Genre: YA - Contemporary/Paranormal
Publication: 02.12.2012 by Penguin Young Readers Group
Synopsis: 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?
Thoughts: Two confessions: 1. I wouldn't have picked this book out because I find the cover...sort of weird. I don't know what it is about it, but I don't like it too much. 2. The only reason I did read this was because it was the monthly pick for my book club and I accidentally voted on it. I was confusing it with The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. I know. But the long names got confused in my head and there you have it. So even though it wouldn't have been one I would've picked out on my own, I was pleasantly surprised with the sweet, emotional story caught in between these pages that has definitely become one of my favorites of the year.
What I liked:
• Bree: She gets her heart broken and dies. Which teenage girl has not been so hurt by a boy that they felt they would die of sadness? I'm sure there are few out there who couldn't relate to Bree's heartbreak. I could definitely relate to her from the start. Not only that, but her actions throughout the novel and reactions to certain things she finds out, are totally understandable. And yes, a bit immature, but she is only sixteen and the way she reacts is completely normal for a girl her age. Bree is filled with anger, sadness, angst, depression, but she can still makes us laugh with her not-so-witty comebacks and sometimes peculiar actions. She was frustrating at times, but likable nonetheless.
• Patrick: Swoon. 'Nuff said. No really, I adored him. He was a bit different than most boys we come across. He was sarcastic, yet sweet. He was caring and funny and so adorable. I loved him. And anyways, I'm a sucker for guys that are described to look like this.
• Hamloaf: He is the best dog ever. Really, I loved him too!
• The secondary characters all played an important role in Bree's life and were all developed well. They were each unique and I totally was able to feel how much Bree cared for each one. I really loved her best friends and her brother too :)
• Enough with the character talk already. The book was divided into five parts, the five steps of accepting you are D&G: Denial, anger, bargaining, sadness and finally, acceptance. These parts explained what Bree was going through and Bree acted pretty much according to each one. Within each part, the book was also divided into chapters, each one named after a title of a song, which was pretty cool.
• The story is developed well and at no point did I find it dull. I anticipating the next page and flew through the book faster than I expected. While there were a few parts that seemed to stretch out a bit, they weren't bad and added a whole lot more to the story, I thought. I definitely enjoyed the authors writing and am glad I actually picked this up.
What I didn't like:
• The conclusion felt a bit rushed and wrapped up to neatly for how quickly it happened. I almost wish it would have been stretched out a bit farther (instead of the other parts that I felt didn't need to be stretched.) I wanted a bit more detail in how Bree and Patrick resolve the problem they are going through. I wanted to know more.
• Bree died because her boyfriend told her he didn't love her, but we never get a real glimpse of their love. We get a two flashbacks where we get to see them together, but I didn't feel the love. I know that Bree thinks she loved him, but I couldn't see why. I just wished there would've been at least one scene where I could've been like, "Oh, okay. That's why she loved him so much." But it wasn't really there.
Overall: Despite the tiny additions I wish would have been added to the book, I thoroughly enjoy The Catastrophic History of You and Me. It is a sweet contemporary and paranormal book that others will definitely enjoy. There are plenty of emotions packed in these pages, but the humor added in, give it a lighthearted feel that captivated me. I definitely recommend this to others and look forward to reading Rothenberg's next book.