by Nina Lacour & David Levithan
Published: June 7th 2016
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Source: Audiobook at AUDIBLE
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.
It is always a pleasure to read stories by Nina LaCour and David Levithan, but to read a novel that showcases both talents together is pure reading bliss. You Know Me Well, is that book and it made my heart ache with "all the feels" it induced.
As I began reading You Know Me Well I was quickly taken in by Mark and his tale of unrequited love and finding his courage to give voice to his true feelings about his best friend. And as he tries to grapple with this fact he and his friend go out to a club where he is pushed into a dare that leaves him quite vulnerable. In comes Kate...on the run from a date with the "perfect girl" that she stood up. Confused and wanting to get away from her hurtful choice she finds herself at the same club as her classmate Mark. They spot each other and soon a chance encounter turns into a deep friendship.
It's at this point that I became completely engrossed with the book because I could see Nina's and David's talent shine through. I could relate to Mark and his longing and how he imagined things would be different than the current path they were beginning to head down. While I could sympathize with Kate's inner turmoil and how she struggles with committing to the girl of her dream. Their thoughts and actions are honest and relatable especially when my heart broke at certain moments.
“Would you really fight for him?" I nod.
But the nod isn't enough, so I go on.
"In fact, I would tear through rubble with my bare hands to get to him. I would lift cars. I would wrestle down anyone who said we shouldn't be together. I would stare down life and kick it in the ass if I had to. Because if you want to know the truth -- if you really want to know the truth -- none of that could be nearly as hard as being in love with him and not being able to tell anyone about it. Including him. I have this thing inside me, and it's angry and it's scared and it's uncertain and most of all it's so completely in love with him, and it would do anything to keep him, even if it means things staying the way they are now.”
― Nina LaCour&David Levithan,
I could feel my heart painfully contract with this scene and it is just one of the few that I can never forget. I was mesmerized with Mark and Kate's journey as they navigated through the fields of heartbreak warfare and I enjoyed how they took confront from one another during a time when they needed each other.
You Know Me Well is a beautifully written love story that makes your heart ache with it's beauty.
“And then she is kissing me, right here on the sidewalk on a foggy summer night. Violet is kissing me, and everything is perfect. The kiss doesn't end. We are not two girls on a polite first date, bestowing a customary good-night peck.
We are kissing like girls who have ached for each other for years who never even spoke but somehow exchanged I love yous anyway.”
― Nina LaCour,