Monday, 13 February 2012

Review for The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg

The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg
Publisher: Puffin
Release Date: 2nd February 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Afterlife
Rating: 5/5 stars
Source: Received from the publisher for review

Goodreads Summary:
"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 in heaven, 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 knows 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's been D&G (dead and gone) much longer than she and 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?"

I’m a big fan of what I’ve come to think of as “Afterlife” books. With what exactly happens after death being the world’s biggest mystery I think that it gives authors artistic licence to really put some imagination into their take on life after death. I found Jess Rothenberg’s version of an afterlife fascinating and thought that it was a brilliant idea for the deceased to have to go through the five stages of grief- Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Sadness and Acceptance- just the same as those they left behind have to in order to move on.

What makes this book stand apart from others in the “Afterlife” genre is that our main character Brie literally dies from a broken heart when her first love Jacob tells her that he doesn’t love her. There’s a real mystery behind the book as to why Jacob broke up with Brie when their relationship seemed so perfect. I loved watching Brie visit her old life and go from seeking revenge on Jacob to slowly coming to understand and accept the reasons why their relationship didn’t work out all whilst struggling with her growing attraction to her new friend and guide to all things afterlife Patrick. Patrick himself is another big mystery to the book, I was so curious to know why he had been in this “in-between” place for so long and what was keeping him from moving on to the other side. The Catastrophic History of You and Me is a book that explores love in all its glorious and devastating forms and is ultimately a unique and quirky romance.

As well as the romance aspect to this book, Brie is also trying to navigate her way and learn the rules of the afterlife as well as trying to tie up loose ends and act as guardian angel to her best friends and family. What really impressed me with this book was Rothenberg’s ability to write a story that is in equal parts as funny and life affirming as it is heart breaking and sad. I loved Brie’s voice and could completely relate to her and the mistakes she makes with love.

I would whole heartedly (cheesy pun totally intended) recommend this book to anyone who’s ever had their heart broken. The Catastrophic History of You and Me is a love story like no other, with a hilarious heroine, and the ultimate disaster romance this is a story of life, death, love and all the glorious things in between at its best.


  1. I've seen a lot of mixed reviews of this one around lately, but since you loved it, I'm hoping I will too! :)

    1. Yeah I've seen some mixed reviews too, I've read that some people found the end confusing but I didn't at all I loved it completely and hope you will too :)

  2. This sounds like an interesting book. I'm also fascinating by books about the afterlife, so I'll have to check it out.

    1. It's definitely one of the better Afterlife books and so original!

  3. Great review. I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of this book! :)


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