Monday, January 16, 2012
Review: Love You Hate You Miss You by Elizabeth Scott
Title: Love You Hate You Miss You
Author: Elizabeth Scott
Published: June 2009 (HarperTeen)
Summary: Get this, I'm supposed to be starting a journal about "my journey." Please. I can see it now: Dear Diary, As I'm set adrift on this crazy sea called "life" . . . I don't think so.
It's been seventy-five days. Amy's sick of her parents suddenly taking an interest in her. And she's really sick of people asking her about Julia. Julia's gone now, and she doesn't want to talk about it. They wouldn't get it, anyway. They wouldn't understand what it feels like to have your best friend ripped away from you.
They wouldn't understand what it feels like to know it's your fault.
Amy's shrink thinks it would help to start a diary. Instead, Amy starts writing letters to Julia. But as she writes letter after letter, she begins to realize that the past wasn't as perfect as she thought it was—and the present deserves a chance too.
My Review: This book in one word: Heart-wrenching. Amy's journey was difficult to read. It was painful, touching, and emotional. The method of writing letters to Julia was a brilliant move by Scott. It allowed us to see the progress that was being made in Amy even as she herself might not have realized it. It was also interesting to observe how she talked to Julia when we did know what was happening. Scott did not rely too heavily on the letters, which was nice, instead letting them be a fantastic supplement to the story. It worked very well with the pacing of the book, and Amy nearly made me cry with a couple of the letters, especially the last one (actually, I'm fairly certain I did at the last one).
I love Scott's writing style. She just has this way of getting inside the character's head and conveying emotions perfectly. She is also particularly gifted at capturing things you know but never put into words or realize you know, and then she words them perfectly. I've been known to find myself nodding along to things she writes simply as observations in character, but they are applicable elsewhere.
As for the characters, I adored Caroline! She was awesome. I really liked Mel at first, but I wasn't sure exactly how I felt about him toward the end. I loved Mel and Patrick's friendship. The silent communication and Mel helping Patrick. I also loved how everything was not exactly how it appeared with them. There were undercurrents of other things going on. Amy's parents were different than normal. You often read book with parents that are divorced, widowed, married but distant, and average still-together parents. But I have never - at least, to my current recollection - read a book where the parents have been married a long time but are still completely and overwhelmingly in love. It was a refreshing change of pace.
Ultimately, this book was about Amy's journey. It related to alcohol and Julia and Patrick and Caroline and her parents, but it was all about Amy. We got to see all her journey for herself, and for me, it was very touching and powerful. Hats off to Scott for tackling such heavy subject matter with excellence, just the right touch of humor, and stunning writing.