Title: Me and Me
Author: Alice Kuipers
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Contemporary, Magical Realism, Domestic Abuse, Sexual Peer Pressure
Blurb from Goodreads
It’s a perfect day for Lark’s dream date with Alec from school. Blue skies, clear water, a canoe on the lake. Alec even brought flowers for Lark’s birthday. Everything is just right … until they hear screams from the edge of the water.
Annabelle, a little girl Lark used to babysit, is struggling in the reeds. When Lark and Alec dive in to help her, Alec hits his head on a rock. Now Annabelle and Alec are both in trouble, and Lark can only save one of them.
With that split-second decision, Lark’s world is torn in two, leaving her to cope with the consequences of both choices. She lives two lives, two selves. But which is the right life, and which is the real Lark?
Me and Me is about how it feels to be torn in pieces, and how to make two halves whole again. This mind-bending novel from Alice Kuipers, expert chronicler of the teenage heart, explores loss and love, music and parkour, all while navigating the narrow space between fantasy and reality.
The premise of “Me and Me” really appealed to me as it reminded me of a film that I enjoyed; Sliding Doors starring Gwyneth Paltrow and John Hannah. The set up for this book showed what happens when MC Lark’s life diverged into two separate paths one afternoon when she was forced to make the hardest decision between rescuing a young child or her new boyfriend from drowning.
Sadly for me this book didn’t work at all. I found the first chapter much too long of a set up and the book really went downhill from there.
None of the side characters were at all memorable and I didn’t connect to any of them. This mightn’t have been too bad had the MC Lark been written in a really vibrant fashion and as a reader I could really have been rooting for her to figure out what was going on in her life…
But sadly she made so many frustrating decisions that it was almost impossible to be invested in her journey; especially when her character flaws weren’t written in a fashion that made her feel like an everywoman character. Disappointingly Lark had that special snowflake quality that is not a desirable trait in YA books.
A pet peeve of mine is when authors try to incorporate song lyrics into the main body of a book as I feel that song lyrics need to be sung or listened to as opposed to being read. And this book had far too many examples of dodgy teenage song lyrics seemingly written by the MC woven into the story. What I found to be somewhat ironic is how Lark herself made reference to the fact that song lyrics aren’t meant to be read but instead become a part of something bigger once the music is written around them!
Trigger Warnings for this story have to include domestic abuse and sexual peer pressure. Neither storyline was developed adequately in my opinion especially that of the sexual peer pressure storyline and the reasons given to explain it.
And lastly that epilogue… What a let down. It really felt like the author was not brave enough to end the book in am ambiguous fashion which would conversely have been much more fulfilling than the ridiculously neat and tidy bow with which everything was tied up with.
Unfortunately I didn’t enjoy Me and Me at all which is a shame as that premise with the stories of parallel worlds and infinity points are really interesting to think about.