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You Don't Know Me

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  6,820 ratings  ·  526 reviews
John ("My father named me after a toilet!") wrestles with the certainty that no one really knows him not in his miserable home, and certainly not at school. It's true that no one can guess his hidden thoughts, which are hilarious, razor-sharp observations about lust, love, tubas, algebra, everything. And then there's his home: his father ran off years ago, so he's being ra ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published August 1st 2002 by HarperTeen (first published 2001)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Valerie
Jan 24, 2014 Valerie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Valerie by: Cara
A strange thing happened not too long ago that involved this book. I was browsing around Barnes & Nobles looking for new books to read when a (I'm assuming) teen couple skirted around me, keeping their held hands intact. I didn't give them much more of a thought until the girl picked up this book and asked her boyfriend excitedly, "Have you read this book?" After he told her he hadn't the girl said, "You have to read it. It shows how much douches parents can be." I got no such inclination fr ...more
Carrie
Another book that makes you take step back and think, make you realize that you don't really know people. You see them, you see what they project out to the world but whats going on their inner most thoughts, what goes on when no one is looking, what their lives are really like you don't really know

Take for example John, he lives with his mom and her boyfriend, he feels that no one really knows him, his friends who are not really friends, his own mother even. No one knows that this man, who is n
...more
Mr. Z
You Don't Know Me is a sometimes humorous, sometimes tragic, sometimes perplexing novel about a teenage boy struggling to deal with his mother's abusive boyfriend, a crush on a girl unworthy of his love and a number of other issues many teenagers could probably relate to or at least understand. The story was littered with some of the most the-glass-is-completely-empty pessimism I've seen in any book in recent memory, but I tried to take it with a grain of salt, seeing how the author probably use ...more
Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
Jan 13, 2009 Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!* rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!* by: errrm ... somebody. i forget who ... ?
Um. Don't really know what to say, cuz I'm not sure what I just read ... It's one of those books that the author decided to write in a really weird way just to annoy the crap out of whoever was reading it. It wasn't BAD, really. The writing style was interesting, but it didn't really take the story anywhere. If you took the fancy writing away, there really wasn't a plot at all.

What was really obnoxious was the dialogue. I mean, come ON -- these kids are all in like eighth grade, and they all tal
...more
Gabriela
John you should have told Mr. Steenwilly in the first place and make up a plan to get rid of the man who is not your father. How can you just sit there and absorb the fact that that abusive monster was going to marry your mother. Running away wasn't in fact the best option. Think of your tired mother who's first priority was you all along. But I understand how you felt about not telling her. I understand what would have happened if she did not believe you. I also think you should have told the w ...more
Nafiza
I’m taking a YA Lit class this summer and the professor included this book in his suggested reading for old school YA. I went into it not knowing anything about the author or even what genre the book is about. I wanted to be surprised. And I was.

I don’t really know how to accurately articulate how wonderful this book is. As I say about so many other novels, it is not perfect by any means but the writing is so incredible it makes up and then some for the little flaws.

Usually, when I am faced with
...more
Marianna Baer
This had been recommended to me many times, but something about the cover and the first chapter always put me off. I had no idea it was so funny and quirky and genuinely wonderful. I loved John, the protagonist, so much that I thought I might not be able to read it all the way through - I was too nervous about what was going to happen to him. But I did and I loved everything about it.
Alex
Jun 16, 2009 Alex rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 8th-11th graders
This is a very good book told from the perspective of a high school boy. It is told in stream-of-consciousness which really allows the reader to get into the character's head. Of course, this means that everything he tells you is biased by his own beliefs which is what makes this story so very interesting; we have no idea what anyone else is thinking, and we don' t know for sure if what he reveals about other characters is true. This adds an extra element to the story that may not be realized un ...more
Kierstin
When I first sat down to read this book, I was expecting a novel that was about this kid just like any other searching to be heard - overly dramatic and full of angst. I mean, just look at the front cover -- and the title! After reading past the first chapter, I realized that I was fairly wrong. The main character, a teenage boy who is constantly (and rather harshly) abused by his evil, wicked, nasty, soon-to-be step dad is quite the guy. He has a unique imagination and a dark yet entertaining h ...more
Lisa
Awful. Rotten. Horrible. Don't bother.

