(image and summary from goodreads, eARC courtesy of edelweiss)
Before and After. That's how Rowan Areno sees her life now. Before: she was a normal sixteen-year-old--a little too sheltered by her police officer father and her mother. After: everything she once believed has been destroyed in the wake of a shattering tragedy, and every day is there to be survived.
If she had known, on that Friday in March when she cut school, that a random stranger's shocking crime would have traumatic consequences, she never would have left campus. If the crime video never went viral, maybe she could have saved her mother, grandmother--and herself--from the endless replay of heartache and grief.
Finding a soul mate in Eli, a witness to the crime who is haunted by losses of his own, Rowan begins to see there is no simple, straightforward path to healing wounded hearts. Can she learn to trust, hope, and believe in happiness again?
Such A Pretty Girl, Leftovers and How It Ends left me agonised for days, so I was a little apprehensive when starting this book. Conclusion: either Laura Weiss toned down the ‘sadness’, or I’ve finally adapted and am able to fight the emotionally-draining effects of her books.
In Me Since You, Miss Wiess tackles yet another ‘taboo’ topic, depression. What starts out as a normal day for our protagonist Rowan, turns into a tragedy that affects her indirectly at first, but later hits closer to home. Rebelling against her police officer father’s rules, Rowan could be any teenager at the point when rebellion is just a way of life. Unfortunately, a wrong-place-wrong-time situation puts Rowan’s father in a precarious situation which pretty much signals the beginning of the end.
This book deals with so many aspects of post-traumatic stress. In the aftermath of 'the incident', Rowan, her mother, and even those affected by the initial situation find themselves crippled with survivor's guilt and come up with various reasons to blame themselves for 'not seeing it coming'. The book looks at depression in the face of depression; suicide may have been one person's way of dealing, but for others, anger, denial, helplessness and isolation are also coping mechanisms.
All in all, kudos to Laura Wiess for talking about a topic that will resonate with anyone who has had to deal with the sudden loss of a loved one.