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The Catastrophic History of You and Me

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Dying of a broken heart is just the beginning.... Welcome to forever.

Brie's life ends at sixteen: Her boyfriend tells her he doesn't love her, and the news breaks her heart—literally.

But now that she's D&G (dead and gone), Brie is about to discover that love is way more complicated than she ever imagined. Back in Half Moon Bay, her family has begun to unravel. Her best friend has been keeping a secret about Jacob, the boy she loved and lost—and the truth behind his shattering betrayal. And then there's Patrick, Brie's mysterious new guide and resident Lost Soul . . . who just might hold the key to her forever after.

With Patrick's help, Brie will have to pass through the five stages of grief before she's ready to move on. But how do you begin again, when your heart is still in pieces?

375 pages, Hardcover

First published February 21, 2012

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About the author

Jess Rothenberg

3 books1,127 followers
JESS ROTHENBERG is a writer and freelance editor who grew up in Charleston, South Carolina. A former editor of books for young readers, including the #1 International Bestselling Vampire Academy series, Jess lives in New York City with her husband, son, and cat-who-thinks-he’s-a-dog, Charlie. Her debut novel for teens, The Catastrophic History of You & Me, has been translated into more than a dozen languages.

To find out more, visit www.jessrothenberg.com or follow Jess on Instagram and Twitter at @jessrothenberg.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,101 reviews
Profile Image for Maja (The Nocturnal Library).
1,013 reviews1,868 followers
February 8, 2012
Confession time: I was pretty sure I would love this book even before it showed up in my mailbox. I loved the title, I liked the cover, and the description sounded really interesting. What I didn’t know, however, was that I wasn’t just signing up for a fun read, I was signing up for heartbreak and some really huge, eye opening lessons. Don’t get me wrong: The Catastrophic History of You and Me is often laugh-out-loud funny, but that’s not nearly all it is.

Brie Eagan’s life was perfect: she had a great family, her three best friends and the most wonderful boyfriend a girl could wish for. At least that’s what she thought. But days before her sweet sixteen, her boyfriend Jacob uttered four horrible words that killed Brie on the spot: I don’t love you. It would seem that a young and perfectly healthy person really can die of a broken heart. It didn’t matter that Brie’s father is a famous cardiologist. It didn’t matter that she had so many other things to be happy about. The shock and the hurt of Jacob’s words were too much for Brie’s heart to handle.

At the beginning of our story, Brie opens her eyes to discover that she’s indeed dead, and currently existing in her own version of afterlife, which just happens to be her family’s favorite pizza place. Her company is even more surprising, especially the boy dressed exactly like Tom Cruise in Top Gun. His name is Patrick and he immediately jumps at the chance to be Brie’s guide through afterlife, or at least this part of it. He is kind, thoughtful and the closest thing to an angel Brie is likely to meet. As the two of them go back to observe the aftermath of her death, Brie is forced to accept that her life wasn’t nearly as perfect as she thought it was and slowly fight her way through five stages of grief.
Here’s just a small taste of denial:
This is all just a bad dream, I told myself. I’m totally in bed, totally safe, totally snuggled. Hamloaf’s next to me. Jack’s down the hall. Everything is okay.
But still, why the crazy nightmare? I must have eaten something funky. Or maybe I have a history test coming up. Or I’d forgotten to floss.

In my experience, books that strike me the most are the ones that successfully mix humor and tragedy. One of the recent stellar examples is Looking for Alaska. Jess Rothenberg does this extraordinarily well. She knows when to lighten the mood with a joke, and when to stop with the humor entirely. She knows exactly how much tragedy her reader can take and when it’s time to water it down with one of Patrick’s nicknames for Brie or something similar. It is a valuable skill, and one that pretty much guarantees that I’ll read her next novel, and the one after that.

Here’s another thing I should mention, one I’m pretty sure some of my friends will appreciate. (I won’t be naming names, though.) Seeing as Patrick had died in the 80s and he’s dressed according to the fashion of 1983 or so, every chapter is titled after a song, a huge part of them from the 80s, and there is a four-page long playlist at the end of the book. I played most of them while reading this book and felt like a lost time traveler most of the time – but in a very good way.

An advanced copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher, Puffin/Razorbill UK for review purposes.

For this review and more, please visit The Nocturnal Library
Profile Image for Aj the Ravenous Reader.
1,005 reviews1,050 followers
January 19, 2023
I’ll go straight to the point. Despite some reviews that say this is corny and melodramatic, I loved it, loved absolutely every word from the very beginning up to the very last word of the Acknowledgement.^^


To me, it’s a beautiful and quirky (two adjectives you don't see together often) novel about heartbreak in all its possible meanings. It’s mysterious, fantastical, very intriguing, romantic, seriously funny (certainly had dozens and dozens of lol moments like “R to the I to the P”) and utterly heartbreaking (the friends ritual at the beach had me choking on this huge lump in my throat), IT REALLY IS UNIQUELY CATASTROPHIC and IN A GOOD WAY.

All the elements perfectly blend in from the narrative method, tone and everything else. I loved that it reads more like a fantasy book than anything else and that’s why I completely enjoyed it. I enjoyed all those pop references (Friends reference for the win. I sing smelly cat all too like all the time. Lol!) and I adore the song titles for every chapter. I keep guessing what a chapter is about based on the song title. Sorry about this useless review (if it could even be called that). You’re just going to have to read the book to know what I’m gushing about here.

A late birthday review present to Gi (do check out her review here). Hope you're doing great, my dear friend. <3
Profile Image for Ariana.
936 reviews1,299 followers
December 13, 2014
“The trouble is, sometimes words are like arrows.
Once you shoot them, there's no going back.”

I love books that make me feel more than one emotion.. I love it when my chest feels tight and achey for a moment, and then it gets all sweet and giggly; when I want to cry and smile at the same time; when I feel like I can't get enough from the story and I would like to keep reading about the characters until the end of time.

This goes for this story, this goes for Brie and Patrick, for a heart which continues to beat, even though it has been broken in two.

The story is really heartwarming from the very beginning: Brie's heart breaks (literally and figuratively) and now - in the afterlife - she needs to find a way to let go, to move on to the other side. She finds herself in a 'tasty' version of Heaven - her favorite pizza place where she used to go with her family -  and it is not her Heaven alone. There are more kids like herself in there, but there is only one that gets her full attention, one that might have the power to make her feel 'alive' again (don't be anxious - I'll get to that in just a moment).

