“Out of Reach” by Carrie Arcos: A Book Review



I never have much pity when reading a book about drugs. The author never really allows it. They just want to teach a lesson that drugs are bad.

That’s boring. I know drugs are bad. I’ve been taught they’re bad by every health teacher I’ve ever had. The point of a book is to take me away on a journey, not to teach me. I already get that every day at school and from my parents.

“Out of Reach”, however, is a true story. I feel the pain because it showcased the family rather than the drug-addled boy who’s gone too far down the rabbit hole. Reading the book through the eyes of Micah’s sister Rachel after his downward spiral helped make the book into a story rather than a lesson.

The novel is a road trip that Rachel and a friend, Tyler, take to find Micah after he ran away. Rachel had recently gotten a letter saying where Micah is and so she decided to see if she can find Micah and bring him home. She brings Tyler along for help in pumping information from the not-so-evil druggies.

On his side, though, it’s a bit more than just friendly company. The boy’s obviously in love with Rachel and she, by the end, reveals her own feelings to him. The romance part is just barely there, but it’s cute. And the romance, along with a few funny characters, adds a bit of lightness to an emotional book.

Intermixed throughout the present events are Rachel’s memories of Micah’s downward spiral and how he changed from her wonderful older brother to an addict who shut everyone out. And in these memories the reader feels her desperation, her wish for hope, her pleas to a “greater power” to help Micah.

Rachel’s emotional journey hit me hard, even without having dealt with such problems myself. It’s because of this emotion from Rachel rather than the usual crazed, regretful drug-addict point of view that truly makes Out of Reach a great read teenagers should read. .

This book is hardcover, 256 pages

Published October 16th 2012 by Simon Pulse