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review: “it’s not you, it’s me” September 19, 2009

Posted by Katie in reviews.


It’s Not You, It’s Me by Kerry Cohen Hoffmann.
Delacorte // Hardcover // 192 pages.
Reviewed from library copy.

Zoe and Henry dated for six months and Zoe knew the number of every kiss. The break-up blindsides her and leaves her confused, and angry. Her family doesn’t understand, Henry doesn’t want anything to do with her, and her friends think Zoe is nuts for wanting Henry back. Against the wishes and concerns of everyone around her, Zoe hatches a plot to win back Henry no matter what the cost.

This is one of the first times in a long while that I’ve put down a YA book and said, “This was not a book written for me.”

Zoe’s heartbreak and plotting to get Henry back is a plot device that I think will resonant with teenagers easily. First love is hard and the first break-up is even harder. Zoe’s feelings will be cathartic and familiar to readers suffering from the loss of that love.

As an adult reader, however, I felt that Zoe took it a bit farther and bordered a bit on the nutty side. She completely stopped listening to her friends and sabotaged any chance of getting back together with her boyfriend by acting crazy.

There were several clues that Zoe should have seen as going too far — like going to Henry’s house to leave a poem, only to have his mother talk to her about the break-up. That would have stopped me dead in my tracks to re-evaluate what I was doing.

I also really dislike Zoe using Niles and ignoring Sam. I wanted to scream at her for focusing so close to Henry that she didn’t realize what was around her.

What saved this book for me, was the ending. I like the conclusion that Zoe draws and I think it’s a good one.

I still maintain that this book is better suited for teens, and that adults will have a hard time with it. On the other hand, the teens at my library haven’t let the book touch the shelf yet.

SWAN catalog
Kerry Cohen Hoffmann




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