What I liked about this story is the fact that it was not as predictable as I thought it would be.
There were some twists that I didn't see coming, and they really got to change the course of things. I will leave to you the pleasure to find all about them, still I will say a few words about some of the characters:

It was easy to care for her - lost, alone, wanting her life back, angry with the whole damn universe but having a big heart (oh well, broken but still big and full of emotions)... You can easily relate to her pain and struggle, and even though she is a bit of a brat at times, you get to care for her with every page.

There are these steps a dead person goes through in order to move on, and I could see her change from one stage to the other, and more important I could understand why.
It was hard for her not to be with the people she loved, but it was even harder for her to witness how all their lives have changed after her death.

Somehow everything seemed to go terribly wrong and she would have given everything to make them right again. If at the beginning all she wanted was to find out "why", and it was all about finding the missing pieces from this puzzle called 'life without Brie', at the end she just needed to find out "how" to put back together those broken pieces.
“Turns out, hell's not so much a burning, scalding pit of fire and misery. It's actually much, much worse than that. Hell is when the people you love the most reach right into your soul and rip it out of you. And they do it because they can.”

Dressed like someone from the '80s and apparently having nothing better to do than to 'annoy' Brie, Patrick is the one that will help her find her way, the one that will give her advices when she needs one, the one to hold her in his arms when she feels more broken and lonely than ever, he is the one to cheer her up... yeah, you are right, he could be the one. But things are complicated (catastrophic at times), and if they are not, Brie will take care of that.

There are some things I really liked about his relation with Brie:
- the way he tried to help her, even when she didn't want him to;
- the cheese-y nicknames he picked;
- the way he called her Angel, and how much affection he put into that simple word;
Also the fights they had were amazingly cute and they made me laugh on so many times.

Brie's friends:
When Brie was alive, she had 3 best friends and a lovely boyfriend. You would think that she has lost them the moment she died, but the truth is that she will lose them all over again in her after-life. There are things that come back to her to haunt her, there are secrets that could have changed everything, and there are things that are not what you think they are.

“You can obsess and obsess over how things ended- what you did wrong or could have done differently- but there's not much of a point. It's not like it'll change anything. So really, why worry?”

I also loved all the musical references because they got straight to my heart.
Maybe it is because these are some of the songs I used to listen to in high-school, so I felt somehow closer to the character this way (take for example "It must have been love".. I so remember singing away my pain the first time my heart broke from too-much-loving and too-little-being-loved). I hope you'll enjoy them all as well.

Now... there were some things that bugged me (that's why the 4stars rating) but they won't make sense for you if you haven't read the book so please skip them, as they are a bit spoilery too:
- The interaction with the real world
- Lily's story

Anyways, I loved this book and I will definitely read some more from Jess in the future!
Happy midnight reading, everyone!

This review can also be found at ReadingAfterMidnight.com

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Profile Image for Levi.
22 reviews
May 2, 2013
Catastrophic, indeed.

I love how the titles of each chapter were lyrics from songs (like the titles of the notes I write).
I love the twists and turns of the story.
I love how the initials of the four besties spell B(rie)-E(mma)-S(adie)-T(ess).
I love Brie's cheese nicknames. I love Patrick's jacket. I love the BEST's charm necklaces.
I love the way LOVE gave everyone peace. How it freed Brie, Patrick, Eagan family, Jacob, and BEST (even Larkin).
I love how the story literally tore me apart and fixed me up again.

I liked the idea that the heart can literally break because of relationships.

This is a first from Jess Rothenberg. And I think that she's really someone to watch out for. The writing style is impressive. :))))

Profile Image for Lucille.
714 reviews48 followers
June 1, 2012
“My heart didn't fail, someone failed my heart.”

Brie's boyfriend tells her he doesn't love her, and the news breaks her heart—literally.

If this happens in real life, I think 50% of the world's population would go down. Humans would go extinct. And Delirium comes in. There would be a cure for love to prevent heartbreak. Lol.

This was definitely a very great book. At first, I thought it was about angels and afterlife and heaven, that kind of stuff. But I was wrong. This book is about moving on, forgiving, accepting, and most importantly, loving again.

This book made me sad, teary, happy, laugh, smile, and of course, it left me awwww-ing at the end. Truly, love is the best part of any story (taken from Stephenie Meyer's dedication in her book, The Host).

I almost cried when Brie saw her family and how she reacted. It's so relateable, since I'm 15, too, and I would hate it if my bestfriend steals my boyfriend. I would cry and scream and be sad and angry.

I fell in love with the characters, especially sweet old Patrick Darling. I love his humor. Even though he's old, he's hilarious and super duper sweet.

Anyway, after thinking it through, I've decided to give this book 4 stars because: a) I didn't like how Brie acted towards sweet Patrick at the end, and b) Brie died because of a stupid reason, she should have heard Jacob out first before dying, c) Jacob said the crappiest break-up line ever, d) I don't buy the reincarnation stuff.

Notable quotes:

“No matter how much you think you know a person - no matter how pretty they act, or how popular they seem, you can never know what their lives are really like.”

“The problem is there's absolutely nothing 'fun' about falling in love. Nope. Mostly it just makes you feel sick and crazy and anxious and nervous that it's going to end miserably and ruin your whole life. And guess what: Then it does.”

“Time doesn't necessarily heal all wounds. Sometimes, it just makes the wound worse.”

“Hell is when the people you love the most reach right into your soul and rip it out of you. And they do it because they can.”
Profile Image for Rachel Maniacup.
153 reviews79 followers
December 1, 2016

Every time I read a book by an author I haven't encountered yet, It fascinates me because It does surprise me really good,especially when I don't really know what to expect. And I'm glad I've read this one 'cause this is something different..something you would call an amazingly unique story!

From the cover,the concept,the heartbreak,the romance,the humor,the drama,and particularly from the 80's pop songs that the author used as the titles of each chapter made this book incredibly adorable and memorable. This is a story of a 15 year old girl(turning sixteen) BRIE,who literally died of a broken heart when her boyfriend Jacob told her he doesn't love her. But when she died,it was actually just the beginning of her journey and adventures embarking on the 5 stages of grief.

I did adore this book and the characters,especially Brie's bff's Tess, Emma and Sadie.But who I did love most was HAMLOAF! I also love an ending where there's a shocking twists and turns,especially when I've discovered Jacob and Patrick's secrets! Boy,I didn't really see it coming! And though I did like Brie,I found her to be annoying because she was a bit mean and was so vengeful,that made me give this book a 4-star rating. Overall,this was an enjoyable read and I would definitely read more of Jess Rothenberg,and I would recommend this book to everyone!^^

Thank you so much to my friend, PEARL who inspired me to read this book and who is now celebrating her birthday!Please do check her lovely review on this one,too.. HAPPY,HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY DEAR PEARLY SHELL! I LOVE YOU! Enjoy your day,okay? God bless!^^

Profile Image for Sasha.
344 reviews101 followers
December 1, 2011
The Catastrophic History of You and Me is every girl’s worst nightmare. Brie is dating this awesome guy and they go out to dinner and – BAM – he tells her he doesn’t love her. Next thing she knows, she’s dead. That’s right, she literally DIED of a broken heart. And her dad is a cardiologist so he starts digging into this notion that one can die of a broken heart. But Brie has to go through the stages of grief before she can “move on” to a better place.

