Publisher: St Martin’s Griffin
Who knows you well? Your best friend? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? A stranger you meet on a crazy night? No one, really?
Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken. For whatever reason, their paths outside of class have never crossed.
That is until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night. Kate is lost, having just run away from a chance to finally meet the girl she has been in love with from afar. Mark, meanwhile, is in love with his best friend Ryan, who may or may not feel the same way.
When Kate and Mark meet up, little do they know how important they will become to each other — and how, in a very short time, they will know each other better than any of the people who are supposed to know them more.
When I think of YA LGBTQ books, it’s almost always about first coming out. However, You Know Me Well is about what happened after you come out. Kate and Mark had known each other but had never really talked until one night something happens to bring them both together. In a span of a week, together they navigate through the last week of school, young love, old crush and uncertain feelings for the future.
I can’t say that I’ve read many (or any, for that matter) LGBTQ books but I quite enjoyed reading this. I thought it was a beautifully written book with very well-written characters that you just can’t help but relate to. Written in a dual first person POV of Kate and Mark, I thought that the collaboration really gelled together excellently and managed to make me feel excited to know what will happen next. I’m not very familiar with both of the author’s works but I thought if you told me it’s written by one person only, I would have believed it.
I love the two main characters in this, as they were so open and comfortable in their own skins, in their own identity as gay teenagers. I love how they started bonding, that eventhough it could be unrealistic being so close after just one night, but it’s definitely something that could happen, especially when you think about the fact that they have known each other for a whole year, just never really got the chance to be close. But something did happen that night and it brought them closer.
The romance in this book kinda fell flat for me. I just can’t root for any of the couples. I don’t like Ryan with Taylor and I can’t even understand why Mark likes Ryan as more than a friend. I also thought that the Kate and Violet combo did not really work cos I did not get any feelings from them at all. Violet was supposed to be this very interesting character that Kate just fell in love with through photographs and letters without even meeting her, but when she does finally meet Violet, I felt nothing, no chemistry between them at all.
In my opinion, even though parts of this book is about teenage romance of the gay variety, the heart of this book is definitely the friendship between Kate and Mark. The way that they were just there for each other despite only bonding for a very short time makes for a very enjoyable read. I adore them so much and they are definitely the reason I kept turning the pages ❤
I would definitely recommend this if you want something a little different than coming-out story. This is a beautifully moving story about friendship, about choices that you make and the future that you choose.
My rating: 1/2
Disclaimer: I received the ARC from St Martin’s Press via Netgalley in exchange of honest reviews. All opinions are mine.