Jumble Your Genres Reading Challenge: Contemporary – Me Since You by Laura Wiess

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AH and Christal continue their journey on the Jumble Your Genres Reading Challenge!  This month the genre was Contemporary.  We chose a young adult Contemporary read that will just break your heart, Me Since You by Laura Wiess.  Read on to see what AH and Christal thought about this book!

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Me Since YouMe Since You by Laura Wiess
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publication Date: February 18th 2014
ARC Provided by Edelweiss and MTV Books

Synopsis from Goodreads: 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?

AH and Christal’s Review

Two different ratings yet again!  Christal loved this book but AH thought it was a difficult read.  Read on to see our thoughts:

AH: This really isn’t my usual genre so I was out of my comfort zone. Who knew that zombies, vampires, and werewolves would bring a person comfort? But I digress. I generally avoid these types of books. I read to escape and to be entertained. If you tell me to read a book about an autistic kid, it’s no thanks, I live with that daily. Why would I want to read about it? A book about suicide? Kind of depressing. I hope I never have to live through what this character had to .

Christal: I think I liked Me Since You a bit more than you; I don’t mind a good tearjerker and this was definitely that. I also like a good contemporary now and then and I thought this one was pretty fantastic. It was definitely some heavy material, but I thought it was handled delicately yet realistically. The characters and the writing touched my heart and I went from situation to situation with tears in my eyes. I would give this one 4.5 stars but also put out a trigger warning for those with personal connections to suicide and its effects.

AH: So initial thoughts – I was bored for the first 100 or so pages.

Christal: The beginning was a little slow but I appreciated that the author took the time to show Rowan before the trauma and after. It made the changes she went through more impactful.

AH: I was appalled at the insensitivity of the town, blaming the police officer for the suicide/murder. I think that the outcome would have been different had an infant not been involved.

Christal: I was appalled as well but, at the same time, I could completely believe it. I especially found the internet comments realistic. People truly think they can say anything from the safe anonymity of their computer screens. They have absolutely no thought or care for the actual person they are talking about.

AH: Rowan’s BFF Nadia was absolutely horrible. What kind of friend acts like that? What gave her the right to blame Rowan for her father’s actions?

Christal: Nadia was terrible to Rowan after the crisis and not supportive in any way. I got that feeling from her right off the bat though; she stopped being a friend to Rowan over a boy. I’m sad to say that I have seen this happen to my younger sister many times, a friend gets a boyfriend and forgets everyone else, and I have seen how much she was hurt by it.

AH: This is one of my favorite quotes from Me Since You: “Death knows exactly how to break your heart, over and over again.”

Christal: I loved that quote too because it is so true. It was especially applicable for Rowan and her family. She kept talking about the ripple effect of that first incident on the bridge and how her whole life would have been different if only her family hadn’t been involved. That one death and the heartbreak it caused led to many more negative situations in Rowan’s life.

AH: Oh yes, the ripple effect. So many of us do that. It really consumed Rowan and added to her guilt over her father’s choices. If only…. Hindsight is really 20/20.

Hey people? This is a spoiler--Fair Warning!

AH: I was missing Eli in the second half of the book. Why did Rowan turn him away?

Christal: I think Rowan turned him away for two reasons:

1. He could relate too well. He knew the pain she was going through, albeit in a different fashion, and being around him made everything real. When Rowan was still trying to find from the truth, Eli and his compassion brought clarity to the situation that she wasn’t ready to face.

2. I also think Rowan felt she was too damaged for something good. She feels broken and changed and she doesn’t think Eli deserves to be stuck with someone like that. She doesn’t have it in her to be happy and smiley, that would be lying to herself, but she also doesn’t want to drag Eli down into that place with her.

AH: What about Eli’s dog Daisy?

Christal: Oh, poor, sweet Daisy. She and her story just broke my heart but I think that Eli did make the right choice in the end and I hope that they have time to be happy together.

Christal: I thought Laura Wiess handled all these difficult situations throughout Me Since You beautifully and with a compassion you don’t see in many contemporaries. She made the situations and the characters’ reactions vibrantly real and played my heartstrings like a harp. This is a highly emotional read and I look forward to seeing what the author tackles in the future.

Thank you to Edelweiss and MTV Books for providing an ARC copy of this book!

AH’s Rating: ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠ 

Christal’s Rating: ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠  + ½

Best of YA Contemp

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Jumble Your Genres Reading Challenge Schedule:

January – Young Adult checkmark
February – Contemporary checkmark
March – Urban Fantasy
April – Middle Grade
May – Dystopian
June – High Fantasy
July – Adult
August – Paranormal
September – Romance
October – Sci-Fi
November – Historical Fiction
December – New Adult

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