A World Without You
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"A World Without You" Characters Analysis

By Beth Revis

young adult | 384 pages | Published in 2016

What if finding her means losing himself?Seventeen-year-old Bo has always had delusions that he can travel through time. When he was ten, Bo claimed to have witnessed the Titanic hit an iceberg, and at fifteen, he found himself on a Civil War battlefield, horrified by the bodies surrounding him. So when his worried parents send him to a school for troubled youth, Bo assumes he knows the truth: that he’s actually attending Berkshire Academy, a school for kids who, like Bo, have “superpowers.”At Berkshire, Bo falls in love with Sofía, a quiet girl with a tragic past and the superpower of invisibility. Sofía helps Bo open up in a way he never has before. In turn, Bo provides comfort to Sofía, who lost her mother and two sisters at a very young age.But even the strength of their love isn’t enough to help Sofía escape her deep depression. After she commits suicide, Bo is convinced that she’s not actually dead. He believes that she’s stuck somewhere in time—that he somehow left her in the past, and that now it’s his job to save her. And as Bo becomes more and more determined to save Sofía, he must decide whether to face his demons head-on or succumb to a psychosis that will let him be with the girl he loves.


Estimated read time: 7 min read

List of Characters

Character NameRole
SofiaBo's Sister
AliceBo's Girlfriend
Dr. AdamsPsychiatrist
Mr. WentworthTeacher
Mrs. CollinsSchool Counselor
CharlieBo's Friend
EmmaBo's Friend
Mr. and Mrs. GreenBo's Parents

Role Identification

In the book "A World Without You" by Beth Revis, Bo is the protagonist and the central character of the story. He is a teenage boy struggling with his mental health, specifically a delusion that he has the ability to time travel. Other important characters include Sofia, Bo's sister; Alice, Bo's girlfriend; Dr. Adams, Bo's psychiatrist; Mr. Wentworth, Bo's teacher; Mrs. Collins, the school counselor; Charlie and Emma, Bo's friends; and Mr. and Mrs. Green, Bo's parents.

Character Descriptions

  • Bo: Bo is a teenage boy with a troubled mind. He is described as intelligent and creative but also haunted by the loss of his girlfriend, Alice. He has a disheveled appearance and often appears lost in his own thoughts.
  • Sofia: Sofia is Bo's older sister who deeply cares for him. She is described as responsible and protective. Sofia is often seen trying to understand Bo's struggles and support him in any way she can.
  • Alice: Alice is Bo's girlfriend who tragically died. She is portrayed as caring and loving. Bo's memories of Alice play a significant role in his delusion.
  • Dr. Adams: Dr. Adams is Bo's psychiatrist who is responsible for treating his mental illness. He is patient and compassionate, always trying to help Bo understand and overcome his delusion.
  • Mr. Wentworth: Mr. Wentworth is Bo's teacher and serves as a mentor figure. He is understanding and supportive, providing guidance to Bo both academically and emotionally.
  • Mrs. Collins: Mrs. Collins is the school counselor who is concerned about Bo's well-being. She tries to offer support and resources to help him navigate his struggles.
  • Charlie: Charlie is one of Bo's friends who is also dealing with mental health issues. He is empathetic and understanding, providing a sense of camaraderie for Bo.
  • Emma: Emma is another one of Bo's friends who is supportive and caring. She tries to help Bo through his difficult moments and offers a listening ear.

Character Traits

  • Bo: Intelligent, creative, troubled, haunted, disheveled, lost.
  • Sofia: Responsible, protective, caring.
  • Alice: Caring, loving.
  • Dr. Adams: Patient, compassionate.
  • Mr. Wentworth: Understanding, supportive, mentor.
  • Mrs. Collins: Concerned, supportive.
  • Charlie: Empathetic, understanding.
  • Emma: Supportive, caring.

