Author: Laura Wiess
My rating: 3.5 to 4 of 5 stars
Bookshelf: Realistic fiction
3.5 to 4 stars
I love it when a single voice tells me so many stories.
As I lay thinking about at night, Me Since You made infinitely sad. Depression can be really scary. And worse is, seeing your parents break down; seeing your father cry and your mother hopeless. The past winter was really tough for me and my family- depression like this, for differing reasons, at varying levels with the the weather which couldn’t be counted on since it was raining the whole goddamn time. That was why the first half of the book got me so, call me heartless but the second half- the grieving and wake of loss didn’t get to me as much as depression did.
The blurb for the book says it’s divided into two parts: Before Rowan skips school, After Rowan skips school. It is entirely incorrect. Me Since You is indeed a discided story, but in a different contest. The first half deals with depression, and the ensuing hopelessness, rue and impatience. When it seems like the rains of sorrow are on the horizon, might encroach any moment but all everyone else- including Rowan and her mom- want is for her father to fucking get up and get on. Because it’s unbearable, watching your pillar waste away one huge chunk by another; because it seems contagious, if they don’t remove it from the roots at once, it might catch with the whole of them; because people in naivete can be so goddamn piqued and resentful when nothing seems to work; nobody wants to feel useless. I thought this part was really poignant and unfeigned; it’s the reason behind all the four stars I wanna give to Me Since You. Outside of the terrible atmosphere at home, Rowan is spurned and shunned by most everyone she knew; everyone she knew has an opinion of her father because he’s a cop and because they’re ignorant and judgmental and everyone thinks they can be the superhero. When they have no one, when they can’t believe that it’s simply a shitty world where a loving, young father jumps off a bridge with his infant son to save from the aforementioned shitty world, they have trouble accepting that they’re the reason that drove the man into committing to eternal sleep; so they point the finger, look for a scapegoat, engage in words that cut and actions that lead to questioning the virtuosity of a man- the police officer at scene- who has devoted his life to serving and protecting with honor and valor, with no thoughts as to the impact on other people; so they propagate the shittiness that started it all, and they’re completely fucking unable to see that. How can they fucking not see that they’re only adding to the misery her father already breathes in.
Fuckers. I hate the ‘they’ people; always have, the people who judge, the people who peep, the people who gossip in damaging ways. The ‘they’ people my parents warn me about: what will they think? what is they hear?
Go fuck the they people. Douchewads.
But there’s still hope, right? Rowan believes so. She plans and tries very hard to be happy; sometimes she manages and other times she improvises and has the best time of her life.
The second half is really about moving on yourself; being angry at others for moving on, being unable to accept. Watching for headlights in the fog, where it’s a fucking ghost town. And people still have got things to say, after her father’s very, very dead. My favorite aspect this time round was the relationship between Rowan and her mom; while she wasn’t ignored in the first half, this is where we really get to know her. Know her as a widow, as someone whose dreams of forever are snatched away, as she goes through the motions perfunctorily, and later on, when she doesn’t. Rowan’s own grief was believable but the fact, this potion was about healing and moving on, and before all that, suffering. Even in Rowan’s voice, been there, read that. Seems callous, but really, this step of the story has been done to… undeath? Which is another concept done to…undeath. Each unhappy family might be unhappy in its own way, but this pain- this loss has a feel that is universal.
Yet there were things that got to me- Rowans’ anger, her mother’s. Lack of goodbyes and all that. Grieving for this family was a slow process, and numbness was slow to peel away but abrupt too.
The writing was plaintive and very beautiful- except the one time it got sorta corny:
Home is the loneliest place in the world, with the exception of my heart.
And yet it’s the only place I belong.
I really liked Rowan’s voice- especially in the first half, which, I think, is the right time to get to know her. How she fumbles, blushes, panics at stupid things- her thought processes were familiar, not in the way that I’ve read it before, instead I think I mighta sorta think like that. I remember this one scene when Eli- another character, her age, romantic interest- comes into her place of work, and all the thoughts that ensue. It was quite funny.
Then there was the best friend: I said I hate judgmental people, I don’t particularly hate bad friends or people who are mean, because everyone has a story. But fucking dammit! She takes the cake for worst friend ever, and I have no clue why Rowan would be with her- mayhap it’s the childhood bonding, she can’ let go, whatever. Friends are supposed to support you, not tell that they don’t want to talk about it and then (probably, I can’t remember) go gossip about it; or be so self-absorbed, so fucking oblivious she can’t see when party she’s dragged her to talks shit about Rowan or her father, or pretends not to and hates Rowan for not even trying. AND later on, tells Rowan to speed-grieve. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCKITY FUCKING FUCK?
I don’t usually want to strangle characters- if they’re so bad, they’re SO fucking not worth me trying to wish ’em outta the book in order to strangle them. BUT this girl- this so-called, self righteous friend- can I have a license to kill, please?
Another thing that bothered me was the discovery of goodbye notes; too convenient and it seemed the lingering grief was dropped with the swish of hand, snapping of fingers. Me no believe nor like.
In conclusion, I’m conflicted about the rating, depending on my mood but I think you guys might like Me Since You, too. 🙂
On the side: I really don’t like the cover. The model seems too composed.
Thank you Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books!