You Know Me Well
by Nina LaCour
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, You Know Me Well is a story about navigating the joys and heartaches of first love, one truth at a time.
3 of 5 Stars
I’m really back and forth with this book. I thought the romance and heartbreak were adorable in some ways but sort of irritating in others. Mark is completely in love with his best friend which on a surface level is adorable and I empathized greatly with his angst. I was also a little disturbed with some of his behavior and general thought patterns, though. Often it felt like he was playing the victim in some tragedy when honestly, that just wasn’t the case. I found myself kind of wanting to shake him but also understanding since how often to women put themselves in the same exact predicaments that he found himself? I’m not sure if I’d have been just as annoyed if he’d been the standard female character in this role. I’d like to think yes, but.. perhaps not.
I went through some of the same back and forth issues with Kate. First I never really bought into this side of the romance since I can’t imagine just instantly falling in love with someone I’ve never met and have only heard about through others. The instant attraction that she experiences just didn’t seem realistic to me though it was incredibly adorable. I also really connected with her due to her artwork.
Some things never even remotely worked for me at all, however. The biggest being Mark and Kate’s instant deep and emotional friendship. The entire book takes place in a relatively short amount of time, which in itself didn’t seem quite right. It’s just unrealistic to go from only knowing someone in passing to being BFF’s in the span of a week. Also on that note, Kate has really crappy friends prior to meeting Mark. Lehna is demanding, bossy, judgmental, and pretty much all of the things I wouldn’t want in a best friend. I never really saw that much of a different side to her than this so it was hard to understand why they were friends, to begin with.
Even though I had a number of issues with the story it was a lovely read. I don’t go for a lot of contemporary but have been trying to expand and diversify my reading so the LGBT aspect of the book really drew me in. If you are a fan of young adult contemporary romance and are looking for a fun and easy read I highly recommend this.
Big thanks to St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.