Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Review: The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg

Title: The Catastrophic History of You and Me
Author: Jess Rothenberg
Publisher: Dial
Genre: Young Adult
Release Date: February 21, 2012
Source: Librarything
Format: ARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Brie's life ends at sixteen: Her boyfriend tells her he doesn't love her, and the news breaks her heart - literally. But now that she's in heaven, Brie is about to discover that love is way more complicated than she ever imagined. Back in Half Moon Bay, her family has begun to unravel. Her best friend knows a secret about Jacob, the boy she loved and lost - and the truth behind his shattering betrayal. And then there's Patrick, Brie's mysterious new guide and resident Lost Soul who's been D&G (dead and gone) much longer than she… and who just might hold the key to her forever after. With Patrick's help, Brie will have to pass through the five stages of grief before she's ready to move on… but how do you begin again, when your heart is still in pieces?

When I saw for first time this book, I thought for a moment that it would be something similar to Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. In some aspect I was right, but not completely. This book, although is about a girl who just died and talks about family problems and friendship, it's completely different. 

Brie is like any other girl. She has normal problems, she has a family that loves her, good friends and a really good-looking boyfriend. But her life ends when her boyfriend tells her that he doesn't love her, and then, she dies, of broken heart. Yes, two parts. Now Brie is watching her life from another point of view. She is not there anymore. She is dead, and now she will watch her family and friends suffering, but she will find and discover some painful truths. Her life wasn't so perfect at all. 

I must say that this book is heartbreaking from the beginning to the end. It's a sad story that will make readers think about their lives, their families, friends, and all the people that they love, and of course, it will make some of them cry.

The way the story is told is really good. The author makes you feel what Brie is feeling, and understand why she do what she does. Even though I felt sometimes that the story was going anywhere (That there were any development), it was impossible to me to stop reading until I reached the end.  The ending was a little bit predictable, and maybe too fast. I think the author took too much time talking about feelings and that kind of thing, instead of focusing in events and developing the story. But of course, you won't read about a ghost and a ghost-hunter, or anything paranormal like that with a lot of action and a happy ending. This book focus in real life issues. And I think that is what it makes it so special. 

The characters are really nice. I really liked Brie, she is a complicated character. She did a few things that I didn't enjoy at all,  but I understood why she behaved the way she did, and I think this is the most important thing. Patrick was really nice, but I would have liked that he had more participation in the story. The supporting characters were good and their participation was good enough.

Something that I really liked about this book is that it has a soundtrack. Yes, a soundtrack! Although music is not the principal topic, or an important topic of the story, the author uses a lot of songs in the book, like for example, as a chapter title, or a simple phrase that Brie says. At the end we will find a list of the songs, that I highly recommend to listen to, because they will help us to transport to the world Jess Rothenberg has created. I read a few comments about the songs (they are from the 80s). Some people criticized that the songs were from the 80s and not modern. They believed that a teenager now doesn't know those type of songs, and I can't disagree more. I'm young, I'm a young adult and I love all kind of music, and I have in my Ipod hundreds of music from the 80s, so why not Brie?

The only thing I can do is recommend this book to everybody who likes this kind of books and those who read Before I Fall and enjoyed it. You won't be disappointed. 

Happy Reading!

I really liked it! 

Jess Rothenberg lives in Brooklyn, New York. She received her BA from Vassar College and is pursuing her MFA in Children's and Young Adult Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She recently gave up her job as a children's book editor to write full time. This is her first book. To know more about her, visit her website.

1 comment:

  1. This is one I am REALLY excited for! (But, this is also the first review I've read - I was just going on the synopsis! And I liked the preview cover better than this one, but still...)

    Thanks for your review; I'm glad that you really liked it.


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