Title: The Catastrophic History of You and Me
Author: Jess Rothenberg
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: Purchased (Hardcover)
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.
With Patrick’s help, Brie will have to pass through the five stages of grief before she’s ready to move on. But how do you begin again, when your heart is still in pieces?
Where do I even begin with this book? The Catastrophic History of You and Me was a book I picked up at Chapters on their discount table. I shop the discount table QUITE often and this one captured my eye because of the gorgeous cover AND because of the blurb by Lauren Oliver on the front. I’m a huge fan of Lauren’s so any kind of praise from her means a book HAS to be good.
Actually, as I read this book, I was surprised at how much it reminded me of Lauren’s Before I Fall, not so much in what was going on, but in the actions of the main character. Brie has died and has to go through the different stages of grief before she can move on. It really reminded me of Samantha’s character in Before I Fall where she had a LOT of growing up to do and seemed to improve as the book went on.
This was such a heartbreaking read — literally. To die of a broken heart and have to not only try to move on but also try to fit together the pieces of your own death, and your own life, to see what really happened, was quite the journey for Brie. I loved everyone she met (oh gosh – Patrick!) and really enjoyed the mix of humour and sadness throughout the story. I had a few things in my mind of how I though the story would go, but was happy that Rothenberg surprised me each and every time.
I also really enjoyed the world that we get to experience. It was kind of reminiscent of Dead Like Me, but without all the soul reaping. Instead it would be like George (from Dead Like Me) trying to really uncover the mystery that surrounded her death and not becoming a grim reaper. It was interesting to be in the world of the afterlife, but still get to see some of the experiences that Brie had gone through in her life. I also really loved how the book was laid out, with song lyrics for the chapter titles — I think there were only a few that I didn’t get, but they really did fit with the theme of the story.
A definite unputdownable book, The Catastrophic History of You and Me is perfect for readers who want something a little different. Perfect for fans of Lauren Oliver or Hannah Harrington, in my opinion. And since this is Rothenberg’s debut novel, I’m happy to look forward to reading more from her in the future!