review: “love you hate you miss you” July 9, 2009Posted by Katie in reviews.
Tags: realistic fiction, social issues
Love You Hate You Miss You by Elizabeth Scott.
Harper Teen // Hardcover // 288 pages.
Reviewed from library copy.
It’s been seventy-five days since Julia died. For Amy, it’s been a lifetime filled with rehab, therapy, and the guilt that she is the reason that Julia’s dead. After finally being released, Amy struggles to fit back into a life without her best friend, without alcohol, and without partying. Her parents are watching her every move, she’s still got weekly counseling sessions with Laurie, and Julia’s locker is covered with “heartfelt” and “sincere” messages left by the student body. Amy survives by writing letters to Julia as she’s forced to evaluate just what kind of a friendship she and Julia had.
A painful, heart-breaking, funny, hopeful novel. Don’t ask me how Elizabeth Scott manages to blend all those emotions into one novel, but she does. Amy is a sarcastic, biting voice, full of half truths and half lies. The novel is told in two distinct parts — Amy’s narration throughout her daily activities and Amy’s letters to Julia. Even as Amy uncovers new feelings, she remains an unreliable narrator in her letters, desperate to hold on to Julia’s friendship. This is a novel about friendship, about the strange world where we can hate our best friends one moment, love them the next, and miss them always once they’ve gone.
The ending of this novel is too good to give away, but I was ridiculously pleased with the way that it ended. Scott does not sugar-coat the ending and she does not wrap everything up — the way I believe it should be. There are not always easy fixes and perfect endings. Scott’s choice to leave Amy with closure, but not a traditional “happy” ending was brilliant.
Darker than Scott’s romance novels, “Love You Hate You Miss You” is a book that is not to be missed. Readers of realistic fiction have found a new YA author to watch, and I too cannot wait for her next book.