Jul 18, 2016

You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan

Title: You Know Me Well
Authors: Nina LaCour and David Levithan
Genre: Young Adult, LGBT
Publication Date: June 7, 2016
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 and David Levithan, You Know Me Well is a story about navigating the joys and heartaches of first love, one truth at a time.
I was so excited to read this book, and when it came in the mail it automatically went to the top of my to-read pile. Both authors have written books that I'm a fan of, and the summary sounded like something that I'd love. I'm not ashamed to say that I read it all in one day, even if I did ignore all of my other responsibilities in the process.

Kate and Mark are two gay high schoolers during Pride week. They're both trying to figure out relationships with people they're close to, both romantically and platonically (and sometimes a bit of both). At the beginning of the week Mark and Kate are only acquaintances, but by the end they're something else entirely.

I liked this book, but it felt like it was missing something. I'm not sure what, exactly, but it didn't seem entirely complete. I feel like there should have been more, even though I can't really articulate what "more" is.

Maybe I'm left wanting because the book only shows one week in their lives (from one Saturday to the next). After finishing it I still want to know more, especially about Mark. The end of the book provided a pretty good idea of what Kate's life would look like moving forward, but there wasn't much about Mark's. There's value to this, of course. It shows that even with everything that's happened it's really only been a week in their lives, and that they're both young and still have time to figure things out. I'm a fan of certainty, though, and Mark's story definitely did not end with that.

I also wasn't the biggest fan of Kate and her love interest's, Violet's, relationship. Don't get me wrong, I thought it was cute and I loved reading about it, but it felt very unrealistic. At the beginning of the book Kate is in love with a Violet, a girl that she's never spoken to, and for some reason they still both pursue the relationship, even though all they know about each other is what they've seen each other's Instagram. It doesn't seem to me like it would actually work out, or like either girl would be as invested in the other as they are shown to be.

It was a good story overall, though, despite the aspects that I wasn't a fan of. Each character had an interesting, unique personality, and even with their flaws there wasn't anyone that I could really dislike. It's not the best book I've ever read, but I'm still glad that I was able to read it.

My rating: 3/5 badly drawn books

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