Saturday, October 21, 2017

Audiobook Review: You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan

Rating: ★★★ +.5 | Release Date: 06/07/16 | Contemporary | 6 hours 36 minutes 

When a series of happenstances bring high schoolers Mark Rissi and Kate Cleary to the same bar during San Francisco Pride, they form an instant friendship and navigate a night of unexpected twists, anxiety, unrequited loves exploring what it means to have people who know you well.

I’ve been reading a lot of "quiet YA" and this book is probably the quietest YA to ever quiet. I mentioned that my last book, Gem and Dixie was a quiet YA but I can at least point to a turning action in that book while You Know Me Well just moves dreamily along, as we follow Kate and Mark through San Francisco Pride Week. This book started off slow and to be honest I almost DNF'd, but LaCour and Levithan do such a good job developing their characters and side character that over time  I was drawn in.

In the acknowledgments, the authors write that the day they finished this book they both happened to be at San Francisco Pride and that it was also the day gay marriage became legal. While most of the book is about Kate and Mark navigating the people and expectations in their lives you can really feel that pride about belonging to the LGBTQ community coming through the pages, especially towards the end of the book as the characters spend a weekend at teen Pride actives. They show the range and diversity of the LGBTQ community, there was just so much joy and these were some of my favorite scenes.

Matthew Brown and Emma Galvin provide the alternating narration for each of our protagonists.  I was a little lukewarm about Emma Galvin’s performance. She’s young, so her voice fits for YA, but she was over-performing and her pronunciations distracted from the story. I  liked what Brown was doing though, he has this great delivery and performance.

A few years ago I did a series where I read a lot of David Levithan books, so this was me trying to connect this book to his other books:

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