I want to start out by saying that I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about Me and Me. I hadn’t read anything by this author prior to going into this book, but once I started reading it, I felt a need to finish it. It’s rare that I have time to finish an entire book in one day lately, but this one I made an exception for, because it really pulled me into the story, into the characters, and into the setting.
I really like the cover of Me and Me, and I think it really reflects the story well. It has such a pretty image on it, and it stands out among other books on my shelf. I like the faded lettering in the title, because it really goes along with what is happening in the book.
Me and Me begins with the main character, Lark, out on a date with Alec, a boy from school whom she has a crush on. He takes her canoeing at the lake, and while there, she runs into a little girl she babysits – Annabelle – and her mother. They promise to meet Lark and Alec out on the water, so they take the canoe and head out onto the lake, where they can have their date until Annabelle and her mother stop to say hello.
Only that doesn’t happen – instead, Lark and Alec hear screams across the lake, where Annabelle is struggling in the water after having fallen out of the boat. Lark and Alec both jump in to save them, only Alec gets hurt, and Lark is left with an impossible decision – whether she should go save Annabelle, or instead turn and save Alec.
Just the way it needs to be
You, me, if only …'”
That’s when things start to get weird for Lark. At that split moment, Lark’s life splits off into two – in one world she saves Alec, but in the second, she saves Annabelle.
In both timelines, Lark is left to deal with the consequences of her actions, and because of that, they both shape her quite differently – she’s almost a completely different person. It seems that how Lark is dealing with issues in one timeline is just about the opposite of how she is dealing with them in another timeline – one where she has fallen in love with Alec and Annabelle is in a coma, and one where Alec is in a coma, and Annabelle is safe.
Then strange things begin to happen to Lark, and she doesn’t know what is going on – strange messages pop up on her cell phone and there is no sender number or address. Soon she starts to get videos of herself from the other timeline, and not only is she terrified, no one around her seems to believe her, and they are all worried for her (in both timelines).
“‘A parallel life is one that happens at the same time as the life you’re currently living. Life as it could have been.'”
When Lark figures out what is going on, she has to race the clock to fix the issue in both timelines, to set things right. Only, it’s difficult to do when she feels like she will have to be doing it alone.
I loved the way this book was set up. Each chapter is an alternating view between one timeline and another, so you get to see exactly how each version of Lark is handling the tragedy at the same times. It’s really cool to have written the book this way. I was a tad confused at first with the jumping around, but once I understood how the author had written it, I had no issues. Had I known the writing style going in, it wouldn’t have been a problem, so that’s really not the book’s fault or anything.
Lark’s character – both versions of her – were just wonderfully written. I loved her passion for music in one timeline, and her complete and utter devotion to Alec and her father in another. I really think that the author wrote her character really well.
Alec’s character, on the other hand, was a bit weird. Toward the end I didn’t care for him much at all, but even in the beginning he seemed a little strange. I don’t know, I just didn’t really connect with him at all, nor did I see what Lark saw in him, I guess.
The fact that Lark is dealing with all this, her father’s health problems, and the aftermath of the tragedy, all while missing her mother, who had died a few years ago, is heartbreaking. We really get a good look inside Lark’s mind and there are moments in this book that are incredibly emotional.
I don’t want to spoil anything by talking about the plot too much, because it’s better to unravel it yourself, but I have to say that this is one of the most interesting and original books I’ve read in 2018. I don’t really read a lot of books that deal with alternate timelines, so I can’t compare it to others or anything, but this book had a stellar plot that was executed in an interesting way. After reading this, I definitely want to seek out other novels by this author, because she has a true gift for telling a story!
Alice Kuipers is the author of the debut novel Life on the Refrigerator Door, an award-winning Young Adult/Adult crossover published to rave reviews in 32 countries and told entirely in post-it notes written by a mother and her daughter. Named a New York Times Book for the Teen Age, Life on the Refrigerator Door has won or been short listed for numerous prizes, including the Redbridge Book Award, the Sheffield Libraries Choice Award, the Grand Prix de Viarmes, the Saskatchewan First Book Award, the Salt Lake City County Library System Reader’s Choice Award, and the Carnegie Medal.
Alice’s second novel, The Worst Thing She Ever Did (published in the US as Lost for Words), won the 2011 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Juvenile / YA Crime Book; was short listed for the White Pine Award; and was a Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Books of the Year selection for 2011. The Worst Thing She Ever Did has been sold in 9 territories and praised as “gorgeous, heart-ripping, important” (Voices of Young Adults).
40 Things I Want To Tell You, was published in Canada by HarperCollins in 2012. The book has been praised as “funny and totally up to date” by the Canadian Review of Materials, and “crisp and effective” by the Winnipeg Free Press. Rights have been sold in Germany, Greece, Denmark and Croatia.
The Death of Us, came out in 2014 to great reviews, and was a CLA Listed Book. It’s been described as a quick and turbulent read, The Death of Us is a brilliant coming-of-age novel with a sharpened corkscrew of a twist that will leave readers breathless.
Most recently, Alice’s YA novel, Me and Me, was published in 2017. It was described by Bif Naked as mesmerising.
Alice has a brand new chapter book series with Chronicle Press starting wit the first book: Polly Diamond and the Magic Book, an Amazon best book of the month, described by Booklist as a book that: Brings the imagination to life.
Alice is also writing a memoir about teenager Carley Allison with Kids Can Press. She has had stories produced for CBC and essays published in Bristol Review of Books and Easy Living magazine. She has blogged for Today’s Parent, and The Huffington Post.
Alice’s has two picture books with Little Brown Books for Young Readers, Violet and Victor write the Best-Ever Bookworm Book, and Violet and Victor Write the Most Fabulous Fairy Tale.
Alice’s work is published in 34 countries.
Born and raised in London, England, Alice now lives in Saskatoon, Canada, with her partner, the writer Yann Martel, and their four young children.
3 Winners will receive a finished copy of ME AND ME, US Only.
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