The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg
Paperback, 400 pages
Published February 2nd 2012 by Razorbill
Synopsis From Goodreads:
Dying of a broken heart is just the beginning.... Welcome to forever.
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?
I really did not know what to expect when I picked up The Catastrophic History of You and Me. I ended up really enjoying it. The protagonist, Brie, was a great character and I really liked her. She was very upfront about what she liked and what she didn't. She loved her family. She loved her friends. She loved life. And she loved her boyfriend Jacob - at least until he broke her heart. Then Brie literally dies of a broken heart and blames her death on Jacob. She has all this pain and anger and no way to communicate her extreme heartbreak and disappointment to Jacob since she has moved on into the afterlife. The reader is left to watch as Brie faces an unsure and unwanted future.
Brie meets Patrick, a self professed resident lost soul. He knows his way around and becomes somewhat of a guide for Brie's afterlife, or purgatory, or wherever she was. Patrick was adorable. I liked his attitude and snark and all of his cheese nicknames for Brie. I enjoyed learning about Brie as she went through the 5 stages of grief. Patrick lets Brie learn and figure things out on her own. He's never pushy or overbearing, and it's obvious that he cares about Brie. But he has secrets, and he doesn't give them up easily, which makes him very hard to figure out.
The writing was cute and funny, but serious when it needed to be. It was heartbreaking to read about Brie's family and friends trying to move on with their lives without her. It was even harder reading about Brie trying to move on without them. Brie soon starts to see things differently, and realizes she may have been wrong about a few things. I loved how determined she was to try and make things right for everyone she left behind.
Towards the end of the book it turned weird for me. I was a little confused about what was going on. I did figure it out, but it could have been written clearer. It was a little 'out there', but with a twist. It all came back together nicely by the end and it left me with a good, warm feeling all over.
The book was divided into parts according to what stage of grief Brie was in at the time. And the chapter titles were actually song titles which described each chapter perfectly. Overall, this was a really great book. It was written very well and at no point did I skim over any parts. The storyline flowed well and the feelings and situations seemed realistic. It's a wonderful book, but I would suggest keeping tissues nearby.
4 of 5 stars