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Dying to Know You

3.54  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,702 Ratings  ·  317 Reviews
Karl, aged seventeen, is hopelessly in love. But the object of his affections, Firella, demands proof, and poses him a series of questions regarding his attitude to the many sides of love. But Karl is dyslexic, and convinced that if Firella finds out, she will think he is stupid, and unworthy of her, and leave him.

So Karl asks a local writer to help him construct his repli
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 1st 2012 by Amulet Books (first published 2012)
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helps you make your own judgments. It depends on how mature you think your niece is. It is certainly a high…more

helps you make your own judgments. It depends on how mature you think your niece is. It is certainly a high quality book that sensitively explores teenage love and identity.(less)
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9th out of 77 books — 148 voters
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42nd out of 87 books — 509 voters

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Community Reviews

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May 11, 2016 Erika rated it it was amazing
Dying to Know You was kindly provided to me by Netgalley for Abrams.
Expected Publication Date: April 1st 2012

Interested in more of my reviews? Visit my blog!

2.5 stars

The Storyline

"OK. Let me sum up and you can tell me if I've got it right. You've met a girl you admire and would like to keep her as your girlfriend. She fancies you and she wants to know about your private life, your intimate self, because she believes that real friends - let's say, lovers - tell each other about their secret selve
Nov 02, 2012 Nick rated it it was amazing
Why did I read it?

So I'm supposed to read an award winning book for my Young Adult Lit class. Easy enough, right? Unless you're me. lol. I was shelving some books, and one said "Winner of the Michael L. Printz Award." Thought, cool, award winner, check! Only after getting half way through did I realize it was referring to the author, Aidan Chambers, not that particular book, Dying to Know You.

What happened?

Young man, Karl, walks into an aging author's office and asks for his help. Karl has a gir
Sarah AlObaid
3.5 ish.
This was a light, quick read. It is told from the POV of a writer, who tells the story of a dyslexic boy who comes seeking the writer's help in order to impress his stuck-up girlfriend basically. The whole thing with the writer telling the story was an original idea, but i wouldn't think it was the best. Because it's written in first person, you'd think we'd get to know the writer better or know his story but we didn't know much about him, as his purpose was only to tell the story of the
Dec 04, 2013 Wendy rated it really liked it
* edited for typos

Free eBook preview courtesy of Net Galley. Thank you!

I knew the name Aidan Chambers from the time I've spent over the last few months reading all the Mock Printz books for the workshop my library put on. It was an enjoyable few months of reading and feel like the time was well worth it. Aidan Chambers won the Printz award a few years ago, so I thought I'd give his newest book a go.

It's hard to know what you are getting into with an eBook. I can't judge a book by it's cover, fo
Miriam Ciraolo
Apr 27, 2016 Miriam Ciraolo rated it really liked it
Un romanzo toccante e molto originale dal punto di vista stilistico. Aidan Chambers non ama la retorica e non si perde in chiacchere. Riesce sempre a dare ai capitoli un tocco ironico e personale. I protagonisti di questo romanzo sono un ragazzo e un anziano scrittore che si parlano come se si stessero guardando allo specchio: molte cose lo dice più un riflesso o uno sguardo. Mi piacciono i personaggi e il modo di comunicare che hanno fra loro. Il romanzo tocca vari temi, riesce ampiamente a por ...more
Nidah (SleepDreamWrite)
Sep 16, 2014 Nidah (SleepDreamWrite) rated it really liked it
This one's a tie between 3.5 and 4.

So, I heard about this from Laura (Boundless Bindings). You have a guy that wants to impress the girl he likes by getting her favorite writer to help him write answers to questions she wants him to answer. Easier said than done when Karl is dyslexic.

And from there, a slow friendship and bond grows between the writer and Karl.

This one, I had taken a longer break than I thought and finally saw it on the shelf and continued to read where I left off. The writing
Laura (Booksforbreakfast)
I was super duper excited to read this book. I thought the plot was really interesting and sweet, and I was craving something fluffy and adorable. I have to say that I'm left feeling a little disappointed.

There were absolutely some great parts and those little passages that I found very thought provoking and profound, but I just found the novel to be a little bit boring. The author is British, and sometimes I found his writing a little hard to understand, terms wise. The writing format was also
Jul 31, 2015 Melanie rated it it was ok
Dying To Know You is unlike any book I've read before. It's told from an author's perspective (someone we never learn the name of and kind of have to learn things about as the story continues). I liked it, but the story was just too slow for me and, if it wasn't for a challenge, I might not have had any desire to finish it -- just didn't grab my attention.
Dec 05, 2015 Neda rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-lit
I like the beginning of the novel better than its ending.. But I liked it anyhow.. Wish we could produce such novels for Iranian young adults too.. Such a pity..
Dani (Pen to Paper)
Originally reviewed on my blog, Pen to Paper.