This book is definitely cute. It was lighthearted and fun while dealing with this theme of death. Brie sees how her various family members and friends handle her death and grieve for her loss. Everyone deals with her death in their own way and it was interesting to see how Brie, herself, dealt with her death. 16 is definitely too young to die – I’m sure everyone would agree with that statement.

I was really enjoying this book up until about 80% of the way through the book. It took this weird turn that I was confused about. It made a good story and really came full circle for Brie’s counterpart, Patrick, but I was confused on why/how the book got to that point. It’s not that I didn’t like it, it just seemed to come out of nowhere. If you’ve read the book, tell me your thoughts in the comments.

Definitely a solid debut and I really enjoyed Jess’s writing. Looking forward to seeing what she comes out with next!
Profile Image for Sarah (saz101).
192 reviews151 followers
February 14, 2012
Fifteen is altogether way too young to die. Especially to die of a broken heart. So when sweet, funny, charming Brie is cut down in the prime of her teenage years, what do we get? Angst? A heart-warming Disney movie? Well, perhaps not what you expect. It's more than either. The Catastrophic History of You and Me is brimming with humour and charm and tempered with a perfect balance of heartbreak.

Shortly before her sixteenth birthday, Brie Eagan’s boyfriend tells her he doesn’t love her... and she dies of a broken heart. No, not figuratively. Her heart literally breaks in two within her chest. True story. Well, the great pizza-parlour in the sky? NOT where she thought she’d wind up. And if she thought her afterlife couldn’t get much weirder than sitting in a vinyl booth eating slices and drinking Sprite, her tour guide to the afterlife is resident Lost Soul, Patrick: an irritating and slightly gorgeous mind-reading boy straight out of the eighties, complete with cheesy jokes and Top-Gun style bomber jacket. Yup. Dying of a broken heart? Just the beginning. If Brie wants to find her happily ever after-life she has to tackle the five stages of grief head-on... and let go of the life she’s not quite ready to leave behind.

The Catastrophic History of You and Me feels like a contemporary... and I suppose it is, despite its ‘paranormal’ twist. But we’re not talking about vampires and werewolves and supernatural beings... we’re talking about a normal girl, a normal world, and how on earth you come to terms with waking up dead.

Brie. Like the Cheese.
I liked Brie immediately. I loved her humor, her go-to ‘your mom’ jokes when she’s lost for a comeback, her chatty, hyper voice and her constant Disney references. She’s a character you’d have to try hard not to like. She’s layered and she has her own personality, her own dreams, her own aspirations. She has real, deep attachments to the people in her life—her family, her dog, her incredibly close and beautiful circle of best friends. It’s watching her lose these, seeing them fall apart with her gone, then move on, and all along knowing Brie must let go that is so, so heart breaking to watch.

This is her story, make no mistake. Her navigating denial, anger, bargaining, sadness and acceptance... and shining throughout. It's wonderful to see a bright, vibrant character as the star of their own show. Whether Brie’s learning to ‘wish’ (wishes are just a matter of willpower in her ‘heaven’), learning to ‘zoom’ from her new plane to our own, or plotting ghostly revenge against one-time loved-ones. Even when she’s lost to her anger, or making terrible, terrible choices in bargaining—regardless of how selfless her motivations—she’s an amazing character. She’s compelling.

Deeper Down The Rabbit Hole
The Catastrophic History of You and Me is a surprisingly complex story. It flies effortlessly from Brie’s longing for her old life, to the grief of her family and friends left behind, to the strange mechanics of the amazing, magical purgatory she finds herself in. On a few occasions I caught glimpses of the amazing magic of Dead Like Me, or Annie’s storyline in Being Human. The detail, the heartbreak, the intensity, and the fun all rang true.

The depth of the world and the ‘secondary’ characters is extraordinary. Each and every person in Brie’s world is real and layered and explored in surprising detail. Black and white villains become flawed characters I loved, and forgave along with Brie. Characters—one in particular—I was deeply in love with were hiding secrets subtly hinted at, yet so artfully concealed and unravelled, my unsuspecting heart cracked open and bled at their revelation. So many minute, tiny details come together to create a vividly imagined world coexisting in, beside, and just beyond our own.

Sweet, funny, charming, and just a little bit heartbreaking, The Catastrophic History of You and Me sucked me in and, like it’s protagonist, stubbornly refused to let me go. I strongly recommend having a box of tissues and a cuddly, furry animal on standby while you read.

Jess Rothenberg creates a magical, quirky and beautiful world. Despite the (many) tears I shed over the course of the book, it’s certainly not a sad book. It’s brimming with hope and joy, and light moments shining through the darkness. It’s about coming to terms with loss, but also about learning to treasure the past while embracing the future. About learning to let go and live the journey... Because, well, to the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.
Profile Image for Aaron Vincent.
93 reviews20 followers
May 11, 2015
At the beginning of the novel, the main character introduced her sisterhood of the corny metaphorical necklace by comparing them to Disney princesses. One exotic, one redhead with a pet crab and one brunette who loves to read. Wanna take a shot which princesses are those? This is only one of the many examples of lazy writing that is so prevalent in this thing that pains me to call a novel.

It is so full of those baits you commonly see on 'reviews' that contain lines like "Plus, you'll really love [insert name of adorable young sibling]" or "ZOMG Cute and Smart Doggie." or worse, "[Name of Love Interest] <3 <3". It's fluff, the unhealthy kind.

I could go on and on on how this made death so utterly ridiculous. It is an unholy, melodramatic, corny, lazily written and incredibly naive shitshow. Avoid like the plague.
Profile Image for starryeyedjen.
1,640 reviews1,231 followers
August 14, 2018
This. Book. Wins. If this had been the book given to me as my first foray into comtemporary YA -- and granted, it has supernatural elements, what with the MC being dead and all -- anyway, had this been my first contemporary read, it might have easily led me to decide that contemps were my favorite subgenre. Instead, I've shied away from most anything contemporary and consistently read paranormals with a heavy dose of romance to satisfy my cravings. This book may have changed all that. Don't think that means that I'll forego supernatural stories in favor of lighter, fluffier reads. But I will give all contemps a second thought, instead of immediately dismissing them due to their lack of imaginary beasties.

