Title: The Catastrophic History of You and Me
Author: Jess Rothenberg
Genre & Age Group: Contemporary, paranormal, young adult
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?
Source: Public library
How I Found Out About It: Goodreads/Blogging
It is not very often that I enjoy there being paranormal elements in my books. Sure, I adore magical realism, but paranormal books themselves usually irk me. But when I first read the synopsis and some raving reviews of this book, I absolutely couldn’t resist checking it out.
I turned out to really enjoy The Catastrophic History of You and Me! I found its concept and its execution to be very interesting, and I as well loved the writing style and the protagonist, although she may be a tad forgettable.
To briefly synopsize, this book is about a teenage girl named Brie whose boyfriend breaks up with her and tells her that he doesn’t love her, and this literally shatters her heart, and thus she unfortunately passes on. As she looks down from above, she realizes that not everything in her life was as seemed.
As I said in a previous paragraph, Brie for me was a little bit unmemorable, but that’s okay. I was still able to pinpoint her traits, which is a good thing. I loved how she was given the chance to look back at her life and everyone in it to re-evaluate her decisions and learn to let go of everything- she was very wise for this reason and many others.
If someone were to go into this book blind with no knowledge whatsoever of the premise, then they would possibly deem it unrealistic. I would understand that because the majority of teens do not die the way Brie did, and there aren’t too many YA books exploring afterlife. It was all for the purpose of the intriguing premise, though, and I found that it was displayed amazingly. Despite the fact that some of the looks back at Brie’s life confused me (where was she even supposed to be? Was she a ghost? Invisible?), it was very captivating to read as a whole.
All in all, The Catastrophic History of You and Me was a great novel that explored the values of living life to the fullest and appreciating what you have in the now. I know that those who enjoy contemporaries with a bit of paranormal themes will devour this story- the protagonist, plot, writing, and morals were fantastic. I can’t wait to see where Jess Rothenberg goes next with her writing!