Friday, 6 May 2016

Review: You Know Me Well: A Novel

You Know Me Well: A Novel You Know Me Well: A Novel by David Levithan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don't normally go for 'friends' books - usually I'm all about the romance. And although I'm Bi, I don't read LGBT books that often. Something about You Know Me Well spoke to me though. I don't know why - I'm most definitely not a teen living in San Fransisco. I'm a late-thirties woman living in rural England. But it made me wish I was a teen living in SF. I grew up in a very straight town, at a very conservative school, with no queer friends. I can't even imagine how freeing it must be to grow up in a place like SF, to have openly out people around you, to have the option of friends who know exactly how you feel. So for me, You Know Me Well was like the ultimate fantasy. And because it's David Levithan, it was so enjoyable to read on so many levels.

There's a certain whimsy to it, in between the very real issues that are dealt with, a joyfulness and a definite journey that we're lead on. Everything happens in a very short space of time, but the events are so big, so definitive, that it's fuller than many stories that take place over a whole lifetime. There's also questioning - of life, of the future, of the present, of love. No matter what age you are, there's always questions to be found, but at the tender age of 18, about to launch yourself on the world, there's a whole lot more.

What I think I loved the most though, was the characters. They feel so, so real. The have real flaws, they talk like real people, they practically jumped out of the page and into my living room. The way they interconnected, the almost visible ropes running from one to another, everything about them ensured I just couldn't put this book down.

You know how sometimes you come across a book, and it just stands out. You can't necessarily put your finger on why, you just fall right into love with it, and it becomes something special to you. This is that book for me. I hope it can be that book for you too.

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