You know me well

Monday, April 10, 2017

Paint Brush
Title: You Know Me Well
Author: Nina LaCour and David Levithan
Genre: Young Adult

★★½

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, You Know Me Well is a story about navigating the joys and heartaches of first love, one truth at a time.


I feel pretty mixed about this book. My initial reaction when finishing a book is: Yes!! I loved it!! Five stars!! But I always give myself a bit of time for that feeling to die down, because then the real opinions come out. While this book had some great parts and some moving lines, it wasn't enough to boost my rating.

The story follows two characters, both with their own set of romantic issues. Kate runs away when she's afraid of something too good, and Mark is painfully in love with someone who doesn't love him back. Together, they help each other grow.

My favorite parts of the book are just little one-line sections. There are lines that fill you with warmth and excitement because you can feel the love and belonging that comes with Pride. There are lines that make your stomach drop because you know how Mark or Kate feels, you've been there. But then again, they're just lines. A bad book can have good lines, and I'm afraid that's the case with You Know Me Well. 

The main thing that I disliked in the book was how instant everything felt. It all spanned just one week; far too much happened in the characters' relationships for it to be realistic. Kate is in love with a girl she's never met, and they're both in love after their first meeting. Kate and Mark instantly become friends despite the fact that they don't have much in common –– save for the fact that they're both gay. This whole concept of insta-friendship and insta-love is the thing that knocked my rating down to 2½ stars, rather than 4½, or something. Insta-ness in a story makes it much less believable, which definitely takes away from the enjoyment of the story.

I think the only thing that this story has going for it is the fact that the main characters are gay. But that's the whole story. If Mark and Kate were straight, the story would have nothing going for it. I probably wouldn't have even read it, and if I did, I would have given it a half star.

Of course, these are just my opinions and I'm sure many other people would love this book. Unrealistic-ness in a story is the thing that always irks me, and I just couldn't shake it while I was reading this. But if that doesn't bother you, definitely give it a try!

With love, 
Abbie xo

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