Review – You Know Me Well -David Levithan & Nina LaCour

Disclosure: I was furnished an ARC of this novel via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

A quick little read, I polished this one off in two nights in a post-uni-assignment celebratory binge.

you know me well

From Goodreads,

“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, the award-winning author of Hold Still and The Disenchantments, 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.”

Now, I haven’t read any of the other novels by these authors, and it has been a long time since I’ve read any Young Adult, but I thought this particular book was quite skillfully done. I enjoyed the story being told from two different perspectives, and found the writing styles of the two authors quite complimentary. There is some cracking poetry smack in the middle (courtesy of the characters attending a POETRY SLAM!?!?!!) and the prose flows quite lyrically, buffeted along on a tide of teenage angst.

The angst is where the story lost me a little, although granted, I’m not the intended audience. What I did love about the book is that the characters were all gay, without the story actually being about their gayness. There’s no big coming out, no overly gay themes, just teenagers having relationships, figuring themselves out and being generally angsty, who happen to be gay. It was really refreshing, and cleverly executed.

Overall I’m giving it 3 stars, mostly I think, because I’m not young enough to truly connect with this book. I have a feeling that fans of The Perks of Being a Wallflower and The Fault in our Stars will love it though.

You Know Me Well is due for publication by St Martin’s Press, 07 Jun 2016

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