Thursday, March 25, 2010

No and Me By Delphine de Vigan Review # 52

Author: Delphine de Vigan
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Thanks To: Jessica @ Random House Canada

At thirteen-years-old, with an unusually high IQ and a knack for observing things about other people, Lou Bertignac is not only the youngest in her class at school; she is also the most unusual. Painfully shy, she has few friends, save for Lucas, whose company helps her get through each day. At home, Lou's life is also difficult: Her mother hasn't left the house in years and her father spends his days crying in the bathroom. Lou's world is dark and sad... That is, until she meets No.
No is a teenage girl that Lou befriends for the purpose of her school project on homelessness. Despite the different worlds that these two girls come from, a friendship is soon forged between them. Unable to bear the thought of No not having a home or a family to keep her safe, Lou persuades her reluctant parents into letting her new friend stay with the Bertignac family. No's addition to the household forces Lou and her parents to face the sadness that has been enveloping them for so long — but not without some disruptions along the way.

I felt nothing. Have you ever read a book, where you feel no emotions about it. This is what I felt with No and Me. Maybe it's because I don't really comprehend the situation, because I'm to young. Or that where I live, you don't really see any homeless people. Or, I don't know. But I really wanted to have feelings about this story, but it just didn't happen.
I think the problem with this book, is that the character narrates to much. She tells you to much, instead of the author describing it. And I believe that, that may be one of the reasons why I felt it had no affect on me. I mean, the one situation in the story is that Lou's family is falling apart. I rather Lou describe it to me, then tell it. Also, in that situation, it was brought in to quickly in the story. I wished that issue were slowly brought to my attention, then immediately. Because I had the strong sense that I was dropping into a conversation that started a millennium ago, and I was only joining it now.

Even through all that, I still found it a intriguing read. It's quick paste, and you want to learn more and more. The characters (Lou, No & Lucas) were nicely written. Especially Lou (the protagonist). Lou has an IQ of 160, so she acts differently then most girls. She is very smart, but acts very childish. And for a while, it was hard to believe that she was in high school. So I asked my aunt, because my cousin is the same as Lou, and she totally agreed that, that is how someone would act. Or how my cousin acts. One thing that I could connect and understand about Lou, is that she's shy. She has a hard time talking to people, and doing stuff that out of her boundary line. No (and yes that is a name, short for Nolwenn) is a interesting character. I can't relate with her, though I know people who have some of the problems that she does. And I can connect with her as a bystander. Lucas on the other hand, is the type of guy I would like to have in my life. That is all I'm going to say about him.

I don't think I would find myself recommending this book to someone. But if someone ask me, I would tell them to read it. It has an important message in there, that I think is useful to learn about. This is the type of book where you have to reread it a few times to fully understand it, especially the ending. I didn't enjoy the ending, because I didn't understand it fully. And I think if I reread this, I would comprehend it.

Overall it was a great read, but not the best. Another thing is, it's important to remember that this is a translated book. So there is some cultural differences in it.

To Learn More about No and Me, then check out Random House Canada .
To buy this book go to Amazon Canada, Book Depository, Chapters.

Yours Truly,


Yunaleska said...

I'm sorry you didn't get feelings about the book - I quite enjoyed it.

It's a different book to the ones I usually read, but the insight into homelessness was well portrayed.

ck.twilighter said...

Interesting! Reading the blurb the book sounds intriguing but I do worry about books that do more 'telling' verses 'showing.'

In Hawaii Homelessness is a HUGE problem for more reasons then I can count. I am very familiar with the hardships because it is every where to be seen in my world. Thus, I wonder about this book.

Thanks for posting your review. Lately, I have not reached far beyond .... fun.... books. My time is limited as a WAHM and many times if it's close to reality I avoid it... sad but true. I am always at a meeting for one thing or another.

Food for thought! Thx. I will definitely look into this book further.

ck.twilighter said...

Whoa... I types more then I thought. I hope it makes sense seeing as how it is almost 1am! night!

Becky said...

Your review was a really interesting one for me to read as I have read No and Me and I really connected with it. Your point about age is interesting as I am 27. I didn't find any cultural differences that made me less enjoy the story. I found it an unusual glimpse into the dark side of French society and was fascinated by it. The pace as you say is really quick and sweeps you along. Thanks for sharing your viewpoint which thoroughly interested me.

Eleni @ La Femme Readers said...

Wow, no connection? That sucks :/ Nice honest review though. Eh I think I'll still give it a try...

Nina said...

I'm sorry that there wasnt any connection between you and the book. :( That's very important. I dont think i am going to try this book.

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