Release Date: February 21, 2012Review: There were a lot of ways Jess Rothenberg could have gone with this story. She could have taken a religious turn, because of the setting. Or maybe a science twist, with depth behind the actual broken heart. She took it in a unique direction that I ended up enjoying quite a lot, despite the fact that I wasn't too warm in the beginning.
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Number of Pages: 375
Synopsis: Dying of a broken heart is just the beginning.... Welcome to forever.
BRIE'S LIFE ENDS AT SIXTEEN: Her boyfriend tells her he doesn't love her, and the news breaks her heart—literally.
But now that she's D&G (dead and gone), Brie is about to discover that love is way more complicated than she ever imagined. Back in Half Moon Bay, her family has begun to unravel. Her best friend has been keeping a secret about Jacob, the boy she loved and lost—and the truth behind his shattering betrayal. And then there's Patrick, Brie's mysterious new guide and resident Lost Soul . . . who just might hold the key to her forever after.
With Patrick's help, Brie will have to pass through the five stages of grief before she's ready to move on. But how do you begin again, when your heart is still in pieces?
This book took a really interesting on the concept of afterlife. I've only read one other book on this topic, and that was Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin, which I liked a lot. I also liked this book quite a lot, too.
Brie literally dies of a broken heart--which isn't really possible, but it makes for an interesting story, so whatever. I had mixed feelings for Brie. At times, I felt like she was relatable and that she had a level mind. I felt so sorry for her throughout the first third or so. Everything was going so terribly back at Earth, and I couldn't help but feel Brie's pain and sadness. But then, at other times, I'd feel like she was just way too sensitive, over-the-top, and really, just a b...rat (*cough*). There's a section in the book where she gets revenge, and to me, she went too far. Brie was really not a nice girl for a part of this novel. However, she does transform a lot throughout the story, which I always love reading about. By the end, she does redeem herself, and I'm just neutral, I guess.
Patrick was Brie's tour guide, I guess, but also her best friend in the afterlife. At first, I was hesitant about him, like everything else in this novel. He seemed really weird. He spoke strangely and the energy he gave off was odd. But as I got more absorbed into the story, and uncovered more backgrounds, I realized that Patrick was just like Brie--a heartbroken teen looking for love. He was always really sweet towards Brie and he was very compassionate.
I loved the way the book was set up. It has six different parts, each about a different stage in Brie's afterlife, which was a really great way of organization. The plot was steady and easy to follow, as well as fascinating. I liked how well this was narrated. It made me feel like I was actually in Brie's mind. I also really liked how each chapter's title was a song lyric. It made me feel awesome when I knew what song the lyric was from.
A thing that really bothered me was the dialogue. That sounds kind of random, but the dialogue was pretty bad. It wasn't cheesy or anything. It was just unrealistic. The jokes seemed out of date and the dialogue itself didn't really flow all that smoothly.
Although it took me a while to get into and even longer to warm up to different aspects of this novel, I still thoroughly enjoyed this book. The Catastrophic History of You and Me is a thoughtful and sweet story of self-discovery and acceptance, with an adorable romance.