This book was sent for free by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect our opinion of the book or the content of our review.
It’s Not Me, It’s You by Stephanie Kate Strohm
Also by this author: The Taming of the Drew
Published by Point on October 25th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Source: the publisher
One high school girl’s comedic examination of her dating past as told by the friends, family, and boys who were involved!
Avery Dennis is a high school senior and one of the most popular girls in her class. But a majorly public breakup with the guy she’s been dating causes some disastrous waves. It is right before prom and Avery no longer has the perfect date. She runs the prom committee, how could she not show up with somebody?
Post-breakup, Avery gets to thinking about all of the guys that she has ever dated. How come none of those relationships ever worked out? Could it be her fault? Avery decides to investigate. In history class she’s learning about this method of record-keeping called “oral history” and she has a report due. So Avery decides to go directly to the source. Avery tracks down all of the guys she’s ever dated, and uses that information, along with thoughts from her friends, family, and teachers, to compile a total account of her dating history.
Avery discovers some surprises about herself and the guys she’s spent time with — just in time for prom night!
Dani: Four out of Five Stars
Jamie: Five out of Five Stars
Overall: Four and a Half Stars
I have two words for this book: So. Cute.
I’ll admit, I wasn’t so sure when it started. It was funny right from the beginning, but I didn’t know if I’d be able to enjoy the interview format all the way through. It genuinely is just one long transcript of interviews and commentary. However, after a chapter or two, I was able to relax into it, and it ended up being a lot of fun. The comments here and there from Avery were also hilarious. Honestly, big round of applause to Stephanie, as the format of the book meant she had to tell the complete story in dialogue, and that’s impressive!
Someone else’s review mentioned that the book was similar to the movie Clueless, and while it’s not the same in the sense that Avery isn’t trying to matchmake her way through the book, the overall feel is there. The movie let you live vicariously through the life of a rich girl in high school trying to fix other people while lacking insight into her own life; IT’S NOT ME, IT’S YOU, on the other hand, let you live vicariously through the dating escapes of a rich girl in high school. Of course, the first thing I did after finishing the book was watch Clueless.
Like with Cher in the movie, Avery came across as shallow initially, and yes, I’d probably find her massively annoying in real life. That being said, I couldn’t help but have a lot of respect for her. She was driven and enthusiastic and actually very intelligent. Like Hutch remarked, she saw the best in everyone, even the things people tried to hide. She was so admirable, and her approach to her history assignment was downright inspired.
I had so much fun reading about all of Avery’s stereotypical boyfriends. There were the jocks, the nerd, the cowboy… There was even a passionate Italian fling on holiday and a low-key thing with a TV star! You know those kinds of guys we dream of dating (because I will admit to wanting to ride on the back of a Vespa)? Avery dated them…but they were never right for her.
The ship on these seas was pretty predictable, and I could see it coming from the get-go. That did not, in any way, reduce my enjoyment of the book. If anything, I think I loved it more. The way the feelings were slowly revealed was adorable! And then the big gesture at the end? SWOON. Magical.
Overall, this was a very fun, very swoony, very quick read that helped me get over my ire at the way a certain other series ended! Get this book for a light weekend read if you need something smart and funny and adorable!
I loved this book. It doesn’t follow the exact format of an Oral History but it is a high school project so I wouldn’t necessarily expect it to. What this did, however, was take what would have been a typical, cliche high school story and flip it on it’s head. The dialogue was witty, the characters were lovable and memorable, and the romance was perfect.
One thing that I was most surprised about was that I actually FELT like I was there, sitting with these people discussing Avery. Everyone came to life on the page and it was so vivid of characters and their description that I felt like I was there with them. At the same time, I didn’t feel as though the characters were being overly descriptive or saying things that weren’t necessary to the story JUST to add a detail about their surroundings.
I LOVED learning about Avery’s life through how other people saw her. I LOVED the idea of the two sides to every story. I LOVED Avery and Hutch. I JUST LOVED THIS ONE.
I thought that one of the best things that this story did was look at Avery through the lens of serial dater but there wasn’t slut-shaming. There was typical Mean Girl behaviour, like “why does she get everything?” and “I want to be here but don’t want her to know that” (and there was a Mean Girls reference so I was sold on page 1) but I didn’t find that detracted from the story. There are always mean people in your life and the “cliche” people as well.
I liked seeing how Avery grew as a person from a young age to the teenager she was. I thought it was a really creative way of doing it and I liked seeing how Avery thought she grew versus how her friends thought she grew and the boys in her life thought she grew.
I just really loved this one. And I think everyone should read it. It had a different take on a typical trope and cliche and if you are looking for a good YA novel, this is the one for you.
I think you can safely say we’re both big fans of Stephanie Kate Strohm by this point. This is the second book we’ve both adored! It was such a fun and creative way to tell a story that was, yes, tropey, but it didn’t feel recycled at all. We think you should definitely pick this one up!
This guest review was contributed by Books are My Fandom. BAMF is two Bookish Beasties who love reading YA and NA literature, especially fantasy, contemporary, sci-fi and dystopian books. They heart indie & debut authors! They also offer paid Beta reader and Proofreading services.