Monday, October 15, 2012
The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg
By Jess Rothenberg
Reviewed by: Sis-in-law Sarah
Release date: On Shelves Now
This sister says: Heavenly, Hilarious, and Heartbreaking
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?
Summary from goodreads.com
Oh. My. Gosh. Seriously, people. I have never in my life read a book where the main heroine was ME. Until now. This book really resonated with me...it had me laughing, weeping, and clutching my heart in pure joy! I'm not kidding. Jess Rothenberg, will you PLEASE be my BFF?!?! I mean, who references 80's music, Into the Woods, Disney princesses, and Top Gun all in one book?!?! Oh, Jess, I do believe we are kindred spirits.
Basically, Brie (no, not named for the cheese, although she does endure her share of cheese-related humor), has died literally from a broken heart. The story explores life after death, where you can hang out in familiar places, relive memories, and basically do anything and everything you want. However, she has to go through the stages of grief, the first being denial. There to help her through the process is Patrick, a super-hot motorcycle dude who looks straight out of an 80's movie. As Brie revisits those she knew on earth, she discovers that perhaps things are not always what they seem.
And the end...oh the end...so unexpected and so splendid. I really thought this book had to have a bum ending...I mean, she's dead...how can there be a happy ending? But, people, the ending was just as wonderful as the beginning and everything in between!
Brie is one of the most realistic heroines I've read about in a long time. There's nothing pushing her towards true heroism, she's simply just trying to deal with what life (or death) has handed her. And although you will only be reading this book if you are NOT dead (errrr, hopefully)...I think every girl can see herself in Brie's shoes. Family, friends, love interests, school, dreams for the future....it's everyday life that we can understand and grasp. It's a simple life (though at times can seem complicated)...but it's YOUR life. And like Brie, if you lost your life, you would want to do everything you could to get it back. Such a genius premise for a contemporary YA novel! It really makes you stop and appreciate the life you've been given!!!
I love that this read is full of so many life issues...family drama, breakups, the dynamics of friendship, becoming and being yourself, and the discovery of love where you did not expect love to be at all. It's truly an extraordinary read that people who prefer all sorts of different genres will enjoy. (I read this one aloud to my husband and he really enjoyed it too!) Definitely put this one on your TBR list!!!