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It's Not You, It's Me

A book by Kerry Cohen Hoffmann

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A cautionary tale

  • Jun 14, 2009
Like many have said the character of Zoe comes off as a nut, basically sabotaging any chance she has of getting her ex-boyfriend back with her antics. Everyone tells her just leave it be, don't do that, don't say that, but she does it anyways without much thought. Even though she comes off as kind of crazy I feel like it depicts a bit of what any normal girlfriend might go through when she breaks up with the boy that really counts and this can be seen sort of as a cautionary tale. It sheds a bit of light on the ugly truth of breakup and the feelings that people might have (that they definitely should not act on.)

While Zoe was harder to swallow I rather liked the guys in the book. From Henry and his bandmate Niles to Sam, her friend that makes no secret of his crush on Zoe. They all seemed a lot more level-headed and also really seemed to care for Zoe even when she was acting crazy. I also liked Zoe's friends Julia and Shannon they tried to keep her on the right path for as long as they could and when that wasn't working that finally gave in and fed the craziness of Zoe and her plan.

The ending was a little meh but I think it was an appropriate ending for the message that I thought the author was trying to send. I really like how she and some of the characters stress that no matter who you are with, you need to maintain yourself and your own interests instead of losing yourself within someone else. I think that's a very important message that everyone needs to be reminded of from time to time.

Overall an interesting concept with probably a truer to life (but exaggerated) main character than we all want to admit to!

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review by . June 14, 2009
I am a huge fan of Kerry Hoffmann. I have read her previous books and adored them. I was, therefore, extremely thrilled when I received this one!  It's Not You, It's Me is actually a YA novel where we meet our main character Zoë who is in the midst of a romantic crisis. She has been dating Henry for the last 6 months and every night at exactly 9:00 p.m. they call each other on the telephone and say goodnight to each other. Except this night (day 1), Zoë has been calling and all she gets …
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Grade 8–11—After 6 months and 218 kisses, high school junior Zoë is blindsided when her boyfriend dumps her—he wants to focus on his band, he says, and not have a girlfriend right now. Obviously he's made a big mistake, and Zoë sets out to prove it to him. Her best friends discourage her efforts to win him back (which include stuffing her poetry through his bedroom window, snooping through his email, and flirting with his friends) and tell her she's acting crazy, but she can't help herself. She has been completely wrapped up in Henry since they started dating, to the exclusion of her own friends and activities, and now that he's extricated himself from her life, she has trouble coping with this loss of identity. It's a common story and realistically told. Zoë is believably self-centered, but her friends' lives center on her, too, offering advice and encouragement (and, in the case of one male friend, offering himself as "excellent boyfriend material"). The rushed conclusion shows hope for Zoë as she makes efforts to find the self she jettisoned for Henry. Girls will relate to the teen's heartbreak and healing, though her self-pity and manipulations may irritate more than amuse.—Brandy Danner, Wilmington Memorial Library, MA
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ISBN-10: 0385736967
ISBN-13: 978-0385736961
Author: Kerry Cohen Hoffmann
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

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"A cautionary tale"
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