A review in 10 words (or thereabouts): "Would you know my name, if I saw you in heaven?"
Author: Jess Rothenberg
Info: Penguin Young Readers Group, copyright 2012, 375 pages
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 SO wanted to like this book. I mean, I really wanted to like it. The chapter titles are song lyrics for goodness sakes...one of my favorite guilty pleasure book elements. But I didn't like the book. I didn't hate it. It didn't make me angry or bitter. It just wasn't very good. Which I hate...and I would love for you to read The Catastrophic History of You and Me and prove me wrong, because I REALLY wanted to like this book.
Did I mention the song lyric chapter titles? There are also a great number of cheese related jokes and nicknames which, quite frankly, is pure awesome. Because cheese is amazing. Especially a nice sharp cheddar. But I'm getting off point.
The Not So Awesome
I know the author was trying for something very particular here, but she just didn't pull it off. The book was a bit of a mess. The main character, Brie, wasn't very likable, the plot skipped around, there was incessant whining, bad cliched teen moments, and a twist that was borderline ridiculous. I just didn't care, and for a book about death and acceptance, I feel like I really should have cared at some point.
As I'm looking back what I've written so far, I feel this review is very harsh. Rothenberg isn't a bad writer. I just think she was trying to pull too much off, have too much going on that book kind of fell a part for me. Maybe the focus should have been on one thing in particular and not a slathering of things that didn't really seem to go together.