Saturday, August 18, 2012

REVIEW: 'The Catastrophic History of You and Me' by Jess Rothenberg

If there is one YA book to read this year, it's The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg. As I sit here sniffling, tears streaking down my cheeks, I try to grasp at words to describe this novel. Beautiful, breathtaking, and competely captivating from page 1 are totally understatements. Although I mostly enjoy the books I read, I'm rarely so moved by the effect one book has on me. This book is brilliant.
In her freshman effort, Rothenberg brings us a compelling tale of Brie Eagen, a 15-year-old struggling with a most peculiar situation. She's dead from a broken heart. With just one sentence from her most beloved boyfriend Jacob, Brie suffers an acute stress cardiomyopathy and ceases to exist in this realm. In fact, she spends a good portion of her first few days of her afterlife in a pizza parlor where other dead kids hang out idly, waiting for whatever comes next. There she meets Patrick, who looks like he's walked off the Top Gun set, sporting a bomber jacket that looks just like the Maverick himself. He takes Brie under his wing to show her the brighter side of death.
But Brie doesn't know what to make of this new existence, where all your wishes come true and she can zoom around literally to anywhere her heart desires. Furthermore, she doesn't know how to get over Jacob. How can Brie come to grips with her own death when she can't get past the heartbreak she felt from the boy she loved the most?
What I loved most about this book is how Rothenberg pulled me into Brie's story from the very first line. The storyline was intelligent, funny and even quite heartbreaking. The use of the song titles as chapter names helped me visualize the emotion of each chapter. My passion for music and my desperate need to know what was going happen to Brie kept me up to the wee hours of the morning to finish it. Even with some of the more fantastical aspects of the story, Rothenberg's dialogue is fresh and engaging, and the love story in this book rivals that of The Notebook.
My suggestion...make this your very next book purchase!

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness. You make me want to pick it up right now and start reading. I have seen other reviews of this book, but yours is by far the most inviting! Thank you for sharing your thoughts.


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