John Green meets 500 Days of Summer meets Nick Hornby.
Darren hasn’t had an easy year. His parents divorced, his brother left for college, and his best friend moved state. Also, he still doesn’t have a girlfriend. Then his dad shows up at 6am with a glazed chocolate donut and a pretty world-shaking revelation. In full freak-out mode, Darren ditches school and jumps on a bus to visit his brother, Nate, at college. But someone weird / amazing comes along for the ride. Told entirely in lists, this hilarious novel perfectly captures why having anything to do with anyone is: 1. painful 2. unavoidable 3. ridiculously complicated 4. possibly, hopefully, the right thing after all.
Sometimes I like to get stuck into a big meaty tome of a book. A door stopper that will keep me hooked from the first to the last page. Me Being Me is Exactly as Insane as You Being You was not that book. At over 600 pages I expected something magical when in reality what I got was a bold stylistic choice that didn’t really work.
The story is about Darren; a young, somewhat naïve 15 year old who is trying to figure things out. Like most teenagers he is facing his own particular problems and to be perfectly honest he isn’t handling things all too well. Besides having some serious family issues he is also trying to control his hormones and get over the one…well the one that is always the one when you are fifteen.
So far, so good; the premise is promising. The problem comes in the way that Me Being Me is Exactly as Insane as You Being You is presented. It is not in traditional narrative form; it is told almost entirely in list format. To begin with this seems like a quirky style choice, however, it soon becomes tedious.
Another problem I felt that the book had is that it went on for far too long. It could have been shortened so much and I feel would have been all the more better for it. It is frustrating because the storylines threaded through the novel are interesting and I personally feel could have been done justice if it had been written in a more conventional style.
Hasak-Lowy does need to be given praise for the story idea but Me Being Me is Exactly as Insane as You Being You was stylistically not for me.
Me Being Me is Exactly as Insane as You Being You by Todd Hasak-Lowy is available now.