Title: You Know Me Well
Author: Nina LaCour & David Levithan
Synopsis: 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.
Huge thank you to Raincoast for this ARC!
When I recieved You Know Me Well in the mail, I immidately started reading, realizing it was the kind of book I needed in that moment. It’s a book that explores what it means to be out and proud, but also attempting to figure out the next steps in what that actually means. I really adored the way in which the alternative POVs were used, though I did find myself loving Kate’s POV slightly more than Mark’s.
This book has a very memorable opening, one that when you read it, really does a great job illustrating who both Mark and Kate are when they are “truly” themselves. It’s a pitch perfect scene that escalates into a delightful story and an unlikely friendship between two people who likely wouldn’t have become friends if it wasn’t for this event.
A lot of this novel is very vibrant, and given that it take splace during San Francisco’s Pride, that makes a lot of sense. However, not only were our protaginists wonderful to read about, but I actually loved their love interests. While the topic of a broken heart and finding your identity are nothing new, it’s hard not to feel for Mark in a lot of this novel given that he has to watch his best friend fall in love with another person. Kate’s situation is equally something we can all relate to, as she is trying to be the woman she wants to be, and love the woman she wants to love without issue.
I flew through this novel simply because it does an amazing job of sharing what it means to be yourself, while also letting others in who may be afraid to do so. If you love LGBTQIA+ literature, or you love contemporary that focuses on tougher issues, this novel will give you just about everything you’re looking for.