Tuesday, 6 March 2012

The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg

The Catastrophic History of You and MeThe Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg

Add it: Goodreads
Source: Penguin Canada for review
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Format: Hardcover, 375 pages
Release Date: February 21, 2012

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?

Although the idea of heartbreak is nothing unheard of, the concept of actually having your heart split into two pieces after love goes wrong is a new one. Jess Rothenberg explores exactly this though and manages to pull it off spectacularly.

When I first heard of what The Catastrophic History of You and Me was about, I was mega excited. This is such a crazy, unique idea and I was jumping with anticipation at how it would be executed. Once Brie dies, she has to go through the five stages of grief until she ultimately accepts her fate. The book is basically divided into sections by stage but instead of just having 'stage: anger' and all of a sudden Brie consumed with burning rage, it all connects into a believable, enthralling story line.

The pacing is excellent as Brie explores the afterlife as well as the life she has left behind. And oh, the things she is missing! There is secret after betrayal after shocking revelation thrown out and it really keeps you guessing about what will happen next. The reasons for and the aftermath of Brie's death are not simple and reading to find out about them is a seriously enjoyable experience.

This book is funny and touching and sad and so many other things that are made of win. Reading it is really an emotional rollercoaster that you take with Brie and by the end of the book, I felt a connection to a number of the characters, all of which are so multi-layered and complex.

Take Brie for example. There are all these quirks about her that make her very endearing -- her love for Disney movies, the Your Mom Jokes she passes with Patrick, the sincere affection she has for her little brother. She wasn't a characters whose choices I always agreed with (that thing in the Anger stage - I was kind of ready to smack her!) but I could see where she was coming from and understand her. Then there's PATRICK, who is dreamy in that 80s way of his. He was supportive, helpful and funny and I thought his scenes with Brie were the best. Especially when he made the cheesy cheese nicknames (Cheeto, String Cheese, you get the idea) because tell me, who didn't love them?


Cover Comments: What an awesome dress. I really like this cover. I think you can see the whole afterlife thing playing a role and it's pulled off in a way that reflects the story. The only thing that bugs me about this cover is the fact that Brie isn't wearing her necklace! It's such a huge symbol in the story to me but then nothing is featured. Oh well :) Still pretty.

4.5 stars


  1. Awesome review! I'm offically jealous you got to read this book early . . . dying to read it since there are so many high starred reviews!

  2. Oh, so many glowing reviews for this book! It's taking all my willpower to refrain from jumping this book, and just ignoring everything else I have on standby. Lovely review!


  3. YES. SONIA. YES. You nailed it in your review, I feel EXACTLY the same. I absolutely adored Brie and all her quirks. But I also wanted to shake some sense into her during the anger phase - agh! - but like you said, I can understand the WHY. And that's what helped make her such a fantastic character. Even if you don't agree with her choices, Jess still enables you to understand them.

    And... heeeee!! Patrick! My gosh, that boy is so freaking charming. Where can we buy one? Oh. Right. Afterlife. Well, I hope there's a Patrick waiting for me when it's my time :D

    Ah may zing review, Huffie!! <3 Love love love this book!

  4. Ahhhh this is such a good review. I thought this one sounded a bit bleh but now I kinda wanna read it :P

    The Cait Files

  5. The "your mum" jokes made me laugh - loved them :P. Just loved Brie and Patrick's interaction in general! And the cheesy nicknames were so awesome too. This was definitely an emotional rollercoaster and I love the way the five stages fit in with everything Brie was going though. Great review! :)


    I really like this version of the cover, because it's EXACTLY how she described her dress, but yeah. No necklace... but the expression on her face! *dies*

    Oh, I loved EVERYTHING about this book. It was so sweet, funny, sad, heartbreaking and heartwarming. I can't even begin to explain how much I adored it... it's so SO perfect. YOUR REVIEW! ME LOVE! I want to cry and laugh and grin and die just thinking of how wonderful and amazing and catastrophically perfect it was... and when you find out what [you know who] did to himself... while they're out in the storm, with the lightning? *cries* :(

  7. Eeeeeeee! YOUR REVIEW IS PERFECT <333 I'm seriously DYING to read this; EVERYONE'S been telling me how utterly amazing this one is! Awwww... PATRICK AND BRIEEEEEE <333 I want to meet them already!<3 Brie sounds like the PERFECT YA character while PATRICK...he certainly sounds like the type that can make any girl swoon <3 I'm sooo excited to read this now :DD