The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg
Release Date – February 21, 2012
Publisher Website – Penguin
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 400 pages
My Rating- 8/10
Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Dying of a broken heart is just the beginning.... Welcome to forever.Reading this novel took me longer than I was expecting it to. It wasn’t because I didn’t enjoy it (I totally did) or that it was not engrossing (totally was). It took me longer because I kept stopping to listen to music. Each of the chapter titles is the name of a song. Listening to the song prior to reading the chapter provided a unique reading experience, and so many of them are fantastic songs. It's a lovely touch as it provides a soundtrack for the book.
BRIE'S LIFE ENDS AT SIXTEEN: Her boyfriend tells her he doesn't love her, and the news breaks her heart—literally.
But now that she's D&G (dead and gone), Brie is about to discover that love is way more complicated than she ever imagined. Back in Half Moon Bay, her family has begun to unravel. Her best friend has been keeping a secret about Jacob, the boy she loved and lost—and the truth behind his shattering betrayal. And then there's Patrick, Brie's mysterious new guide and resident Lost Soul . . . who just might hold the key to her forever after.
With Patrick's help, Brie will have to pass through the five stages of grief before she's ready to move on. But how do you begin again, when your heart is still in pieces?
Brie, just 16 years old and dead. Cause of death? Heartbreak…literally. Her boyfriend Jacob tells her that he doesn’t love her and Brie’s poor heart snaps in two. This could have been awkward if not handled properly but Jess Rothenberg makes this seem plausible and realistic.
Jess Rothenberg’s writing style is perfect for this time of story. She mixes humour, and touching moments so wonderfully. She manages to make you relate to the characters, even when they are not at their best. She mixes the 80s with current times flawlessly and manages to make this novel seem nostalgic and fresh at the same time.
Brie’s voice immediately resonates with you. She’s this adorable, full of life teenager that loves her family, her dog and her best friends. She starts out a little young, and naïve but grows throughout the book. There are times when you want to scream at her and make her see reason but ultimately you’ll forgive her because she learns from her mistakes and takes responsibility.
Taking the journey with Brie through the different stages of grief allowed the reader to really understand her. It also helped to know she was working through something that would eventually end at acceptance. There are some stages (this means you anger) that Brie was not the like likeable person. She was vengeful, single focused and wanted to lash out. The old say of "no fury like a woman scorned" rings true in Brie's case. It makes her eventual progression feel earned.
Patrick, tour guide and 80s hottie is there to help Brie reach acceptance. He’s full of charisma, funny one liners, and seriously reminds me of someone from a John Hughes movie. He rides a motorcycle! Basically, he’s hot. The chemistry between him and Brie is fun. It’s filled with banter, genuine friendship with a tease of the romance that could be.
What I loved most about this book were the twists and surprises that you experienced along the way. Patrick has his own mysterious past that we unravel along with Brie that provides some shocking moments.
The Catastrophic History of You and Me is one of those books that will make you laugh, cry, and even have you doing both at the same time. It’s about the power of love, forgiving yourself and others, and taking responsibility for your actions.