Oh! The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg is such fun. I started it thinking it would be all fluff and lightness, but right from the start, I really felt for the main character and the many different emotions and difficult situations that she was going through.
I really loved the idea of a story about a girl dying of a literal broken heart, and exploring the different stages of grief. The chapter headings are all music-related and at the end of the book there is a fab playlist that I will that coincides with this chapter headings which, I'm sure, I will return to in the future.
Our main character, Brie, dies when her heart breaks into pieces after her perfect boyfriend Jacob tells her that he no longer loves her. But that is just where this story begins as Brie tries to navigate her way through the afterlife and make sense of her life, her loves and look out for her family members as she takes tentative steps towards acceptance and understanding.
I think the first thing that really jumped out at me whilst reading this book is despite the sadness and pain that Brie is going through, there is also such humour. I loved the pop culture references, the snark, and especially (especially!) the cheese-related puns on Brie's name. Also? Hamloaf, the family dog.
This is a pretty chunky book, and there is a lot included into this book. Beyond Brie's death, she uncovers family secrets and battles with the different ways in which friends and family are grieving and moving on after her untimely death. Rothenberg did an excellent job of providing a heavy dose of mystery that kept me curious throughout.
The biggest mysteries, of course, being the details of what actually happened between Brie and Jacob before she died, and also the story behind Patrick, the boy Brie meets in the pizza place in the Afterlife. I had no idea where this story would go, but it was a very fun journey to take alongside Brie. I thought some parts of the story could have been condensed a bit as some areas dragged or felt unnecessary, but on the whole I felt everything that Brie felt. So much of Brie's relationships with Jacob, with her family, with her friends felt very reaslistic and believeable. So alongside Brie, I also felt heartbroken and sad and lonely and desperately wanting to hold onto something that has already past.
I'm so glad that I read this book! It was a very emotional read for me, and I found it to be very surprising. Both in terms of content but also how quickly I flew through the pages.