You Know Me Well
by David Levithan and Nina LaCour
I started reading this book before the Orlando shooting and couldn't pick it up again for a while without getting sad. But when I did, I did enjoy it. There were things I loved about it, but overall I just liked the book -- a lot, but still like instead of love.Summary: 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.
I loved that the main characters were a gay guy and a lesbian, and all of the Pride stuff. I loved that they were already out and happy being out and that their entire story didn't revolve around Coming Out -- coming out stories are incredibly important, but those aren't the only stories LGBTQ+ characters should have to tell so I really loved that this book didn't make it the focus and it just let it be about them being teenagers and everything that goes with it.
I really, really loved that even though there was romance in the book, the big relationship was a friendship. If you've ever met someone and just clicked with that person, especially someone who has always been in the peripheral of your life, then you'll get it -- that feeling like you've found a soulmate, a friend you want to know for the rest of your life. That was probably my favourite part of the story.
And the romance...the romance was odd for me, because I loved the idea of it more than the execution of it. The falling for your best friend cliche is one that I do like to read, but it was refreshing to see a different side to how that can play out -- and how it so often does play out outside of fiction. And I loved that it showed how we can build up a person so much in our minds that reality can become terrifying because what if the reality doesn't live up to those expectations.
So...yeah, I did really appreciate what the romance was -- I just didn't really click with it, the execution of it fell a little flat (particularly the Kate/Violet relationship). Maybe because Kate and Violet had never even spoken to each other, so it felt like it should've been one of those new relationships and we're taken along for the ride as the characters fall for each other...except that the characters are already in love/obsessed with each other when the story begins in spite having never met/spoken before so it had that insta-love element that I'm just not into.
Basically, the book was cute and fun and it did so many things right. I should have loved it, probably, but it was just lacking a spark of something more, something to take it beyond what it was. I'd rate it 3.5 stars out of 5.