Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Teen Review: What becomes of the brokenhearted?

The Catastrophic History of You and Me
by Jess Rothenberg
375 pages
Fantasy/reality
Series: No
Reading level: 8th grade through High School
Reviewed by:
Giselle F., 9th grade

S U M M A R Y :
When her boyfriend says he no longer loves her, Brie, 16, dies of a broken heart. She soon finds herself D&G (dead and gone) and, with the help of the cute lost soul Patrick, she passes through the five stages of grief. Brie soon discovers that things are much more complicated than they seemed in life, as her family begins to fall apart and she discovers the truth behind her boyfriend’s shocking confession.

R E V I E W :
When I first picked up this book I have to admit I was hesitant to read it. The idea of a girl dying of a broken heart seemed really whiny to me. Granted I thought all of this BEFORE I read the book, but now that I have read it I have a different opinion. So if any of you were like me and thought this book would be whiny, give it a shot, because (trust me) it’s about so much more than a girl who died of a broken heart.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was wrong about Brie being a weak person, although I will admit she did get annoying sometimes. I found that she matured a lot through the course of the book. I loved watching her grow from a spiteful girl into a person who had learned to accept the cards she was dealt and made the most of it.

I have to say one of my favorite components of the book was all the plot twists. I have to say I was shocked on multiple occasions. I think the biggest shock was finding out what her “catastrophic history” was, and with whom she shared it, which of course lead to the reason why she died of a broken heart. I’m not gonna mention any of the twists because I don’t want to spoil anything, so I do recommend that you read this book.

I think my favorite character by far in this book was Patrick. I loved his budding romance with Brie. I thought it was cute the way they acted around each other, plus the fact that Patrick was there for her almost the whole time. We find out a lot about Patrick’s past and about his life. I thought that the way he died and why he died was extremely sad, and I couldn't help but want to give Patrick a hug after what he had been through.

All in all, I really enjoyed the book, and was glad that I was proven wrong. I give this book 4 stars.

Editor's note: Here is the author's website, where she has (among other things) a playlist of music that inspired her while she wrote.

And here's the music your editor thought of when she read the plot of this book: The great Jimmy Ruffin... Motown, summer of 1966!

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