Me Being Me is Exactly as Insane as You Being You
by Todd Hasak-Lowy
A heartfelt, humorous story of a teen boy’s impulsive road trip after the shock of his lifetime—told entirely in lists!
Darren hasn’t had an easy year.
There was his parents’ divorce, which just so happened to come at the same time his older brother Nate left for college and his longtime best friend moved away. And of course there’s the whole not having a girlfriend thing.
Then one Thursday morning Darren’s dad shows up at his house at 6 a.m. with a glazed chocolate doughnut and a revelation that turns Darren’s world inside out. In full freakout mode, Darren, in a totally un-Darren move, ditches school to go visit Nate. Barely twenty-four hours at Nate’s school makes everything much better or much worse—Darren has no idea. It might somehow be both. All he knows for sure is that in addition to trying to figure out why none of his family members are who they used to be, he’s now obsessed with a strangely amazing girl who showed up out of nowhere but then totally disappeared.
Told entirely in lists, Todd Hasak-Lowy’s debut YA novel perfectly captures why having anything to do with anyone, including yourself, is:
3. ridiculously complicated
4. possibly, hopefully the right thing after all.
I had extremely high expectations before diving into this book. I had heard that it was told in list format and I was like:
But then while reading I was like:
As you can see, it wasn’t as great as I had previously thought. This book was still witty and original but there came a point where everything just dragged on. This book took me a LONG time to finish; try a month. And that was with taking breaks to read other books.
This whole book surrounds Darren. He’s your typical under-rated, anxious, still-trying-to-find-himself teenage boy. I gotta say; beginning of the book, I was hooked on his voice, his narration and his story. His reaction with his father’s coming out was purely honest (and somewhat, homophobic) but his own character growth in coming to terms with this fact was brilliant. It was honest, realistic and it perfectly captured the shock and acceptance of something so dramatic.
What lacked throughout this big-ass novel was just excitement in general. Around quarter the way in, things slowed down and dramatic events kind of dissipated. Darren’s story just became a novel of complaints in list format. Nothing really exciting happened except for his own thoughts, complaints and daydreams. This became boring to read about. I’m not saying that only big, dramatic, sword-fight-like events hook me but come on, this book just had to move along.
Honestly, there isn’t a whole lot to say about this novel except its obvious originality and lack of excitement. The whole book only really revolved around Darren’s acceptance of his gay father and his yearning (love?) for Zoey.
So yeah. All in all, original if not LONG read.