Today’s book review is for Me Since You by Laura Weiss.
author: Laura Wiess
release date: February 18, 2014
format: e-ARC, paperback
pages: 368 pages
publisher: MTV Books / Simon & Schuster
Read: February 16-17, 2013
Book Type: YA, Contemporary, Tough Issues
Laura Wiess captures the visceral emotion of a girl’s journey from innocence to devastating loss and, ultimately, to a strange and unexpected kind of understanding—in this beautiful and painfully honest new novel.
Are there any answers when someone you love makes a tragic choice?
Before and After. That’s how Rowan Areno sees her life now. Before: she was a normal sixteen-year-old—a little too sheltered by her police officer father and her mother. After: everything she once believed has been destroyed in the wake of a shattering tragedy, and every day is there to be survived.
If she had known, on that Friday in March when she cut school, that a random stranger’s shocking crime would have traumatic consequences, she never would have left campus. If the crime video never went viral, maybe she could have saved her mother, grandmother — and herself — from the endless replay of heartache and grief.
Finding a soul mate in Eli, a witness to the crime who is haunted by losses of his own, Rowan begins to see there is no simple, straightforward path to healing wounded hearts. Can she learn to trust, hope, and believe in happiness again? (From Goodreads.com)
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
You guys, for someone whose job it is to read, I did a really bad job of paying attention to this book’s synopsis. For some reason, I went into this book thinking that something tragic would happen to the protagonist – a violent crime or a witness to something horrible that would change her life.
But then, I was surprised when I met ordinary teen Rowan. She started the book off as a normal teen, making a bad decision for the chance to be with a boy (how very 16 of her). This began a chain of events that led to her police officer father responding to an event that would change their lives forever.
So, then I was confused. Rowan’s father was dealing with tough issues, and for once our teen protagonist was the one trying to understand what was happening. It was a slow build of depression, something that I am quite familiar with. I’ve seen it, I’ve experienced it, I’ve read about it. But never from this POV. It was really a smart way for Weiss to portray mental health issues. The chain reaction from one small event ripples from the first few pages until the very end of the book.
And of course, I should have seen the tragic and raw event that happens (I mean, it’s all right there in the synopsis people), but I was floored. Caught off guard. And left with a whole bucket of tears. And basically from that point forward I kept that bucket out filling it over and over again.
The emotions in this book are deep and they really touched my heart. As someone who has dealt with anxiety and depression, it was something I needed to read – especially from the perspective of a loved one. Being helpless and wanting so badly to wipe away the pain and make things better. To be able to see the anguish and wish and wish that ‘snapping out of it’ was an option.
And of course, there was the wonderful Eli. Eli was just a perfect fit in the story. Most of you know how I feel about romance in these types of books, so I was pleasantly surprised how much I appreciated Eli in this story. Wiess had the perfect balance of grief and love — something that was so realistic it was refreshing. The romance was not the main focus by any means, but the perfect piece in the healing process.
Overall, I really enjoyed the authenticity of this book. Reading it, I really felt like the events that happened could have really happened. It was just reading something outlandish and having to suspend belief to make it through. It was more like peeking in at someone’s life at the lowest point. And yet, it was beautiful and healing. It made me think and it made me cry and it made me stay up all night just thinking about life and death.
So grab a box of tissues when you pick this one up. You’ll thank me later.