Thursday, February 13, 2014

Review: Me Since You by Laura Wiess

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Review: Me Since You by Laura Wiess
Me Since You
Laura Wiess
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Publication date: February 18th 2014
by MTV Books

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?
-A copy was provided by Simon & Schuster for review-

A sad but moving novel; Me Since You is a difficult, yet eye opening journey into the deep, dark abyss of grief.

It doesn’t start out as an emotional train wreck, though, which is something I really appreciated. We get introduced to Rowan as a normal teenager. We see her living a normal life, with the angst and risk that come with teenage antics. There’s also some romance involved that’s refreshingly cute and full of the new-relationship happiness and hope. The tragedy itself only occurs past a quarter through, giving us the opportunity to truly grasp the monumental change that happens to Rowan, the before and after. I loved that we got to know her as a person before she’s stricken by pain. This allows us time to connect with her in a way that makes us thoroughly feel and understand her pain.

Once the worst happens, Rowan finds herself in a pit of despair and drags us right along with her. We fight through the stages of grief, we battle what no one else seems to understand. Rowan’s friends and neighbors don’t get how she can’t just move on already, especially after months. This is not so we despise the people around her (even though I did, kinda), it’s so that we can see how a situation like this is looked at from the outside; how people really don’t know what it’s like unless they’ve been through it. It’s really an eye opener. We all know grief, but its impact is not truly accepted unless it’s yours.

This story also touches on the ripple effect of our decisions. Even if you’d give anything to change the past, every action, every regret, has some good come out of it. This book is not only sadness and misery. Don’t avoid reading it because you think it will be nothing but torture on your heart. Yes, there’s anguish, but it’s also about learning to move on, about finding light in the darkness. The character growth in itself is amazing. Then there are some great family bonding moments, new experiences, rekindling romance, even cats and dogs, all giving a bit of light to this bleakness, showing us that no matter how far down you’ve been pushed, there is always going to be a way up.

Me Since You is an incredible story about conquering grief. It makes you understand its consequences and power, and may even help you through your own dark times.

4 Stars
4 Hot Espressos

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.
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33 Responses to “Review: Me Since You by Laura Wiess”

  1. Nick @ Nick's Book Blog

    I will admit that I didn’t think the book would be this beautiful, but everyone has been raving on and on about it. It sounds like such a sad and at the same time hopeful story. I’m going to have to give this a try.
    Lovely review, Giselle.

  2. Mary @ BookSwarm

    I appreciate that the story didn’t start out as an emotional overload, though it’s almost worse that you get to know the MC well before — and the fallout of after. It sounds like I’d be crying through a lot of this story!

  3. Wendy Darling

    This sounds like such an intense read. I am pretty suspicious of books with so many “issues,” but I recently read Keertana’s review and she praised it for its depth and feeling as well. Thanks for pointing out the thing about the ripple effect as well, I always think that’s such an important part of major life events that doesn’t always get addressed in YA, and it tells me that this book is probably more well-rounded than most.

    I’ll have to be in the right mood to read it, though. I’m not sure I can take anything too emotionally wrenching right now. BUT AS SOON AS I AM.

  4. Mel@thedailyprophecy

    I like that you can see the contrast between how she was and how she is after the impact. It make it sound even more intense. I’ve found out that ‘darker’ contemporary books that deal with emotional situations do work for me, so I’m definitely interested to give it a try.

  5. Vi

    Oh, this sounds pretty interesting. I haven’t read an emotional read in a long time and it sounds like this was done well. I’ll have to add it to the list. Great review!

  6. Candace

    I think this might be kind of eye opening but I’m afraid I might get a bit depressed reading it. I don’t think that’s a good excuse though, we can’t go through life avoiding things that are sad. It’s just important to read it at the right time. I hadn’t read a review of this one yet, so thank you for bringing it to my attention!

  7. Siiri

    “I loved that we got to know her as a person before she’s stricken by pain. ” OH YES, PLEASE! I hate the big ole’ “I’m so broken and I can’t tell you until 60% of the novel is through” plot *eyeroll* I’m glad you enjoyed the romance:) I love inspirational novels so this is definitely on my radar now. Thanks for sharing, Giselle! 😉

  8. Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain

    I totally agree, I absolutely loved this one! The fact that it explores moving on from such a traumatic event is definitely an interesting concept to cover, and also how tragic Rowan’s grief is. I was crying so much during this one, and I especially hated how people kept telling her to grow up and move on, like you said. Fantastic review, Giselle! <33 Glad you liked this one!

  9. Sam @ Realm of Fiction

    I’m glad that this has moments of lightness to it, as I can’t always find the energy to put myself through stories about grief or despair. And I like the sound of the start – that you get to connect with the character before the emotional stuff really kicks in. I haven’t heard much about this book, but thanks for putting it on my radar. Lovely review, Giselle! 🙂

  10. Lily B

    Sounds like something I would really enjoy if I was in the right kind of mood 🙁 hopefully maybe a couple of months from now I will give this one a shot.

  11. Alexa S.

    Reading about a character who goes through a traumatic event is always incredibly difficult for me, as it can either be really moving or fall flat in execution. Me Since You sounds really good though, and I’m glad to see that it really moved you.

  12. kimbacaffeinate

    While this isn’t a genre I have had much success in, I love that the author chose to show the character before, during and after. I imagine it made her loss and actions more powerful. This sounds wonderful and I am glad you found it satisfying. Great review Giselle.

  13. Heather @ Buried in Books

    You have a more positive view of this book than most of the reviews I’ve read, but then everyone goes into it with their own experiences that have already shaped their opinions. I’m just not sure about this one. It hits a little close to home for me. But there is maybe a lesson I could learn from it about that ripple effect your wrote about. I mean we all know that, but sometimes, it takes a book showing it to you to make it really sink in. Very insightful review. Thanks!

    • Giselle

      Oh yeah? We must have very different list of readers on Goodreads etc – I’ve seen nothing but great reviews on this one and my GR feed has been full of 4-5 stars. But I hope you fall into the positive side if you do give it a try! 🙂

  14. Henrietta

    I thought this would be really grim and filled with despair but it sounds like there were moments that were heartwarming and uplifting. Thanks for letting us know your thoughts, Giselle!

  15. Melliane

    it sounds like an intense story. I just read a book like that and I loved it. But I don’t think it was that emotional. And I think I could love this one, even if it must be difficult. LOL I think I would need to read it during a joyous moment.

  16. Rashika

    Your psychic skills are scary .-.

    I am intrigued by this book after reading your review. It’s been going around a lot but I didn’t actual bother to find out more. And I might have actually skipped it because of potential heartbreak (I am delicate 😛 :P). The idea of seeing a character as a normal teenager before tragedy strikes is appealing since it is a rare occurrence. I cannot actually think of one off the top of my head although I am sure I read one at some point!

    Great Review, Giselle! 🙂

  17. AH@badassbookreviews

    Glad you enjoyed it. I was not as enthusiastic about this book, perhaps because it’s a genre that I don’t usually read. I read to escape, so for me the book was a bit heavy and depressing. It is well written and most people should enjoy it.
    Nice review!

  18. April

    I liked this one. I ended up rating it only 3 stars though just because it was so sad and depressing I didn’t want to pick it up most times. It was beautifully written though. 🙂