The Catastrophic History of You & Me is not a book I'll soon forget. It's cute, funny, heart-breaking, sad, beautiful, honest, and a whole slew of other adjectives. Pretty much, I ran a full gamut of emotions while reading this novel. I teared up -- okay, bawled like a baby because I tend to be overly sentimental -- twice within the first two chapters alone. But I also laughed -- a lot -- throughout the book. And I swooned...oh, did I swoon.

Basically, this book takes you through the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, sadness, and acceptance) as Brie deals with each of them after her death. And she's got dreamy lost soul Patrick to help her through them. (Cue the swooning.) I absolutely adored the voice given to Brie. She's witty and sarcastic and well, adorable, even when she makes some questionable decisions. But honestly, who among us wouldn't take the opportunity to spy on our loved ones after we're gone?

The story was one of redemption, of love lost and found again, and of understanding and compassion when others need it most. I thoroughly enjoyed the subtle hints placed throughout the story, and though I figured out what was really going on half-way through, I was still pleasantly surprised at how it came to fruition. It was slightly predictable without being obvious. Also, the chapters are titled after songs, some of them popular love songs, some of them corny songs from the 80s. And Brie herself is a big fan of 80s music. Because I really needed a reason to love her more.

You want to know something else I've decided I like about contemporary novels? A lot of them are stand-alone novels. I love a good series as much as the next girl, but sometimes, you just want to finish a novel in one sitting and revel in that sense of accomplishment, in knowing how the story ends without having to wait for the next installment. So, there's another plus for this story...as if I needed another one. :) I will recommend this debut novel to everyone, and I mean everyone. And if there's any doubt as to why, see the first paragraph of this review again. It's not everyday that a novel can convert me to the lighter side of YA.

And now, one of my favorite passages from the book. (Mind you, this is taken from the ARC I received and may not appear in the final version of the novel...but I'll be really sad to find out if it doesn't make the cut.)

From pages 42 - 44:

I crossed my arms and clenched my jaw, feeling my inner five-year-old beginning to act out. "I. Don't. Have. A. Pen."
She pointed at my right hand. "Yes. You. Do."
Before I could argue with her, I realized that actually, I did have a pen. Right in my hand, ready to go. I almost fell off my chair.
How the hell did that get there?!
The weirdest part? I recognized it.
No. Way.
It was the exact same pen I'd had back in third grade. Back when I was an even bigger dork who got so excited I couldn't sleep before School Supply Shopping Day.
The pen was white on top and sky blue on bottom, with six (six!) color options, depending on which button you pushed down. You could even press two buttons down at the same time and mix the colors. (I know.) To a third-grade bookworm who'd spent her entire summer practicing her signature in cursive, this pen was a complete and total thing of beauty.
I'd left it in my desk one Friday afternoon, but when I looked for it the following Monday morning, it was gone. We're talking Real Life Elementary School Tragedy.
But then, in a very suspicious turn of events, Chloe Lutz--a girl who wore her hair in pigtails every day, for god's sake--showed up with a similar (and by similar I mean identical) pen a few days later.
Et tu, Chloe?
I knew she took it. Emma, Sadie, and Tess knew she took it. But tattling wasn't an option because our teacher Mrs. Arden had a very harsh No-Tattling policy. I wanted to confront her at recess, but I figured that was a bad idea, considering a) she was a whole foot taller than me and b) she was a brown belt in karate.
In the end, I spent the whole rest of that school year watching Chloe have the time of her life pushing my beloved color buttons. Red! No, blue! Oh, isn't this fun?
Yes, Chloe Slutz, of course it's fun. That is obviously why I bought it.
And now, all these years later, here I was in a grungy pizza parlor in Half Moon Bay, dead since Monday, and holding the very same World's Greatest Pen.
SO weird.

First, I had that pen! Second, I think that passage highlights how funny and normal Brie is, and it gives you a little insight into her character.

Not a huge fan of the trailer, but here it is anyway: http://youtu.be/UvnmX3ywXYY

This review can also be found at The Starry-Eyed Revue.
Profile Image for Celine.
247 reviews52 followers
February 4, 2013
Review originally posted in: http://forget8me8not.blogspot.com.au/...

I love the girl's purple dress , the sky background and the upside down bridge. I can feel as if the girl is flying there in the sky and the cover gives off this heaven and calm feeling!


There's a girl called Brie. She died because of a broken heart. Her heart LITERALLY broke in half...

don't you (forget about me)

I don't think I'll even bother writing my own synopsis for this book. What I'll do instead is put some of the chapter titles of the book along with my review! I had high expectations for The Catastrophic History of You and Me, considering all the positive reviews I've been reading about this book and how so many people love it. The Catastrophic History of You and Me is beyond my expectations. This book was so awesome and amazing. The idea of someone who died because their heart literally broke in half (like really broke in half) is so unique.

what becomes of the broken hearted?

It must have been really painful for Brie when her heart broke in half when she died. Before I even read the story, the way the pages of the book are set and the chapter titles made me fall in love with this book.

excuse me while I kiss the sky

YES! This book is so touching, and well-written. It is filled with so many emotions. It's fun, it's sad, it's beautiful, it's hilarious and it gives you this warm fuzzy feeling when you read the book. The book is split into 5 parts and I love the stories in each part. Not only that, I LOVE THE CHAPTER TITLES. They are from song lyrics and they're PERFECT. This book touched me in ways I never thought of. I love it. It's amazing. The ending is perfect.

permanently black and blue, permanently blue, for you


somewhere over the rainbow

There is Patrick. He's a Darling. Hey, no pun intended. He is Patrick Darling. (Yes, Darling is his surname!). He is adorable, he's amazing, he's awesome and I fall in love with him. I'd willingly break my heart in half if it means I can see him! He's the coolest character ever. He wears leather brown jacket, and rides motorcycle. He is sweet, charming and oh, what I'd do to make him smile.

only the good die young

Patrick is nearly 18 when he died! 17 years is not enough to see the beauty of the world and to feel love.

the cheese stands alone

Brie stands for Aubrie. Brie is the name of a cheese and yes, she stands alone! She is such a fun character to read about. I connected with her in every ways and understand her pain of being told that her own boyfriend that he did not love her and the pain of not being able to live in the world any longer.

1,2,3,4, tell me that you love me more

I love Brie and Patrick's relationship. They are so perfect for each other. There is an attraction from the very first moment they saw each other but they came to love each other after the time they spent together.

who will save your soul if you won’t save your own?

