Sunday, 11 September 2016

You Know Me Well by David Levithan and Nina LaCour

My first read of September here, despite this not being on the TBR for this month.  After taking so long to finish The Way We Bared Our Souls, I decided to pick this one up as I knew it would be a quick read that I would hopefully get me back into reading and not send me back into another reading slump.  It was one of my most anticipated releases of the year, and so I'm really glad I managed to get round to this one as I ended up thoroughly enjoying it.  

This story follows our two main characters, Mark and Kate, who form a friendship one night and soon become more important to each other than they could have imagined.  One thing that is key in this book is a split POV, which thankfully I found worked really well.  I loved how it meant we got to see equal sides of their stories and how one wasn't more important than the other.  I also really enjoyed how this was done, as it was never a straightforward switch but more where one storyline would be at the forefront for a while before the other took the lead.  

Good characters is something I always love in a book, so I was really happy when I found myself really liking both of our main characters, as well as some of the side characters as well.  I loved both Mark and Kate individually as well together, and loved how they were both flawed characters who made mistakes as well as how others blamed them for these mistakes.  Their friendship was also something I really enjoyed seeing, even if it all developed a tad quickly, and I loved how they helped each other through things despite having problems of their own.  

One aspect which this story really focused on was the romance.  I really enjoyed how, while both sides did include this aspect, they both took a very different and unique approach to it, with Mark having to figure out the line between platonic and romantic relationship, and Kate facing new love, and the problem of this built up image of a person being destroyed once you meet them.  I loved how these two situations were shown, especially because they are not commonly written about that much and so it was nice to see a change from the normal falling in love romantic storyline.

As always with David Levithan, one thing I knew I would love, and thankfully did, was the writing style.  I always love the uniqueness of it as well as informal spin it has whilst also still being so beautifully written and almost insightful at times.  The pace was also perfect for this one, especially with the way it was split into parts based on days as this really helped to keep the story moving. 

As seems to be a theme with some of the books I've read recently, this book and all the events in it take place over just week.  I'm always both excited and nervous when a story has a small time scale, as sometimes they can be unrealistic, but thankfully this time it seemed to work perfectly with nothing seeming to majorly rushed or happen too quickly.  I also loved how it took place over pride week and how this really solidifies some of the key themes in this.  

Finally, onto the plot, it was another aspect I was a huge fan of.  I loved all both the key plot and all of the subplots, and loved how all of these felt like realistic problems and so the story was not entirely unrelatable for me.  I also really enjoyed seeing how regular and key a setting school was in this, as once again it made it feel so much more real as long with some of the issues of college that Kate faced.  

Overall, I really, really enjoyed this one.  It was such a good little story that covered so many things and topics but was still a quick read that I would recommend to anyone looking for a good contemporary, especially one that's a little bit different to others.


Character: Mark 

Scene: Violet and Kate at the observation tower.
Quote:You can keep doing what you're supposed to, what you're expected to, and tell yourself it's what you want... Believe, at eighteen, that you know what your life will hold and how to prepare for it.  
But if you don't really believe it, if all that time you're harbouring a doubt so deep it creeps into even your best moments, and you break your rules and step away, then there's going to be a reckoning.  You are going to have to explain yourself.  

Relate a:  
Other Book: Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan 


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