Klass took a good story idea and turned it into something weird. The teacher saves the day, but I didn't really care because I didn't really like John. I felt sorry for him and I wish he wasn't abused, but Klass didn't make me care enough. I spent all my time sifting through the negatives, the double-negatives and the weirdness of it all.

Don't bother. Read a cereal box instead - you'll enjoy it more.
Tyra
What do you think your life and who you are as a person would be like if your father that left you named you after a toilet? If your mother barely had any time for you? If you had an abusive step father? John has faced all these questions in "You Don't Know Me". With all of these things happening, john's self esteme is next to nothing. While all this is going on he likes the most beautiful girl in the school. The thing is, so does basicslly every body else. But one thing surprises him when he as ...more
Nicole
In the beginning when I started reading, I couldn't stand this book. Not at all. But then I kept reading and the pages kept flipping. The truth is, I couldn't STOP reading.

All of the sudden I connected with the book so much. I felt like I knew the character and what he was going through in his point of view, like I felt the pain and desire he was feeling at the time. And when I think about it closely, I kind of did feel the way he was feeling. Literally.

It brought back memories of problems tha
...more
Tammara
John is intelligent and sensitive, sarcastic and socially awkward. He is also a victim of domestic abuse. Very (internally) matter-of-fact about what he endures at home and his feelings of fear and growing rebellion, John is the type of character readers will connect with real life. Parts of the story reminded me of myself, stumbling through adolescence, and parts illustrated a truth we all know yet often forget -- that people seldom know each other, no matter how obvious a person might seem to ...more
Misplacedparisian
The book was interesting. I liked John as a character, though I was more able to connect with his funny side than his troubled teenager one.

John lives with his mom and a step-father he calls "the man who is not my father" and suffers physical abuse by the hand of that man who seems to have taken over his home that is not a home.

(I loved this play of words, though at times it became overwhelming and I simply skipped over it).

He likes a girl in school that seems to have problems of her own (though
...more
Jessica Ng
The very first page caught my eye. The author, David Klass wrote in first person narration where John, the protagonist talked to the audience. The way the author wrote made me see what type of person John was and made me more attached to the story. John has an abusive father, who he calls "not my father" and he is friends with this bully and a nerd. He has a crush on this girl name Glory Halleluja. He takes her out on a date, but he is very insecure throughout the book about himself. This book i ...more
Micaela Eliot
John, 14, describes his life, filled with the usual teen miseries: he has a crush on a manipulative, selfish girl, he doesn't get algebra, he has no good friends, and he's ignored at home and school. But he has a bigger problem is that his mom's boyfriend regularly abuses him and John won't speak up for himself. His mother has to leave town to deal with a dying relative, and John is left alone with her abusive boyfriend.

I greatly appreciate this book for its outstanding teen voice. You can feel
...more
Alana
I don't know what I loved about this book, I just loved it. It took me a little while to get used to John's way of thinking - for example his 'house that was not a house' or his 'tuba that was not a tuba but was in fact a frog pretending to be a tuba.' That definately threw me off at first, but I got used to it. John's life may have sucked, but it wasn't like a lot of stories that I've read where the person's life is truly unbearable. (example - their parents were murdered by some mass murderer ...more
Zo
Initially I was very skeptical about this book. I had picked it up last year off of my English teacher's shelf, and absentmindedly tossed it in the back of my locker. When I finally re-discovered the book, I sat down to read it and was captivated immediately. The writing style and narrator was unique and a bit cynical, which added to the atmosphere. I could go on a long while about the plot, the only complaint I have about the plot is that when Mr. Steinwilly saved the day, I was shocked. I didn ...more
Diazpaulina2 diaz
This book was very funny and interesting for me. You will learn alot form these book it will teach you alot about life lessons. Although, this book was sometimes very funny it was also very sad at parts. During the book, John's step dad beats him every day for no reason. He just doesn't care what he feels. The book informs you with the teenage life and you can also connect with it. Furthermore, John who is the main character in the book is scared to give his crush a love note.One of my favorite ...more
Mrs W
John is a regular high school freshman. He doesn’t get algebra, he is terrible in band, he has a crush on the cute girl, and he can never seem to get his locker to open on the first try. But at home, things are different. His mother works double shifts at the factory and her boyfriend is an abusive alcoholic who beats John when she’s not around. Carrying this terrible secret, John can look at anyone in his life and realize that no one knows him. So he sets out to try to know himself by creating ...more
Mackenzie
At first, I really didn't like this book. It was really repetitive as John was constantly saying "you think you know me, but you don't really" or something to that effect. And I was honestly thinking of giving up on You Don't Know Me because it didn't seem to be going anywhere and I wasn't really into it. Now though, I'm glad I kept reading it. The ending was phenomenal. It was really touching and actually brought tears to my eyes. I just loved it. I would've liked to give this book 2 stars just ...more
Dominic
This book is pretty good. In the beginning it was kind of hard to follow but as you read more of the book it becomes easier to follow and its truely a good book. In this book, a highschool student named John struggles to go through highschool because he has no friends, his life at home is bad, and he is just misserable.

