Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Book Review: "You Me Everything" by Catherine Isaac

What is it about books with pronouns in the title?

Me Before You, Everything I Never Told You, The Geography of You and Me, and now, Catherine Isaac's You Me Everything, all turned me into an emotional wreck when I was reading them. (I know there are countless other books which fit this bill, but these come to mind first.)

"Everyone's future is uncertain. Most of us don't think about the fact that we could be run over by a bus tomorrow. We plod through life, taking everything for granted."

Ever since he showed up late for the birth of their son, smelling of booze and with lipstick on his collar, Jess knew Adam wasn't for her. She should have listened to him when he told her he wasn't ready to be a father, but he had told her he loved her, so she thought that would triumph over everything. But it didn't, and she was fine letting him go, even though the burden of being a single mother wasn't the easiest."

Adam has tried to be a good father to William, but it's never seemed to be his number one priority. And again, that hasn't really upset Jess too much—she, along with her parents, have raised a handsome, well-adjusted boy. But now that William is 10, she's realized that he needs to get to know his father better. Bowing to pressure from her mother, Jess and William are heading to the French countryside to spend the summer with Adam at the hotel he operates in a restored castle.

It doesn't take long for William to become utterly enamored with his father. Adam enjoys having William there with him, but he's still not ready to give up the rest of his life for his son. He has a new, beautiful, younger girlfriend, and he doesn't quite understand that when you make a promise to a 10-year-old, he expects you to keep it—you can't just reschedule in order to spend time with your girlfriend.

Even though Jess still bears some old hurts from her relationship with Adam, she is bound and determined for him and William to grow closer, but she isn't willing to tell anyone why this is so important to her. Jess has a fear she has been hiding from nearly everyone, and she can't tell the truth, for fear she might lose everyone she loves. And as her feelings for Adam grow more jumbled the more time they spend together, she knows she has to keep him at long distance, for everyone's sake.

"When life is tough, as it will be for all of us, you have a duty to yourself. To live without regrets."

You Me Everything is one of those poignant, heartwarming tearjerkers that might not break new ground, but it's tremendously compelling. I read 90 percent of the book yesterday in just a few hours, and woke up early this morning so I could finish. Even though the plot is familiar, I found all of the characters really engaging, so I was very invested in seeing their stories through.

Isaac makes her American debut with this book, and her storytelling is tremendously assured. She does a great job with imagery—you can almost picture the French countryside where the book takes place and experience the adventures that Jess, Adam, and William go on. I was hooked from start to finish.

You won't want this one to end. This will be one of those books you need to grab quickly for the beach, the plane, the hammock, or wherever you want to devour it.

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