Love You, Hate You, Miss You by Elizabeth Scott
author website: Elizabeth Scott
release date: June 1, 2009
appeals to: Young Adult
length: 276 pages
overall rating: 4 stars
*the inside flap*
It's been seventy-five days. Amy's sick of her parents suddenly taking an interest in her. And she's really sick of people asking her about Julia. Julia's gone, and Amy doesn't want to talk about it. They wouldn’t get it, anyway. They wouldn’t understand what it feels like to have your best friend ripped away from you.
They wouldn’t understand what it feels like to know it’s your fault.
Amy’s shrink thinks it would help to start a diary. Instead, Amy starts writing letters to Julia.
But as she writes letter after letter, she begins to realize that the past wasn’t as perfect as she thought it was – and the present deserves a chance too.
This story starts out as Amy is being released from a teen rehab center, 75 days after her best friend, Julia, dies in a car accident. For her continued therapy, Amy writes in a journal, but only in the form of letters to Julia. Amy tells her story in a combination of these letters and a narration of her daily life. As the story unfolds, the letters to Julia and Amy’s daily conversations with teachers, classmates, her parents, and her therapist start to paint a picture of the overwhelming guilt and emotional pain that Amy feels. We also see her constant struggle to make the choice not to drink.
The references to drinking, drug use, and casual sex in this story may make it uncomfortable for younger readers, but none of those things are glorified in this story. Amy knows that she has used drinking to dull reality, and without it, she feels the need to keep everyone at a distance. The characters Elizabeth Scott has created are deeply developed and definitely add to the story with their own quirks. Scenes with Amy’s so in love they’re oblivious parents help you to understand why Amy feels unloved. And her school friends, Mel, Patrick, and Caro, all have issues of their own that make them seem quite realistic. Overall, this is a story of the personal growth of a teenager who has decided to take ownership of her life.
*short and snappy*
writing: authentic – readers will feel connected to Amy whether they’ve had similar experiences or not
plot: quick moving, but slow enough to let you feel how hard it is for Amy to move on
characters: deep – all of the characters have incredible depth; they are dealing with real issues
judging by the cover: I love the cover, but it doesn’t give anything away
miscellaneous: this book was on the ALA’s “2010 Best Books for Young Adults” list