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Monday, May 6, 2013

Deidra Reviews The Catastrophic History of You and Me

Author:  Jess Rothenberg
Release Date: February 21, 2012
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers
Pages: 375
Format: ARC

*Special thanks to ARCycling for the book!*
Summary:  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.
My Favorite Lines:
“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.”

“Love is no game. People cut their ears off over this stuff. People jump off the Eiffel Tower and sell all their possessions and move to Alaska to live with the grizzly bears, and then they get eaten and nobody hears them when they scream for help. That’s right. Falling in love is pretty much the same thing as being eaten alive by a grizzly bear.” 
Why I Loved It: Brie (like the cheese) is a typical teenager.  More like a typical teenage girl.  She has what appears to be the perfect life.  Dying puts a whole new perspective on things though.  Especially when you die from a broken heart.  Literally *with actual correct usage of the word*.  The thing is that life is never as it appears, and people can always seem to fake their way through a lot of things for a lot of people.  Brie learns this... even if it was the hard way at times.

Despite the whole death thing, the book was light, filled with humor that be found among many girls.  When she dies, Brie watches her memorial service and funeral.  She then finds herself in A Little Slice of Heaven, a.k.a. the best pizza on the West Coast.  Inside the pizza shop is a boy named Patrick, gorgeous and perfectly annoying *but a bit pretty much perfect too*.  I truly loved Patrick in the story.  He continued to surprise me time and time again, and he really loved Brie.  So much so that he was willing to sacrifice himself for her.  That's rare.  I fell head over heels for him as I read.  also, Brie's best friends in life were also pretty awesome.  Sadie is the only one that gets a lot of character development, but all of them got enough for me to want to hang out with them.

For a debut, I found the story to be quite good, quirky, even if the ending was a bit weird.  There are moments in the book where the writing is breathtakingly beautiful.  I can see Ms. Rothenberg getting better and better!  

Low Points:  The ending was kind of strange for me, but I saw a lot of people's reviews that loved it.  At times, Brie really drove me crazy, verging on annoying me.  Sometimes that just happens for me when I read books whose main target audience is teenagers.  

High Points:  The romance between Brie and Patrick is beautiful, missing that "lust" at first sight business.  I love how the book takes perspective and just twists and then twists it again.  It was an interesting way to show how perspective affects our lives.  The book also shows a lot of relationships, with strengths and weaknesses both in family and friends.  The insight into the grieving process was interesting too.

Who Should Read It:  I recommend to people who like Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver and other ghosty stories with light humor.  I think it was more a focus on contemporary than paranormal.
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