David Levithan & Nina LaCour - You Know Me WellExpected publication: June 7, 2016 by St. Martin's Griffin
Genres: Contemporary, LGBTQIA, Young Adult
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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, the award-winning author of Hold Still and The Disenchantments, and David Levithan, the best-selling author of Every Day and co-author of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (with Rachel Cohn) and Will Grayson, Will Grayson (with John Green), You Know Me Well is a deeply honest story about navigating the joys and heartaches of first love, one truth at a time.
~I love author collaborations and anthologies. Nina LaCour and David Levithan are two of my favorite authors, so I was practically starry-eyed over this. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist is another one of my favorite collab YAs, so look that one if you have the time. He and Rachel Cohn are magic.
Mark and Kate have known each another an entire year, but have never spoken until she sees him dancing on a bar top in a gay club. Kate has just run away from a girl she's monstrously obsessed with, Lehna, and Mark is secretly in love with his good friend, Ryan. After his impromptu bar dance, Kate spontaneously approaches Mark and asks to be friends, and so he can help her score Lehna's heart successfully, and thus, they are.
The book switches POVs between Mark and Kate, but one of my problems about all of that, is that it wasn't made known. It wasn't: "CHAPTER TWO: KATE" / "CHAPTER THREE: MARK." Instead, it was labelled as normal and I often had to guess who was who. But honestly, it's something miniscule.
I hate to say, but there really is no plot? Mark and Kate are only looking for love. And as much as I love Nina LaCour's writing, Kate is a caricature. If Emi from Everything Leads to You and Colby from The Disenchantments had a secret love child, it would be her. She's a carbon-copy of past MCs. Colby was a talented painter. Emi had girl trouble. Kate happens to possess both of these traits. Also, Kate's parents were mentioned once and never seen again?
Oh, but how I loved Mark. David Levithan so knows how to shatter you. Unrequited love. Parents that were actually there. Kate and Mark's friendship was so lovely and they were so appreciative of one another. Mark's story was so real and painful and heartbreaking, but at times, Kate's was a little too John Green-esque and overdramatic for me.
The ending was sweet, albeit random. I wasn't pleased with Kate's relationship choice in the end, but yeah. Their whole group of friends are quite angelic, too. I would definitely recommend it, otherwise. Nina and David are phenomenal writers. I devoured this read like a Krispy Kreme and I hope you will, too!