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  • Review: The Conspiration of the Universe by Kenneth Olanday

Sunday, February 26, 2012

ARC Review: The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg

I haven't been in tune with a novel in a long while. Well guess what? I was in perfect sync with Jess Rothenberg's writing. Perfectly in tune.

Title: The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg
Pages: 400
Release Date: February 21st 2012 (US) / April 2nd 2012 (AU)
Published by: Penguin Young Readers Group
Source: Publisher (thanks Tina!)
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository


Dying of a broken heart is just the beginning.... Welcome to forever.

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 D&G (dead and gone), 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 has been keeping 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 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?

Brie died on the very same day her boyfriend told her he doesn't love her and her heart just got broken into two, literally. Now Brie is stuck in a dingy pizza place and a replica of her town and she couldn't really quite get into the afterlife, not until she made sure her family and friends were okay. But as Brie tries to get through Death to be able to move on, she slowly realizes that not all is well in good in the life she'd left behind. Plus there's one Top Gun Tom Cruise look a like boy who's her only shot at making it through the after life and he makes her feel things about the afterlife she didn't quite expect to.

My heart broke for Brie for many, many times. To be able to see your family picking up the pieces of their life after you are gone, seeing them struggle and yet you couldn't do anything about it. Ironically, Brie's character felt more alive when she was dead than when she was living. You get this seemingly perfect girl at first and then you see her in her more fragile moments and you realize there's more to her than just having great friends and family. What made me love her is that spark in her personality, that spunkiness, even when she was betrayed and lied to when she was living. She didn't just accept it all sitting down, she got mad and got even. But even in her after life, Brie was determined to make life right, at least for those she had left behind.

Patrick is the most adorable Lost Soul in the whole world! I loved him from the very first moment he opened his mouth and started spewing out creative cheese nicknames for Brie to the very moment his character unraveled. I couldn't remember how many times I have laughed out loud with his cheesy, bad pick up lines. But most of all I loved how you'll feel like you're just skimming over the surface of his personality in most parts of the book, then you finally find out just how much he had sacrificed for the very same thing Brie hated, Love, you get this entirely different person and you'll just like him more. Plus he's good in Latin. Definitely a plus!

The Catastrophic History of You and Me is the first book in a long time that made me feel heartache, happiness, anger and sadness all at the same time. It's never easy reading about Death, let alone reading about someone going through it, so I was really surprised when I found myself being swept along with Brie's story, her emotions, her thoughts, her life. I felt like I went through the Five Stages of Grief myself. It's one thing to think that an author's writing is good, but to be completely enamored with it is an entirely different thing. It's a bit scary how much I responded to Brie's experiences as she went through all of it.

The Catastrophic History of You and Me surprised me in a lot of ways. It's about family, it's about friends, it's about love, it's about life. It's full of what ifs and what could have been. It's about trust and sacrifices, about sharing and listening. About being honest with yourself and thinking of not just yourself but all of those you love. Patrick and Brie's story made the afterlife seem so romantic!

Jess Rothenberg had this magical way with words and she'd make you evoke a swarm of complicated emotions that will sweep you off your feet while reading her book. I breezed through this book and I couldn't wait to read it again. It's THAT good! Fantastic debut, Jess!

My rating:

Content (plot, story flow, character):
Worth 10 butterflies? No, 100. No! 1,000!!!

Stunning: Worthy of a Goddess' Praise!

Book Cover:
Wow, afterlife!

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Now I want to read this even more!

  2. This book sounds really good. Thanks for the review.

  3. EXACTLY! I love how Jess pulled as long for the exact same ride as Brie - feeling every emotion she did. And oh, Patrick! You nailed it when you said "the most adorable Lost Soul in the world" I loved his humour and that charming vibe he exudes and oh my gosh, when things are revealed? *SQUISHES HIM IN A HUG*

    Amazing review, Kai! I demand more more more Jess Rothenberg! <3

  4. Sounds like a good book! Will give it a try. :) Thanks for the review!

  5. Fantastic review, Kai! I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of this book. Sounds . . . AMAZING!

  6. Wow, you've made me even more excited for this book than I already was! Thanks for the great review; I'll need to pick up a copy of this A.S.A.P :)

  7. Now I'm even more excited about this book! Thank you.

  8. i can't wait to read this book-i love how you shared you were able to feel many emotions while reading-i love how that makes me feel when i read a book and i'm looking forward to it.
    thanks for sharing :)

  9. National Bookstore should have this one so I can read it! tsktsk. I can't wait!
    Thanks for the review!

  10. I've been hearing a lot of good feedbacks in this book and just looking at the cover and after reading the synopsis, I'm sure I will also love this. Sadly, I can't find any copy of it in our local bookstores. Well, I saw one but it's hardcover and we all know that hardcovers are pricey and I only have limited budget. :| Anyways, great review!


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