Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Catastrophic History Of You And Me by Jess Rothenberg (Review)

Genre:Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Mystery, Paranormal
Publication.Date  February 21st 2012
Published By:  Penguin Young Adult Readers  | 
WebsiteJess Rothenberg 

Flirting In Italian - Goodreads
My review copy:ARC received from Penguin US in exchange for an honest review
Where to get:

Dying of a broken heart is just the beginning.... Welcome to forever.

BRIE'S LIFE ENDS AT SIXTEEN: Her boyfriend tells her he doesn't love her, and the news breaks her heart—literally.

But now that she's D&G (dead and gone), Brie is about to discover that love is way more complicated than she ever imagined. Back in Half Moon Bay, her family has begun to unravel. Her best friend has been keeping a secret about Jacob, the boy she loved and lost—and the truth behind his shattering betrayal. And then there's Patrick, Brie's mysterious new guide and resident Lost Soul . . . who just might hold the key to her forever after.

With Patrick's help, Brie will have to pass through the five stages of grief before she's ready to move on. But how do you begin again, when your heart is still in pieces? (Goodreads)

“You can obsess and obsess over how things ended- what you did wrong or could have done differently- but there's not much of a point. It's not like it'll change anything. So really, why worry?” 
“No matter how much you think you know a person - no matter how pretty they act, or how popular they seem, you can never know what their lives are really like.”
“War is sweet to those who have never fought”
“Love is no game. People cut their ears off over this stuff. People jump off the Eiffel Tower and sell all their possessions and move to Alaska to live with the grizzly bears, and then they get eaten and nobody hears them when they scream for help. That’s right. Falling in love is pretty much the same thing as being eaten alive by a grizzly bear.”
“News flash, Bozo. Don't ever tell a girl to relax. It only makes us madder.”

     Charming, brilliantly imaginative, and absolutely unputdownable, The Catastrophic History Of You And Me is hands down one of the most genuinely original books I have ever read. This book is deliciously refreshing, full of sparkling new ideas and unforeseeable plot twists. It's sweet. It's touching. It's funny. Above all, though, it's an extremely perceptive book, especially on the complexity of young love, friendship, and revenge. Offering a mesmerizing blend of romance, mystery, drama and paranormal, The Catastrophic History Of You And Me makes for one extremely entertaining and utterly unforgettable read

I didn't know it at the time, but that doctor was wrong.
My heart didn't fail. Someone failed my heart.

     The plot of this wonderfully vibrant and inventive novel centres around sixteen year old Brie and her life, or rather her afterlife. See, Brie is dead. She died while on a date with her beloved boyfriend, Jacob. Her heart broke. The doctors called it a heart failure (or acute congestive cardiomyopathy, to be more precise), but the truth is teenagers don't usually die from heart failure, and neither did Brie. Her heart broke when Jacob told her that he didn't love her. It got severed in "perfect, equal, extraordinary halves". In other words, Jacob - the sweet, caring, supportive and supposedly loving boyfriend - killed her. 

“Turns out, hell's not so much a burning, scalding pit of fire and misery. It's actually much, much worse than that. Hell is when the people you love the most reach right into your soul and rip it out of you. And they do it because they can.” 

     Turns out dying of a broken heart is only the beginning of Brie's many adventures. There's a whole afterlife ahead of her, with many important choices to make. Plus, she is yet to uncover the many shocking secrets related to her death. And if you think dying means the end of her heartbreaks, you'll be surprise to find out just how wrong you are.

     This book was so wonderful! Its was beautiful, compelling, multilayered, and practically impossible to put down. Full of totally eye-popping mysteries, mind-blowing surprises, and characters that, although dead, are in fact more alive than any other characters I've met before, The Catastrophic History Of You And Me is a book like no other out there. I had a fabulous time reading it. I laughed, I cried, I was shocked by some of the plot developments, and - in the end - I was left speechless. When I turned the last page, I was extremely sad, knowing that I won't be meeting any of the fantastic characters again. I felt that something special was coming to an end. It's rare for me to get so emotionally involved with the plot and so clingingly attached to the characters, and considering the fact that it was just one 400-pages-long novel, and not a series, I can't deny the fact that Jess Rothenberg did a phenomenal job with it

