[Old blog rerun] Review: No and Me

I found a way to recover part of my old blog content, so I decided to rerun some posts from that, mainly reviews of books I liked. The following review was first published in December 2009. (All tagging is new, and I’m afraid I don’t have any means of saving the old blog comments.)

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The book: No and Me, by Delphine de Vigan

The edition: French original version, Livre de Poche edition

The story: Lou Bertignac is a gifted teen and because of that she is ill at ease in socializing at school — not to mention the tragedy looming at home, where her father cries in secret in the bathroom and her mother hasn’t been out of the house properly for years. No is a teenage girl living on the street. The two meet by chance and then they meet again and again, when Lou decides to do a school project about the homeless. A strange friendship develops and, feeling overwhelmed by the thought of No living on the street, Lou asks her parents if No can come to live with them. To her astonishment, her parents agree, and the following experience changes their lives forever.

What I liked: a touching story and all-rounded, true-to-life character.

What I didn’t like: the touch of romance towards the end, and how Lou moves from being an outcast to the coolest girl in town: that’s too much to be believable.

Bottom line: a powerful bildungsroman, especially strong if you are interested in social issues as experienced in French society.

Counts as: Orbis Terrarum Challenge book # 8 (France), Orbis Terrarum Multilingual Challenge booh # 4 (French)

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