Every You, Every Me

Every You, Every Me

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Every You, Every Me
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Genre(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
September 13, 2011
ISBN
978-0375860980
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In this high school-set psychological tale, a tormented teen named Evan starts to discover a series of unnerving photographs—some of which feature him. Someone is stalking him . . . messing with him . . . threatening him. Worse, ever since his best friend Ariel has been gone, he's been unable to sleep, spending night after night torturing himself for his role in her absence. And as crazy as it sounds, Evan's starting to believe it's Ariel that's behind all of this, punishing him. But the more Evan starts to unravel the mystery, the more his paranoia and insomnia amplify, and the more he starts to unravel himself. Creatively told with black-and-white photos interspersed between the text so the reader can see the photos that are so unnerving to Evan, Every You, Every Me is a one-of-a-kind departure from a one-of-a-kind author.

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Every You, Every Me

I had high hopes for this book because I'd heard really positive things about the author's other work but honestly, this book was a struggle to get through. I'm all for teen angst but there seemed to be an exorbitant amount in this story and it left me physically drained.

There's a big mystery surrounding Ariel's leaving and what Evan and Jack "did" to her, almost making it sound as if they killed her. The strike through words were very distracting after the first few pages. I know they were there to show what Evan was really thinking but it added to the angst for me. He spends the majority of the book in a sullen, guilt ridden state, pining over Ariel and all that he's lost. A part of me wanted to hug him and find a way to help him while the other part wanted to take off his Ariel clouded glasses and show him the truth about her. He never really saw Ariel as a whole, the way everyone else around him saw her. They were both broken in ways that fed off of one another creating a co-dependant friendship but others, like Jack, Katie and Fiona were able to see that her brokenness required serious help.

It thought it was pretty obvious from the beginning that Ariel struggled with some sort of mental illness that went far beyond the typical depression or dark cloud days that many teens deal with. I think she preyed upon Evan and his emotions knowing that he wanted to be more than friends and she also took advantage of Jack's love for her which made me not like her. Jack tried to help her but as he explained to Evan later in the story, Ariel made a game out of her illness and he couldn't be sucked into it anymore. That's how mental illness works though. Left untreated, it will completely consume the person whose battling it and suck everyone around them into the dark abyss too.

When the mystery surrounding the photos and notes was revealed I was left feeling even more distressed because it meant there was one more person struggling with a distorted view of reality.

I did like how the photographs were used in conjunction with the manuscript. It brought that part of the story alive for me which was nice. I'm sure there are those who will love this book but unfortunately, I am not one of them.

Good Points
The photographs gave the story life.
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Every You, Every Me (A Room with Books review)

Every You, Every Me surprised me, but in a good way. I'd never read a book with photographs before this one, at least, not a book where the photographs are an integral part of the story, so I had no idea what to expect, but I ended up really enjoying it.

Every You, Every Me should have been confusing. There are strikethroughs throughout the story of everything from Evan's thoughts to fake conversation. You would think that something like that may trip you up and having you rereading things just to make sure you know what's going on, but I never found myself confused. Evan's thoughts can also go from past to present with absolutely no transition at all, but it's written in such a way that you know exactly what's going on.

The thriller/mystery aspect was also done really well. As I was reading I had thoughts of what may have happened and what may be going on, but I could never say for sure until Levithan spelled it out for me. I love the subject this takes on. Not just the missing friend, but also the...well, I'll let you read to find that one out. It's not something I see very often in books and I'm pretty sure I've never personally read anything about it.

Final Thoughts: This was a good, quick read. It's definitely worth taking a look into if you've never read anything with photographs before. Heck, you should pick it up even if you think you hate books with photographs in them because, well, look at the author. Seriously though, Every You, Every Me exceeded all my expectations and had me flipping pages to find out what would happen next.

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