You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour & David Levithan


“The heart is a treacherous beast.”
“But it means well.”

Title: You Know Me Well
Author: Nina LaCour & David Levithan
Why you should read this book: Because it’s a friendship at first sight and it tells a story that will make you happy and sad at the same time.

Summary from Goodreads:

Who knows you well? Your best friend? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? A stranger you meet on a crazy night? No one, really?

Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken. For whatever reason, their paths outside of class have never crossed.

That is, until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night. Kate is lost, having just run away from a chance to finally meet the girl she has been in love with from afar. Mark, meanwhile, is in love with his best friend Ryan, who may or may not feel the same way.

When Kate and Mark meet up, little do they know how important they will become to each other—and how, in a very short time, they will know each other better than any of the people who are supposed to know them more.

I hate that word. Straight. At the very least, those of us who are nonstraight should be called curvy. Or scenic. Actually, I like that: ‘Do you think she’s straight?’ ‘Oh no. She’s scenic.’

This story is about friendship. This story takes place about one week to high school graduation and it involved two persons who know each other but have never spoken to each other in the only class they share. They meet one night at a club during the first day of Pride Week in San Francisco and it’s friendship at first word, let’s say that. Mark is the perfect guy, beautiful and athletic, he is eternally in love with his best friend Ryan. They have fooled around since they were younger and Mark fell really hard for him but it seems that Ryan, forever in the closet, doesn’t think of their friendship in the same way. Mark struggles, his heart is full of one-sided love and it’s bad. He loves Ryan so much it hurts.

Would I fight for him? I have been fighting for him for years. And I’m losing. No matter what I do, I’m losing. But I have to fight anyway.

Kate is the art genius who has been in love with her best friend cousin she has never met. She loves Violet so much and has never spoken to her and now that she has the chance to meet her, she is freaking out. She also is struggling with life, love and the prospect of a future that has to thrill her but it doesn’t. She doesn’t really know what she wants and she seeks Mark’s help. Their sudden friendship helps them both to come to terms with the chaos that is their lives at the moment.

I’m trying to figure myself out. I keep failing.

In one week everything changes. Kate has to find out what she really wants and pursue it without losing the only person she wants in her life. She is also having problems with her best friend. She is questioning the nature of said friendship asking herself if they haven’t changed too much and maybe they can’t have what they’d had until that day. She needs to see her choices and her life in perspective and for that she needs Mark, an outsider that will become really important for her growth. And it will only take a week.

Also, I don’t want to be a best friend if I can’t also be a boy in his eyes. I don’t want to be a calendar if I’ll never get a date.

Mark needs to confess his overwhelming feelings to Ryan and move on because Ryan has met someone and Mark needs to understand that it’s not meant to be even if in his head them being together feels perfect. Ryan doesn’t want to lose his best friend but he can’t reciprocate his feelings because the love he feels is not the same love Mark feels and I think Mark knew that but didn’t want to see it because it hurt so much.

He’s not doing it to hurt me. I have to believe that. He’s doing it to make himself happy. Which just happens to hurt me.

One week to change their world and be happy. One week to see deep inside themselves, see what’s wrong and fix what’s fixable. One week isn’t much but for them it is enough and it will take them to where they are supposed to be. The future is not written, our choices change it but hope has to be there all the time or else giving up will be too tempting. Giving up is easy; too easy and belittling ourselves comes naturally. Just remember not to give up and if you don’t think you can do it alone find someone willing to help you; it’s never too late to change your life if you think it’s not the life you want.

Here we come – through hard days and good ones, through despair and through exhilaration, in love and out of love, for just now or for forever. Here we come. It’s our parade.


Bonus quote:

“Ice cream? Is that really part of the coming-out process?”
“Hells, yes. Ben and Jerry have lasted so long together – they’re our role models.”

Do I recommend it? Yes, it’s adorable even with its heartbreaking parts, it’s worth your time.
Rate: 4/5