DISCLAIMER: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
PUBLICATION: St. Martin's Press, June 7th, 2016
Mark is a high-school senior who happens to be in love with his best friend Ryan. Unfortunately, Ryan isn't absolutely sure he is gay until Mark tells him to come out to a Pride night. There, Ryan understands he is gay and falls for someone other than Mark.
Katie, another high-school senior and aspiring artist, sits next to Mark in calculus but the two have never spoken to each other. She is invited to a party one night where she is to be introduced to Violet, the girl of her dreams. Scared and nervous, Katie doesn't show causing a lot of drama and a rift between her and her friends who worked hard to get the two together.
Mark and Katie find each other and form a bond, immediately helping each other out with their respective situations in a story of love, friendship, and searching for yourself.
This book was different for me and I'm certainly glad I read it. Anytime I read a book, I try to relate to the characters and understand their perspective. I'm not gay, so it was a little difficult for me to relate to them initially. But once the story gets going, the characters are wonderfully developed and I found I had a connection with them all.
Beautifully written, You Know Me Well is a nice, smooth, fluid read. Bouncing back and forth between Mark and Katie's perspective, the reader truly gets to understand the struggles they face in either loving someone who doesn't love you back or allowing yourself to fall in love with the person of your dreams.
The only downside of this book for me personally was some of the raunchy and flamboyant text used at some of the Pride parades/gatherings. I just didn't care to read about men in pink sparkly speedos or penis-shaped lollipops. It didn't occur often but I thought it was unnecessary in such a beautiful love story.
One funny and reflective moment is when the characters talk about the word "straight" and how gay people should call themselves "scenic" because its much more appealing. This definitely was interesting and something I had never given much thought to when I used the terms gay and straight.
Levithan and LaCour show why their pros in their craft. Masterfully paced, You Know Me Well is one of those books that can be read in one sitting. There was never a dull moment as the authors were truly able to capture my attention and never let go.
I think you'll enjoy this book as much as I did. The story really looks superficial on the surface but once I got going, it was hard for me to stop reading, really seeing the depth to this novel and the complexity of the relationships, both gay and straight. I am certainly glad I read this book because it gave me a chance to read something different and to see a different perspective in life.
I love to read and to discuss books. My preferred genre is sci-fi but I like to read mostly anything.