I haven’t read many books in the LGBT genre, but that doesn’t matter as this is one of my favourite contemporary books, despite feeling a little apprehensive about how relatable it would be. But I was overjoyed to find that it was actually contemporary, and it was based on things that people can actually relate to in real life. Not all of it was 100% relatable, as somethings just wouldn’t happen in real life, but I didn’t mind at all as the story line was fantastic.
Who knows you well? Your best friend? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? A stranger you meet on a crazy night? No one, really?
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.
Told in alternating points of view by Nina LaCour and David Levithan, You Know Me Well is a story about navigating the joys and heartaches of first love, one truth at a time.
At a first glance, this book doesn’t seem that relatable, but once in the book things really are relatable. For example, their immediate friendship. I have a friend of my own where we became friends all of a sudden, and she is one of my best friends, even though we haven’t been friends long. I think that their friend ship creates a relatable aspect for the readers who aren’t in the LGBT community as well as to those who are.
Kate: Kate is anxious, about everything. The future, her friends and weather they’re drifting apart, and what to do about the girl she has loved from afar for as long as she can remember, and always worrying if she’s good enough.
She was a totally relatable character as she had insecurities like any other person on the planet and wasn’t absorbed in herself either. She worried for Mark, which I loved about her, and found that she was a really supportive, caring friend for him, despite them not being friends for long.
I feel like she progressed a lot in the book, and showed just how much can happen in a week (how long the book was set over ).
Mark: Mark was an amazing character, and he made my hear ache so bad. He was such a great friend, especially to Ryan,who was always breaking his heart. He was understanding to everyone and everything, and was always out to help others.
He was so much fun, but also had his own insecurities, especially about Ryan. I love how much thought we got out of his PoV, as it really helped to get to know him and rather quickly into the book.
Again, like Kate, he was – in general – relatable. He also progressed a lot in the book, and put himself out there more, rather than staying in his shell.
So not every aspect of the plot was relatable, the majority was, but some made me question whether they could really happen in real life. Some relatable aspects:
- The quick friendship,
- The anxiety from the both of them,
- The friendship drama.
I love how there was no hanging about, and we were put straight into the action, so to speak. The opening scene was a fantastic start to the book, and we were given emotion, description, and history without it being block-y or info-dump-y, it was all put together and flowed incredibly well, creating a pace not too fast nor too slow.
A lot happened in this book, and made it really interesting as you couldn’t know what was going to happen next and made you constantly asking questions about it.
I feel like the book was really well set out, with the different parts as days, and having smaller chapters of PoV. I loved the dual PoV, it made everything so clear, and I loved seeing their friendship grow from both sides and also the way that they worried about each others issues.
What I would have loved is more character appearance development, as I feel like I couldn’t picture them very clearly. However, I feel like what we missed in description was for sure made up with the development of their personality.
This book made me laugh, cry, and everything else in between. I think it is the perfect book to snuggle up with and read in your cozy clothes. This book is truly heart-warming, and is by far one of my favourite contemporary reads of the year.
Have you read the book? If not, are you planning to?