Review: Me and You

Why I picked it: When I first started using NetGalley, I wanted to try a few novel types that I don't normally gravitate towards.  In this case, the Novella.

Synopsis: A funny, tragic, gut-punch of a novel, charting how an unlikely alliance between two outsiders blows open one family’s secrets. Lorenzo Cumi is a fourteen-year-old misfit. To quell the anxiety of his concerned, socially conscious parents, he tells them he’s been invited on an exclusive ski vacation with the popular kids. On the morning of the trip, Lorenzo demands that his mother drop him off before they arrive at the train station, insisting that his status will be compromised if he shows up accompanied by his mother. Reluctantly, she agrees, and as soon as she is safely out of the vicinity, he turns around and makes his way back to his neighborhood, to put his real plan in motion: for one blessed week, Lorenzo will retreat to a forgotten cellar in his family’s apartment building, where he will live in perfect isolation, keeping the adult world at bay.

But when his estranged half-sister, Olivia, shows up in the cellar unexpectedly, his idyll is shattered, and the two become locked in a battle of wills—forced to confront the very demons they are each struggling to escape.

Type: Fiction (Novella, just 161 pages)

Quick Take: This novel is every parents nightmare... imagine dropping off your child, thinking they are going on a ski trip and they don't actually go on said trip!

Lorenzo leads a lonely life and starts lying to his mom so she will feel better.  He ends up telling her he's been invited to go on a ski trip with friends and can't find a way to get out it.  So... he decides to spend the time in basement of their apartment building, but as any young child does... he hasn't planned for everything.

I loved this next bit when Lorenzo explains his plans for the week (in a cellar): I was a survivor of an alien invasion.  The human race had been exterminated and only a handful had managed to save themselves by hiding out in cellars or basements.  I was the only one still alive in Rome.  To get out I had to wait for the aliens to go back to their planet.  And this, for a reason unknown to me, would happen in a week's time.

The only part of this story that I struggled with was Lorenzo's mother.  I had a hard time believing that the mom begrudgingly accepted all the explanations for not getting to talk to a parent on the trip.  She checks in on Lorenzo often during the weekend and seems like a good mom.  I take that back, she is a good mom who desperately wants her son to be happy.

Rating; 4/5 stars
Country: Italy
Source: NetGalley