Imagine you're out for dinner with your perfectly handsome and gorgeous boyfriend when he tells you that he's not in love with you any more. Bingo, you're dead.
Dying of a broken heart isn't something that happens every day. Actually, it's never happened before, or at least been proved as a cause of death. But that's what has happened to Brie, our fabulously snarky, snippy and witty narrator who was casually having dinner one minute and wakes up dead the next. She then finds herself on a bus heading to the end of forever, or, in this case, a diner called Little Slice of Heaven, where, as it seems, all the cool dead kids hang out. There she meets Patrick, who looks like a 80s Top Gun-Tom Cruise wannabe, who takes Brie (yes, like the cheese!! Yumm....) under his wing to show her what life is like without her.
This was one book I knew I was going to like from the moment I read the blurb. Funny, light, and completely entrancing from the beginning. Yet there's more to this book than just that - it was a complete heart breaker at the same time (excuse the bad pun-related reference right there!)
Brie is a character just like any other teenager. She's funny, she's smart, and you automatically want to be friends with her. One of the things I loved so much about Brie was her love for Disney-"There's no such thing as too much Disney". The fact that she was considered to be likeBelle instantly makes me like her - I'm a Beauty & the Beast fan!!! Brie challenges what is happening around her as well, and she doesn't just let things go, which is one of the qualities I liked about her. She doesn't give up, she's persistent and she remains loyal to her friends, even when dead. Even when everything seem to be falling apart and her friends seem to be keeping secrets from her. The thing that makes Brie such a great character is that she has her faults as well. She's too stubborn, can take everything a bit too personally and once hurt, tends not to be rational and see the other side of the story. I've read some comments that this is a no-no for some people, but to me, it just makes Brie more human.
Following The Dead & Gone Handbook, the book is split into six different sections for the different stages people go through when they die. Anger, Denial, Sadness etc, each part of the book deals with how Brie is coping with Life After Death. There are a few flashbacks as well; showing us what Life Before Death was like for Brie as well. Usually flashbacks irritate me, because they take up too much of the present storyline, but Jess Rothenberg has effortlessly woven these minor details into the story so that it all fits together perfectly - without the flashbacks, we wouldn't be able to fully see how Brie is transformed on her journey to forever.
Overall, The Catastrophic History of You and Me is a heart-warming and heart-breaking debut novel that made me laugh, cry, swoon, consider anger management classes and so many other emotions that whizzed about! This is one novel I would definitely I would fall in love with over and over again.show more