I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Simon Pulse on 24th March 2015
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:
3. ridiculously complicated
4. possibly, hopefully the right thing after all.
3 Perfectly valid reasons why you should read Me Being Me:
1) The Format
It’s written in list form, which I absolutely loved. (And obviously inspired the style of this review!) It made reading Me Being Me such a breeze, and made it super easy to slip in and out of the book, although I found myself struggling to put the book down with the promise of “just one more list” all too alluring! The lists are a nice mixture of short and sweet and chunkier points, and these really helped with the pacing of the story.
2) The Characters
Darren is a wonderful narrator and I couldn’t help but like him. He has a ton of shit to deal with, he’s trying to cope with his parent’s divorce, his brother has gone away to college and he doesn’t really have any friends. Then his dad drops this huge bombshell and it’s understandable why Darren reacts as he does. Darren’s relationship with both his parents is so well written and just plain wonderful, it’s realistic, natural and both his parents are so present. There’s no missing parent syndrome in this book, they play a huge role in Darren’s life, and you have no idea how wonderful it was to read. I also want to give a huge shoutout to Ray, because he was a character who Darren should have struggled to get along with, but he didn’t. I wish there had been more Ray in the book, because I loved him. And Zoe, who isn’t all that present throughout the book, but has a huge role in the story anyway was a character who I probably should have hated, but I didn’t. I can’t talk too much about her, but I just loved her character and her interactions with Darren. I wanted to see more of them together, but I understand why we weren’t given that.
3) The Ending
There was this wonderful openness about the ending, which I normally hate with a passion because I want to know EVERYTHING about the characters’ futures, but with Me Being Me, the open ending worked perfectly. I already know what will happen with Darren and Zoe, in my head at least, and I love how Hasak-Lowy ended it.
1 Thing I’d like to say to Todd Hasak-Lowy:
THANK YOU FOR NOT MAKING COUNSELLING THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL. It’s appreciated a lot.