Monday, 29 June 2015

ARC Review: Me Being Me is Exactly the Same as You Being You by Todd Hasak-Lowy

Book: Me Being Me is Exactly the Same as You Being You

Author: Todd Hasak Lowy

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Publication Date: March 24th

Pages: 620 Pages

Format: ARC

Source: Simon and Schuster Canada

Where to Buy: Amazon CA, Book Depository, Chapters Indigo

Thanks to Simon and Simon and Schuster Canada for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are honest, and my own.

A heartfelt, humorous story of a teen boy’s impulsive road trip after the shock of his lifetime—told entirely in lists!

Darren hasn't had an easy year.

There was his parents’ divorce, which just so happened to come at the same time his older brother Nate left for college and his longtime best friend moved away. And of course there’s the whole not having a girlfriend thing.

Then one Thursday morning Darren's dad shows up at his house at 6 a.m. with a glazed chocolate doughnut and a revelation that turns Darren’s world inside out. In full freakout mode, Darren, in a totally un-Darren move, ditches school to go visit Nate. Barely twenty-four hours at Nate’s school makes everything much better or much worse—Darren has no idea. It might somehow be both. All he knows for sure is that in addition to trying to figure out why none of his family members are who they used to be, he’s now obsessed with a strangely amazing girl who showed up out of nowhere but then totally disappeared.

Told entirely in lists, Todd Hasak-Lowy's debut YA novel perfectly captures why having anything to do with anyone, including yourself, is:

1. painful
2. unavoidable
3. ridiculously complicated
4. possibly, hopefully the right thing after all.

I'm a sucker for books that are written in interesting and unusual ways. Dual perspectives? I'm in. Crossed out word? I'm there. Books written entirely in lists? Sign me up. But these books are hit or miss. They either hit their mark and get the gold, or they fall flat on their faces and you just sit there pouting because it's such a shame - You really wanted to like it! And yes. Me Being Me fell into the latter category.

I'm just going to say it. This book could have packed a punch in 250 pages. It really could have. But instead, the author wrote it in lists, making it 600 pages of a slow motion punch. It was super irritating to read as well, because in a list of 10 things, only one of them is really needed. The rest are just filler anecdotes. I know this is a bit harsh, but they're useless to the plot. I don't need to know the 12 other times you felt insecure! I want you to tell me that you feel insecure now, and why.

It was not only this that bothered me. It was the main characters. Darren and Zoe and Nate were just boring. They were written like cliches with the promise to break the mold. But they didn't Darren was still just a whiney teenager who couldn't handle change. Nate was really bad comic relief and a reality check all rolled into one. And Zoe was your classic Manic-Pixie-Dream Girl. There were no layers to this story.

I was so disappointed with this story. It absolutely had the potential to be incredible. To pack a punch and to really affect readers. But it fell flat. 1/5 Stars.

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