Despite sitting next to each other in Calculus all year, Katie and Mark have their first interaction in a gay bar during pride week. Katie just ran away from the girl she loves, and Mark was still trying to figure out if his best-friend-sometimes-boyfriend loves him or not.
Why this book?: I’ve heard of both Nina LaCour and David Leviathan before, and my library had just gotten this book. I figured it would be a nice intro to both authors!
Loose, free, and abstract
It’s the writing that shows this the most. All throughout reading You Know Me Well, you could tell how laid-back and casual the writers wanted the writing to be. At most points, it really enhanced every scene and word said, packing in a punch even when there wasn’t much to say. At other intervals, it just seemed inappropriate or ill-conceived. The messages that the writers were trying to send were more important than what they were saying before, and instead of feeling noteworthy, the flippant writing practically dismissed everything said.
Although the characters, Mark and Katie, being a junior and senior in high school, hearing these deep and philosophical quotes coming out of their mouths felt like they were just sputtering out lines from some class they took. And a lot of the times the quotes lost their meaning because of the writing style basically brushing them off.
Despite these things, I did ultimately enjoy this book. I liked the characters, and I really ended up caring for Katie and her struggles. I didn’t enjoy Mark as much, mainly because his character seemed somewhat full of himself (I felt really awkward when he basically said that he knew he was the best thing to happen to his best friend . . .)
Something always felt . . . off
Off with everything. I enjoyed the characters, but they always felt like a lot of their personality was brushed aside. I enjoyed the writing, but sometimes the writing was too casual, and usually in the wrong spots.
I thought the parents were super unrealistic. Mark’s mom being okay with him sneaking out? Ryan’s parents being okay that he skipped school? I was surprised with how often they skipped school in the book, and, yea it being the last week of school, people are bound to be lax, but it was also weird how there were no repercussions for their actions.
The ending also felt super too-good-to-be-true, but it would be a spoiler to discuss what I had problems with there.
I really enjoyed You Know Me Well, a lot more than I was expecting. But odd things added up, and I just couldn’t shake them. I’d say the most damaging thing to this book was the writing, because it just put everything out of wack.
Would I Recommend?
Sure, why not? I found a few things irksome, yes, but that still doesn’t take away from the overall message the book was trying to send. I feel like this review ended up being more negative than how I truly feel about it, so go experience it for yourself.