Character Background

  • Bo: Bo comes from a loving and supportive family. He has always been a bright and imaginative child, but his mental health struggles began after the death of his girlfriend, Alice. He becomes convinced that he has the ability to time travel and tries to save Alice, leading to his delusion.
  • Sofia: Sofia is Bo's older sister who has watched him struggle with his mental health. She has taken on a protective role, trying to understand and support Bo to the best of her abilities.
  • Alice: Alice was Bo's girlfriend who tragically died. She was a source of love and happiness for Bo, and her loss deeply affected him, triggering his delusion.
  • Dr. Adams: Dr. Adams is an experienced psychiatrist who specializes in treating teenagers with mental health issues. He has been working with Bo to help him overcome his delusion and come to terms with his grief.
  • Mr. Wentworth: Mr. Wentworth is a compassionate teacher who recognizes Bo's struggles. He provides guidance and encouragement, believing in Bo's potential despite his challenges.
  • Mrs. Collins: Mrs. Collins is a caring school counselor who is concerned about Bo's well-being. She offers resources and support to help him cope with his mental health issues.
  • Charlie: Charlie is a friend of Bo's who also battles mental health problems. He understands Bo's struggles and provides a sense of understanding and camaraderie.
  • Emma: Emma is another one of Bo's friends who is always there to support him through his difficult moments. She offers a listening ear and a shoulder to lean on.

Character Arcs

  • Bo: Bo's character arc revolves around coming to terms with the loss of Alice and accepting his mental health struggles. Throughout the story, he gradually realizes that his delusion is not real and learns to let go of his guilt and grief. With the help of Dr. Adams, Bo begins to heal and finds hope for a better future.
  • Sofia: Sofia's character arc focuses on her journey of understanding and supporting Bo. Initially, she is frustrated and confused by Bo's delusion, but as she learns more about his experiences and seeks guidance, she becomes his pillar of strength.
  • Alice: While Alice is not physically present in the story, her character plays a significant role in Bo's delusion and his journey towards acceptance. Through Bo's memories and interactions with Alice, he learns to confront his grief and move forward.
  • Dr. Adams: Dr. Adams' character arc revolves around his efforts to help Bo overcome his delusion. He serves as Bo's guiding light, offering support and therapy to help him understand and manage his mental health issues.
  • Mr. Wentworth: Mr. Wentworth's character arc showcases his role as a mentor figure for Bo. He believes in Bo's potential and encourages him to pursue his passions, even in the face of adversity.
  • Mrs. Collins: Mrs. Collins' character arc highlights her dedication to supporting students' mental health. She goes above and beyond to provide resources and guidance to help Bo and others like him.
  • Charlie: Charlie's character arc mirrors Bo's journey, as they both battle mental health issues. Charlie offers empathy and understanding, creating a bond of friendship and solidarity with Bo.
  • Emma: Emma's character arc centers around her unwavering support for Bo. She remains a constant source of comfort and encouragement, helping him navigate his struggles and find hope.


  • Bo and Sofia: Bo and Sofia share a close sibling bond. Sofia deeply cares for Bo and tries to protect and support him throughout his journey. Their relationship evolves as Sofia learns to understand and empathize with Bo's mental health struggles.
  • Bo and Alice: Bo's relationship with Alice is portrayed through memories and delusions. Alice's death deeply affects Bo, and his delusion revolves around saving her. Their love is a driving force in Bo's character arc.
  • Bo and Dr. Adams: Bo's relationship with Dr. Adams is one of trust and guidance. Dr. Adams provides therapy and support to help Bo navigate his delusion and come to terms with his grief.
  • Bo and Mr. Wentworth: Mr. Wentworth serves as a mentor figure to Bo. He recognizes Bo's potential and encourages him to pursue his passions, despite his mental health challenges.
  • Bo and Mrs. Collins: Mrs. Collins offers support and resources to Bo, showing her dedication to students' mental health. Her relationship with Bo is one of care and concern.
  • Bo and Charlie: Bo and Charlie share a bond of friendship and understanding. They both battle mental health issues and provide support and empathy to one another.
  • Bo and Emma: Emma is a loyal friend to Bo, offering unwavering support and understanding. Their relationship provides Bo with a sense of comfort and hope.

Overall, "A World Without You" explores the complexities of mental health through the character of Bo and his relationships with others. The book delves into themes of grief, acceptance, and the power of human connection in overcoming personal struggles.