     I love when authors slowly build up tension, scattering little clues all throughout the book, keeping you totally absorbed and guessing. I love mysteries that are not only far from obvious, but also absolutely and utterly unpredictable. Most of all, I love well thought-out plot lines, with characters that are authentic, relatable and easy to love. The Catastrophic History of You And Me is all that and more. It's insanely addictive, with a storyline that is sure to satisfy even the pickiest readers. Jess Rothenberg's writing style is beyond excellent. She doesn't just tell the story, she weaves a magic spell, drawing you in with the vividly described settings and people, brilliantly alternating between the enchanting, exhilarating and heavenly, and the dark, eerie and disquieting. On top of everything else, she does a fantastic job keeping you on the edge of your seat, avoiding cliches and exploring paths that have never been explored before. In a genre filled to the brim with wonderful, poignant and fascinating novels, it isn't often that we come across a book that is truly unique and fresh. The Catastrophic History Of You And Me is, however, a book that really stands out. I can honestly say that I was amazed at how inventive it was

“Love is no game. People cut their tears off over this stuff. People jump off the Eiffel Tower and sell all their possessions and move to Alaska to live with the grizzly bears, and they get eaten and nobody hears them when they scream for help. That's right. Falling in love is pretty much the same thing as being eaten alive by a grizzly bear.” 

     Despite what the bright, adorable cover might suggest, The Catastrophic History Of You And Me isn't free of dark, meaningful and thought-provoking elements. Yes, it's often humorous (I loved all the cheese-inspired nicknames that Patrick kept on coming up with for Brie!), and yes, it's most definitely extremely entertaining and fun to read, but it's also so much more than just that. This book explores issues such as infidelity, death, grief, revenge, salvation, and forgiveness, and it does it the utmost graceful, natural and convincing way. It's a real treat not only for fans of YA contemporary books, but for book lovers in general. 

     Bottom line is, Jess Rothenberg's YA debut is a precious gem. It's a poignant, bitter-sweet tale of love, heartache, longing, and regrets. It's also an important life lesson - smart, meaningful and memorable. Above all, it's a one-of-a-kind story that will capture you in a spell, captivate your imagination, and whisper straight to your heart. A book like this one is bound to resonate deep within, and I'm pretty sure that your heart will be aching, and your thoughts drifting back to it, long after you turn the last page.

This review is posted as part of the Contemporary Fiction Month feature!

Click on the picture for full schedule.

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About the Author
Evie is the Blogger behind Bookish. She enjoys reading many different genres, especially YA, Paranormal, Contemporary Fiction and Fantasy.
She loves talking to authors and is always happy to welcome them for interviews, and guest posts. She also likes spreading the love for awesome books and  chatting with fellow book-worms.
You can find Evie here: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Shelfari | The Library Thing


Read, Write, Read said...

Wow this book sounds amazing! I'll admit when I first heard about this book I wasn't really interested but I think I might give it a shot now. Great review!

Evie said...

Thanks hon! :) I'm glad I spiked your interest with my review, this book is a must-read, no doubt about that! It's so much better than you could ever imagine! :)

kimbacaffeinate said...

Awesome review make me want to run right out and buy it. Multilayered, fantastic characters, clues throughout..eep! Thanks for the spectacular review!

Molli @ Once Upon a Prologue said...

Reading your review I legit teared up some. I loved this book SO MUCH that I bought a finished, hardcover copy. I just, I cried, laughed, clapped, raged, gasped. I ran the gamut of emotions with CATASTROPHIC HISTORY and I love that YOU loved it, too!

Kristin said...

I really need to check this one out! Your review is so amazing that I so need to get to reading this one asap, Thanks so much for the awesome review!

Danny said...

Such a cute Review!!!!!! I am so happy to hear you loved this book so much - I adored it!!!! I loved the 80s music references!

Rebecca said...

I adore this book like crazy and I'm so glad to hear you did too! :D *runs off to hug my copy*

Michelle Chew said...

I love this book! The author did a very good job in telling us about Brie's story. I'm glad you love it too.

Amy said...

I have been wanting to read this book since way before it even came out. I really do need to get it so I can read it. I have heard such awesome things about it, and your review has totally convinced me it's a must read!! Fabulous review hon!!

Jaime Lester said...

YAY! I am so glad that you loved this book. I won it not too long ago, and I have been impatiently waiting to start reading it when I finally have the chance. I have heard both good and bad things about it, but from the bloggers that I follow and trust their reviews the most, including yours, it has been good. That makes me happy!! Yay, again!

Monica said...

Me too I want to read this book! Your review is awsome!

Sophie said...

Your review is awsome! I adored this book!!!!

Karina A. said...

Thanks for this review! I've been thinking about reading this but I don't have the motivation to..

Mockingjay said...

How can I not agree with you? I read it in italian ("Storia catastrofica di te e di me") and I absolutely loved it!
Awsome review.. i really like your blog :)

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