Title: The Catastrophic History of You and Me
Author: Jess Rothenberg
First published February 21, 2012
375 pages, Hardcover
ISBN: 9780803737204 (ISBN10: 0803737203)
When Brie’s heart is broken by her boyfriend at sixteen, she dies of a broken heart. But death is just the beginning.
As a Lost Soul, Brie discovers that love is more complex than she ever thought possible. Meanwhile, her family is falling apart back home in Half Moon Bay.
Her best friend is hiding a secret about the boy Brie loved and lost. Can Patrick, Brie’s mysterious guide, help her move on and find peace in the afterlife?
Together, they must navigate the five stages of grief before Brie can begin her forever after. But with her heart still in pieces, how will she ever be ready to start over?
Find out in The Catastrophic History of You and Me.
About the Author
Jess Rothenberg is a writer and freelance editor with roots in Charleston, South Carolina. Previously an editor for books aimed at young readers, including the widely popular Vampire Academy series, Jess currently resides in New York City with her husband, son, and furry feline friend, Charlie, who behaves like a canine.
Her debut novel for teenagers, The Catastrophic History of You & Me, has been translated into over a dozen languages, and she invites you to learn more about her work by visiting or following her on Instagram and Twitter at @jessrothenberg.
Jess Rothenberg’s “The Catastrophic History of You and Me,” is a heart-wrenching and poignant contemporary romance novel. First published on February 21, 2012, Rothenberg’s debut novel explores the emotional roller coaster that comes with the loss of a loved one, with a supernatural twist.
The novel follows the story of Brie, a teenage girl who dies of a broken heart after breaking up with her first love. From there, Brie finds herself in an afterlife where she is able to interact with other “dead” people and reflect on her past life.
The novel is set in Pacific Palisades, California and peels back the layers of Brie’s life through recollections of her family, friends, and the people she meets in the afterlife. Rothenberg does an excellent job of developing her characters and their relationships, making the reader feel as if they are a part of the story.
The romance between Brie and her first love, Nick, is beautifully crafted and feels genuine. Rothenberg also adds depth to her characters by exploring familial relationships and how they shape her protagonist.
One aspect of the novel that may be seen as a weak spot is its slight fantastical element. While it adds a unique spin, it may not appeal to readers who prefer a more straightforward narrative.
This fantastical element also overshadows the discussions around grief, loss, and healing that Rothenberg presents in the novel. Overall, Rothenberg’s writing style is straightforward and engaging, making it an easy read.
The novel is a powerful tale of love, loss, and healing that will resonate with readers who enjoy contemporary romance with a twist. “The Catastrophic History of You and Me,” is a recommended read for readers who enjoy YA contemporary romance novels with supernatural elements.
The novel packs a punch and can serve as a source of comfort for those dealing with grief and loss. It is awarded a rating of 4 out of 5 stars for its overall impact and excellent character development.
Jess Rothenberg has proven herself to be a talented author of contemporary fiction and one to watch for future works.