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No and Me

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  8,506 ratings  ·  853 reviews
Lou Bertignac has an IQ of 160 and a good friend in class rebel Lucas. At home her father puts a brave face on things but cries in secret in the bathroom, while her mother rarely speaks and hardly ever leaves the house. To escape this desolate world, Lou goes often to Gare d'Austerlitz to see the big emotions in the smiles and tears of arrival and departure. But there she ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 2nd 2010 by Bloomsbury UK (first published August 22nd 2007)
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Isabelle I did and the BBC contacted me!! I had the honor to ask today my question to Delphine which read: "After reading your gripping book, I read a review…moreI did and the BBC contacted me!! I had the honor to ask today my question to Delphine which read: "After reading your gripping book, I read a review mentioning that Lou was obviously autistic and that she had Asperger's syndrome. This was not so obvious to me since it is never mentioned in the novel. So I was wondering whether this assumption was right and if so, why it is never mentioned." This answer was no! Lou is not autistic, she is only shy and precaucious. Thanks a lot Delphine for your answer which conforted in me in my understanding of Lou.(less)

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Average rating 3.72  · 
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Jim Fonseca
This is a young adult novel, set in Paris and translated from the French. A friendship develops between a 13-year old special ed girl and a young woman (18 years old) who lives on the streets. The latter is Nolwenn, the “No” of the title.


We’re never given a diagnosis in the story but we realize the special ed girl is autistic, and seems to have Asperger’s syndrome. She’s brilliant but stands by herself under a tree at recess; stifles her laughter; whispers in class; is terrified at having to
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
Oct 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Maja (The Nocturnal Library) by: Catie
This summer, I met a young girl from Croatia’s most war-affected city. She came here, on the other side of the country, to live in a trailer and work in a supermarket for very little money. It was just a lousy summer job, but to her, it was more than good enough. When at home, she lives with her father, barely scraping by, both of them unemployed throughout the year because there are no jobs where she comes from. She told me about growing up hungry and going to school with her stomach completely ...more
Feb 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are three people in this story. No, who is homeless, hopeless, untrusting and the natural ally of Luke, the rich and almost-bad boy. Two teenagers together. But he has a crush on Lou, who is years younger, too clever and naive only when it suits the story. And she is more the character used to reveal the story than a truly interesting heroine. The dark secret of the parents is sad, but banal. Their healing, the way they shake themselves off is what people do when they have guests, they ...more
Ahhhh, this book is just CHARMING.

I had no idea what to expect or if No and Me would be my kind of read ~ I really didn't expect to LOVE it as much as I did. It's a really different read to most contemp YA's I've read lately ~ which could be because this is imported and translated from French.

I think this is the kind of book that some people will ABSOLUTELY ADORE and soak up and fall in love with. It may also leave other people scratching their heads and 'just not getting it'

I am in the FALLEN
Sep 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

At just 246 pages, No and Me is a slight book, a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it volume I found tucked in the dusty, unfrequented back shelves, behind a stand of current best-sellers in sparkly foil jackets. I remembered seeing a friend’s review praising the book for it’s charm (*Hi, Nomes!*), and if you’re familiar with my own reviews you’ll know I can’t resist a quiet, moving story. So I hooked it out with a finger – it had obviously been jammed there on the bottom shelf for a while – and brought it
Rating: 4.5 Stars

No and Me is that book that you wish you had a time machine for; the one you want to go back in time and thrust to your young teenage self, begging them to read it because perhaps, if they do, they'll understand life a little better and won't make all the mistakes they will. It's the type of novel that whisks you away into a completely different world, but its prose isn't flowery like that of Laini Taylor; instead, it's a more subtle type of beauty where each and every phrase
Nov 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Catie by: Nomes, Reynje
Shelves: read-in-2012, ya
One of my most vivid memories from childhood is the first time I realized that homelessness is a regularly occurring thing. I think I was about five or six, and as my parents and I were climbing into our old car, a man came up and asked my father for some spare change so he could get something to eat. My father gave him some coins but I was so shocked and devastated. It didn’t seem like enough. Surely this man needed immediate help! When we got home, I went to the plastic jar where I’d been ...more
A poignant tale of longing and belonging.

Have you ever befriended people who live on filthy streets?

Forget that question, have you ever looked at them in the eye?

Do you remember in your Social Science class, the books and the teachers always tell you that everyone is equal?

Do you believe it?

