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

Title: The Catastrophic History of You and Me
Author: Jess Rothenberg
Format: Kindle
Genre: Paranormal Romance, YA
Source: Personal Copy
Published: February 21st 2012 by Penguin Young Readers Group
My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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?

The first time I heard of this book, I HAD to have it! I mean, come on! What girl didn’t think she might die of a broken heart at sixteen?? Well, Brie does! I know; that exclamation point is odd, but it’s the starting point of the book. I mean really, the main character? She dies in the first page! You know that’s the start of a really great book. Besides, when she gets to heaven? It’s really just this awesome pizza joint with all the pizza you could ever want! Come on, this is perfect!

I struggle with how to classify this, because while we’re dealing with the afterlife for pretty much the entire book? And a mysterious hottie in a leather bomber jacket circa Tom Cruise in Top Gun? Yet it really had the feal of a contemporary read!

The general gist is that Brie’s boyfriend, Jacob breaks up with her. She hears him say “I don’t love you” and then feels the most horrible pain imaginary and dies. During an autopsy (because her Dad is a cardiologist) they find that her heart has literally broken in two. Meanwhile, she’s on a bus to the afterlife, which turns out to be her favorite pizza joint, inhabited by a lady doing crossword puzzles, a young kid playing his video game and a mysteriously handsome teenager in a bomber jacket. Patrick, Mr. Tom Cruise Wanna-be, calls himself the resident lost soul and immediately befriends Brie, showing her the ins and outs of being D&G (Dead and Gone).

It’s two days later and I’m struggling with writing this review without being gushy. I loved it that much. Really, this book lived up to my expectations and then some. I loved following Brie as she learns what’s happening to her friends and family. I loved her relationship with Patrick, exploring the afterlife. There were moments I laughed, moments I cried (ok, only once – towards the end) and just a general feeling of “Oh my gosh! I love this!”

The chapters are all song titles, and occasionally (on the audio version) the narrator sings the songs! I could gush on and on about my love for this book. Jess Rothenberg has created a wonderful version of the afterlife, and her characters are vivid and lovable! If you’re looking for the perfect mix of heavy and emotional with light and fluffy make-you-swoon romance? This is the book for you!

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