Thursday, May 1, 2014

Book review: Me Since You by Laura Wiess

 Summary:

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?

NOTE: I received the novel via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Oh my goodness! This book is tough to chew through. It's heavy. Made me cry. It's full of so much pain. Questions. Dispari. It was thick with agony and made my chest clench.
I don't know what made the author write this book, but I'm glad she did. It's an unforgettable story that deals with loss, coping and living after.

Writing style:
The story is told in both 1st (mostly) and 3rd person (occasionally).The writing flows incredibly well, leaving you want more. Then there are the giref journals that I loved so much. Me Since You was a beautifully written novel.

Story line:
The beginning is fast paced. Then it slows down as emotion takes over action. We witness a suicide, a depression that tops the cup and turns into another tragedy. The ripple effect is in full force here. Love conquers all, but is there always forgiveness in love?

Themes:
-The pressure of the community
-The life of an ordinary police officer
-The loss of a loved one and coping with it
-Grief can sweep you off your feet
-The battle with depression can be fatal

Characters:
Rowan Areno was a regular angsty teenage girl. She's selfish and thought her family and the world were totally unfair to her. Until her father was unable to save a baby from the hands of it's suicidal father, that is. Then everything changed. She saw the truth about the world, which was quite ugly. About the hatred of everyone around her. About the injustice of community pressure.
After the tragedy with Rowan's father, I cried so much. I could literally feel Rowan's pain, grief, anger, confusion as she continued asking 'Why?' There was one point in time when I dreaded that she would go on the same path her Dad had chosen, but she didn't. Instead, she chose to be brave and strong and face the world.

Nick Areno, Row's father, was an honorable man. A policeman who witnessed tragedy every day. I thought he was brave and incredibly tough to be able to deal with other people's drama on a daily basis. He was a good husband and father. Until he lost it. Until he witnessed a crime he could not prevent. A crime that was one too many and something inside him just snapped. The strong man was gone and Nick just couldn't live with that.

Eli was a boy who'd seen and experienced a lot in his 18 years of life. Dad dead in action, Mom who couldn't cope well with the loss, and then the suicide that he witnessed and tried to prevent. And still, he refused to give up and drown in self-pity. Instead, he decided to move on. I am most certainly glad that Rowan met him. Eli was a great influence.

Rachel, Nick's wife, was as lost as Rowan after the tragic events. She spent months grieving and doing nothing at all. I know it must have been difficult on her, especially since there were no answers to the horrible questions.

In conclusion:
Me Since You is an incredible novel that deals with tragedy, loss, grief and dealing with it all. It's very well written and consumes the reader's attention completely.

My rating is: