Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Rachel Rambles About The Catastrophic History of You and Me
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?
I adored The Catastrophic History of You and Me with all my heart. It was one of the most beautiful and emotional books I've ever read, and I am so glad I decided to pick it up.
The book started off with the end of Brie's life, and let me tell you, it was pretty emotional. I was reading the beginning of the book in English class (while I was supposed to be doing an assignment, but shhhhh!) and about twenty or so pages in, I started crying. I was not expecting to be so invested in the story so early on, but from the first page, I felt like Brie's story was one I'd known my whole life. Everything about Brie's life seemed so familiar and easy to relate to, and it wasn't hard to get inside her head and see the world from her perspective.
The Catastrophic History of You and Me had a unique and creative version of the afterlife, and there was a great balance between the sort of magical, heaven-like world of the afterlife and the real world Brie had left behind. The story followed Brie as she struggled to accept her death and forgive her family and friends for their actions following her death. Brie's journey throughout the novel as she struggled to get used to her death was complicated, messy, and realistic, and I think I would have handled it the exact same way.
The idea that Brie died of a broken heart is a smart and fresh look at teenage love. The book never seemed like a silly, cheesy (heh, cheese :P) story about how foolish young people act when they're in love. Just because Brie was only sixteen didn't mean that she wasn't really in love and that love wasn't capable of breaking her heart. This book wasn't a little teenage romance. It was a deep, thought-provoking look at how powerful love can truly be, which is both beautiful and terrifying at the same time.
Another thing I loved about this book was that even though it was about the serious topics of death and love and the afterlife, it still managed to be a fun read that made me laugh out loud at several different parts. The banter between Brie and Patrick had me grinning like an idiot half the time, and the other half of the time was spent tearing up at the deep and emotional moments. I laughed just as much as I cried, which is a tough combination to achieve.
I believe I've called this book "beautiful" at least a million times at this point, but I'll say it again: The Catastrophic History of You and Me is beautiful. It's emotional and simple and powerful, and I loved every single page. Also, it had the most cheese-related jokes in any novel I've ever read. So that right there earns it a five-star, A+, would recommend rating from me.