Author : Jess Rothenberg
Publication date : February 21th 2012
Publisher : Penguin Young Readers Group
Genre : YA Contemporary – Paranormal (ish?)
Synopsis : 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? (From Goodreads)
“No matter how much you think you know a person – No matter how pretty they are, or how together they act, or how popular they seem – you can never know what their lives are like. Not unless you ask them. Not unless you’re listening.”
I picked up this book expecting a cute fluffy funny read, little did I know how wrong I was, or how much it would make me feel. Don’t get me wrong, it IS funny, it IS cute, but it is so much more. It deals with loss, betrayal, grief and all its stages and most of all: Forgiveness.
So, Brie (The protagonist) was leading a perfect life. With the perfect family. The perfect little group of friends. The perfect boyfriend. Until the day he breaks up with her and she dies of a broken heart. Her heart literally splits in half. That is when she goes to “her little slice of heaven” where she has to deal with all these feelings coming at the different stages of grief: Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Sadness. Acceptance. With the help of Patrick, this mysterious 80’s kid we know nothing about, she tries to overcome them and get her little revenge.
The book is written from Brie’s point of view, in the first person. In the beginning, I thought “Oh no! I feel like the writing style is a little too teenager like” too many forced jokes, overuse of “totally” and “like” but few pages on, I understood that that wasn’t really the writing style. The author was showing how the main character was just coping with her own death by joking around rather than facing her feelings (1.Denial). As the book goes on, and that fades away we see a whole other person. I really really liked her, even though I disliked her (A LOT) at times and wanted to slap her because she was selfish and her decision-making skills were very questionnable, but still the character growth she experienced was impressive.
Then comes Patrick. I fell in love with him immediately. But she didn’t, which I was SO grateful for. I was really scared that this was going to be another insta-love situation. I saw their relationship evolve before my eyes (So to speak) and I loved it a lot. They first built a solid friendship and THEN fell in love (Not exactly, but I can’t tell you why without spoiling). And he was there for her through everything, listening to her, comforting her, helping her to sort her feelings out even when she didn’t want him to.
Other than that, we got to see her bestfriends grieving and figuring out how to go on with that huge hole that she left, her family falling apart, her ex-boyfriend drowning in guilt.
This was a beautiful read. It delivered so much more than I expected, it read really fast even when nothing exciting was happening, and I felt like it read like a movie if that makes any sense. It had a massive twist, really huge. But at the end everything wrapped up perfectly.
One last thing I really liked, the cover is very accurate with the purple dress (That she was buried in) and the Golden Gate bridge in the background which you’ll know the meaning of when you’ll read the book (because it’s not a matter of IF but of WHEN).
Side note: As I was finishing this post my laptop froze and restarted so I had a little freak-out fearing that this whole review was gone but luckily it wasn’t haha!
That’s it until next time.
Did you read The Catastrophic History of You and Me ? If so, what did you think of it?
Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.
Follow me on social media :