Author: Laura Weiss
Synopsis: 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?
Huge thank you to the publisher for this ARC. I’m writing an honest review to say thank you.
Wow. This book is emotional. I can’t remember the last time I’ve cried MULTIPLE TIMES while reading a book.
On Goodreads there are two different synopsis for this, and if you read the one attached to the hardcover, you’ll get some of the story spoiled… the one attached to the kindle version doesn’t say exactly what happens… but there is death and this is the story of losing a parent and dealing with the grief that follows.
There’s also a sub-plot with a dog that utterly wrecked me.
And this book deals with suicide and the way it was handled was really good. I hate it when books use suicide as a gimmick or plot device and this… was not. It was deep and terrifying and so utterly sad.
If you’re up for a really, really emotional book, this is worth a read.
Huge thank you to MTV Books and Netgalley for an advance reader copy of this book.
I was dreading reading this book, if only because my co-blogger told me repeatedly to brace myself for a lot of what the subject matter was about.
No matter how much I prepared myself, I knew I wasn’t ever going to be ready. This novel deals with the death of a father, a daughter who attempts to cope with grief, and a family that attempts to cling to each other in their time of loss. This is the situation I lived in now for almost a year, and while my father didn’t commit suicide like Rowen’s, I found myself easily connecting to her because of what she was going through.
This novel does not sugarcoat death, grief or loss. In fact, it’s realistic and does an amazing job of dealing with the more complicated emotions that exist when someone is grieving. Every time Rowan wrote in her grief journal, I found myself nodding along with her pleas. She wanted answers. I often find myself talking to my dad, whether it be in decisions I am making, or when I’m having a good cry. It’s hard because you often wonder why someone has been taken from you. There’s a feeling of abandonment, frustration, and relief takes along time to achieve. Admittedly, I know for myself, that I am not there yet.
Watching Rowan’s mother cling to her daughter is how I feel with my own mother. While my mother and I don’t fight the way Rowan and her mother do, I understood their frustrations. There’s a suffocating feeling with grief, and one you can’t endure alone. Moreover, it can be harder to grieve with someone else around you, but you learn to find strength in each other to keep moving and going. Rowan also had that in Eli, thankfully, because let’s face it — when you’re grieving you need the biggest support system you can find and one that respects when you want their friendship and when you need time alone. This book tackles all of this emotions and feelings with such ease and yet…
I had to put it down so many times. Not because it was a bad book, but because sections of it always felt too close to home for me. One scene in particular, Rowan’s father’s funeral, was done almost identical to my father’s, right down to the man wearing his work clothes in his casket. That image alone made me think back to my father’s funeral, and I knew I had to put the book away for awhile. This book is emotional and raw, and it’s not the best read for those dealing with loss. It’s not a book you seek comfort in, but how Rowan goes through the motions, the whirlwind — I’ve been there and I am still living it. That’s why for me, as painful as this read was, it was important as well.
There’s nothing light about Me Since You. It’s one of those books that deals with loss and grief in the right way but doesn’t force emotion or beg for the reader’s sympathy. Rowan isn’t a likable person, and in a way that’s why a lot of this novel works so well. This is a book you also need to be in the right headspace for, because if you’re like me and weren’t, the amount of angry and sad tears that will be shed are many.