Since getting a new job, I no longer have time to read books. What’s a book blogger to do? *wails* One book that I have managed to finish recently is You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan.
You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan
Publication Date: 02 June 2016
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
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.
When I heard that a new David Levithan book was on the horizon, I was excited. I have enjoyed what I have read of David’s books; Two Boys Kissing in particular is a book that has stayed with me since I read it. Whilst I haven’t read anything from Nina LaCour before, I had high expectations that You Know Me Well would be a great introduction.
You Know Me Well is told from the alternating perspectives of Mark and Kate, two LGBT teenagers who strike up a friendship after a night of heartbreak brings them together.
I’ll be honest, I’m not too sure what to make of You Know Me Well. It doesn’t have much of a “plot” and is more of a character driven story. Unfortunately for You Know Me Well, I struggled to connect with the two main characters, Mark and Kate, and I didn’t like any of the supporting characters such as Ryan, Lehna or Violet. At a push, Mark is the more relatable and likeable character of the two, as I think we can all relate to the age-old tale of being in love with someone who does not love us back. However, I am sorry to say that I found Kate to be cold and lifeless, and I had no interest or emotional investment in her story.
Whilst the writing of You Know Me Well was beautiful, it needed a strong plot to back it up and as I said previously, there wasn’t one. I also found that the dialogue of the characters and their particular situations felt overly dramatic and at times, hard to believe. I know everything feels like the end of the world when you are 17/18, but I find it hard to believe that these characters would feel everything so deeply, and express it so eloquently. To be brutally honest, when I put the book down I had no real motivation to pick it back up. If I had borrowed this from the library I probably would have abandoned it after a chapter or two.
I awarded You Know Me Well 3/5 stars on GoodReads. Even though it isn’t a book that will stay with me, nor a book that I will shout about from the rooftops, I will applaud it for its spotlight on LGBT characters and situations. Whilst it isn’t a book I would specifically recommend to people my age, I do hope it makes its way into school libraries. I think young teens will be able to enjoy and relate to this book more than I did, as I have a feeling that I may be just a little too old for it.
Even though You Know Me Well was a disappointment, it hasn’t put me off David Levithan and I will continue to read his books. I may check out Nina LaCour’s books in the future but truthfully it’s not a priority right now, especially when my reading time is no longer as bountiful as it used to be. I still haven’t finished Cursed Child…