Readers: February 27th: Apologies for the scattered posting that's about to come during the next week or so. University has just started and I have a lot of work to do to get on top of things (and ahead!). Thanks for your patience, as always.

Publishers: I promise I'm not abandoning the lovely review copies you've sent!
I'm getting through them and the reviews will come eventually!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Review: The Catastrophic History of You and Me

Title: The Catastrophic History of You and Me
Author: Jess Rothenberg
Publisher: Penguin Australia
Published: April 2nd 2012
Source: Publisher for review

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?

The Catastrophic History of You and Me has a fascinating concept, with an emotional tale and dangerous love. When Brie Eagan's perfect life was shattered by her boyfriend's horrifying confession, her heart literally broke in half along with it, leaving behind a devastated family and a troubled ex. Through the gut-wrenching humour, loveable characters and moving scenes of mourning, this book will have you wondering what your life would be like, had you just made one different decision. Maybe you'd have gotten that big promotion, met a fantastic guy or saved someone's life? Ooh. I've got your attention now!

Upon floating into heaven, Brie immediately runs into a boy named Patrick who dresses like he's part of the Top Gun cast. He'll charm you within a second of opening his mouth and suddenly dying doesn't seem that bad at all! You really wouldn't believe the amount of smiles and giggles he got out of me… Acting as Brie's rock and guide in the after life, Patrick supports her through all five stages of grief and gives her something of himself extremely precious and sacred. (Hint hint - big plot point) Their relationship is honestly so amazing, endearing and saddening that I can't even describe! The two have an abundance of adorable moments that puts this book so very high up on the Cool List! You'll come to find that Patrick harbours many secrets that'll mess with your mind and leave you breathless. THE TWISTS! *gasps* Unbelievable, pass-out material right here.

On a serious note, your heart will probably acquire some cracks from this story. When Brie goes back to earth to check up on the people in her life, she finds them all broken and lost. Rothenberg does some amazing character development here, making the situation even more personal than it already is. Throughout the novel we're given the opportunity to get to know Jacob Fischer, her ex-boyfriend, and learn about the long relationship he had with Brie. It all seemed perfect so why did he say he didn't love her? Why is he meeting up with Brie's best friend? What did she do to make him hit rock bottom? The complicated aftermath of Brie's death will forge a strong bond between you and all of the characters, so you will most definitely need a hand to hold when the massive secrets and twists begin showing their nasty faces. Brie gets a whole lot more than she bargained for….

How do I measure how much I loved this book? Well, I had to "call a friend", Millionaire style, and ask what happened at the end. Seems like I got too excited and did the mad dash to the finish line! Catastrophic History will rewire your "sensible" cells and demand you read it in one sitting, whether it's 5am or not! The romance ties together with the conflicts perfectly and is another platform on which Brie can question what her life means to her compared to another. The novel is set out in parts of the Five Stages and it works amazingly well for the story. I was truly stunned by how well Rothenberg made it work and I'm on my knees bowing down to her brilliance! Grab the popcorn and tissues, and sit your behind down to read this with your girlfriends. (Pssst…offer free hugs.) Prepare to be awed and filled with absolute contentment as Rothenberg takes you through the emotional five stages of grief. Give Acceptance a wave when you see her!

Find Jess on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, her website and blog.
Buy TCHOYAM from Amazon, The Book Depository and Barnes & Noble
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