If yes, then why aren't you making friends with the poor? Why aren't you giving them food, clothes and a place to stay? How much can the Services set up by the Government help? There are millions of
Sep 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Do you ever read something you love so much that it immediately makes you want to purchase the author's entire back catalogue? That happened to me with Delphine de Vigan's Based on a True Story. I so adored it that I was inspired to go on a second-hand book-buying spree, ordering copies of all de Vigan's previous novels (well, all that have been translated into English). I decided to read them in chronological order, meaning No and Me came first despite appealing to me the least.

I saw this in a
“How do you find yourself at the age of eighteen out on the streets with nothing and no one? Are we so small, so very small, that the world continues to turn, immensely large, and couldn’t care less where we sleep?”

Four years ago, on my way home one night, I met a girl in the train. She was a kid really, selling cheap jewellery. I was standing by the exit, waiting to get down at the next stop. The train jerked, she dropped her stuff and I helped gather it all up – maybe that’s how we got
Nov 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Nafiza by: Keertana
First, thank you Keertana for recommending this book to me. Your review pushed me to pick it up and I can’t tell you how glad I am that I did so.

I have this fascination with books written in different languages. Mostly because I can’t read them and I am immediately convinced they are troughs full of treasure that are locked to me because of my inability to read them. This is the feeling that drove me to learn English when I was a kid and the same feeling that drove me to learn Korean. I’m still
My very first french book I read by myself. Can't say that I'm not proud. I really liked the story but I didn't like the ending at all.
Eric Boot
Dec 20, 2016 rated it liked it
This book wasn't really bad, but it wasn't good either. I didn't really like the style of writing and the romance was just bad AF. But it was quite eye-opening about being homeless in a big city. Overall 3 stars.

Probably longer review later/
Nov 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Summer by: Rose
”We can send supersonic planes and rockets into space, and identify a criminal from a hair or a tiny flake of skin, and grow a tomato we can keep in the fridge for three weeks without getting a wrinkle, and store millions of pieces of information on a tiny chip. Yet we're capable of letting people die on the streets.”

No and Me reminds me a bit of Friday Brown, Both portray the harsh realities of homelessness, of not belonging, but one, more than the other, is more powerful in its message, and
Oh this book was wonderful.
I’d never actually heard of this book before I read Rey’s gorgeous review of it. I’ve always been curious about YA books from other countries (meaning not The Big Three: USA, Australia and the UK) because they must be out there. I know they’re out there but it’s difficult to find out about them because they never get the time of day which is such a shame because I know we’re missing out on all these beautiful YA books that are being lost in translation.

I’m thinking The
Feb 27, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tina by: Nomes
Shelves: 2011, ebooks, ya, contemporary
Original post at One More Page

I stumbled upon No and Me by Delphine de Vigan from Nomes, who gave it a glowing review on Goodreads. I was looking for a translated book to read for my TwentyEleven Challenge and this seemed like a perfect one, seeing as it was translated from French to English. Plus, I have learned to trust Nomes' taste in YA contemporary books, so I decided that splurging on an ebook of this is worth it.

Lou Bertignac is a smart kid, youngest in class with some OCD tendencies.
Feb 26, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If I could describe this book in one word...

Lou Bertignac is a 13 year old sophmore who doesn't really have any friends. She lives in France. One day she meets No, a homeless girl, and asks to interview her for her school project. Eventually she asks her parents to let No move in with them.

Allow me to repeat myself:
Slow. Slow death...
The writing drove me crazy. It is
Mar 20, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2010
I felt nothing. Have you ever read a book, where you feel no emotions about it. This is what I felt with No and Me. Maybe it's because I don't really comprehend the situation, because I'm to young. Or that where I live, you don't really see any homeless people. Or, I don't know. But I really wanted to have feelings about this story, but it just didn't happen.
I think the problem with this book, is that the character narrates to much. She tells you to much, instead of the author describing it. And
Jul 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: france
de Vigan is a poet of powerlessness; much like Underground Time, No And Me has Parisian characters struggle with the realisation that their life isn't nearly as in their control as society tells them it is - and that it's not necessarily balanced with being able to influence the things they're not supposed to think about. "Me" is Lou, a 13-year-old schoolgirl, precocious and intelligent enough to be bumped up a few classes but still only a kid; "No" is Nolwenn, an 18-year-old homeless girl who ...more
Feb 22, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: terrible
Plot: 1 Star
Characters: 1 Star
Writing: 2 Stars
Ending: 1.5 Star

