Louise KM's Reviews > AND YOU MUST LOVE ME

AND YOU MUST LOVE ME by Katja Rusanen
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Dec 21, 2011

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Read from December 21, 2011 to January 13, 2012

Renate's world is rocked when she meets Ronny; at 25yrs old he is ten years her senior, smoking cigarettes, with a gyspy girlfriend who is not afraid of confrontation. She tries to resist, to stay away and to listen to the rumours, to pay attention to his bad reputation. She cannot help herself, she finds herself drawn into a world full of danger. Confronted with rumours about a tragic event - she needs to find answers herself before she can move on; who should she trust? Are her friends really her friends? She begins to self-destruct and the only question remaining is whether she can save herself, from herself, before it is too late.

"For me, in that moment we were the only two souls alive in the world."

Set in the picturesque Norway, the novel fits perfectly within the Young Adult genre as we witness Renate struggle to grow up with a dysfunctional family, questionable friends and desires she doesn't really understand. The book was a bit slow to start with; some of the descriptions were clunky but I think this settles down quite soon after and it becomes a relatively easy read and an enjoyable one at that. You find yourself feeling for Renate and the situation she finds herself in; the questions she is faced with - how would you act differently?

'And You Must Love Me' is Rusanen's first novel; Finnish born, she has been living in Barcelona since 2007. Despite it being her first novel, Rusanen manages to weave a complex and fast-moving narrative with a detailed characters, with history, which isn't that common to novels within the Young Adult genre, which I found refreshing. You feel that this story has had a lot of thought behind it - it isn't just a chain of events but emotions and conflictions as well. It is these descriptions, fast-moving and page-turning plot, and the questions, you, as a reader ask yourself that I believe make this novel a satisfying read.
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