Dying to Know You is perhaps most unique in the way it has been written. When I first read the synopsis, I expected it to be from the point of view of the teenage boy, but it isn't. The entire story is written from the point of view of a 75-year-old man – a writer – and it soon becomes clear that the novel itself is supposed to be a kind of fictional non-fiction.

Whereas I think this is a good idea in theory, I'm not sure it worked well as it could hav
Aug 04, 2014 Marco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Non avrei dovuto leggere subito questo libro, perché avevo cose più importanti da leggere/fare, eppure una volta iniziato non sono riuscito a staccarmene.
Con questo libro Aidan Chambers non solo si riconferma un grande maestro, ma probabilmente anche uno dei miei autori preferiti; pur avendo letto solo quattro dei suoi libri non vedo l'ora di recuperare i restanti.
E il bello delle sue opere è che si aprono con un unico spunto, breve e semplice, per poi diventare tutt'altro: le interpretazioni po
Dylan Williams
Jul 19, 2014 Dylan Williams rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is bad. Like I really didn't like it at all. I had many issues with this book but I will try and summarise it into the top three.

Firstly, this story is told from the point of view of an elderly author who has made friends with a young high school boy. From beginning to end this creeped me out, it just felt far too unrealistic. But on top of this, the old man thinks extremely highly of himself, often assuming that it must be him to fix any of the problems that arise. This was unimaginab
Michelle Arrow
*1.5 star rating*

What the heck am I reading. That's exactly what I was going through by the time I finished this book. I'm still wondering, why? Why did I want to finish this book so badly, instead of putting it down, throwing it across the room, and stomp on it? One word- yearning.

I purchased this book because I was craving for something beautiful and wondrous, and that something was bookish romance. What's more cuter than two bookworms and writers falling in love with each other? No
“’OK. Let me sum up and you can tell me if I’ve got it right. You’ve met a girl you admire and would like to keep her as your girlfriend. She fancies you and she wants to know about your private life, your intimate self, because she believes that real friends – let’s say, lovers – tell each other about their secret selves. And she insists on you writing this. But you don’t even like talking about yourself, and writing would be torture because of your dyslexia. So you’ve come to me, who you know ...more
Apr 02, 2012 Aeicha rated it really liked it
THREE WORDS: Quietly Beautiful & Breathtaking

MY REVIEW: Aidan Chambers’ Dying To Know You turned out to be quite an unexpected and wonderfully unusual Contemporary YA read.

Shy, endearing Karl’s girlfriend Fiorella has asked him to bare his soul and feelings in the form of letters to her, in which he answers a set of questions she has asked. Karl doesn’t feel as if he can do this in a way that will impress Fiorella, so he seeks the help of Fiorella’s favorite author. And in a very Cyrano de B
Mar 09, 2012 Isamlq rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc-galley
The story is a simple one. It’s of one asking the help of another. And it’s the other finding inspiration again. But it’s also both of them finding a connection where none was expected. Yet as simple as those three things sound, things did get more and more dense with progression. The dialogue played a part in that. There’s much too much talking and describing and little happening. But I suspect those four and five star reviews on this one loved that aspect of it, it just wasn’t for me. A big co ...more
Apr 12, 2015 Anika rated it really liked it
A boy trying to find himself. A man trying to regain a part of himself that seems lost. I love books that have a different voice, a differet format. This book has both. It's told from the author's point of view (weirdly enough, I always love that). Sometimes the story is quite raw; just dialogue and nothing much to go with it. Love that, too. There's a lot of parallelism in the book - which is great. All in all, a great read. A quick read, too. Read it in a day because somehow I just wanted to k ...more
Raeleen Lemay
May 01, 2014 Raeleen Lemay rated it liked it
I quite enjoyed the story in general, but I just didn't love it.
Nov 21, 2015 Karis rated it it was ok
Jan 04, 2015 Jacquelyn rated it it was amazing
“Sometimes the course of our lives depends on what we do or don't do in a few seconds, a heartbeat, when we either seize the opportunity, or just miss it. Miss the moment and you never get a chance again.”

