I'll Be There

A Novel

Sloan, Holly Goldberg

Book - 2011
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
I'll Be There
Raised by an unstable father who keeps constantly on the move, Sam Border has long been the voice of his silent younger brother, Riddle, but everything changes when Sam meets Emily Bell and, welcomed by her family, the brothers are faced with normalcy for the first time.

Publisher: New York : Little, Brown, 2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 0316122793
Branch Call Number: y SLOAN 2011
Characteristics: 392 p. ;,22 cm
Alternate Title: I will be there


From Library Staff

Small connections, ordinary people and extraordinary circumstances, all combine to form a compelling story of teenage friendship, fate, and fortitude in the face of adversity.
(7th & 8th graders)

Small connections, ordinary people and extraordinary circumstances, all combine to form a compelling story of teenage friendship, fate, and fortitude in the face of adversity. I cried more than once and not always because I was sad. Sometimes I was laughing out loud. (Andrea's pick)

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Jan 14, 2014

recommended by childlit blogger (392p)

Dec 16, 2013
  • mawls rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This one gave me chills. I loved it. The narration is original and the story makes you want to read it as fast as you can. Heart-warming. A great debut novel!

Aug 29, 2012
  • mulberrystreet rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Loved this. It's one of those books that would be enjoyed by both 12 year olds and 18 year olds.

Jul 12, 2012
  • ingridfiebig rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I thought this book was amazing. Sams love and heart to keep wanting to take care of Riddle after all that he had been through. And the love story was perfect. It was a combination of action and romance.

Jun 26, 2012
  • Yahong_Chi rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This book is magical. I picked this up with high expectations... then put it back down. The first few pages were a little too slow. But oh my holy mother of grandchildren, I'm glad I started it again.

The characters are alive. I swear. Sam in all his watchful handsomeness (he seriously makes me just go oohhh *sigh*) and love for Riddle, whose mechanical drawings, survival and cooking skills have earned him an entire shelf in my heart. And Emily, a girl exactly like you; someone who's found something so profound it'll ruin her if it's taken away. Even Bobby Ellis is so vapidly shallow and yet so necessary that when his downfall comes, you're grinning with glee at all his misfortune.

The summary says I'll Be There is about human connection. And by God, it is: connections and relationships so out of the ordinary, so beautiful I started tingling all over. (I truly did -- it was a totally shocking sensation.) The entire plot is woven out of connections, and when you pair that with Holly Goldberg Sloan's effortless prose, you get a book that makes waves.

Right now, the only issue I can think of is that Sam and Riddle get injured multiple times and somehow survive for weeks in the wilderness. Otherwise, everything in I'll Be There feels so right: Emily's mom's relationship with Riddle; the ending for Hiro Yamada of Medford Coin (possibly my favourite subplot of the book); the way Sam and Emily finally meet each other again. Their love is the kind I can really, genuinely picture growing old in eternity.

Jan 23, 2012
  • graceling3 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

loved it! very realistic even with the "happily ever after" ending; lovely heart-warming scenes throughout the book. really admire the author's character buildup- especially the two brothers, sam and riddle. the novel only lacked in one thing: more sophistication in prose would be a nice touch. still, read and enjoy!

Jun 08, 2011
  • Zebracate rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

The best written book ever? No. The most captivating? YES! Holly Goldberg Sloan will mesmerize teen and adult readers into pulling all nighters reading under the sheets with a flashlight.


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Jun 26, 2013
  • Tuka Al-Hemed rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

“For him and his brother, he now knew, that music was real. Because all you had to do, really, was be willing to use your imagination. And listen.”


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