Goodreads   Amazon

Simply put, this book made me happy.  Most of the essays made me smile.  A number of them made me laugh out loud.  I devoured this book over just a few hours.  It’s written in a very accessible way, and I never felt that I was missing out if I hadn’t seen a particular sketch or movie that she was talking about.

Honestly, it’s exactly what I’d expect given what I know about Amy Poehler.

Final rating: 

★★★★☆

For my 2016 reading challenge, I’m crossing off #28: a book written by a comedian.

ARC review: You Know Me Well by David Levithan & Nina LaCour

You Know Me Well by David Levithan & Nina LaCour
Rating: ★★★★★
Links: AmazonGoodreads
Publication Date: June 7, 2016
Source: ARC via Netgalley

Who knows you well? Your best friend? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? A stranger you meet on a crazy night? No one, really?

Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken. For whatever reason, their paths outside of class have never crossed.

That is, until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night. Kate is lost, having just run away from a chance to finally meet the girl she has been in love with from afar. Mark, meanwhile, is in love with his best friend Ryan, who may or may not feel the same way.

When Kate and Mark meet up, little do they know how important they will become to each other—and how, in a very short time, they will know each other better than any of the people who are supposed to know them more.

Told in alternating points of view by Nina LaCour and David Levithan, You Know Me Well is a story about navigating the joys and heartaches of first love, one truth at a time.

It’s been eight years since I graduated from high school, but the feeling that David Levithan and Nina LaCour capture in this book, in the last few days of the school year, is exactly what I remember.

Mark is finishing up his junior year of high school, trying to decide whether he wants to let his best friend/often-more-than-a-friend Ryan know that he wants to step firmly into more-than-friends territory. While out at a bar, Ryan dares the usually subdued Mark to compete in an underwear dancing contest. To Ryan’s surprise, Mark obliges. To Mark’s dismay, this does not make Ryan see him as any more of a romantic prospect than he did five minutes ago.

What this does, though, is get the attention of Kate, a senior in Mark’s calculus class. While this could have been disatrous, Mark and Kate actually form a fast friendship, bonding over their mutual love disasters. Kate is in love with her best friend’s cousin, Violet, from afar. The two have never met, never spoken, never even texted, but Kate knows that she’s in love. Her best friend tells her that Violet feels the same way. But for some reason, when it comes time for the two of them to meet, Kate bolts. She runs right into Mark’s underwear dance, and the rest is history.

(Well, not really. This is just the setup for the book. The rest is about 200 pages, featuring Kate’s anxiety at leaving for college, Mark’s very real struggle to accept Ryan’s feelings, and the friendship that builds between these two former strangers over the course of just a few days.)

This book took me right back to my childhood bedroom, a thousand miles from where I am now, both literally and figuratively. It took me back to that feeling of being terrified about my future, excited about moving on but unsure of what would happen to all of my relationships as I moved on to the next chapter in my life.

This book is coming-of-age at its best, when you’re forming new friendships while trying not to leave the old ones behind. When you want desperately for things to stay the same, but you’re also ready for a change. When you struggle with staying in your familiar friendship, or letting your friend know that you’ve developed more-than-friendly feelings for them. It perfectly encapsulates that feeling of growing up and having to make all these decisions and not knowing which one is right.

I can’t imagine not giving this book five stars. Because this is the David Levithan I remember. This is what kept me reading his books, one right after another, when I was the same age as Mark and Kate. I loved this book so much, and now, please excuse me while I check out all of the David Levithan and Nina LaCour books in my library.

A big thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Griffin for the advance copy!

   Goodreads   Amazon

Everything she felt was right there, splashed across his wide blue eyes: a dash of “what the hell just happened,” mixed with a splash of “holy shit, we really shouldn’t have done that,” and shaken with a double shot of “when can we do it again?”

It was a cocktail for disaster that Kate couldn’t wait to get drunk on, but— ugh, why did there have to be a “but”?

After being sidelined at work for too long, Kate happily accepts the tough job of revamping an old fishing resort in the middle of nowhere. She hopes that her boss will be impressed with her hard work and initiative and reward her with the job of general manager once the resort reopens. The information she was given told her a lot about the history and location of the resort, but nothing about the owner. She never expected it would be her ex-husband

Liam is just how she remembers: charming, funny, good looking, and incredibly frustrating. After playing professional baseball for several years, an injury forced him to take time off. Time off that he’s choosing to spend at his family’s fishing resort. He knew someone was coming in to help with the renovations, but he had no idea it would be his ex-wife.

Luckily, Kate is a professional and doesn’t let her feelings about being left in a Las Vegas motel room and receiving divorce papers by mail get in the way of doing her job. Liam, on the other hand, is less than thrilled with his decision. He knows he made a huge mistake all those years ago, and fully intends to make up for it.

This is my fourth book by Laura Drewry. I think by now I know that I’m pretty much definitely going to enjoy anything that she writes. I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before, and I’m pretty sure I’ll say it again: The best thing about her books is the characters. Every one of them is a living, breathing person with completely unique characteristics. They’re all complete people who don’t rely solely on their partner for their existence.

I (usually) do not like angsty romances, so I was happy to find that this is relatively low on that scale. It has just the right amount to keep things interesting, but not so much that I wanted to bang my head against the wall.

I was also charmed by Liam’s two brothers and their friend Jessie. I hope that all three get their own books in this series.

As always, a great contemporary romance by Laura Drewry.

Final rating: ★★★★☆

Thanks to Netgalley and Loveswept for the ARC!

You know what they say – better late than never.

March 2016

  1. Off the Hook: 257 pages
  2. A Gathering of Shadows: 512 pages
  3. Whatever It Takes, Part 3: 12 pages
  4. The Museum of Extraordinary Things: 384 pages
  5. Yes Please: 329 pages
  6. You Know Me Well: 256 pages
  7. Lust is the Thorn: 246 pages
  8. Where’d You Go, Bernadette: 330 pages
  9. Stars Above: 369 pages
  10. What We Saw: 336 pages
  11. Six of Crows: 465 pages
  12. Me Before You: 385 pages
  13. Medical Terminology Textbook: 728 pages

Total: 4609 pages