Me Since You
by Laura Wiess
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Source: from Publisher via Netgalley
Laura Wiess captures the visceral emotion of a girl’s journey from innocence to devastating loss and, ultimately, to a strange and unexpected kind of understanding—in this beautiful and painfully honest new novel.
Are there any answers when someone you love makes a tragic choice?
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 soul mate 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?
Seriously, how do you start a book review that affected you so much. That each word that it says makes your tear glands release thousands of unshed tears? My answer: I don't know. This is actually the hardest part about book blogging. The reviewing. The reading was piece of cake and the crying was just so much that you're acting with this whole insanity thing inside you that you've kept for so long. You know what? I don't know how to straighten this review. I just think of one scene and what comes next is like the whole story unfolds in front of you.
Meet Rowan Areno. A sixteen-year old girl that has been shielded by her parents about the dark side of life...until that last Friday of March when she cut school for some fun, did the changes in her and her family's life started happening—a stranger setting a crime that changes her life forever. Her life divided into the Before and After, Rowan struggles to live her life searching for answers and desperate to find what has been left before her. She meets Eli, a guy who has seen the the crime together with her father and who has his own coping problem. She sees future together with him but not even Eli can protect her from devastation. Soon, she discovers people grieving differently and love and forgiveness isn't an easy thing to just decide and give.
A few weeks back, I received the email from Netgalley about Gallery letting me read the book so I said "OK. Hey, I'm gonna try reading this one. It looks interesting and I have not read any book from Laura Wiess." So it began. At first it was confusing so I re-read the first few parts and got on the ride and my journey began. The first few chapters were light to read. It was like the normal strictly-risen child gets tired of what her parents want for her safety and started doing this and that. Very normal. And then it gets better and better and you'll just find yourself gripping cushions and your devices tighter as you cajole yourself into reading one more chapter. Every page is as riveting and poignant as it gets. It's so powerful that you want to just finish it move on and forget. But what happened to me was unlike it.
You know that one moment, or one night in prom you get to kiss the guy of your dreams then the next day, it's like all of the Gods and Goddesses talked about taking that one person you loved the most? It's hard right? Like, you shouldn't have kissed that boy and just spend that one night with the one person you really cared about. How can something so happy easily turn out so bad? The more you think and read the harder it is to breathe. Dealing with suicides and all that crazy stuff isn't fun and I just get to experience it with this book. Like one moment, you're already recovering but then you hear a song that really resembles a piece of the story and the feels resurfaces again. That's just really uncomfortable and you just wanna cry because that's what you felt and it's like happening in front of you again.
That's how I have felt. It was so devastating that I felt like I was also in the picture together with Row. Like, the whole story happened before my eyes, that I've seen how Corey taken over his life by jumping over the overpass and that killed himself and his baby, how each one of them mourned. How being a part of a family who has someone who died recently of a suicide feel like or live like, even. It's surreal.
*spoiler alert!! You can skip this part if you want*
The last entry that Rowan has written struck me the most. She was casually taking to her dad about how he should relax, rest in peace. You know, I just couldn't stop from crying when I read that part. It was the happiest part that I've read and I felt really really weird because the crying part there was of bliss. You exactly knew that she's going to forgive him. And the acceptance. The note from the uniform was really unexpected because all throughout the story I thought there was none. And I just choked from crying when she found the letter and wow. The endless emotions of how surprised she was to find that letter, to crying because Rowan knew his dad to well to leave them a letter, and to reading the letter and just let the tears flow. Rowan was loved by her parents. And I get to witness it. Through good times and bad times, they were always there. And that love that they wanted her to feel was unconditional. It's emotional and tragic, but every dark cloud has a silver lining. After every rain is a rainbow. Just that it ended doesn't mean it's doomsday for you. There's more to hope than crying and grieving. Some might feel they just want to give up. Some wants to move on and just forget. But what Rowan wants is to move on and never forget.
This tragically beautiful novel is one of Laura Wiess's best yet. You'll get to learn so many things in life. How you can craft and choose your sorrow, grievance, and acceptance. Me Since You is a poignant and beautiful novel. It's a beautiful heart-ache that will totally move you.
I'm in love with this book! Definitely a must-read!
Labels: Book Review, Contemporary, Favorites, Laura Wiess, Netgalley, Suicide, Young Adult