Me Being Me Is Exactly As Insane As You Being You by Todd Hasak-Lowy
Published by: Simon and Schuster
I picked this book up after seeing it on a list of YA LGBTQ+ books over at Maximum Pop Books. I thought you can never read too many LGBTQ+ books, so I’ve made it my mission to try and read as many on this list as physically possible. Another selling point with this book was the note that it was ‘a novel in lists’. Now, that’s an interesting story-telling method. So, as a list-lover, and an aspiring LGBTQYA reader, I had high hopes for this one. But, you know what they say about high hopes. You’re bound to be disappointed.
P L O T
The story follows Darren, a nerdy Jewish boy, who’s just found out that his dad is gay, and that’s the reason his parent’s marriage broke up. After hearing this news, he avoids his dad, flees to his big brother’s college dorm and ends up with an expected shadow by the name of Zoey, who he falls dramatically in love with. If that last bit doesn’t sound like a John Green novel, I don’t know what does.
But, I hear you ask, how can such a plot take up over 600 pages? Is it worth it?
No, my friends, it is not. And here’s why.
F O R M A T
The list thing was cute to begin with. It was new and it was quirky. There was a bit of sarcasm thrown in and I started off being very happy with the format. Then, things started to get a little long winded and irrelevant. Like, did a list of all the names in band class really add anything to the plot? No.
The titles of the lists could get extremely long and contrived, just to make a joke with the body of the list, and I got bored of that repetitive style. There’s probably about 500 lists in the book, and at least 200 of them could have been cut.
C H A R A C T E R S
I felt like I’d read Darren’s character before, with Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. Greg’s self-depreicating humour was well done and actually funny, whereas Darren came across as extremely whiney.
Zoey was just your average manic-pixie-dream-girl who hid her feelings and led Darren along for a while, then disappeared without a trance, in order for Darren to get obsessed with her, Q and Margo style.
L G B T I N C L U S I O N
This is the part that really grinds my bones.
Darren was the most inconsiderate, selfish person ever. He completely disrespected and disregarded how his father would feel. Yes, I’m sure it was traumatic to find out that his dad was gay, and that he’d still had children with Darren’s mother, but it didn’t mean he didn’t still love or want Darren.
Plus, did the fact that his father was gay really affect Darren that much? His dad’s lifestyle is his to live and Darren should have just been happy that his father was happy for once.
I was expected the LGBT element to be larger, but at this point, I’m glad it wasn’t because the representation was not favourable. It made it seem that gay people are an inconvenience to heterosexual people and I did not like it.
V E R D I C T
I won’t be recommending this one to anyone in a hurry. It’s barely a two star book. It wasn’t worth the effort of reading over 600 pages, and it certainly didn’t meet my expectations. I think I’ll just stick with Two Boys Kissing for good representation, thank you very much.