Rummanah Aasi
  You, Me, and Him is a quick and for the most part an enjoyable read about the complexities of friendship and romantic relationships. Please note that this review is based on the advanced reader's copy that I received from the publisher via Netgalley. You, Me, and Him is now available in bookstores and/or libraries.

Description: Maggie and Nash are outsiders. She’s overweight. He’s out of the closet. The best of friends, they have seen each other through thick and thin, but when Tom moves to town at the start of the school year, they have something unexpected in common: feelings for the same guy. 

Review: When I first heard about You, Me, and Him, it reminded a lot of the archetypes common in YA. The novel is aware of the cliches surrounding its story and its characters, but it manages to plant some seeds of complexity if you are willing to give the book a shot and dig deeper into the story. 
 What kept me reading You, Me, and Him are the characters. Our protagonist and narrator, Maggie, is a self deprecating outsider and knowingly labels herself as the fat girl. She has been painfully aware of her weight, a sensitive topic which her mother constantly addresses. She is fine living on the outskirts of her high school social circle by hanging out with her best friend Nash who happens to be gay and working at a cool but underused record store where she blasts songs by The Smiths. I wanted to hug Maggie many times and wished she would realize how awesome she is as a person. It just takes her a long time and heartache to fully understand and appreciate herself in particular with accepting her body image as someone who is healthy and active while not necessarily being a size two as well as someone worth loving.
  The inevitable unrequited love triangle forms when Tom, the new cute guy at school comes into play. Nash calls dibs on Tom and tries to make a move, however, Tom possibly likes Maggie, who in turn might like Tom but is scared to lose Nash in the process. Each character's expectations along with both the positive and negative aspects of their personality come into play in various aspects of the narrative, each with their own motive. The author does a good job in addressing the complexities of friendship from the thin line of wanting to be loyal versus being a pushover, when to be selfless vs. being selfish. 
 All of the protagonists, but especially Maggie, are pushed to ask themselves what expectations other people have of them and whether or not they have accepted these as their own. I really liked the epiphany Maggie has toward the end of the book which pushes her to stand up for herself, but I felt this important aspect of the book was rushed towards the end of the book. I would have liked the author expand on Maggie's evolving relationship with her mother along with delving into Nash's personal story. I also thought the argument between Nash and Maggie resolved too quickly after they were not on speaking terms for weeks. I also wanted to know what Tom truly felt rather than see him flip flop on his decision and not use his constantly moving as an excuse for his behavior. Though I liked the message about self acceptance and strong friendships and was pleased that the book did not end neatly, I thought You, Me, and Him was a decent story though it is not one that will stick with me.   

Rating: 3.5 stars

Words of Caution: There is some strong language, crude humor, attempted sexual assault, and underage drinking. Recommended for Grades 9 and up.

If you like this book try: Fat Cat by Robin Brande, The Misfits by James Howe, Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List by David Levithan and Rachel Cohen
4 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    Uh oh. I think the fact that this one doesn't end neatly will bother me Rummanah! I get that it's realistic, but I've turned into an old person when it comes to the books I want to read and I'm set in my ways. I want things to be all pretty and tied up with a bow at the end! Unless of course it's a series, then things can be a little messier. So glad you enjoyed this one for the most part:)

  2. Doesn't sound like a book that most teens would be patient enough to read. Think I'll skip it.

  3. It's too bad the ending was a bit rushed and the author didn't take time to draw out on the MC's epiphany. Sounds like it went from being a great book to a just okay one.

  4. Aylee Says:

    I've been wondering about this one. I guess it's too bad that you didn't think this one was particularly memorable, although it's good to hear that it does have some good stuff going for it. So I can't say this is something I would prioritize, but I may add it to my tbr for someday anyways...

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