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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    A Stigma Breaker

    I received a review copy from Harper Collins India in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own. I did something really surprising: I actually read reviews BEFORE I started reading this review copy, which is something I almost never do. This is because doing so might leave me with expectations or biases, and the point of reviewing a book is to go in without preconceived notions.* *Yes, I do feel smart having used the term preconceived notions. I should PROBABLY come to my point, which is: I expected You Don’t Know Me But I Know You to be something slow paced and heart breaking from the reviews I read, and I was pacing myself for a really slow paced book but Rebecca Barrow’s debut novel wasn’t like that AT ALL. In fact, it took quite a quick pace and it wasn’t the tragic book I was expecting, but something else altogether. You Don’t Know Me But I Know You broke down so many tropes when it came to teenagers around friendship, sex, pregnancy and first loves and yet at the same time, had a lot of unnecessary drama popping up, and filled with rant-y monologues and resulted in me being SO CONFUSED ABOUT WHAT I FELT ABOUT THIS BOOK. Let’s break this down: 1. I loved how this book deconstructed tropes. It shows teenagers that UNLIKE most conceptions, their parents could support them in having safe sex, won’t kick them out of the house if they get pregnant and also that teen pregnancies don’t always end in the father bailing and the mother being saddled with ever decision. It is SO IMPORTANT to read books where teenagers are treated like adults, because it’s what we crave and EQUALLY IMPORTANT to see supportive parents and boyfriends in fiction just like Rebecca Barrow’s debut showed us. 2. I also really liked the relationship dynamic between Audrey and her boyfriend, Julian. They had such this open, honest way of communicating to one another about their dreams and worries and most importantly, about the baby. 3. This book was so adoption positive and I LOVED that about it. I feel like we don’t see enough books that show up adoption when the child knows all along instead of adoption being a huge plot twist, and this was a welcome chance. 4. Like I said at the beginning of this review, I couldn’t help but shake the feeling that all the problems in this book were just plot twists that were filled with UNNECESSARY DRAMA and I just didn’t understand it. Audrey’s relationship with her best friend, Rose was horrible portrayed and all their miscommunication made me cringe. I DIDN’T EVEN REALLY GET WHAT THEY WERE FIGHTING ABOUT and I wanted to shake some SERIOUS sense into them. 5. I also initially liked the female friendships in the book but they became filler VERY FAST. I hated the way Audrey treated Maria, Jen, Rose and Olivia. She put herself first, made everything about her and there was NO ROOM for anything else and that isn’t friendship in my book. This book could have been so much better. It had some really promising elements and broke a lot of tropes but there was SO MUCH UNNEEDED DRAMA. 3 stars.

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