YOU AND ME AND HIM-Kris Dinnison
Pub. Date: July 7, 2015
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Maggie and Nash are outsiders. She’s overweight. He’s out of the closet. The best of friends, they have seen each other through thick and thin, but when Tom moves to town at the start of the school year, they have something unexpected in common: feelings for the same guy. This warm, witty novel—with a clear, true voice and a clever soundtrack of musical references—sings a song of love and forgiveness.
You and Me and Him is a quirky, hilarious coming of age story. More than that, You and Me and Him is about the hardship of growing up different, friendships that bind, and first love.
- What I loved about You and Me and Him was that it wasn’t simple a love story or even a story of friendship it was a true coming of age story with plenty of self discovery, anguish, and mistakes. It was authentic, honest, and there are moments that almost anyone can relate to. Self doubt, insecurity, and body image issues all come into play and influence how they interact with the world.
- Maggie is snarky, sarcastic, and brilliant. She’s unashamed of who she is for the most part. She pushes people away by making jokes about her insecurities but when it counts, she’s ready to stand up for herself. I was so proud of Maggie by the end. She grew up and embraced her body. Maggie is an overweight high school girl and because of that, she feels unworthy of love or admiration, she thinks it’s impossible that anyone could see beyond her extra curves. The frustration, hurt, and annoyance are all heart-wrenching and brilliantly written. Maggie’s emotions are front and center, and through everything, the greatest message is that how we see ourselves is dictated by society. Maggie has always felt fat, even when she wasn’t, because that is what was forced on her through labeling. The message is not to let others determine who you are, only you can decide that.
- Maggie and Nash’s friendship is deep, symbiotic, and charming. They know each other so well that forgiveness and understanding is natural. Maggie is there for Nash when things get bad and he picks up the pieces of her shattered self-confidence. They’re a shinning example of what true friendship should be. Sometimes friends make mistakes, get jealous, and even lash out at each other, but as long as you can’t imagine you’re life without your friend and are brave enough to forgive, it doesn’t matter.
- The high school scene is typical, almost cliché. There’s the usual vile jocks, mean populars, and stoners. The secondary characters were average and basic, bare bones personalities.
- Some of the comedy fell flat and came across really cheesy. There were sections that were clearly meant to be a punch line that didn’t hit home. The banter between Nash and Maggie was off on occasion. There was an authenticity, a warmth that was missing that made it feel forced, scripted.
- One issue I had was with Maggie’s nonchalance about certain instances that could very well be described as assault. That she doesn’t report it, just brushes it off is crazy to me.
Kris Dinnison learned to read when she was five years old. She grew up reading books nobody else had read and listening to music nobody else had heard of and thinking she was weird, which she kind of was. She spent nearly two decades as a teacher and librarian working with students from kindergarten to graduate school. The bulk of that time she spent teaching High School English while dreaming of becoming a writer. Nowadays, when she’s not writing, she helps run her family’s retail and café businesses. She lives and writes in Spokane, Washington.
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