obscure topics (Archimedean solids, truncated icosahedrons - yeah, I had to look that up too; it's a type of triangle, which is also an apropos symbol for this story) that she is determined to pass along to Sophie by way of homeschooling.Yet there are other lessons that Sophie and Emmy learn throughout the course of this novel, which gets a infusion through the literary use of color (a Kephart distinction). Yellow is featured predominantly, through the dropped yellow sock left behind from Baby's kidnapping. There's a goldfinch, a yellow flip flop, references to Rapunzel's golden hair, the bright rays of the sun itself. It is no coincidence that Emmy's last name is Rane; with the novel's rain-streaked cover art and the appearance of yellow and sun throughout the pages of a story of a mother's nightmare, Kephart shows her reader that there are always beacons of light who are with us in the darkest moments and corners of our lives. When we are physically and emotionally broken, a characteristic shared by many of the characters in this novel. In You Are My Only, these rays of light come to Sophie in the form of her neighbors - sensitive, caring Joey and his delightful Willa Cather-loving, Toll-House cookie-baking, compassionate aunts. (The world would be a much better place - and I mean that in the most emphatic way - if everyone, particularly certain politicians, had an Aunt Cloris and Aunt Helen in their lives. Those of you who have read the novel know what I mean.) For Emmy, these beacons of hope come in the form of Arlen, a watcher of trains and greeter of the day."'The first train is the express train,' Arlen declares. 'I like its speed.' The train screams and pitches. It thunders - such an awful trembling that I do not know how the houses on the banks along the tracks don't shatter up and crumble. My ankle swells in the raging roar. The jacket kicks up in a riffle from my knees until I press it flat with my hands. 'Watch it now,' he says, and he lifts his arm from my shoulder and rises up onto his haunches and balances here beside me in a way I wouldn't have thought he could. He's got something he knows about the miracle of the day's first train, and beside him I bear witness. 'Watch the ridgeline,' he tells me, his voice drowning in the bellows of the train shooting past. When I look up to where he's pointing, I see a streak of tangerine touched down upon the silver-bodied train. Right there, like a horizon line, just as he has promised. 'Daybreak!' he hollers, and now he stands and pumps his fist to the sky, and the long strands of his graying hair get pulled about in the air suck. Finally the wind roars down, and the night has become a veil of shadows. The night isn't night after all; it is first dawn." The way in which this story unfolds for its reader is beautifully written, with Kephart's signature lyrical prose infusing each page. But when one examines You Are My Only alongside of Kephart's other young adult novels (House of Dance, Nothing But Ghosts, The Heart is Not a Size), all of which I loved for various reasons, there's a quality about this one that makes it stronger than its peers.Perhaps that is because You Are My Only is a story that reflects the times in which we live. While there have always been hearts-held-captive baby-gone-missing stories in our nation's history (think Lindbergh, think Elizabeth Smart, think Jaycee Dugard) having this fictional one appear now brings a powerful message in these dark days of personal despair and economic uncertainty for so many. With You Are My Only, Kephart is saying that we have the strength within us to endure the darkness and break through into the light. It is a message that she personally knows well, and it shows - beautifully, triumphantly - in this novel. Highly recommended.P.S. This is Beth Kephart's 13th novel, and I own almost all of them. When I have several books by the same author, I usually shelve them books in chronological order. However, with this, I'm breaking my own rule. This one will be taking up residence next to A Slant of Sun.

  • Sarah
    2019-04-16 08:29

    This book has a lot of potential, but it's way too short. There are so many things that I wish were fleshed out more (view spoiler)[(the housefire, the mental institution, Sophie finding out the truth, the ending as a whole) (hide spoiler)], but instead we got a book that was slowly paced with little action. When these big events do happen, they're rushed over because of the length of the book. Had it been longer, with more drawn out scenes, I think I would have loved it. Another part that bothered me was the timing. There are two different time frames here, but their scenes are correlated. We have one scene with Emmy, and then we jump to a scene 14 years later with Sophie, then back those 14 years to another scene with Emmy. I think maybe if the scenes with Emmy were all put together, and the second part of the book focused on Sophie and discovering the truth, it might have flowed a lot better.