I loved the other characters such as Brie's family and friends. Brie's BFFs totally rocks. They are friends that stay with you forever, no matter what happens. Jacob, Brie's boyfriend who broke her heart was a character that completely surprised me. I wanted to know why he broke up with her, seeing how he and Brie were so lovey-dovey in their relationship and when I found out what the reason was, I wanted to hug him.

to die by your side, is such a heavenly way to die

I love the characters. They make me filled with so many beautiful emotions I want to hold on to.

The Catastrophic History of You and Me is a book that will fill you with so many beautiful emotions you want to hold on to forever. The darling Patrick and the cute Brie will take you on a journey to find out what it's like when your heart literally broke in half, what it means to be in denial, to be angry, to bargain, to feel sadness and to accept death. This is one my favourite 2012 debut novels!

And I'll close my review with one chapter title:

all you need is love

Thank you Penguin Australia for the review copy!
274 reviews333 followers
July 15, 2015
You can obsess and obsess over how things ended - what you did wrong or could have done differently - but there's not much of a point. It's not like it'll change anything. So really, why worry?

I was thinking about giving this only 3 stars, but no. It deserves 4.

This book was amazing in so many ways. I was drawn in from the first sentence. (I got bored for a few pages, but whatever. That's nothing compared to how I felt about the rest of the book.) After the not-so-interesting part, this book just got better and better.

The trouble is, sometimes words are like arrows. Once you shoot them, there's no going back.

I loved the characters. Brie is very... real. I can relate to her (not about her broken heart, heh), something that doesn't happen with many other characters. Although she is dense at times, she was funny and I grew to really like her. Her five stages of grief were fun to read.

Who I loved more is Patrick. Sure, he's cheesy, but he made me laugh. He and Brie have a great relationship, and I love how everything ties together in the end. I want someone like Patrick in my life. Even if he does dress from the 80s.

There was one character that didn't come up as much as Brie or Patrick, for obvious reasons, but I absolutely loved. Brie's dog, Hamloaf. He would randomly (or maybe not) appear and omg, he’s hilarious. I’m not a dog person, not an animal person at all, but I would totally go for a dog like Hamloaf. His name alone is wonderful.

No matter how much you think you know a person - no matter how pretty they act, or how popular they seem, you can never know what their lives are really like.

I really liked that this wasn't predictable. I didn't see that . The Catastrophic History of You and Me kept me reading until the end. It’s light-hearted, and I would definitely recommend this book.

Sometimes, friends drift in and out of our lives like fashion accessories - in one season and out the next.” (SO TRUE.)

*Half a star goes to using song titles for the chapters. That's brilliant.

When you're in love, the world is brighter. Sunnier. The air smells flowerier, and your hair is silkier, and suddenly you find yourself smiling at babies and strangers and old couples walking down the beach holding hands.

And so I was reading the acknowledgements (do people do that anymore?), and I loved the last one.
Finally, to all the boys—from preschool and beyond—who ever broke my heart: Thanks for everything. Revenge may be sweet, but book deals are definitely sweeter.
I love that last line.

Turns out, hell's not so much a burning, scalding pit of fire and misery. It's actually much, much worse than that. Hell is when the people you love the most reach right into your soul and rip it out of you. And they do it because they can.
Profile Image for MizzSandie.
334 reviews339 followers
August 5, 2012
I'll admit it from the get-go:
this book started out sort of 'meh' for me. I was not really 'feeling it' and I sort of found the heroine a bit whiny, self-absorbed, and a little too vengeful and agressive for my taste. My main complaints would be along these lines, 'Don't blame the world for your problems honey', 'dont judge and jump to conclusions' and'don't take your anger out on others'.

BUT about a 3rd of my way into the book though, things started to change. The story got a hold of me, I got invested in the characters that were coming alive on the pages, and the story seemed to have more depth than I initiallly thought, and I just wanted to keep on reading to see where this was all leading them, and me, since I was now fully on-board with it.

Then towards the end, at about the last 3rd or so of the book I was a lost cause. The characters had shown some actual growth, the story had unfolded itself beautifully, even if on some aspects anticipated, and I did not want the book to end which is a pretty good sign, that a book has managed to really get a hold on me.

It grew from a 3 - to a 4 - to a 5 star reading experience for me, and knowing what I know now, and if I were to re-read it, I doubt the beginning would seem like a 3 anymore.

Without saying too much, i can say this:
This book is both sad, funny, sweet - at points trivial, at others deep - with flawed characters that make mistakes, but who learns and grows, and are able to apologise and forgive, who are both fighting change and embracing it, - and this book weaves it together beautifully, and it left me not able to get it out of my mind (not that I really wanted to), even when the last page had been turned (which is another one of those signs of a good reading experience).
So if that sounds like the sort of book you like to read, I suggest you give it a try. And if you do, my only advice, will be this: have patience . Sometimes you have to get to know people better, to understand them, and sometimes you have to give people (including yourself) time to evolve and struggle with things before they can be resolved.

A book well-written, well-plotted, and well-told and I'm surely coming back to read more of Rothenbergs work.

So let me just end by saying this:

i was wrong okay? i was wrong!

Profile Image for Laura.
1,351 reviews199 followers
September 27, 2016

4.5 Stars

The Catastrophic History of You and Me is a jolt to the heart! Love is on full display in the pages of this book. All of love’s lovely little pockets and hidden away dark corners. Everything love has to offer is here. Blushing, beaming joy to brutal, heart crushing agony! Love isn’t always rainbows and romance. Just ask Brie.

“Love hurts us all, no matter how old or young we are.”

Brie Eagan died of a broken heart. Really. She’s dead. But lifewell the afterlife must go on. We follow Brie on a journey of memories, denial, anger, longing, acceptance, and LOVE in a new and ever changing landscape that I don’t want to spoil for you with too many details. Let's just say the afterlife is a new world with rules and ways all its own. Good thing this new world comes with a guide! :)

Meet the cocky and charming, Patrick, the Resident Lost Soul of Brie’s particular slice of heaven. Brie and Patrick are so much fun to watch. They jab and joke and *spark* at first eye lock! From every cheesy nickname in the book to fun, flirty banter—these two have it going on! So much fun. Could they be more than friends though? How could they? Brie’s heart is broken. Broken hearts don’t fall in love again. Do they?

If you have ever been in love and had your heart shattered into itty bitty pieces, this book is for you. The power of this story really surprised me. Hidden underneath the sarcasm and humor and flirty ways is a mountain of emotion. Heartbreak. Heartache. Anger. Fear. Joy. Patience. Tenderness. Love, love and love. It’s all in here! Every element comes to light in Brie’s relationships with her family, friends, and more. Come listen to her heart. It may be broken, but it’s still thump-thump-thumping away.

