You, Me, & Letting Go
by Katie Kaleski
Published by: Swoon Romance
Publication date: May 14th 2019
Genres: Romance, Young Adult
A love so epic, no label is needed.
Van Sato’s got labels. Tourettes, ADHD, SPD – words that have defined his existence since the time he was old enough to know what they meant. Now, Van wants to prove he’s more than an acronym, a syndrome, a problem kid. He takes a summer job as a day camp counselor to prove he’s capable of independence and moving on to the next phase in his life. Maybe, he might even make a friend while there. Someone who’s got just as many or even more labels than him. Someone who understands what it’s like.
Tabby Dubanowksi wants to forget about everything, the hospitalization, the judgment, the whispers behind her back. As a camp counselor, she will be admired, looked up to, and able to help people who don’t know anything about her old life. Tabby wants a fresh start and a chance to re-ignite her passion for film-making, if only for one summer.
After running away from their pasts, Van and Tabby collide in a storm cloud of attraction laced with self-doubt, insecurity, shame, and blame. Now, with Van feeling like he might have to quit his job, and Tabby struggling to quell the urge to cut, they will struggle to find themselves in a world designed to keep them apart.
I am a fan of Katie’s straightforward writing, which I have first encountered in her previous novel Little Forevers. She treats teenagers with dignity and grace, which is paramount in giving YA novels the power to resonate with their readership. She does the same treatment in You, Me, & Letting Go. Van may have ADHD, SPD, and Tourettes, while Tabitha may be recovering from an eating disorder, but they are still relatable to all teenagers. Both have been bullied. Both have suffered from the cruelty of social media. And both are capable of falling in love.
It celebrates its characters without throwing them a pity party. Rather, the readers are invited to root for them as Van and Tabby both get normal summer jobs and experience everyday routines with their friends. I was deeply touched by their dedication to start over again. It’s not easy to rise above bad days, let alone life-altering disorders. What I appreciate about this novel is how it inspires all readers to see the beauty in life and uplift ourselves in times of adversity. And as the title implies, we are all capable of letting go as long as we trust ourselves and share our lives with others.
I highly recommend this book! I’ve read this while taking care of my terminally-ill father in the hospital, and it was a ray of sunshine. Do read it too, and be inspired by Van and Tabby’s unconventional love story.