(I received an Advanced Reading Copy of this book. I will add pull-quotes to this review once I get my hands on a true printed copy.)
It is never easy of any person to make a decision, let alone one that needs to be made at the spur of the moment. Consequences need to be considered to words said or actions made which may have long lasting results. And for an adolescent, those decisions can be heart-wrenching, especially if their young minds are already guilt-ridden from past traumas. That is one of the major themes Alice Kuipers brilliantly explores in her book Me (and) Me.
The story of the book deals with Lark, a young girl who is just in the process of celebrating her seventeenth birthday. She has mixed feelings about the day, since it brings back memories of her mother’s passing a few years ago. Readers witness Lark’s day starting off in a well-enough manner; The sky is clear. She has just finished writing a ‘kick-ass’ song for the band and she has a date with the gorgeous and Alec out by the lake. Alas, things take a turn for the worse when a neighbourhood girl begins to drown and Alec gets himself into trouble as well trying to save little Annabelle. Lark is in a quandary as she tries to decide which one of the two to save.
Kuipers uses the concept of parallel universes in this book in a brilliant fashion to explore the roles of cause/effect. Reader’s witness the two Larks – one where she save little Annabelle from the depth of a lake and suffering from a long-lasting coma AND the other where she saves Alec from the same fate. Both Larks are guilt-ridden by their decisions and their guilt becomes overpowering that they both act out in different manners.
Alice Kuipers’ Me (And) Me is truly a unique read. The book does an excellent job in exploring cause/effect roles in the actions of human beings. A great read and an enlightening one for the younger set.