In The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg, sixteen-year-old Brie Eagen is told by her boyfriend that he does not love her—and literally dies of a broken heart. Now in the afterlife, Brie must go through the five stages of grief with help from Patrick, another lost soul, before she can finally rest in peace.
This book is equally funny and heartbreaking. Along with Brie’s journey in the afterlife, you also follow the trials that her family is enduring now that she’s gone; her father, a cardiologist, can’t accept the fact that he wasn’t able to fix his daughter’s heart, and his obsession with finding out the reason why is putting a serious strain on his relationship with Brie’s mom and younger brother. In addition, Brie’s former boyfriend and her best friends are struggling to put the pieces back together now that she’s gone.
The things I really appreciated were these other storylines. Sometimes within this genre, the focus is completely on the deceased character, and little thought is given for those left behind. Not so in this one; both Brie and her loved ones are prominently followed, giving the reader many people to relate to and root for. The Catastrophic History of You and Me will make you laugh and possibly cry, but the journey it takes you on is most definitely worth it.