I thought this book was amazing and so unique. I know I am going to miss this wonderful bunch of characters. One thing I loved about this book was the very unique point of view. Karl, who is in love with a girl and needs help with writing so he can write down answers to questions she has asked
Vale (BooksAndTea58)
It's probably 3.5 stars out of five.. I really liked this book, but there were some parts that were a bit confusing, in my opinion.. I love the fact that the book has been written with the point of view of a man in his seventies, a writer. I loved all of the motivating and sad quotes that the told to the other character, a guy named Karl. The story was quite low in some chapters, but really interesting in others. I am not sure if I liked Fiorella's character, she was a bit superficial. BUT, the ...more
Jul 24, 2012 Mary rated it really liked it
A fascinating riff on "Cyrano", well written and with some emotional depth. The narrator is a 75-year-old man. To his surprise, he finds himself in a conversation with a dyslexic 18-year-old, Karl, who wants to impress his girlfriend, Fiorella. To my surprise,the author agrees to help Karl compose emails in answer to Fiorella's questions. Thus begins a journey that will have both the old man and the young one confronting losses and grief, and learning about each other and themselves. As part of ...more
Majibookshelf Juhina & Farah
I was a bit hesitant in starting Dying to know you, for once, it was narrated by an older man (in his 60s, based on some descriptions), and that is a first for young adult novels! Basically Karl, an 18 year old boy, asks for help from this older man, to help him with his girlfriend. Fiorella, the girlfriend, gave Karl a list of questions and asked him to answer them, a way to get to know Karl better. Karl thought that what better way to do it than getting help from Fiorella's favorite author? Fo ...more
Bundles of
Jan 14, 2012 Bundles of rated it it was amazing
Dying To Know You is a very thoughtful book. The writing in this novel is so beautifully written, it is like poetry. This book is also an emotionally filled one. At times, it makes you want to be right along side of them, laughing to one of their timeless jokes. At other times, you were happy that you weren't inside the story, crying with them about Karl's devastating story.

The story is written around a boy named Karl, who is a quiet assistant of a plumber. Karl's girlfriend, Fiorella, is a wr
Apr 05, 2012 Tasha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teen
When Karl’s girlfriend Fiorella asks him to write down his feelings about their relationship and answer a list of questions, he turns for help to a famous writer who lives in their town. Karl is dyslexic which makes writing very difficult for him, as was the author who suffered as a child from minor dyslexia. The author agrees to help Karl as much out of loneliness as a willingness to help. He is drawn to Karl, who is similar in many ways, bright and eager. He insists that Karl meet with him and ...more
Jun 13, 2014 Lynne rated it really liked it
I started and finished this book in one day - something that I rarely do because I read slowly. WOW! It isn't like anything else I've read. This is the story of Karl Williamson and “The Author,” a 75-year-old writer Karl approaches to help him pen some letters ala Cyrano de Bergerac. Seeing something of himself and his own experiences in the boy, the author and Jake set out on a voyage of discovery about life, love, and purpose.

I loved Postcards from No Man's Land, the Printz Award winning earl
Feb 05, 2012 Barbara rated it really liked it
Improbably, Karl Williamson, a plumber's assistant who struggles with reading and writing, seeks help from his girlfriend Fiorella's favorite novelist. The relationship between Karl and Fiorella is in its early stages, and Fiorella wants to know his innermost thoughts about a wide variety of topics, including love. Karl, in turn, longs to impress her with his ability to express himself. For reasons of his own, the narrator agrees, drawn to Karl's plight and identifying with his dyslexia. Then, t ...more
Nicole Neumann
Jul 27, 2013 Nicole Neumann rated it really liked it
When you first read the title "Dying to know you" you assume the story is going to be about teenage dating problems... Which makes you think "Hmm, do I really want to read this?"

However the title is totally deceiving.

The story is told by a Novelist (in the story) who one day is approached by Karl, who is seeking help in order to write responses to Fiorella, a girl who Karl is dating, as she is using writing a way of communicating to get to know Karl even more. Although she is unaware that he i
Julie Graves
Jul 16, 2012 Julie Graves rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012-reads
Karl is dyslexic so he hates to write. He also doesn't know how to express himself very well. When Karl's girlfriend Fiorella asks him to answer some questions she has by writing out his answers Karl turns to Fiorella's favorite author for help.

Not only is this author helping Karl with searching out his inner most feelings, but Karl is helping the author by once again giving him a reason and will to write after his wife's death.

Karl and the author develop a friendship that manages to withstand m
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Born near Chester-le-Street, County Durham in 1934, Chambers was an only child, and a poor scholar; considered "slow" by his teachers, he did not learn to read fluently until the age of nine. After two years in the Royal Navy as part of his National Service, Chambers trained as a teacher and taught for three years at Westcliff High School in Southend on Sea before joining an Anglican monastery in ...more
More about Aidan Chambers...

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“Sometimes the course of our lives depends on what we do or don't do in a few seconds, a heartbeat, when we either seize the opportunity, or just miss it. Miss the moment and you never get a chance again.” 65 likes
“However much you love somebody, you should always keep a part of yourself to yourself. Never give it all. You can never be yourself otherwise.” 31 likes
More quotes…