  • Hallie
    2019-03-24 13:36

    The book I read was about a mom who's daughter gets kidnapped. It goes from the mom to the daughters point of view. The daughter does not know she was kidnapped so her side of the story is just about how she lives her life next to Joey and his aunts. But the mom side is about what happens when the daughter (Baby/Sophie) gets kidnapped. I really liked the book. I liked how the book goes from the mom and Sophie. I used to not like books like this but the book really made it easy for me to read it. I feel like they should have made it a little bit longer. Or maybe make a second book about Sophie's life after all of the crazy stuff happens to her. I would be really want to read it. I wanted to find a book that had a little mystery in it and this book just had it.

  • Kelly
    2019-04-12 14:44

    2.5 stars. Just okay. I found the writing style really off-putting at times. It veers into "Jack from Room" territory every now and then. Emmy's half was much weaker than Sophie's. I wish the book hadn't ended so abruptly either.Last line:(view spoiler)[And the sky is not blue; it is not easy. (hide spoiler)]

  • Samantha
    2019-04-18 13:50

    A bit boring. I skimmed the Emmy parts.

  • Lala
    2019-04-13 13:34

    Couldn't get into this writing style...too jumpy, didn't finish this book. I liked the idea of this story,'s not for me.

  • Q
    2019-04-22 13:48

    Very beautiful to read, but I look for a different kind of substance in books these days and here mostly found confusion. It also ended too early for my taste.

  • Michelle Arrow
    2019-04-02 11:40

    *2.5 star rating* After reading this book, I felt like I was bound to get into a reading slump sooner than later, as soon as possible. I've been feeling like all of my newest reads have sucked, and I'm probably going to return all of my leftover library books back to the library eventually.You Are My Only sucked, compared to what I wish and what I sort of expected it to become. It was honestly something that could easily sprout out of a small town news story—not to say that those aren't interesting. This story was too much contemporary and realism. Nothing was happening and most of it was the whining of the characters and depression. There were no feelings coming out of it. And I didn't feel anything, either. The title really does correspond with this story, in its funny and simple ways. The baby was Emmy's only. Was the main idea that easy to recognize and see? It was weird and sensing in its own way, but in these kinds of stories, you weren't supposed to get it, if that makes any sense. The concept of this was outrageously horrendous. IT WAS NOTHING SPECIAL. ;_; Emmy was reckless. She got married and had a kid at nineteen. At the same time, she's not grateful with her current life. She doesn't feel love and/or happiness whatsoever. One day, as she turns her back away, her baby is gone. Disappeared. At the same time, this is a parallel story where another character is introduced—Sophie, who's abused and keeps on running away. From the moment when I read this synopsis, I was like, "Sophie and Emmy are going to be connected somehow." I made up theories, and once I began reading, those theories became more and more detailed, and was I right?I can't tell you that at the moment. So if you're the type who makes such awesome and precise bookish theories, then this book is actually for you. In my opinion, I really don't care, ever. I just want to feel enjoyed and happy. I had huge expectations: this does seem like some sort of older contemporary classic. Like, you'll see this cover on Goodreads when browsing through HarperCollins' newest 2015 contemporary titles in the "Recommended" section. I guess I can say that I've never read anything like this before... But there's always a but in every situation.I began reading and I guess you can say that it did take me quite a while to finish reading, if you take a look at my normal speed. Keep in mind that I did have school at the same time: was it three days? I don't know—this did seem like a quick read, but I never really got too much into it which made me want to finish it in one sitting. Naw—that didn't happen. I was actually getting a little scared that I just will stop caring and won't even write a review. Now—there must be a good side, yes?The characters weren't that bad. Emmy was a little whiny at first, but as her story went on, you were able to realize what big of a love she has for a mother like herself at her age. She was so mature and she understood the carelessness that she once took. She felt the guilt and understood everything. I honestly feel like I had to give her a huge high five for her greatness. Sophie, on the other hand, was reasonable too. I found that it was easy to relate to her and her situation, and she made everything seem real, from her perspective.Together, hey, it wasn't bad from their own selves. But the craziness was the way the story was put together by the author and how the feelings of readers were handled. I felt like the author focused too much on the characters and their developments from everything else. And surprisingly, that was the best thing.One of the strongest figures in this book were the characters. What I must say here is that the rest were downers and I was very disappointed with the outcome. This book has been sitting on my shelf for ages, and what it really needed to do was to keep on sitting there, because it wouldn't have made a difference in my life. Meh—just no. Go for this if you'd like something quick, and if you're looking for something you have the patience for with not-so-deep-meanings inside.This review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more reviews!

