Dying to Know You
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Dying to Know You

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  1,062 ratings  ·  240 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...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 1st 2012 by Amulet Books
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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...more
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...more
* 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...more
Dylan Williams
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...more
Laura (Boundless Bindings)
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...more
“’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
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...more
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
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? Not...more
“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...more
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
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
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...more
Apr 05, 2012 Tasha rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
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...more
3.5/5 stars

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...more
Dying To Know You has a beautifully simplistic storyline that will entrance the reader from start to finish. It is expertly written and reads like a dream, Dying To Know You is one of them stories that will stick with the reader for a long time to come. Truly brilliant and unforgettable.

Karl is seventeen, he is in love with a sixteen year old girl called Fiorella. Fiorella has a passion for reading and writing so she asks introverted Karl to write down the answers to some of her questions. Thin...more
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
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...more
Julie Graves
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...more
Katie Tuccelli
I will confess: I'm not really sure how to be concise with my observations of Dying to Know You. It is just one of "those kinds" of books.

Geared towards Young Adults, but narrated by an unnamed man in his seventies, Dying to Know you is certainly an interesting read to say the least. Much of the book is dialogue-driven, and this is especially so with the first few pages. It was actually a bit refreshing, because I find that it's so easy to fall into a rut -as a writer and a reader- and it's alwa...more
I think that this book was really, really good. It's different and quirky, told from the perspective of an old author.

I love the ending, it brings you right back to the beginning ;)

This is a love story, of sorts, but more of a finding yourself story. But, it carries the weight of being told by a guy. Which is really different. Usually, these kinds of books are about girls escaping mean girls, old boyfriends and becoming one with "the outsiders"...lol that was kind of mean, but true, at least I...more
Dying to Know You is very different from most of the books I’ve read this year. For a start it’s narrated from the point of view of a man in his seventies and while it is a love story of sorts, it much more about the friendship between Karl and the narrator.

I loved the different styles Aidan Chambers used throughout this book. Both when Karl’s answers were being re-written but also the poems and later in the story Karl explanation.

We learn a lot about Karl from the observations our narrator make...more
Audrey  *Ebook and Romance Lover*
Shy likable Karl is in love with clever, beautiful Fiorella. To prove his affection, she demands that he bare his soul to her in a letter. The difficulty? Karl has dyslexia and he is convinced that he can't write, or at least well enough for Fiorella, who loves books and words. In a Cyrano de Bergerac-like twist, Karl sets out to convince Fiorellas's favorite novelist to write the letter for him but in Karl's own words. When the famous author unexpectedly agrees, a series of misunderstandings e...more
Karen (BookishWonders)
So cute! I really enjoyed this one. I love the narrator's voice, he was very deep and thought-provoking. It would be an absolute privilege to meet someone like him someday.

Karl, for me, was a very likable character. Sure, he has his moments... but once you start digging deeper, it's a whole new experience. The story flowed very well and the writing was just beautiful. The ending was completely NOT what I had expected which is very refreshing, because I'm pretty good at guessing the endings of s...more
This book is an amazing story about life and the friendships we make.

The story is about an 18 year-old boy named Karl, coming to terms with himself and with life. He enlists the help of the narrator, a 75 year-old novelist. At the beginning, he needs his help to write his feelings on a list of various topics, as his girlfriend has asked him to do this for her. The narrator, see's a lot of himself in this young boy, and agree's to help. What's to follow is a journey with high's and low's, pushing...more
Jun 05, 2014 Bonni added it
I quite loved this book. It was a nice escape from my usual YA fantasy and showed me a world that was entirely different from my own, but I felt like I learnt so much and that some of this book I wanted in my life.
Now, I suppose, the whole book is part of my life.
Karyn Silverman
I liked this. Occasionally I liked it a lot, although the unnamed narrator (let's call him Aidan) was sometimes hard to like. But. But. This is so very far from being a YA novel. There is some-- very little--business of adolescence, but even what there is is at a definite remove, filtered through the lens of an old man. And there's a lot more about old age and the pains (physical and emotional) of age. It's a book for grownups. Plus, some too convenient plot points raise questions of truth and f...more
Love this "circular story". Wonder what Chambers' wife, Nancy, thought about the dead wife (Jane) in this story? Compelling story, quick reading, great characters (mainly the author and the dyslexic young man, but also Becky, the college student, and even Fiorella, who wasn't real likeable). I assume that at least parts of the author are based on himself, but obviously not purely autobiographical. Not sure where in England this is set, but doesn't really matter. Love the sculpture/art/writing th...more
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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
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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.” 45 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.” 25 likes
More quotes…