It’s Not Me, It’s You (2016)
By Stephanie Kate Strohm
I enjoy reading YA novels. Usually, adults like me enjoy books that require some critical thinking, but I do that on a daily basis with my graduate studies and so sometimes I get tired of it and need to rest my brain. To relax, I still read but I read some fun, entertaining books/manga. It’s Not Me, It’s You is one of those books.
Avery Dennis has never been single throughout her academic career. So when her current boyfriend, Luke Murphy, decides to dump her before prom, Avery decides to fly solo. And while being a single teenager, Avery is assigned an oral history project where she must interview people about an event and learn about that event from various perspectives. Yet rather than doing the assigned task, Avery decides to do an oral history report on her dating life. She hopes to understand why none of her relationships worked out.
What struck me as unique in this book is how the storyline is structured. The narrative is told through a script. Every character shares their personal perspective on an event. So when interviewing an ex-boyfriend, Avery’s ex would briefly describe their relationship and also the events that led up to their break-up. There are other characters that also state their opinions about the relationship—a majority of comments were made out of annoyance due to their jealousy and the couple’s cheesy romance. I thought that using a script format to tell the storyline is pretty creative. The events and the settings are described by the characters and through their descriptions, we are given more fruitful, in-depth personas within the characters.
The author, Stephanie Kate Strohm, mentions a variety of pop culture references which makes the book familiar with younger audiences. Also, It’s Not Me, It’s You, is a California book, and what I mean by that is Strohm mentions locations and cultural references that specifically pertain to California. I really enjoyed the California references because they hit close to home especially since this book is set in Northern California.
However, this book is very cheesy and doesn’t really grasp my interests in the YA genre. So, I wouldn’t recommend this book unless you are that bored and need to read something.