2012 National Book Award Finalist,
Young People's Literature

Carrie Arcos

Out of Reach

Simon Pulse, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing

Out of Reach, by Carrie Arcos Carrie Arcos, Photo credit: Hank Fortener


The 24-hour narrative at the heart of Out of Reach expertly weaves teenage Rachel’s search for her runaway brother into the larger portrait of his harrowing descent into meth addiction. Without treacle or sanctimony, Carrie Arcos touches on almost every aspect of the adolescent experience—far beyond the devastating effect of a sibling’s lost battle with drugs—with nuance, beauty, and honesty. Rachel represents the rarest of authorial feats: a protagonist who is both timely and timeless.

About the Book

Rachel has always idolized her older brother Micah. He struggles with addiction, but she tells herself that he’s in control. And she almost believes it. Until the night that Micah doesn’t come home. Rachel’s terrified―and she can’t help but feel responsible. She should have listened when Micah tried to confide in her. And she only feels more guilt when she receives an anonymous note telling her that Micah is nearby and in danger. With nothing more to go on than hope and a slim lead, Rachel and Micah’s best friend, Tyler, begin the search. Along the way, Rachel will be forced to confront her own dark secrets, her growing attraction to Tyler… and the possibility that Micah may never come home.

About the Author

Carrie Arcos lives with her family in Los Angeles, California, where she is an adjunct professor.


> CarrieArcos.com

> Twitter: @carriearcos

> Facebook: www.facebook.com/carriearcosauthor

> Tumblr: carriearcos.tumblr.com

VIDEO: Out of Reach book trailer on YouTube
> youtu.be/v7XQJ-TAzUU


Micah claimed he used as an artistic experience, saying that he connected with the universe when he was high. He used to create. He used to perform. He said it gave him his magic mojo, like he became some kind of different entity, some superpower. But that was in the beginning. Eventually he needed it to function. No one noticed, or maybe they didn’t want to notice, the change. He was the usual warm body in class. His grades weren’t great, but they never had been. But he soon turned from my older brother into a walking cliché.

Maybe if I’d sent an anonymous letter to my parents in the beginning, everything could have been avoided. We could have had an intervention, like the one I watched on TV where the family and two friends sat in a living room and ambushed the guy when he walked into the room. 

The guy said, “Hell no!” over and over again, along with a few other expletives that I could read on his lips, though they were edited out for TV.

By the end of the half hour he was crying and hugging his mom. The mediator was all smiles. I could have been the hero of the family. Instead, I lied and told myself that it was just a phase. Micah would be able to quit when he wanted to. Now I carry that burden.


Photo credit: Hank Fortener