Tuesday, 31 May 2016

You Know Me Well by David Levithan and Nina LaCour **Review**


You Know Me Well
Series: None
Pages: 256
Publisher: Macmillan Children's
Release date: 2nd June 2016
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon UK

Add to Goodreads
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy of this book

Goodreads synopsis:
Who knows you well? Your best friend? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? A stranger you meet on a crazy night? No one, really?

Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken. For whatever reason, their paths outside of class have never crossed.

That is until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night. Kate is lost, having just run away from a chance to finally meet the girl she has been in love with from afar. Mark, meanwhile, is in love with his best friend Ryan, who may or may not feel the same way.

When Kate and Mark meet up, little do they know how important they will become to each other -- and how, in a very short time, they will know each other better than any of the people who are supposed to know them more.

Told in alternating points of view by Nina LaCour and David Levithan, the best-selling author of Every Day and co-author of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (with Rachel Cohn) and Will Grayson, Will Grayson (with John Green), You Know Me Well is a deeply honest story about navigating the joys and heartaches of first love, one truth at a time.


Although this wasn't my favourite David Levithan collaboration novel, I still really enjoyed it, and I loved the fresh angle that Nina LaCour gave it.
At the very beginning of the book, I was convinced that this was going to be quite similar to the 'David and Rachel' books – boy meets girl at an evening event and they have a one-night adventure where, despite their differences, they begin to fall for one another. But no, this was not that. For one, the boy meets girl had a different purpose – Kate and Mark quickly become friends in order to help the other overcome their separate relationship woes. And another thing? Both of them are gay. That's right – a lesbian in a David Levithan novel! Thank you, Nina! This is a rare occurrence for David Levithan, his books mostly being about gay boys (not that I don’t love David, because I really do!).

It was refreshing to see a platonic relationship at the centre of the story, and also to not have the romances in the book written through rose-tinted glasses. Not everything works out as the characters want it to, which I felt was so much more true to life than if things had always gone their way. And these ups and downs allowed their characters to grow and to find themselves in amongst the messes that they found themselves stuck in at the beginning of the story.

The only thing I might pick up on about the friendship between Kate and Mark is that it happened way too quickly. Kate approaches Mark and simply asks him if he wants to be friends (while noting that that is a question only small children might ask). He accepts, and suddenly they're friends who would go out of their way to help each other. This doesn't strike me as completely real – would you really, as a teenager, trust someone that immediately (especially when it comes to something as personal as romantic problems)?
I soon forgot this problem though. They worked so well together, despite how different they were, and the story they create together swept me up in its own unique whirlwind. And where the whirlwind dropped me at the end was equally as satisfying as any of David’s other books. The ending was a heart-warming and appropriate way to wave these characters goodbye.

Overall I enjoyed You Know Me Well; the characters felt real, the plot was interesting and I truly loved the platonic relationship of the two main characters. Not everything went to plan – especially when it came to their separate romantic interests – but that just made it feel all the more true to life.
This is a quick and fun, and although light and easy to read, it’s still thought-provoking enough to stay in your thoughts. It won’t go down as one of my favourite David Levithan books, but I would definitely read it again in the future.


2 comments:

NagaRaj Raj said...

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NagaRaj Raj said...

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