Love You Hate You Miss You by Elizabeth Scott. (Grades 8+)
ETA (June 4): The contest is now closed. Thanks for entering!
I hate that I've become a bunch of quotation marks. "In Recovery." "At Risk."
All her life Amy has felt too tall, too quiet, too awkward. The alcohol helps and that's why she drinks - to forget herself, to feel blurry and free. Julia also helped. Ever since Amy and Julia met, they were best friends. Amy knew she could count on Julia no matter what.
But now Julia's gone and it's all Amy's fault. Amy doesn't know how to deal with the sudden loss of her best friend. As her therapist has her write down her thoughts (which take the form of letters to Julia), Amy will begin to figure out her complicated relationship with her best friend.
Ohhhh, Elizabeth Scott... She better write a bazillion more books. Every time I read a new book of hers I enjoy it even more than the one before. I saved Love You Hate You Miss You until I moved because I was looking forward to it so much and I knew it'd be a great way to de-stress. I was totally right. I was actually a little disappointed that I didn't have a long wait at the DMV because I didn't get a chance to read.
What did I love about this book? Well, Amy's voice, for one. She's been through this terrible tragedy. She feels incredibly guilty. But she still has this razor-sharp sarcastic edge. She hates being labeled and, as much as it hurts her, she sees things that she and Julia would have made fun of or laughed about. She's also a bit of an unreliable narrator, which I didn't think I liked but Elizabeth's crafted it with the perfect amount of tension so that it's really believable.
I also just loved the writing. I would get caught up with the characters and the plot and then these really great lines of description would jump out at me, like:
Describing the accident:
All around us, the air smelled like burned rubber and cracked metal, and my cigarette still glowed as the world ended.
Amy describing her hair:
Mine in short and the color red leaves are right before they rot.
And (one last one) I love her description of the rejects at school as "all pimples and desperation".
Not only are these lines poetic and beautiful, but they tell you so much about Amy and how she thinks and how she feels about herself. Brilliant.
So, yeah. It's not as "chick-lit" as Something Maybe, and not nearly as disturbing as Living Dead Girl. I'd highly recommend Love You Hate You Miss You to fans of Laurie Halse Anderson's edgier titles (say, Speak or Wintergirls). Don't take my word for it; check out more reviews at Hope's Bookshelf, Becky's Book Reviews, and Katie's Book Blog.
And y'all are in luck because I have an extra copy of the ARC that I am GIVING AWAY TO ONE OF YOU. All you need to do is leave a comment on this post to enter. If you would make sure your email address is in the comment (or on your profile), that would make life easier for me. If you link to this giveaway in any way (on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) I will give you one extra entry for each link. Please leave a separate comment for each link.
You've got until June 3 to enter and I'll draw on June 4. My giveaway is open to anyone anywhere!
AND SPEAKING OF contests that end on June 3, head over to Reviewer X where you can enter to win ALL OF ELIZABETH SCOTT'S BOOKS. I'm tellin' ya, you don't want to miss that one!
*Quotes are from ARC and may not reflect the final version.