Overall: 1.4 Stars

I was literally forced to read this book for my school's curriculum.
It did not, whatsoever, spark my interest from the first to the last page.
Totally not my cup of tea.
The book was just dragging on forever; too much unnecessary details.
I don't think I can relate to this book at all.
It was unrealistic in so many ways and was totally confusing.
This book did not benefit anything to improve my knowledge from what the
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I adored this refreshing story about two lonely girls, Lou a thirteen-year-old bright French girl and an eighteen year old homeless No. I always give thought to the plight of the homeless when I am snuggling down for the winter next to my fire and how hard it is for them to gain critical services such as housing. It's a high stress situation and traumatic. The characters in this sweet YA story don’t appear to have a lot in common, except that Lou has a kind and warm home but it is this ...more
Chris Chapman
This book is on my daughter’s A-level French curriculum. I’m very interested in why they chose it. I don’t think it’s great literature, and you could imagine a thousand better choices. On the other hand the story of a 13-year-old highly academically gifted girl on the spectrum, who beriends an older homeless girl, falls in love with an older boy, and fights valiantly against the pressures of conformism, is bound to appeal to A-level readers.
What I struggled with, is that her reflections on life
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jaglvr for

Lou Bertignac is horrified about the thought of having to give a presentation in class. She is two years younger than the rest of her class, having skipped two grades. And that 2-year difference is glaringly obvious to Lou. She is tiny compared to everyone else, and the popular girls, Axelle and Lea, are pretty. And Lucas, at the back of the class, is totally self-assured, even when their teacher is admonishing him.

Lou chooses the topic of homelessness for
Sep 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is one of those books that makes me wish Goodreads had half stars. I don't think No and Me is really a five star book but four stars seems too little. I really enjoyed this one and it had me hooked from the very beginning. The narrator is unusual and believable. She's a thirteen year old who believes she can change the world. No was an interesting character- frustrating but highly intriguing. I thought Lou's parents were very well developed and their behavior felt right and I was able to ...more
Stephanie Forster
This book was incredible. Informative and touching, this book captured my attention easily. The characters were interesting, more complex than you immediately think, and the book was well written. I got completely absorbed into the typical French atmosphere and culture, whilst discovering more about the less desirable aspects of the city that people don't usually talk about. I felt the book was very realistic and has the potential to teach a lot of things about life, not just the homeless.
Adria Cimino
A very touching book with issues that unfortunately are so real. The simple writing style makes the novel an easy read (even in French if it's your second language), but it isn't "easy" emotionally. I found myself quickly attached to the narrator for her will to make the world a better place by saving a young girl from homelessness.
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
what a beautiful written book. honest and real.
Okay so mixed feelings...
To start this is the first book I've managed to read completely in French so I feel super accomplished! However because I'm studying this text there's a mix of over analysis vs I'm so deep into the story and I love it! To be honest I was a bit annoyed about the cliché mess I thought the book would be but it definitely surpassed expectations as we delved in further. BUT THE ENDING WAS NOT SOMETHING I LIKED. (Although I have to say that I could have misread/translated the
Oct 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2010, ebooks
I've seen a lot about this book on all kinds of blogs since it was published and I saw comments on plot, characters, style, cultural references...the list goes on. But nowhere did I see anything about how the novel deals with its key subject matter: homelessness. I'll admit that part of the reason I loved this book so much was that it tackles the issue with sensitivity and understanding and I respect de Vigan so much for this.

I've struggled for some time since I finished this book on Friday
Oct 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Where to begin. If you'd told me that I would be up til the wee hours of the night reading a book about a 13 yr old Parisian girl who befriends an 18 yr old homeless girl, I'd've snorted with laughter. Right in your face.

But this book just pulls you in! Lou is 13 and has known her share of loss and sorrow and carries a burden much too large for her tiny frame. She has a mother who is practically catatonic with depression and a father who spends his waking hours trying to pretend that this is
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Delphine de Vigan is an award-winning French novelist. She has published several novels for adults. Her breakthrough work was the book No et moi (No and Me) that was awarded the Prix des Libraires (The Booksellers' Prize) in France in 2008.

In 2011, she published a novel Rien ne s'oppose a la nuit (Nothing holds back the night) that deals with a family coping with their mother's bipolar disorder.
“My Dad says that we're the meanest to the ones we love because we know they'll still love us.” 73 likes
“People who think that grammar is just a collection of rules and restrictions are wrong. If you get to like it, grammar reveals the hidden meaning of history, hides disorder and abandonment, links things and brings opposites together. Grammar is a wonderful way of organising the world how you'd like it to be.” 53 likes
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