And then we have the music to listen to, hum along with, and remember. Ms. Rothenberg’s chapter titles are songs and lines that make me smile. Oh how they make me smile! I’ve had ooh Heaven Is a Place on Earth and Lucky Star in my head for days! :D Most of the shout outs are 80s tunes, so prepared to be blasted back into the past!

This book opened up a well of old feelings and memories in me. Some happy, some not so happy. But isn’t that one of the many joys of reading. I adore a book that makes me examine old loves and hurts and joys. I’ll be on the lookout for more from Jess Rothenberg for sure.

I highly recommend this dazzling journey through life and death showcasing the power of love.

Profile Image for Corrine Jackson.
Author 6 books574 followers
December 8, 2011
At the outset, the premise didn’t grab me. There, I said it. I know this book has a ton of buzz, but honestly, a girl dies of heartbreak? It didn’t snag me. But on a Sunday afternoon, I needed something different to read and I picked it up.

There is a lot to recommend about the book. First, the voice. Brie is fifteen and she dies at the start of the story when her boyfriend breaks up with her. We follow her on a journey through the five stages of grieving. She haunts her boyfriend, parents, little brother, and best friends, watching them grieve for her. This could all feel very maudlin, but Jess Rothenberg manages to steer clear of that. The voice is so exactly that of a fifteen year old girl, full of sass and sadness and naiveté and the odd moment of wisdom. That voice hooked me right away.

I also loved how we are carried through the five stages of grieving. There’s a lot of meat there for anyone to relate to, whether you’ve broken up with someone or lost someone close. Brie’s emotions bounce all over the place, but they almost always feel real. She’s not always a nice character, but she’s a believable one. In fact, she’s probably more believable because of her faults.

There were some things – fairly big things for me – that bothered me about the story. A few scenes felt unnecessary or repetitive. Brie’s love of 80’s music didn’t ring true for a contemporary teen – I felt like it was author intrusion into the story every time they were mentioned. And, I hate to say it, but the love interest plotline fell flat for me, especially at the big dramatic moment at the end.

What saved the book for me, though, aside from the wonderful, engaging voice and interesting format, were the relationships Brie had with her friends and family and even her dog, Hamloaf. Before she dies, Brie has a kind of simplistic view of her world. After her death, when she gets peeks into the private lives of those she haunts, she learns that the world is not what she thought it would be. That people are more complex. That sometimes they are weak and fail you, but that doesn’t mean they don’t love you. I thought Rothenberg did a fantastic job illustrating this, and despite the problems I noted, I think a lot of readers will love this book.
Profile Image for Aly.
259 reviews19 followers
March 5, 2012
To be honest I just didn’t like this book. I just couldn’t connect with the character, or what she had to go through. Mostly I just wanted to be finished with the book, because once I start a book, I usually try to finish it…unless it just horrible. This book in my opinion is bad, but not horrible.
Mainly Brie is just horrible. I understand that she just died, and it sucks to know that people are moving on without you, but she’s selfish. She tries to hurt almost everyone in her life.
However, my biggest issue with this that I feel like Rothenberg gets distracted from telling her story. It’s all the side details, that make me violently dislike this novel. I don’t understand how you can feel so violently in love that you actually die of a broken heart, then all of sudden you realize “oh, I didn’t like that much, I just thought I did, but in reality we really should be friends” huh? I feel like Rothenberg brings in so many elements to this story, to try to make it more complex than it really is, or should be, and by the end she tries to force a happily ever after. The only way I’d recommend this is you borrow it from a library, and you finished all your homework and read all other books you wanted to read, and you just had nothing — I mean nothing, better to do.
Profile Image for Sabrina.
475 reviews244 followers
April 6, 2019
“Hell is when people you love the most reach right into your soul and rip it out of you. And they do it because they can.”

I loved this book.

I wanted to buy this book for so long and then when I did buy it I just put it in my bookshelf and didn't read it, for about 2 years. I have the tendency to always do that. I know I'm going to like a book and I just don't read it.

This was a fun and heartbreaking (in a good and in a bad way) story. This was more emotional than I was expecting it. And I absolutely love it. I almost cry reading this book.
But I won't lie, there were some parts that were boring but the final chapters were just so good that it made me forget the boring parts while reading it.

“I guess maybe once in a while the universe just knows a good thing when it sees it.”
Profile Image for Pearl Angeli.
622 reviews943 followers
May 30, 2015
Because love is worth it after all…

Dear heavens, I didn’t expect The Catastrophic History to be really this amazing. I mean, I did expect it to be good, but I didn’t know it’s way better that it seriously gives me goosebumps!

I found out that it could make me feel so many things all at once. I felt surprised, angry, hopeless, depressed, regretful– it’s like I’ve also been to stages of grief while reading Brie’s epic, catastrophic (indeed) story.

The concept of this book is beautiful. It’s funny, intriguing, and very cleverly written. I love Brie’s character here. Very typical a teenager, hilarious, and absolutely adorable with a cheesy, delicious name.

Time doesn’t necessarily heal all wounds. Sometimes, it just makes the wounds worse…

The wonderful thing about this book is that it’s actually emotionally driven. It totally got me. The exchange of dialogues are also mesmerizing that it actually imparts the importance of love, friendship, and forgiveness that we often neglect in our personal lives.

It’s a sensible book and it simply teaches life lessons. Oh, by the way, this book is not realistic when it comes to the plotline as it is simply a blend of romance with fantasy genre but the concept itself is damn pragmatic and heartfelt. The five stages of grief (Depression, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance) are well thought-out and incredibly awe-inspiring.

And oh, the twist. The twist absolutely had me gasping for air! This book is definitely a to-die book. Just a little not, though: It’s a tear-jerker hard to forget, so keep your tissues close at hand, guys. :)

My Rating for this book: 4 stars

Book blog originally posted on My Blog
Profile Image for Leen Gilis.
238 reviews
June 22, 2018
4,5 ster
Ik heb enorm van dit boek genoten: van het begin tot het einde. Vanaf de eerste bladzijde neemt het hoofdpersonage mee in haar verhaal. Het is alsof ze je een hand heeft en je alles vertelt wat op haar hart ligt. Ik vond het heel leuk dat je haar gedachten en gevoelens kon lezen want zo kon ik me nog beter inleven in het boek. Ik vond de andere personages die in het boek kwamen ook fijn. Ze waren stuk voor stuk uniek en hadden voor mij nog wat meer uitgediept mogen worden. De sfeer die in het verhaal heerste vond ik geweldig en zorgde ervoor dat verhaal heel vlot las! Voor ik wist zat ik al in de helft van het boek. Het had gerust dikker mogen zijn voor mij. 😉 Ik vond dit boek echt een pareltje en ga het zeker ooit nog herlezen!
Profile Image for Natasha(Books are my sustenance).
102 reviews29 followers
May 15, 2015
"I was fifteen years old when I died of a broken heart."

