Title: Me Since You
Author: Laura Weiss
Publisher: MTV Books
Publication Date: 2-18-14
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: ARC provided by publisher in exchange for honest review
If [Rowan] 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?
Wow. This book tore me apart. I was not expecting to become so emotionally invested in this story, but after reading about 20% of it, I couldn’t put it down. I became so connected to the characters in this story, especially to Rowan, the main character. One day, completely unexpectedly, a stranger commits an act that initiates an irrevocable chain of events that will forever impact Rowan’s and her family’s lives. Me Since You came out of nowhere and ripped my heart to pieces. In particular because of certain events in my own life that are currently happening, I was able to connect so fiercely with Rowan and her story, and I even almost cried. Blurry eyed, I somehow managed to finish this book and ended it feeling emotionally and physically drained, like I’d somehow experienced all of these events myself.
But this isn’t only a depressing story that will make you feel beyond all reason…it’s also a heartwarming tale of growing up, family bonds, and finding friendship and happiness even amidst the worst times of your life. Rowan’s struggles were so real to me. Weiss was able to so accurately portray Rowan’s feelings and relationships in a way that allowed me to become extremely engrossed in the story. Rowan isn’t perfect, and she recognizes that, but her fight to be the person she wants to be is so relatable and made me want to root for her. She goes through things that she should never have to go through at that age, and somehow comes out on the other side alive.
I loved how Weiss was able to incorporate a little bit of romance into this story, but not make it the focus of the book. Rowan has an adorable love interest, but he’s only a small part of Rowan’s journey, and I really appreciated that. I also liked how the ending was bittersweet. In keeping with the realistic nature of the novel itself, the story doesn’t end completely happily, but it gets wrapped up in a satisfying way that, while a little sad, is also a little bit sweet and hopeful as well.
Ultimately, I would highly recommend this book to any fans of dark contemporaries that deal with the issues of mental health and family relationships. I am such a fan of this book, and very much anticipate reading more from this author.