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You Know Who You Are

3.49  ·  Rating Details  ·  196 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
A gorgeous novel of family life, You Know Who You Are is the story of the Vine family, Arthur, Alice, and their three children. The eldest, Will, is well-mannered and academically driven. The youngest, Cara, is a sweet little charmer. Jacob, the middle child, is less sure of who he is. He’s funny, he’s impulsive, and he is often held hostage by his urges to make chaos. But ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published March 22nd 2011 by Vintage (first published January 1st 2011)
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Aug 16, 2015 Liana rated it it was amazing
A very simple story of complicated but familiar people, told with at times astonishing precision and heart. There are no fireworks here, just small, perfect observations that add up to something both ordinary and great. A fun read, too.

Edit: Bumped this from four to five stars after seeing the one-star review by the person who'd read 5 pages of the book and the negative review by the person who was offended that a book following a character from elementary school to young adulthood would deal wi
Jul 11, 2014 Wmd9800 rated it did not like it
Couldn't even be bothered to get past about page 5.

Life is much too short to continue reading books that are terrible, poorly written, or unappealing in any way whatsoever to you, personally. There is no law that states you must finish any book that you start. Nor is there a law or moral code that states you cannot review a book without reading the whole thing.

In fact, if you could not read the whole thing, that is a damning review in itself, is it not?
Bethany Miller
Jul 06, 2011 Bethany Miller rated it liked it
Shelves: royal-may
2.5 stars

You Know Who You Are is a coming of age novel that chronicles the life of Jacob Vine from childhood to young adulthood. Jacob’s relationships with friends, girlfriends and his family - his brother Will in particular - are at the heart of the book. When Jacob’s mother dies of cancer, his father falls into a deep depression. Jacob is in denial of his father’s deteriorating mental state, but his older brother Will recognizes that something is wrong. He tries to convince Jacob that they nee
Karen Germain
Apr 07, 2011 Karen Germain rated it it was ok
I saw this boook at Barnes and Noble this past week and I felt compelled to give it a chance. It was on a shelf for notable new authors. This is Ben Dolnick's second novel and he is a solid writer. I did not find this book to be very unique or compelling, but I think Dolnick might shine with the right story idea. The main character's way of processing grief over his mother's death resonated with me. I felt like there were moments of truth with the characters, where Dolnick managed to make a prof ...more
Clare Walker
Sep 27, 2015 Clare Walker rated it really liked it
Nice, light read. Got better as it went on and I would read it again. Not as good as Zoology, but I love the authors style enough to rate it 4 stars instead of 3.
Bonnie Goldstein
Aug 25, 2014 Bonnie Goldstein rated it really liked it
This a a great book for anyone who has had cancer touch their lives.
Oct 02, 2011 Marie rated it liked it
Dolnick treats the death of a parent like someone who has been through it. All the little guilts and pricks are there. Loved that. Also, not having a sibling myself, I can't say this with absolute certainty, but Dolnick delved into what I suspect was a pretty authentic and insightful study of siblinghood. That aspect fascinated me. As a whole, though, the book didn't come together as much as I hoped it would. I finished it wondering whether there was a message he was trying to get across that I ...more
Teresa Lepore
Mar 31, 2014 Teresa Lepore rated it really liked it
so good
May 23, 2012 Wendy rated it it was ok
I really liked this book and what it tried to do, showing a boy grow up from elementary school to post-college. You actually saw the characters mature. However, (and this is a big "however") several portions of the book were just a little graphic for me. I don't need to read about pre-teens and teenagers' developing sexuality. This is why this book didn't get more stars from me. Call me a prude, but it made what could have been a great book one that instead I simply wanted to finish and move on ...more
Apr 14, 2011 Alex rated it liked it
Not a must-read by any means, but an enjoyable coming-of-age story. I especially liked the author's frankness about the preoccupation of sex for adolescent boys and how that impacts every part of their lives. I think I would have enjoyed the book more if Dolnick focused on one time period, instead of reaching for a narrative that encompasses twenty years of time.
Julie Day
Jul 09, 2012 Julie Day rated it liked it

This is no fine literature, but I enjoyed this book. It was a pretty quick read. Entertaining. There really wasn't too much of a meaningful plot in that I felt like the book could have continued as easily as it could have ended. There was no climax in the book and the ending left me somewhat in satisfied.
Shannon Ferguson
Aug 21, 2011 Shannon Ferguson rated it it was amazing
I read this is in a day. It was just super easy to digest and fun to read, to the extent that I didn't want to put it down once I started. There were a few heavy hitting family drama kinds of moments, but for the most part, it was just pleasant a stroll through somebody else's life. I like that.
Julia Reis
Mar 28, 2011 Julia Reis rated it liked it
this was a fun and fast read. it reminded me of Ray Bradbury's Dandelion WIne by portraying a pretty normal boy and his family. sad things happened to him, but there's nothing extraordinary in his character to frighten or inspire me, other than the ordinariness of the protagonist.
May 22, 2011 Tanya rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 22, 2014 Manuel rated it it was amazing
Excellently written coming-of-age novel. My only gripe was the extremely sped-up pacing in the last 40 pages or so followes by an extremely abrupt and awkward ending.
Apr 29, 2011 Sharon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
picked this up and didn't put it back down until i was finished. felt like i grew up with the character in a few short hours. it's honest and sensitive writing, at times a little too true
May 26, 2011 Ryan rated it really liked it
Good, quick read. A typical "coming of age" story though. Not many twists or turns, but still pretty good if you're a sucker for teen dramas like myself.
Aug 10, 2011 Evonne rated it it was ok
I enjoyed this coming of age tale from a male perspective. It seemed very real and dealt with real issues: sex, death and depression.
Patti Powell95
Jul 12, 2012 Patti Powell95 rated it liked it
so so. Didn't love it, Didn't hate it. Had some trouble getting into it for a bit but the ending was worth it. It's LIFE.
Amy Grossman
Sep 23, 2013 Amy Grossman rated it it was amazing
I really enjoy Ben Dolnick's style, sensitivity and story telling ability. A poignant coming of age story, with depth and grace.
Ben Payne
Jan 21, 2014 Ben Payne rated it it was amazing
A beautifully written coming of age novel. Sweet, funny, and most of all believable. I love Dolnick's writing.
May 04, 2011 Chris rated it liked it
Shelves: dumb-fun
ben dolnick is a great writer in search of a story worth writing.
May 10, 2011 Susan rated it liked it
Fun to read a book by someone you mentored in high school.
Oct 01, 2013 Sarah rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult-fiction, 2013
Richard Rowland
Sep 24, 2011 Richard Rowland rated it it was amazing
Loved it!
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