Lenore Appelhans's Reviews > The Catastrophic History of You and Me

The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg
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's review
Nov 22, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: apocalypsies, favorites, afterlife, met-the-author, 2012-awesome-reads, own-hardcover
Read from November 19 to 21, 2011

When her boyfriend Jacob breaks up with her, Brie dies of broken heart - literally. Her afterlife includes a guide named Patrick who is there to help her pass through the five stages of grief so she can move on.

YOU GUYS! THIS BOOK! It killed me. Let me count the ways:

I love inventive premises like this - especially when the execution follows through. In this case, sections are divided into the five stages of grief. In the denial part of the story, Brie is this totally corny cheeseball who wants nothing more than to slip back into her old life. In the anger stage, her whole personality shifts to vindictive as she attempts to make Jacob pay for what he did to her. The bargaining section introduces some seriously scary elements to an afterlife that has up to this point seemed relatively harmless. Sadness - whoa. And finally acceptance - where the book's twist kicks in big time and we find out the real significance of the title.

The afterlife setting. I love to see how authors construct their fictional visions of the afterlife. In this case, we see the side of San Francisco that the dead experience. Rothenberg layers her narrative with imaginative world building flourishes, and though I was never 100% sure of the rules for the D&G (dead and gone), this uncertainly didn't detract from the story.

Brie. Full of flaws but also full of affection (for her parents, friends, and her dog Hamloaf), she comes off as a three-dimensional, real person. There are times you want to dance with her, times you want to hug her, and times you want to slap her.

The love story. It's untraditional. But absolutely riveting, heartbreaking and ultimately satisfying. And that's all I'm going to say about that!

HIghly recommended!

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Reading Progress

11/19/2011 page 100
25.0% "LOVE this so far!"

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