Book Review: You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour

Book Review: You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour

You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan is a fast-paced, whirlwind of a book that has so much potential for greatness. The plot is very unique and really keeps readers on their toes. However, the alternating perspectives were very hard to follow and the characters were not as developed as I would have liked.

Book Review: You Know Me Well by Nina LaCourTitle: You Know Me Well
Author: David Levithan, Nina LaCour
Also by this author: Another Day (Every Day #2)
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult Fiction
Publication Date: June 7, 2016
Rating: three-stars

Summary (from Goodreads):

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.

Told in alternating points of view by Nina LaCour and David Levithan, You Know Me Well is a story about navigating the joys and heartaches of first love, one truth at a time.


❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃

Book Review: You Know Me Well

If you like books that spin you around and spit you out at the end, You Know Me Well might be just the book for you. The story never stopss moving and its quick storyline actually had me setting this one down just so that I could digest the events in the book. The story takes place over the course of a few days and really encompasses quite a few details. Sometimes I was actually wondering if some of the events were very realistic for a contemporary novel. For instance, is it easy for 17 year olds to enter a bar in San Fransisco? It certainly isn’t where I am from and I had a hard time with the start of the novel due to this. There are some other things that take place as well that had me questioning their possibility, but to avoid spoiling the book, I will leave it at that.

❀ Co-Authored Book

I was really excited to read yet another David Levithan co-authored novel and unfortunately, this one does not measure up to his other works. Actually, I found myself enjoying the sections written by Nina LaCour much more. Levithan wrote from the perspective of Mark, while LaCour wrote Kate’s. Sounds like the perfect way to write a book with another author, right? Fusion conducted a wonderful interview with Nina Lacour on the process. Even though the perspectives changed with each chapter, I found myself constantly trying to figure out exactly which character was speaking. There were no distinct markings in the ARC version and this made my reading very laborious.

❀ Characters Not Well-Developed

I am not sure if it was the quick nature of the plot or because two authors were at work telling the story, but it really felt as though I didn’t really get to know the characters as well as I would have liked. Kate’s character is the most developed in my opinion, but I would have appreciated a little more back story as to how she got to the place she was in emotionally at the beginning of the story and not the end. Mark was a character that was interesting, but the reader isn’t given lots of information about him. For a main character, I found this to be very annoying at times.

❀ A Different Kind of Book

You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan has quite a few interesting and exciting elements, however, I would have loved to have had clear markings in the text as to which character was speaking. Greater character development would really make this story so much more than it is. However, if you are looking for a fun and different kind of book it is worth a try.

About David Levithan

Image of David Levithan.

David Levithan (born 1972) is an American children's book editor and award-winning author. He published his first YA book, Boy Meets Boy, in 2003. Levithan is also the founding editor of PUSH, a Young Adult imprint of Scholastic Press.

About Nina LaCour

Nina Lacour

Nina LaCour grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her first job was at fourteen in an independent bookstore, and she has since worked in two others. She has tutored and taught in various places, from a juvenile hall to a private college. She now teaches English at an independent high school.


About Lori

Avid reader. Contributor to The Candid Cover. Educator.

14 thoughts on “Book Review: You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour

  1. The Petite Book Blogger says:

    Personally, I’m not a fan of David Levithan so I wouldn’t pick this book up in the first place but now after reading your review, I know that it’s not the book for me. It’s sucks that the dual POV’s were confusing, usually that’s the best part ( for me at least). Also, inconsistencies like entering bars at 17 is just too unrealistic. The only way that, that could happen was if his parents owned the bar and even then, it’s highly unlikely. Great review as always!

    • Candid Cover says:

      It will be interesting to compare a finished copy to the ARC. I would have given this book a much higher rating if it was clearer to me who was speaking! I am glad that you agree about the unrealistic nature of the bar scene. 🙂

  2. Kelly says:

    Great review! I hate when there are multiple points of view and because the writing often seems so simiar, it’s hard to tell which character is narrating the chapter. I’m surprised that there weren’t any markings at the beginning of the chapters in the ARC version…I wonder if that was fixed in the finished version of the book. I have yet to read anything by either of these authors, so I can’t speak for how this book holds up against their other works, but this sounds really good. I haven’t seen too many rave reviews for it yet…most of them have just been “meh,” so I’m still on the fence about it!

  3. Jaime Lynn says:

    I love a co-written story when it is done well. And I love alternating POV’s, as well. It sounds like this one had the potential but never quite made up for it!

  4. sydneyeditor1 says:

    I’m sorry this wasn’t as awesome as you thought it would be, especially as these characters and the plot really did sound pretty good. I”m really curious about how this writing process worked with them and why they made their choices.

    • Candid Cover says:

      The writing process sounds so unique and I think that this book has so much potential. It definitely has lots to offer and it might be enjoyable for someone else. I am eager to read David Levithan’s next book to see if this was just a blip. 🙂

  5. alilovesbooks says:

    It’s funny isn’t it how everyone can have such different opinions of the same book. I really liked it and I have to say the highlight for me were the Mark sections. I suspect I saw far too much of myself in Kate 🙂 I haven’t read any other David Leviathan books so maybe I benefited from not having anything to compare to.

    • Candid Cover says:

      I am glad to hear that you enjoyed it! I really do believe that some books relate more to others or maybe just hit you when you were in the right mood for it. I guess I did have high expectations for this one. 🙂

  6. Tasya says:

    I really like David Levithan’s writing, it’s always funny and entertaining, but I’ve seen some okay review for this one. Alternating povs sometimes can be hard, especially if the characters’ voice are too similar. I hope your next read would be better!

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