  • Bookworm Jo
    2019-04-16 14:36

    I don't really know what to say about this book. I liked it and didn't like it. All I can say for sure is that it wasn't what I was expecting. The book is about a baby who gets stolen from a mother. Its told in the perspective of Emmy the mother and a girl, Sophie. Its obvious from the synopsis that Sophie is Emmy's daughter that was stolen. The perspectives are during different time periods as well. Emmy's perspective and story is told during the time a months after the abduction in the 1900's while Sophie's perspective is told in the year 2004, 14 years after the abduction. It gets confusing at times and it take about 2 to 3 chapters to figure out the time difference.So the story begins with Emmy leaving her baby, who she named "Baby" (yeah ok...anyone else though that was kinda dumb?) outside in their backyard in her tree swing while Emmy went to get a quilt inside the house. I'm guessing the backyard is open with out a fence and right behind it is woods. So anyway the first thing I thought was "Ok how stupid can you be?" Leaving a 4 month old baby ANYWHERE alone is a stupid thing to do. I don't care if you leave the baby in a room in your house (unless it's in its crib) it still should not happen. Its like asking for something bad to happen. My baby would not go anywhere with out me and I certaintly wouldn't leave any child, let alone a baby outside without supervision. So any way Emmy leaves Baby outside and when she comes back suprise suprise, Baby is gone. Meanwhile, Sophie is a 14 year old girl trapped in a house with her mother. Her "mother" doesn't want Sophie to go outside at all. She homeschool's Sophie and they are constantly moving to different houses. Sophie'e mother says its because they have to run from the "No Goods". Now in this house that they currently live in, a boy lives next door with is 2 aunts, a cat and a dog. Sophie befriends the boy, Joey, and his 2 aunts who come to love her and treat her like family. As the story goes on Sophie and Joey, begin to "date"- its the junior high dating with kisses and such. Its obvious they like each other and are going to end up together but that's not the focus of the book. After Sophie befriends Joey and his aunts, she begins to question how she is living and the strange way her mother acts and forces them to live. So she begins digging for answers. I thought this book was going to be about Emmy's long search for her daughter and Sophie figuring out she was kidnapped and looking for her mother. That is NOT what happens. Sure Emmy tries to look for Baby in the beginning of the book but bad things happen to her and her story takes a different sort of turn that includes a girl named Autumn who Emmy cares for like a mother. The situation Emmy is put in causes her to not be able to look for Baby but Baby and looking for her is never far from her mind.I liked most of the characters in the book. I like Sophie and Emmy well enough but the characters I really liked were Joey's aunts, Aunt Helen and Aunt Cloris. They were very sweet ladies who take Sophie in as their own and help her in anyway they can. Aunt Cloris is a skilled baker who feeds Sophie when her "mother" doesn't. They listen to Sophie when she needs to vent and they allow her to cry and get all her feelings out without the standard "everything's going to be fine" routine. I would have liked to have these two as my aunts. Sophie's mother is very controlling and suspicious of everything. While her story and the circumstances surrounding the reason she took Sophie are sad, it's still no excuse for what she did and I found myself disliking her instead of pitying her. Joey is not in the book as much as he could of been but he is instrumental in Sophie's journey, not only as a love interest, but as a friend who she can confide in and who can teacher her how to be a normal teenager. While I do have mixed feelings about this book, I still suggest giving it a try. Its wasn't amazing but it wasn't bad either. This review is also posted on Spantalian's Book Reviews