by Jess Rothenberg
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Format Acquired: Paperback
Source: Bought from National Book Store
Published April 18th 2013 by Speak
Purchase Links: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Kobo / The Book Depository
An addictively page-turning debut for fans of Before I Fall
Brie is the “biggest, cheesiest, sappiest romantic” who believes that everyone will find their perfect someone, so when Jacob, the love of Brie's life, tells her he doesn't love her anymore, the news breaks her heart, literally, and she dies. But now that she's D&G (dead and gone), Brie revisits the living world to discover that her family has begun to unravel and her best friend has been keeping an intimate secret about her boyfriend. Somehow, Brie must handle all of this while navigating through the five steps of grief with the help of Patrick, her mysterious bomber-jacketed guide to the afterlife. But how is she supposed to face the Ever After with a broken heart and no one to call her own?
“my heart didn't fail, someone failed my heart.”OMG SO MUCH FEELS FOR THIS BOOK!!! Jess Rothenberg impressed me with her writing! This is one of those books that definitely caught me reading up all night from the first chapter up to the last!
This is about the story of Brie, a normal teenage girl, who died of a broken heart. Literally, a broken heart. She's just like any typical teen who has girl bestfriends, actively participating in school activities, into sports, and of course, a girl who believes that everyone would find their perfect someone, no matter what.
“The problem is, there is absolutely nothing "fun" about falling in love. Nope. Mostly it just makes you feel sick and crazy and anxious and nervous that it's going to end miserably and ruin your whole life. And guess what: Then it does.”
The book started with her funeral, where she tells about how she feels witnessing her own funeral. And then there's her little brother who was the first character in this book who made me cry. Yeah. He did. I thought he's too young to actually understand what's going on but the moment he asked to talk and read the speech he made for her dead sister, then he cried, BOOM. TEARS ALL OVER.
Okay, we have the SAME birthday. But not the same year.. I'm a year older. Hah. And then, Patrick. My significant other's name! Wait, I'm not being biased here. Lol. Anyway, I love how Patrick helped Brie to get over the five stages of grief: Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Sadness. And last, but not the least, Acceptance. It must be very hard to be a wandering soul, trying to figure things out, letting all of it, which of course includes your death, sink in. This book made me feel what it feels like to be there, but in reality, you're not. Like seeing all of your loved ones, doing their usual things, but they can't see you nor hear you. It's like being part of the wind, you're everywhere, but physically nowhere.
“All of a sudden I felt invisible. Forgotten. Like the universe had played a really mean practical joke on me, even though I've never done anything to deserve it.”
Brie's death left unfixed issues on her family, friends, and ex-boyfriend. I really like how Patrick knows when and where to come to Brie's rescue. He helped her get through almost everything. He made her realize the truth about her life. Or afterlife. It was quite funny how they scared Jacob to get back to him. But it also came to the point where Brie's been acting too much. She became somehow uncontrollable that she even pushed Patrick away. I felt sad for her, knowing she's been through a lot especially when she died because it was only then that she knew the truth. But I'm happy she had friends who were always there for her, even when she is no longer by their side. She's lucky to have them and they were the ones you can truly call best friends. Also her dog, Hamloaf, played a big part to her afterlife.
“No matter how much you think you know a person - no matter how pretty they act, or how popular they seem, you can never know what their lives are really like.”
This novel is a book not mainly about death, but about acceptance and letting go. AND FALLING INLOVE ALL OVER AGAIN. There's also a twist in the story that made me confused at first, "the other life" of Brie. I had to ask Kayla of The Bookish Owl to somehow explain it to me. Thanks to her. Anyway, the confusion didn't affect my five star rating for the book.
“You can obsess and obsess over how things ended- what you did wrong or could have done differently- but there's not much of a point. It's not like it'll change anything. So really, why worry?”
This, so far, is the most touching and heart melting contemporary novel I ever read. I never expected this to be so great. I love this. I absolutely love this novel!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jess Rothenberg grew up in Charleston, South Carolina, graduated from Vassar College, and spent most of her twenties editing books for teens and middle grade readers (like the bestselling titles VAMPIRE ACADEMY, STRANGE ANGELS, and I AM A GENIUS OF UNSPEAKABLE EVIL & I WANT TO BE YOUR CLASS PRESIDENT, to name just a few). She lives in Brooklyn where she writes full-time, dances interpretively, and dreams of one day owning a sheepdog named Leo.
THE CATASTROPHIC HISTORY OF YOU AND ME is her first novel. Visit www.jessrothenberg.com to find out more.
“When you're in love, the world is brighter. Sunnier. The air smells flowerier, and your hair is silkier, and suddenly you find yourself smiling at babies and strangers and old couples walking down the beach holding hands.”