Cassandra {semi-hiatus}'s Reviews > You Know Me Well

You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour
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"And we step off the curb, all of us together, as if to say, Here we come- through hard days and good ones, through despair and through exhilaration, in love and out of love, for just now or for forever. Here we come. It's out parade."

As made clear by the four star rating, I love this. It's exactly what I expected, maybe even better. Usually Levithan novels deal with deep and even dark topics without lowering the general mood of the novel. this one did that very well. I'm definitely going to look into Nina LaCour's books as well, because while her style and his weaved together seamlessly, plot-wise you could see both of their influences.

A lot of people were put off by the "insta-friends" situation. In the beginning, I as on board with the critics. Finding someone you know at Pride and then becoming instant besties sounds a bit unrealistic. But thinking through the ways I've met some of my closest friends, I realize that is how some of us form bonds. Especially in a situation like Pride week. Finding someone you can confide in, party with at night, has no chance of ruining the friendship by falling in love with you, and lives close by? I would latch on too. But I do see how some people were bothered by it. I just personally found it a believable miracle.

Even though this novel had a bunch of romances, they shared the same amount of spotlight time as the friendships, which I thought was huge. I loved the way Lehna and Kate's friendship was portrayed; because people grow apart, and while they can grow back together, sometimes they don't. Ryan and Mark's issues were so realistic it hurt. I've watched so many people fall in love with a best friend who will never feel the same way, and while yes, we've seen it a million times, I liked how it wasn't the typical "straight friend will never be gay for me problem."

I loved Kate and Violet as a couple. It was both hilarious, and just adorable to watch these two try to transition from pen pals to girlfriends. But I will not deny it, Mark and Kate's friendship was a really big part of this book, and so due to that, I loved it with just as much, if not maybe a bit more, than the romances. As was said in this book, but I can't find the exact quote so bare with me, friendship is harder than romance. There's no sex or kissing, just two people who love each other in a way not fueled by hormones.

Usually poetry in novels annoys me. Half of the time it's just poorly written since the author themselves isn't a poet, and the other half of the time it just doesn't impress me. This book gained a star from it's poetry slam. The depth it provided to Ryan's character was surreal, because until then, he had really just been "that guy Mark is in love with." The poetry reading provided him with characterization that wasn't manipulated through someone else's memory.

The other aspect of the poetry reading that jolted me was Quinn's poem and the characterization it provided an otherwise cliche, and stereotypical side character. I actually struggled to not cry during that scene, because like the characters, I had jumped to conclusions and judged without knowing anything about him. I really hope that like with Tiny Cooper from Will Grayson, Will Grayson, he gets a solo novel. I don't know; I just really hope I get to learn more about his character.

If you love feel good novels with depth, and lots of adorable characters, this is absolutely for you. Especially if you've read and enjoyed something by the authors before. This book was just good. :)
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Reading Progress

November 30, 2015 – Shelved
November 30, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
June 12, 2016 – Started Reading
June 12, 2016 –
page 0
0.0% "Dazzle me, David Levithan, dazzle me!"
June 14, 2016 –
page 91
36.69% "I just love his books. I feel like an addict who has been clean, and now that I've given in to my vice, I have no intent of being clean ever again."
June 15, 2016 –
page 171
68.95% "Kate: Why can't you understand if you keep this up you're going to lose her? Mark: Bro, you're hot, and adorable. Ryan is great, but there are so many other little gay fishes in the world :)"
June 15, 2016 – Shelved as: bromantic
June 15, 2016 – Shelved as: realistic
June 15, 2016 – Shelved as: real-problems
June 15, 2016 – Shelved as: lgbtqia
June 15, 2016 – Shelved as: favorites
June 15, 2016 – Shelved as: reads-of-2016
June 15, 2016 – Shelved as: deep-stuff
June 15, 2016 – Shelved as: romance
June 15, 2016 – Shelved as: young-adult
June 15, 2016 – Finished Reading

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