Friday, 23 September 2016

You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan

You Know Me WellWho 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.

Some people you are just meant to be friends with, and that's definitely the case of Kate and Mark. They come into each others lives at the right moment, when they both need someone subjective to tell them to sort their life out. With Kate it's plucking up the courage to meet her crush, and Mark needs to tell his best friend how he really feels about him.

Told in alternate chapters, we really see the effects of their friendship and how being pushed out of their comfort zone does them both good. Kate needed the support to find the courage to finally meet Violet, the girl of her dreams. Quiet and worried that she won't live up to expectations, Kate runs away from their first meeting and bumps into Mark, a guy from school, dancing on the bar! Mark needed the boot up the butt to tell his best friend how he really feels but ends up getting heart broken when Ryan is crushing on someone else.

This story really is short and sweet. Spread over about a week, we follow Kate and Mark navigate first loves and suddenly realise the truths that they were avoiding. The whole thing was really cute but could have been so much more. It had an incredible diverse and LGBT-centred cast but it was so short, I wanted some more, proper character development. And yet, it ended very hopeful, and actually worked well just spreading it over Pride Week in San Fransisco. So all in all, a very enjoyable and different teen romance with an important message of finding yourself and being honest to yourself about what and who you want.

Published 2nd June 2016 by Macmillan.

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