Brie's boyfriend tells her he doesn't love her, and the news breaks her heart — literally. Now she's D&G(dead and gone) and ends up in the afterlife which turns out to be the pizza place her family used to go to. And she's not alone, there are some other people there and they all just hang around, waiting to move on.There she meets Patrick, resident Lost Soul, who is so damn sweet, crushworthy and all-around awesome!!But more on that later.

You know the five stages of grief people go through after they lose someone? Well, this book is about those five stages, except it's Brie who is grieving. Who says ghosts cant grieve?

Brie spends sometime just hanging around in the afterlife, forgetting everyone and everything else.Big time denial. I don't blame her, that place was actually pretty fun.She roams around with Patrick and enjoys herself.


Once she gets over that, she decides to get some revenge on her ex.


So she comes back to earth with Patrick. And this leads to some shocking relevations, a whole load of heartbreak, betrayal and some terrible truths.

I was expecting this book to be a light, fun read. This was NOT light. This was NOT fluff. This is a freaking awesome book that made me laugh one minute and then choke up the next. Because this was a beautiful, touching read that is about accepting, forgiving, moving on and letting go.

Brie.I loved her. She was real. I could understand and relate to her. She went through a ton of emotions-sadness,denial,anger,betrayal and a whole lot more- and I was with her every step of the way. There was a point where she went too far in her need to get revenge but I couldn't dislike her.
I loved her brother and BFFs too. The scenes in which she's with them and all that she feels was just so touching.

Patrick.As I already said, he is damn wonderful. He rides a motorcycle, sometimes talks in Latin and is just so sweet and supportive.I loved him soooo much<3 I was pretty mad at Brie when she hurt him.

The last part of the book was the reason I reduced a star . There was all this Lily and reincarnation thing going on and I was like:

And the ending was just way too happy and perfect for me. A large part of me wishes it could have been more sad and realistic. Im all for happy endings but I couldn't completely get behind this one.

The writing was beautiful and thoroughly captivating. I loved how the chapter names were songs. They made a brilliant playlist^^

READ THIS BOOK GUYS. Even though it has a few flaws, its still fabulous and I would highly recommend it:)


Profile Image for Isamlq.
1,578 reviews713 followers
February 28, 2012
It’s not what I was expecting: funny mostly but not all of the time.

The Good

Those nifty chapter titles; I loved those because they touched little on what she loved and she loved a lot. She has had a passion for older music, a skill for diving, and a love for those close to her. And it was that last bit I appreciated the most: she’s close to them. I also liked her having these ideas about the people around her, feeling comforted when they lived up to her notions, then being so confused (shocked) when they didn’t. It’s her boyfriend, best friend and father acting totally out of character that shocked her most. So in way the book isn’t all about her. It’s about them and how they deal, which is where the sad factors in.

The Better

And yes, sure, it wasn’t all about her, but a good deal of the hilarious bits was her coming to grips with where she ended up. Her version of heaven is a pizza parlor, (a version I would willingly take up as my own.) But it’s the people in it, one person in it, who made it even more interesting: Patrick. The moment he’s in the picture you get the feeling that there’s something more to him than the funny, cocky, brash over-confident boy. You’d be right. But I stop here because imagining past his whatever jacket, (what was it again?) and getting to know him is when most of the fun took place.

The Iffy

Ok, I have to but the back story of who Patrick was has me feeling iffy. The romantic in me should be swooning over the idea of being someone’s “always and forever.” But, do I really buy that? The title is so appropriate: catastrophic and all, and I’d even go further and throw out an 'unhealthy' in a
Profile Image for Angie.
61 reviews14 followers
October 1, 2011
I laughed, I cried, I came, I saw, I conquered. Or at least I did the first two. Rothenberg knows humor and her dialogue is full of the kind of wit and retorts that I love. On the opposite side, she also is able to bring on the sadness and I found myself unable to read a few times because of blurry vision. They weren't tears, because I don't cry. I don't. I probably just need new glasses. Anyway...I felt the pain that Brie felt and the feelings that overcame her as she made discoveries. Oh, and did I mention the romance? This is a romance for the ages. It's what most high school girls want. I've grown-up and become a bit jaded since then, but I could feel my fourteen-year-old self smiling and very pleased as I finished the book.

The Catastrophic History of You & Me (I love this title, by the way. Has more meaning after you read the book) will wrench your heart, then it will make you laugh, then you'll find yourself sobbing in the bathroom behind the toilet so your roommates don't hear you. I didn't do that either, I'm just theorizing.

I would describe this book as Elsewhere meets Sarah Dessen with some Stephanie Perkins thrown in. Very enjoyable read!
Profile Image for Julianna Helms.
277 reviews140 followers
February 26, 2012
Quick Reaction: This book made me feel so bipolar, it wasn't even funny. I don't think I've ever read a book that made me cry just as much as it made me want to rip it apart. The Catastrophic History of You and Me features a protagonist who felt shallow and like a 5-year-old with the way she treated everything, yet though I detested her during the "Anger" and "Bargaining" parts (this book is told in parts labeled as the stages of grief! And every chapter is a song title! So freakin' cool.), I cried bucketfuls in sadness and acceptance. In the end, I think it's the transformation of Brie that finally redeemed her in my eyes, as did the quite honestly well-thought twists. One thing, though. There's this giant big twist at the end that affects everything, and it involves a bargain, but... (and this is when I went from a 4-star to a 3-star) if it changed everything, does that mean everything Brie did during the book is just illegitimate? Non-existent? Gone? If so, there was no explaining nor backing on that aspect, and though it was a fantastic fairytale-esque ending, that plot hole cracked the ice.

Actual, full review: This review is also on my blog. (Note: due to copy-and-paste, formatting and links have been lost.)

Brie died of a broken heart, and she left me with one, too.

This book was definitely original and compassionate, but Brie has a voice that rivaled a five-year-old. Everything Was Capitalized and Of Course OMG Abbreviations! But this book--my goodness--made me feel so bipolar, it was like slowly inching up on a roller-coaster, only to have the ride be stuck at the highest point, staring down at a trail of steepness below. Brie frustrated me and made me cry. She made me want to throw the book against a wall and hug it so fiercely my ribs hurt. She makes immature decisions--and talks almost nothing like a teenager, if you ask me (a teenager. Yup. Hi there!)--but the things she goes through are so heartbreaking, I broke down into terrible sobs. I don't even know what to think.

