You Know Me Well - Nina LaCour, David Levithan

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.

 

This was a supremely well done book that felt like a coming of age novel set against the backdrop of San Francisco Pride.

 

The alternating viewpoints does not yet feel like a gimmick as I feared. Both Mark and Katie had very distinct voices and it was easy to keep track of who was narrating, yet it wasn't jarring to have to switch between each perspective. I absolutely loved that this was an LGBTQ book with both a guy and a girl, since normally I find myself wanting more female or male characters.

 

The characters felt very mature for being in high school, and it was fun to see the potential they had at the beginning to grow and to read about the challenges they encountered in growing. Side characters too, such as a worker at an art gallery, provide a lot of hilarity.

 

Katie was a delectably real character, dealing with her own expectations of herself compared to the world's perception of her, and I felt like the way she interacted with Violet was so real and something that would happen to me.

 

I found it harder to relate to Mark's almost obsessive love, but from the opening scene, his actions were a lot of fun and I enjoyed seeing how a typical baseball player had a lot of depth to him.

 

Though this wasn't mind blowing, this was a really solid and enjoyable read with fun characters.

 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.