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Review by Suze
It's the San Francisco Pride Week. Mark and Kate are both trying to have a good kickoff night, but they aren't succeeding very well. Kate escapes before actually meeting the girl she was supposed to spend the evening with. She loves her from a distance, but has never had a real conversation with her and she's scared. She ends up at a bar and is surprised when she meets Mark, the guy who sits next to her in Math class. They have never spoken to each other and obviously don't know anything about one another, but things can change. They quickly and suddenly become close friends at a time when they need someone to look out for them the most.
You Know Me Well is a book about two gay teenagers who are struggling with love. Mark is deeply in love and is heartbroken because of it. Kate is talented and has a lot of potential, but she isn't ready to meet people's expectations yet. Mark and Kate both have best friends who are also gay. They shouldn't feel alone, but they do and they need someone to lean on, a person who understands them. There's plenty of beauty in that subject and I really liked it. Love, friendship and plans for the future aren't the most easy things to figure out. There's much to be learned and discovered.
The friendship between Mark and Kate is special. They intuitively feel what the other one needs. What they have in common is that they're having problems with their best friends. Life isn't easy and the last days of high school are strange. A new start will have to be made soon, but before that can happen there's still some time to get through. I loved that the authors chose that vulnerable and exciting emotional period. Even though there is quite a bit of sadness, there's also hope and genuine warmth. I had tears in my eyes several times while I was reading this story, especially when I read the poems from the poetry night scene. The words are honest, raw and beautiful and they greatly moved me.
Nana LaCour and David Levithan have written a fast-paced story. The chaos of the last days of school, the Pride, intense love and sudden success is well balanced. It's a whirlwind, but it's never too much and it suits the story. Mark and Kate are both sweet people who are sure of themselves in some areas, but have to gain self-confidence in others. They have many things to figure out. In this turbulent week they learn a lot about who they are and what they want, their friends and life in general. I loved this fantastic book, it's very well written and the story is intense and interesting.