Saturday, February 13, 2016

Review: No and Me by Delphine de Vigan

Title: No and Me
Author: Delphine de Vigan
Year Published: 2007

Genre: YA Fiction
Pages: 244
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Location (my 2016 Google Reading map)France

FTC Disclosure: I bought this with my own money

Summary (from the back of the book):
 Lou Bertignac doesn't see things the way other girls do. She has an exceptionally high IQ (160), and she likes to hang out at the train station to watch people say good-bye (Tuesdays and Fridays only). She's not popular, and her parents are too wrapped up in their own problems to pay attention to her quirks. But everything changes when a school project brings Lou face-to-face with No, a teenage girl who's been living on the streets of Paris.

What starts out as a series of casual interviews (where you sleep? how do you eat?) soon turns serious when Lou persuades her parents to let No move in with them. Once under the same roof, Lou and No begin to open up to each other and discover they have more in common than they ever imagined. But when No's past comes back to haunt her, Lou is forced to realize that simply giving No a place to live may not be enough to break the powerful hold the street has on her.

Review: This one didn't really work for me, but I persevered because I bought it recently with my own money and felt like the premise was so good I should keep going. It wasn't that the novel was bad, if it was I would have stopped reading. It just didn't grab my attention. Here are some thoughts:
  • I had a difficult time believing that Lou was only 13. Yes, she is super smart (and I really, really like that), but it doesn't mean she should be wandering a big city's streets hanging out with the homeless by herself.
  • No was definitely and interesting character and I wish I had heard her side of the story. How a young person becomes homeless when she is bright and caring is so tragic. I did think this was done well. The author showed us how, even with the best of intentions, it is difficult to dig oneself out of a hole that contains homelessness, alcohol, and no real support system.
  • Lucas was another character that I think had potential, but the reader doesn't get to hear enough from him. 
So, all in all I guess I feel like the story may have been told from the wrong perspective. Bummer.

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