This book is cool, though. It's broken into parts--each one being a stage of grief. Every chapter is a song title (I didn't even know until a friend pointed out that Total Eclipse of the Heart was, in fact, a song, and not a supremely cool original chapter title). And though Brie sometimes annoyed me so much, and I would have smoke steaming out from my ears if I was in a cartoon, she did make me laugh.

You know, I think I know how she managed to infuriate me and break me at the same time. Brie knows she's done wrong. She's so terrified of her own mistakes that her fears become my own, and she's so afraid that she won't ever be able to fix her own self that I am surrounded by these eternal walls of impossibility, suffocating and choking and horrifying.

Brie backed herself into a steel prison, and it's not only catastrophic, it's claustrophobic. (ha, get it? Get it?)

This book has surprises, turns, and zero explanations. And it's not even the most entertaining book of all time, considering Brie's childish voice. But here's what I'll tell you: The Catastrophic History of You and Me will find a part of you so deeply hidden--so scarce and afraid--and yank it out, fast, so that you won't even realize what happened until you feel this gigantic hole in your chest. It'll stitch you back together, one attempt at a time.

But no matter how many times it tries to save its own destruction, you won't be the same. (Whether that's meant in a good way or bad way, though, that's up for you to see.)
Profile Image for G.
54 reviews18 followers
June 11, 2015
“The trouble is, sometimes words are like arrows. Once you shoot them, there's no going back.”

First of all, I want to praise the theme/concept of the book. It's quite different from the books that I have read before though the idea of the heart being literally broken into two is weird. Hah. The first few pages were okay, light and a little fast-paced, but as the story goes, it got more and more interesting. I like how the story progressed for five stages (of grieving? if I remembered it right). With that, it's like being on a roller coaster of emotions.

The main character, Brie, is admirable though sometimes (let's admit it), she complains a lot. What I also like about her character is that she can handle things and issues by herself even though she's a little childish at times. Rothenberg is brilliant for tackling family and personal issues and then fixing them eventually in the story. The idea of death sometimes scares us, but the book portrayed that there's much more into it than simply being in the oblivion. On the other hand, the romance was okay as well, not so swoon-worthy and not too cheesy. Just right, I guess. At times, the story is predictable, but there are plot twists that can actually get your attention.

Won't give spoilers about the book anymore, but I recommend you to read this book if you want something new, quirky, light, and fast-paced. :)
Profile Image for Coranne.
456 reviews28 followers
November 29, 2011
So Lauren Oliver blurbed this book. If you are in the young adult community- that is a big deal to have Lauren Oliver blurb your book. I had high expectations going into Catastrophic History and that blurb is why.

Lauren nailed the description of the book: "Inventive, funny, beautiful, heartbreaking". Those are the exact words I would use to describe it (if that wasn't total copying!) I have never read a book like this- it was like Teen Angel plus that show Revenge on ABC. Man, the drama was palpable. The book was somehow sad and dramatic without being dark. There were many funny and carefree moments throughout the book that kept it from tipping into the depressing.

I loved the characters and loved the journey that Brie goes through. This book is really about Brie (but really really about something else that I am not telling you!) and her journey through the stages of grief from her own death. It was a bittersweet read that has a wonderful finish.

I would say even if you aren't a fan of contemporary ya (which I typically am not)- you will still love this book. The author rides the line between fantasy and contemporary fiction with skill and ease. I loved this book and I can't wait to read more from this very talented author!
Profile Image for kenneth.
110 reviews2 followers
November 29, 2015
Wat een prachtig verhaal ! En echt heel origineel gevonden... Ook de plottwists zijn ook niet te verwachten, plus een vleugje humor. Maar ook weer een boek waarvan je verder na denkt in het leven, ook de emoties in het boek is een toppertje. Daarom geef ik het boek toch wel 5 sterren! Wat een verhaal!

"Omringd door geluk of wanhoop
In verdriet of in vreugde
In blijdschap of pijn:
Doe het goede en je zult vrede vinden.
Er is in het leven geen groter geschenk dan vrede,
behalve liefde.
Ik hoop dat je altijd liefde zult kennen." - (Au)Brie- Het rampzalige verhaal van jou en mij. ❤️
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Jessica (Jess Hearts Books).
675 reviews386 followers
February 9, 2012
I’m a big fan of what I’ve come to think of as “Afterlife” books. With what exactly happens after death being the world’s biggest mystery I think that it gives authors artistic licence to really put some imagination into their take on life after death. I found Jess Rothenberg’s version of an afterlife fascinating and thought that it was a brilliant idea for the deceased to have to go through the five stages of grief- Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Sadness and Acceptance- just the same as those they left behind have to in order to move on.

What makes this book stand apart from others in the “Afterlife” genre is that our main character Brie literally dies from a broken heart when her first love Jacob tells her that he doesn’t love her. There’s a real mystery behind the book as to why Jacob broke up with Brie when their relationship seemed so perfect. I loved watching Brie visit her old life and go from seeking revenge on Jacob to slowly coming to understand and accept the reasons why their relationship didn’t work out all whilst struggling with her growing attraction to her new friend and guide to all things afterlife Patrick. Patrick himself is another big mystery to the book, I was so curious to know why he had been in this “in-between” place for so long and what was keeping him from moving on to the other side. The Catastrophic History of You and Me is a book that explores love in all its glorious and devastating forms and is ultimately a unique and quirky romance.

As well as the romance aspect to this book, Brie is also trying to navigate her way and learn the rules of the afterlife as well as trying to tie up loose ends and act as guardian angel to her best friends and family. What really impressed me with this book was Rothenberg’s ability to write a story that is in equal parts as funny and life affirming as it is heart breaking and sad. I loved Brie’s voice and could completely relate to her and the mistakes she makes with love.

I would whole heartedly (cheesy pun totally intended) recommend this book to anyone who’s ever had their heart broken. The Catastrophic History of You and Me is a love story like no other, with a hilarious heroine, and the ultimate disaster romance this is a story of life, death, love and all the glorious things in between at its best.
Profile Image for Nicis.
966 reviews166 followers
January 29, 2013
Probablemente debería decir un 4.5 de 5 por un par de cositas por ahí, pero quiero que se vean las5 estrellitas de todas formas. Este libro se va derechito a mis favoritos.

Sencillo, conmovedor, divertido, romántico, lleno de sorpresas ¡y yo que pensaba en un principio: ahhh ya sé lo que va a pasar! Y NO! No pasó eso, Gosh.

Gracias Jess Rothenberg por darnos esta historia :)
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