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?
(Summary from GoodReads)
I decided to look into Me Since You after hearing Angie rave about it on Twitter. I was dubious as soon as I opened my e-galley, because I hadn’t made the connection that this author also wrote How It Ends, a book I DNFed in 2012. I’m not sure if I’ve talked about this before, books about grief are tough for me to read. I have lost people I love over the years, but no one so close as an immediate family member, which a handful of YA books with a focus on grief are about. Me Since You had a compelling storyline and sweet romance, but Wiess’s style still isn’t my favorite.
Rowan, our main character, is the daughter of a cop, and her father is at the scene when a young man jumps up the bridge with a baby. The footage from his cop car is played afterwards on the news, leading to skepticism and commentary from everyone and more tragedy. This topic is so much like stuff that happens in the real world that I’m surprised it’s the first time I’ve really seen it covered in young adult literature.
The storyline of this one is enjoyable, and the romance with Eli was probably my favorite part, both because it was sweet and because of how it was woven into the story. Plus, there’s a great subplot about Eli’s German shepherd, Daisy, which appealed to me as a dog lover. Because this story is about tragedy and its aftermath, a lot happens in the first half of the book, but it slows down a lot in the second, which worked for the story.
Wiess’s style wasn’t always my favorite, and at times, it was a little hard to tell if the emotions were genuine. At times, it just felt like a character would have a reaction that felt stereotypical or like something out of an after school special. I do feel a little weird talking about this subject, because everyone reacts differently after something bad happens, but I also want to read a good book.
Me Since You is the right book for the reader who wants a heart-wrenching book. The subject matter is memorable, but Wiess’s writing style is not. I’m not in a hurry to read her other books.