Friday, February 7, 2014

My Heart Will Go On: "Me Since You" by Laura Wiess

The lead character in Laura Wiess's Me Since You is 16 year old Rowan Areno who is a normal girl, an only child and happy with her life. Sure, her Dad, a policeman, is a little strict and her Mom, a librarian a little more easy going, but she knows she is loved by her parents and that gives her life stability. Her bff Nadia is more reckless and outgoing than Rowan, her parents are wealthier and she resonates entitlement. Sometimes Rowan feels lucky to have someone like Nadia for a friend but that friendship sometimes goes against her better judgment as on the day Nadia pushes her to cut class to meet up with some older boys at a local McDonalds, and then they and Nadia decide to go to the shore for the day. Rowan balks at the plan and is left behind... and who should happen by but her dad in his patrol car.
He takes her home and then gets a call, as the closest officer on duty, to a suicide attempt within view of their home. Someone is threatening to jump from the overpass. Her father heads to the scene. It's a young father with his baby strapped to him in a baby-pack. There is another young man there, a witness, who had called in the 911 call. He was walking his dog when he came upon the scene. This is the beginning of what is probably the most real, honest and heartbreaking book you'll read all year. This small act of rebellion on Rowan's part begins a chain of events that lead to repercussions she could never have imagined. You will cry, trust me.
I won't give away the details as you should allow the story to unfold in its real-time format. It is not an easy book to read because of its emotional content but don't let that stop you from getting to know Rowan who is a likable and sympathetic narrator. She pulls you in and makes you a witness to the string of tragedies that change her life. I can imagine Me Since You  becoming a Young Adult classic and one teachers and librarians will be recommending and leading discussions on for years to come.
Once again, thank you to NetGalley for the ARC.

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