“In the midst of happiness or despair
in sorrow or in joy
in pleasure or in pain:
Do what is right and you will be at peace.
In life, there is no greater gift than peace,
May you always have love.”
Here goes the last few words of Jess Rothenberg in her debut novel. But I even like the lines in the first parts more. I think it is so heartbreaking and really intriguing:
“I was fifteen years old when I died of a broken heart. No urban myths or legends here. I’m talking one hundred percent Death by Heartbreak. . . .Nope, I did it the old-fashioned way. My heart literally BROKE IN HALF.”
And boom! I was caught! I was hooked.
Goosebumps. Confusion. Skepticism. I started to question myself: How does an afterlife look or feel like? Yes. Afterlife. What about dying of a broken heart? Literally. Death. These questions crept up under my skin. I have never imagined myself dying and “soul-wandering” in a space between the earth, the sky, the universe, or anything in between. Until I read THE CATASTROPHIC HISTORY OF YOU AND ME.
I was so obsessed to finish and find out the actual catastrophy that the title is saying in the novel. I was suprised by lots of twists and turns. The revelations and conflicts. As surreal and as imaginary as the setting of the story are as realistic and as “actually-happening-to-anyone” are the revelations in the novel. There are a lot of things that I actually like in this book: the names of the characters are all cute (and hamloaf is my favorite), the symbolisms used in the novel are quite intriguing, the cliches in every chapter and the titles derived from songs, the manner the author narrated the story that made me travel into the undefinable setting, and a whole lot more of “movie-like” experiences I had upon reading this.
Being an ordinarily lazy reader, as much as possible, I don’t want to think much about what I am reading. You know, that feeling of not being stressed nor having wrinkles on forehead caused by overthinking. I don’t use my imagination that often. That is why I consider myself a less artistic, if not NOT ARTISTIC at all, person. But this time it’s different. I was challenged. My imagination was challenged. As I read every word and turn every page, my mind wanders. Now I know why people, well actually some, love to read than to watch movies. Because when you read, you put your whole being in the story. You feel every word, every sensation. You digest everything that your mind and your imagination is feeding you. You get lost. Lost in space. Lost in your own self. In reading this book, my imagination was freed from a long time of sleeping inside the jail of my mind. And I want to thank the person who lent me this book. It’s just an awesome feeling and an overwhelming experience!
And for the record, I finished this novel in just 7 days! I am so astounded with myself. Really. Because I have never ever dared myself to finish reading a novel unmindfully in just days. Before, I will just read a few pages and will put down the book forever. Unfinished.
Well, I don’t want to make a literal review of this book. My reaction and realizations are enough evidences on how I actually enjoyed and loved The Catastrophic History of You and Me…