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.
Cover Image and Description both sourced from Goodreads, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27158835-you-know-me-well
Because it has been a long time since a book made me cry as hard as this one did – they were the good type of tears, but my God were there a lot of them!
I feel like a small amount of backstory is necessary here before I give my review; I have mental health issues, which I have been struggling with on and off for almost half of my life, and I was in a somewhat delicate place when I read this book. I picked it up one afternoon for a light read, after obtaining an ARC through my job at a bookshop, and about 4 hours later I was lying in my bathtub (one of my favourite places to read), sobbing my heart out having just finished the book. Once I was out of the bath, I got out a notebook and wrote about 4 pages of notes about just how this book had made me feel, which I have typed out below. While my mental state would have definitely had a part to play in the way this book impacted me, I believe it is an amazing book regardless, and I would highly recommend reading it!
“I picked this book, out of the many unread books on my shelves, because I needed something. Something I couldn’t define or find the words to describe; something I felt within my heart, my soul, and my stomach.
I am not queer. My gender and sexuality are two of the few parts of my life I have never questioned or doubted or mistrusted. And if I had, I honestly believe that the people I care about, the people who make up my foundations, would care little and support a lot. But in the last year my life has changed in unfathomable ways. These changes, and the curve balls that created them, have left me unsure not just of who I am, but of who I want to be. These changes have widened my horizons and opened my eyes to endless possibilities, but they have also taken the ground out from underneath me and left me unsure of where I stand.
In the last few days I have started to feel better; to feel a positivity that has been long missed. I picked this book because I needed to read something that helped to fan the glowing ember of hope I can feel deep inside me, and because I needed it to do so without trivialising or diminishing the struggles I have faced, the struggles that life will always contain.
I picked this book because I needed a reminder that happiness is not found in the absence of fear and darkness, but in the pushing through it. Because I needed a reminder that, although life is hard, it is also wonderful and exciting and good, and that, although it may not always feel like it, it is definitely worth living.
The books that mean the most to me matter as much as they do not just because of the stories they tell, but because of the impact they have had on me at some point in my life. I cannot promise that this book will do for you what it did for me; cannot promise that it will reach into your soul and leave you crying tears of joy and understanding in a bathtub while mascara creates intricate patterns on your cheeks. But I can promise that it will tell you a story full of life and laughter and wonderfully diverse, intricate and relatable characters; a story that, most importantly (at least in my opinion), will leave you with a deep and wonderful sense of hope.”
A beautiful, heart-warming story that instills in it’s readers an incredible sense of hope, without ever trivialising or diminishing the struggles of life or the strength it can take to keep moving forward each and every day.