You Know Me Well is an LGBTQ YA book that Nina LaCour & David Levithan coauthored after three years of back and forth. The acknowledgements say, “It is safe to say that neither of us in October 2012 imagined that the hypothetical book we were talking about would be completed the weekend of (a) Pride Week when we were both (b) in San Francisco right after (c) the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage rights for people like us.” The probably had no idea their novel would be released on June 9, 2016- just days before the Pulse Nightclub shooting either.
You can be someone’s secret without ever knowing what the full secret is. You can know he’s even more scared than you are, but that doesn’t make you any less scared yourself.
Like Will Grayson, Will Grayson Levithan authors one POV while his coauthor, LaCour this time, writes the other.
Mark is a high school junior desperately in love with his closeted hook up buddy Ryan; they go to a club on the Castro during Pride Week where Ryan meets a boy he is interested in exploring a relationship with. This devastates Mark who happens to run into a girl from his Math class, Kate, shortly afterwards. The two leave the club and go on a wild adventure that cements their friendship. Kate is hiding from her best friend and Violet, a girl Kate has been loving from a distance for years, and the house party she was supposed to attend. She is hesitant to take the plunge from online to reality and was looking for an escape when she ran into Mark. Over the course of the week the two form an unbreakable friendship and try to get the other to be braver when it comes to their relationship fears.
It’s pretty low stakes but cute enough; the writing style also matched better than in Will Grayson. Everything felt very fast paced, rushed even, so I lost track of a few plot points but the largest threads were easy enough to keep on track. I wish the book had given us months to develop these relationships not just days.