ARC Review: You Know Me Well // David Levithan & Nina LaCour

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Title: You Know Me Well
Author(s): Nina LaCour & David Levithan
Publisher: Macmillan 
Availability: out June 2nd


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.


Firstly, I think it's super important to take a moment to appreciate how beautifully Levithan & LaCour's writing styles clicked together. The dual narrative flowed brilliantly, and really helped to build the foundation for an engrossing story with characters you really want to cherish.

Although You Know Me Well is narrated by two members of the LGBTQ community, it's hard to ignore the main focus of the story is the quirky, feel good friendship of Mark and Kate.

'Friends at first sight.'
The book spans a week, following Mark & Kate as they cross paths and overcome normal teen difficulties rather than the usual outlandish quests sometimes found in other YA books, which made a really nice change. The short timespan meant the book flew by, and before I knew it I had finished it in one sitting.  Initially, I was impressed by the way Levithan & LaCour wrote feelings, with gorgeous metaphors and descriptions (that were actually relatable..) but then I realised that actually, all of the writing was fantastic- really encompassing the reality of teenage life beautifully.

A fresh element was the eloquent involvement of slam, or spoken word poetry. Merging poems with the prose of the main narrative in the last few chapters felt effortless, fitting in a way that really helped to develop the emotional tone in parts, which I really felt strengthened my engagement with the characters and kept it fresh.

It's difficult to name other YA books that have incorporated such a range of real life issues without feeling too heavy or 'depressing'. Levithan & LaCour discuss the trials and tribulations of first love, first loss, identity, popularity, and friendship.

Fun, quick, cute and extremely rereadable.
3/5 Stars

Happy Reading xox

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