Quote-Filled ARC Review: You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan6:00 AM
Title: You Know Me Well
Author: Nina LaCour and David Levithan
Series: N/A, Standalone
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, LGBT
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: June 7th, 2016
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
Who knows you well? Your best friend? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? A stranger you meet on a crazy night? No one, really?
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, the award-winning author of Hold Still and The Disenchantments, and David Levithan, the best-selling author of Every Day and co-author of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (with Rachel Cohn) and Will Grayson, Will Grayson (with John Green), You Know Me Well is a deeply honest story about navigating the joys and heartaches of first love, one truth at a time.
I received this book from Netgalley and St. Martins Griffin in exchange for an honest review.
"Have you ever wanted something so badly that it sort of takes over your life? Like, you still do all the things you're supposed to do, but you're just going through the motions because you are entirely consumed by this one thing? ... Have you ever wanted something so badly to happen that when it's about to happen, you feel the need to sabotage yourself?"
I have been avoiding David Levithan's books because I didn't really enjoy Every Day and Dash & Lily's Book of Dares. No doubt he is an amazing writer who has a way with words, but I don't tend to like the stories of the books I've read so far. But then he paired up with Nina LaCour, and I just had to read this, because Nina LaCour! Enough said!
"The heart is a treacherous beast, but it means well."
Oh, I'm so glad that I took the opportunity to read this! Thank you St. Martins Griffin for offering me a copy for review. I went into this trying not to expect anything from it but my worries were futile because this book is absolutely amazing! I don't know the writing process behind this book, but these two should definitely write more books together!
"You're never going to be ready. Don't you see that? You have to forget about ready. If you don't, you're always going to run away."
"Except my problem has never been running away. My problem has been staying in the same place."
You Know Me Well turned out to be a heavy book for me. It's not because it's a heavy-topic book filled with problems and whatnot, but because of all the emotions that I felt while reading it. Those emotions really cut through the heart, and I was really able to connect with the characters (something I have never been able to with the other Levithan characters I've read). I felt so much for them and I felt like I knew them personally. I was really able to put myself into their shoes as well.
"I thought it was the end of the world, but it wasn't. I thought it was the start of the world, but it wasn't. Instead it was an introduction to the halfway world we'd spend the next two years."
There were just so many amazing quotes in this book that I believe can be applicable in every aspect of life. These two authors write so beautifully that it hurts. They make the most mundane things sound like music, and wow, just wow. If I were reading a paperback copy of this book, you would be sure to see it filled with sticky tabs on the side because of the amount of the beautiful sentences I read that I just want to remember forever.
"Even though there are no true beginnings in life - there's always something that came before - there are definitely moments that feel like a beginning, and it's always good to stop and take a second to enjoy them."
This book is just filled with so much meaning, and it taught me a lot of things. It taught me that it's okay to be lost, but it's not okay to stay lost forever. It taught me to look for that freedom, and not be afraid to take it once it's in front of me. It taught me to find my passion, and to do it with all my heart. It taught me to be courageous - in facing life, friends, family, opportunities, and especially feelings. Most of all, it taught me to live.
"Most lives are long, and most pain is short. Hearts don't actually break; they always keep beating. This is not to diminish what you're going through, but I've been there, and I've been through it."
With LGBT books people tend to focus on the LGBT side of things, which I don't know. Sometimes, I feel like it defeats the purpose of LGBT because they should be treated like the same as everyone else so their being gay or lesbians shouldn't be worth mentioning or something. Maybe that's just my opinion. But the point is, with this book, I never focused on that aspect of it. Instead, what I saw was the friendship - mending old ones and creating new ones. What I saw was all the life lessons that it has to offer. What I saw was the a journey towards finding oneself, and actually working hard to get there. What I saw was a journey towards accepting the things that you cannot change and opening yourself up to new opportunities.
"I'm not running away anymore. It's a promise I'm making to myself. 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 odn't really believe it, if all that time you're harboring a doubt so deep it creeps into even your best moments, and you break the rules and step away, then there's going to be reckoning. You are going to have to explain yourself."
Sometimes you just read a book, oblivious to the fact that it will change your life, and that's exactly what this book did for me. This is such a beautiful book, and I wish that everyone could read this masterpiece. I couldn't possibly mention all the wonderful things about this book; you guys would just have to find out for yourselves when you read it, and I really hope that you do.
"I want a fresh start. I would fight for a fresh start. But I also want it to be a continuation."
"You want the continuation that feels like a start."