The title says it all. He does not have anyone he can turn to because no one could understand exactly how he feels. Until he meets a girl named Violet who talks to him, sticks up
...more
Sabina
its so upsetting how we find entertainment in another person's grief and agony... even if that person isn't real
Rosalie B
The entire idea behind this story is an interesting one, David Klass takes the readers into the life of John, a teenage boy facing abuse. He has a big mind and a somewhat small voice. John is a misunderstood young person hence the title, “You Don’t Know Me”. He tends to look at things more as the way that they seem rather than what or who they are truly. We get to see what goes on inside John’s mind, and the way he perceives the people and the things that are happening all around him.

I gave thi
...more
Jor'dn Moore
This is a David Klass original. I love his books and there is something about this one that I enjoy reading over and over again. The book is about this boy John and he thinks that no one on this earth will ever understand him. His real dad left him when he was really little, his mother has been struggling for a long time and meets his new step-dad. Who John hates so much he mentions it several times. He cannot stand him and he will never be his real dad, even if he and his mom get married. John ...more
Mel Staten
I first read this book when I was 14 myself, so part of my love for it is nostalgia. When I got it at that age, I remember being pulled in just by the text on the cover. I recently re-read it and I don't like it any less than I did 10 years ago. It's one of my favorite ever coming-of-age tales.

John has a unique voice. I can understand why people don't like it, but I fell in love with him immediately. He deals with the dire situations around him (an absent mother, an abusive live-in boyfriend of
...more
Kzarina
You don't know me, written by David Klass is a book morally intended for young adults. Grades 9-12 would be better.
This book for me grabbed me from the first sentence! Actually, the title of the book(because it's the same) did. You don't know me. Well snap, that makes me want to know you! The beginning of the book starts off with the main character, John, who tells you how you don't know him, but he tells a little about his life. I liked it a lot because he uses voice, and I love books when the
...more
Cassie
Nov 17, 2008 Cassie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: preteens and teens
Recommended to Cassie by: a friend
Not my usual book. For the most part it was clever but some repettitions got on my nerves. I liked that even though the boy was being abused by the stepdad, that wasn't the main point of the story. It had some dark undertones without becoming engulfed by it. The main character had an interesting thought process. Medioccer book with some good charistics.
Delilah
oh...oh my gosh... this book was just so amazing! It filled me with that evangelical zeal you only get from dreams and only a genius could write this. I LOVED IT. The main character was put together in the greatest of ways and everything about him was awesome. This book was absolute perfection.Just read it! Please! :)
Natalie
You Don't Know Me by David Klass is a book about a teenage boy named John who is abused by his stepfather, ignored by his real mother and falls into peer pressure of all shapes and sizes. I thought this book was interesting because it gave so much about John by giving so little. It felt like the more information that was given about him, the less I understood him. Although at the end we know who this character is and what he wanted, this gave him a sense of mystery. John is a character that show ...more
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David Klass is the author of many young adult novels, including You Don’t Know Me, Dark Angel, and Firestorm (The Caretaker Trilogy). He is also a Hollywood screenwriter, having written more than twenty-five action screenplays, including Kiss the Girls, starring Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd, Walking Tall, starring The Rock, and Desperate Measures, starring Michael Keaton and Andy Garcia. Klass g ...more
More about David Klass...
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“The good news is that you may have created my past and screwed up my present, but you havce no control over my future. You don't know me at all.” 55 likes
“I don't play the tuba. The tuba plays me. My tuba is not actually a tuba, because it has never produced a musical sound. It is actually a giant frog pretending to be a tuba.” 33 likes
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