Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Realistic Fiction
Release Date: June 2nd 2016
Buy The Book: Book Depository
Who knows you well? Your best friend? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? A stranger you meet on a crazy night? No one, really?
Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken. For whatever reason, their paths outside of class have never crossed.
That is until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night. Kate is lost, having just run away from a chance to finally meet the girl she has been in love with from afar. Mark, meanwhile, is in love with his best friend Ryan, who may or may not feel the same way.
When Kate and Mark meet up, little do they know how important they will become to each other -- and how, in a very short time, they will know each other better than any of the people who are supposed to know them more.
Told in alternating points of view by Nina LaCour and David Levithan, the best-selling author of Every Day and co-author of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (with Rachel Cohn) and Will Grayson, Will Grayson (with John Green), You Know Me Well is a deeply honest story about navigating the joys and heartaches of first love, one truth at a time.
Okay, so let me start by shouting from the rooftops that I LOVE THIS BOOK VERY VERY VERY MUCH.
You know when you read a blurb and already you just get the feeling that you’re going to completely love the story? You Know Me Well was one of those books for me. I knew I had to read it, I went in with high expectations, and I really wasn’t disappointed. It’s become one of my favourite reads from this year so far.
This book is a dual narrative and it joins our two main characters, Mark and Kate, on a night out at the very start of Pride Week. The pair have sat next to each other in a class all year but have never spoken to each other before this night. Mark is in love with his best friend, Ryan, and has been for a long time. Katie, or Kate as she prefers to be known, stumbles into the same club as the two boys after her nerves have her running away from a meeting with the girl of her dreams. After she and Mark recognise each other, the pair end up becoming fast friends, and the story follows them throughout the remainder of Pride Week as they try to come to terms with what’s going on in their lives.
I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love these two characters. They’re perfect. Don’t get me started on their friendship, I could talk about them all day, they’re just made for each other. They had me literally crying with laughter at times. It was great to see these two characters who knew nothing about each other simply click straight away without question, and any scene they shared was pure gold.
Kate and Mark both have their own relationship crisis’ going on. Kate has been waiting to meet Violet for a long time. Violet is the cousin of Kate’s best friend and has been the one thought that Kate turns to in order to calm her anxieties about college and her future. But Kate is panicking about finally getting to know her, and her instinct when she panics is to run. Meanwhile Ryan is on his journey to accepting who he is and starts to build a relationship with someone who isn’t Mark, and since Mark is crazy in love with him, he finds it difficult to see Ryan with another guy.
Both of these relationships are very different, but so brilliantly written. Kate is learning how to love whilst Mark is learning how to fall out of it. Both have beautifully touching moments that pulled at the heartstrings for completely different reasons, and I loved getting to see the characters learning to work through their situations.
Whilst this book is packed full of humour, there are definitely some painful punches thrown in. One chapter I could be crying with laughter and then the next I’d be just plain crying. I also have to quickly mention the poems that feature in this story! There are poems read out during one particular scene and oh my gosh, THE EMOTIONS. Truly beautiful.
This is such an honest and poignant story with a wonderful selection of characters to adore. I had so many emotions reading the final few chapters and I was left with a very happy heart. David Levithan and Nina LaCour are a match made in YA heaven and I definitely wouldn’t say no to any further collaborations between them.