Title: You Know Me Well
Author: Nina LaCour and David Levithan
Cover Artist: Meryl Sussman Levavi
Release Date: 2nd June 2016
Genre: LGBTQIA+ YA Fiction
Page Count: 256
Original Language: English
Format Read: Paperback
Other books in series: N/A
Movie Adaptation: N/A
Who knows you well? Your best friend? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? A stranger you meet on a crazy night? No one, really?
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.
Told in alternating points of view by Nina LaCour and David Levithan, the best-selling author of Every Day and co-author of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (with Rachel Cohn) and Will Grayson, Will Grayson (with John Green), You Know Me Well is a deeply honest story about navigating the joys and heartaches of first love, one truth at a time.
*SPOILER ALERT: This review does not assume you have read the book*
I read this books for World Book Night back in April, and I absolutely loved it.
This is a book about two people who do not save each other, but come along for the ride whilst they save themselves, and it all happens over the course of one week. It is a very interesting commentary on friendship, and about how you can know someone better in one week than you can having known them for a while lifetime. This book focuses on the struggles of love, loss, and finding where you belong.
It is a dual narrative, which essentially means that the main characters, Kate and Mark, shared the narrative space, and each new chapter swapped narrative perspectives. I personally really liked this set up as for this novel it was better to have two first person points of view instead of having a third voice telling two personal stories. This helped to structure the novel and I really appreciated the set up.
I loved how this book wasn't about being gay, but about other issues such as identity, autonomy, the future... even if you aren't part of the LGBTQIA+ community, you can take something from this book.
There was also an interesting twist in the book that involves what really happened the night that Mark and Kate became friends, and we as readers only find out what really happened at the same time that the rest of their school does, so I felt really involved in this book because I was treated as someone to hide a secret from, despite having been let in to the rest of Mark and Kate's lives.
And this isn't a spoiler, but can we just talk about how NO GAY PEOPLE DIED OR HAD SEVERE INJURY/ HEARTBREAK THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE OF THE BOOK? I'm all for crushing those western media stereotypes!
Overall, it was a great little read that I raced through in one sitting, and got more addictive as I read on. It is a story about hope and warmth, and I would recommend it to anyone looking to expand their LGBTQIA+ shelves. It is a great example of what LGBT literature can be, and therefore I give it 5/5 cups of tea!
About the authors: