10 August 2015

You and Me and Him by Kris Dinnison

I had been looking forward to YOU AND ME AND HIM for a long time. I had read the blurbs and it sounded amazing. I almost pre-ordered it.

I'm glad I didn't.

I wanted so, so much to love this book. The setup was brilliant, the voice was stellar. I started off in love with the characters.

But somewhere along the way, everyone and everything started to feel flat. No one surprised me the entire book.

Maggie, the girl with weight issues, never really transcended herself. She wallowed in her body-image issues and then found her fabulousness or whatever. She stood up to her bullies.

Nash, her gay best friend, was melodramatic and never transcended the stereotype of the gay best friend that we've seen time and time again.

Tom, the flirt, was flirty the whole time and that was his thing, and though we occasionally got glimpses that maybe, maybe there was more to him, he ended up doing something to remind us of how shallow he was.

Kayle, the bitchy former-friend, stayed a bitchy former-friend.

No one changed. No one grew.

I got what the book was trying to do. I really did. It just...didn't work for me.

What DID work for me, and what deserves a lot of praise, his how Maggie's issue with her weight was handled. She was honest and heartbreaking and proud and insecure and all the things I felt when I was overweight (and still feel now that I am a healthy weight). One of the characters said, more or less, I still see myself as fat, and that's absolutely true.

I loved the setting. Cedar Ridge was beautifully rendered. A road-trip to Seattle was vividly rendered. 

It was well-plotted and well-paced. I raced through it.

And then it left me feeling empty inside. It was like one of Maggie's delicious cookies: exciting but ultimately unfulfilling.

I was so sad.