The Catastrophic History of You and Me

Author: Jess Rothenberg
Pages: 400

Publisher: Penguin
Format: Hardcover
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Summary (from the author's official website): 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?
My Summary: Brie had the perfect life. At the young age of sixteen (well, almost) she had a loving family, three amazing best friends, and the world's greatest boyfriend.  Or so she thought.

It turns out Brie's boyfriend isn't so great at all. After almost a year of dating, he tells her he doesn't love her. Sucks, right? More so for Brie, who collapses after he makes his confession... and never wakes up.

Now, alone and confused, Brie is guided by Patrick - a guy straight out of a bad 80's movie - through the five stages of grief. But when she breaks the rules and starts messing with the lives of the people who betrayed her, Brie will discover just how far the ripples of her actions will spread.

My Thoughts: The minute I read the description for this novel, I knew I had to get my hands on it. I need to explain something first, though: I am not a fan of 'after-death' novels, just because I feel like it's a topic that's been really over-done lately (like vampires, werewolves, etc) so generally the quality isn't that great. But there are some novels that you just get a good feeling about, you know? The first novel about what happens after death that I actually enjoyed was Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (which I loved, adored, and cried over rather pathetically). Since reading it, I haven't read another 'after-death' novel... until this one.

I am not kidding when I say I laughed and cried, all while reading the same chapter. Reading Brie's narration, I couldn't help feeling angry, betrayed, and heartbroken alongside her. I went through my entire spectrum of emotions with this one, and I couldn't put it down until I'd finished all 400 pages in one sitting. The writing was awesome - smooth and clear - and extremely realistic. My heart was breaking for Patrick and Brie and everyone she left behind in her old life, and it takes a really good author to do that. All in all, it was amazing.

Final Thoughts: I definitely recommend this to anyone who likes paranormal YA, contemporary lit, or just fiction in general. Do yourselves a favour and check it out!


  1. Anonymous2/20/2012

    Yours is the first review I've read of this book (although I've seen the cover lots of other places) and it makes me want to read this book.

    Great review!

    Nerd Girls at Books to the Sky

  2. Nice review! Thanks!


  3. I've never seen this one before. Thanks for putting this on my radar. I've never read an after-death novel that wasn't vampire related so this would be new for me.


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