Saturday 22 March 2014

Book Review - Me Since You

Me Since You
Author: Laura Weiss
Genres: Contemporary | Young Adult, New Adult
Release Date: 18th Febuary 2014
Publishers: MTV Books
No. Pages: 368
Source: Review Copy - MTV Books
Buy From: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Waterstones
Before and After. That's how Rowan Areno sees her life now. Before: she was a normal sixteen-year-old--a little too sheltered by her police officer father and her mother. After: everything she once believed has been destroyed in the wake of a shattering tragedy, and every day is there to be survived.

If she had known, on that Friday in March when she cut school, that a random stranger's shocking crime would have traumatic consequences, she never would have left campus. If the crime video never went viral, maybe she could have saved her mother, grandmother- and herself - from the endless replay of heartache and grief.

Finding a soulmate in Eli, a witness to the crime who is haunted by losses of his own, Rowan begins to see there is no simple, straightforward path to healing wounded hearts. Can she learn to trust, hope, and believe in happiness again?

I remember first seeing and hearing about this book at Xpresso Reads when Giselle reviewed it and talked about how she really enjoyed and it had a really strong message and premise, so when I stumbled across it still available on NetGalley after the release date, I knew it was a sign and snapped it up and put it high on my list to read; I agree with Giselle, it is a powerful book with the ability to make you look at the effects of the ripple, how small the world really is and how a chain of events can have both disastrous and beautiful consequences, but for some reason, it took me over a week to read.

I had made sure to avoid any reviews and spoilers of this book for a while beforehand and by doing so, every plot twist in this book took me completely by surprise. The first, the beginning of everything wasn't as surprising as the others, but it was really shocking and in a very good way; it gripped my attention and from that moment on, I knew it would be a difficult book to read, more because of the features rather than the actual book itself. Weiss' writing was absolutely perfect and I couldn't fault that, or Rowans voice in fact, it was an honest voice where the raw emotions of the situation came out so clearly, I seriously couldn't help but feel a empathetic connection to her. Yet, somehow, I couldn't connect fully to her, whether that be because when she was around her 'best friend' she became a very immature, irresponsible and quite annoying character, or because of what she was going through; I always felt a little disjointed and distanced from her emotions and her feelings, and I do believe that was Weiss intentions; prove how difficult it is for someone not in that situation to understand and feel the same feelings and I really think Weiss hit that nail on the head throughout this book, but I wasn't at all gripped enough at this stage to really appreciate the story.

As the second revelation came about, I knew at that point I was well invested because it hit me with so much surprise and shock, I literally didn't know how to feel. I guess it was at this point when I started to read less and less of it each night because I couldn't relate to it personally and I couldn't fully understand what each of the characters were going through. I do confess, there were times when I thought the book covered unnecessary parts of their lives and I found those parts to drag and be unentertaining, but the scenes between Eli and Rowan really made up for those less gripping parts. The romance itself was a very very slow burn romance, built over time and with an honest connection, two people brought together by their experiences and their understanding of one another and their feelings was just adorable. It didn't become to big of a feature that the story became lost in a wash of kisses and cuddles; it complimented the story and if anything, brought some of the story together and it molded so brilliantly.

After all the events that take place in this story, it's difficult to find words that can encourage and justify why you should read this book, and I don't want to give any of story away, so I won't try to find them. The little snippets of Rowans journal, the emotions she and her other family members, her Mother, her Grandmother, even Stripe go through is so powerful and so relevant, it's hard not to want to love this book. There were times I was extremely angry, and other times I was overwhelmed with feelings of joy and love, but in the end, I found the entire story to be a very poignant one, one that covers the ripple effect, how terrible tragedies can bring people together and tear people apart, how grief and death affects us all, whether we knew these people or not and how even in the darkest of times, the times when we feel there is no way out, there's a small sign of light, of a future and of happiness. Weiss could just be an author I find myself reading again in the future, because her story-telling and writing was beautifully raw and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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