My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Description: Sixteen-year-old Rowan is still reeling from her father’s suicide four months ago, after he failed to stop a man from leaping off an overpass to his death. The only witness is Eli, a teenaged boy wrapped deep in mourning for his own father, killed in action in Afghanistan. When Rowan and Eli meet, they recognize kindred spirits, and begin to navigate grief and its aftermath together.
Rowan can’t understand how her father could choose to leave her, and acts out, pushing away friends and taking risks with her safety. Rowan’s mother, wracked with her own guilt and sorrow over failing to save her husband, stops going to work and collects stray cats for comfort. Grief, fractured and unpredictable, rules their lives now. Rowan is lost—and sinking. But Eli represents a lifeline for Rowan, and as they struggle to make sense of what’s gone and what is left behind, they begin to fall in love. Me Since You is Laura Wiess at her finest—a beautiful, gripping and painfully honest examination of adolescence.
My thoughts: Me Since You provides a multiple perspective view on life as a survivor. This book could easily be entitled, "The Ones Left Behind." As romanticized as Romeo and Juliette's multiple other historic suicides are told, there are tragic stories left to tell for those who did not choose that loss and grief. The beginning is a young man bent on suicide on an overpass. What happens to the teenage boy who tries to stop him and fails? Or the officer called to the scene that may already have a predilection for depression? This is the story after the tragedy. This is the story of grieving, moving past that defining moment, and allowing that tragedy to change you. This is also a story if choosing the change at the appropriate time.
It's difficult to read. Grief is the primary focus. It's handled differently by each character and is a good book to normalize how we grieve. It is not a book on suicide but a story about people who are impacted by suicide. It is tragic and hopeful.