You Don’t Know Me



Title: You Don’t Know Me
Author: David Klass
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date: 2001
Page Count: 344 (Paperback)
Age Recommendation: 14 (John is abused by the man who is not his father, just an fyi in case any of ya lovely peeps are sensitive to that sort of stuff)

John (“My father named me after a toilet!”) wrestles with the certainty that no one really knows him not in his miserable home, and certainly not at school. It’s true that no one can guess his hidden thoughts, which are hilarious, razor-sharp observations about lust, love, tubas, algebra, everything. And then there’s his home: his father ran off years ago, so he’s being raised by his mother, who works long hours, and by her boyfriend, whom John calls “the man who is not and never will be my father.” This man is his enemy, an abusive disciplinarian who seems to want to kill John and, in a horrible final confrontation, nearly succeeds. 

Moving, wholly involving, original, and emotionally true, You Don’t Know Me is a multilayered novel that presents a winning portrait of an understandably angst-ridden adolescent. ~ Goodreads

Woo boy, this book is so different. Like, so very different (but also just like any other contemporary YA, but darker…) The one major thing that makes this book stand out was the main character John. He spends most of his time in his head and has a very dry sense of humor. We are never given a description of John, and we never really needed one. He honestly seems really devoid of emotions, either that or he doesn’t really take life very seriously. Although, John’s lack of emotions never actually make the story seem lifeless, it actually is quite the opposite and somehow breathes THE ESSENCE OF LIFE INTO THE BARE BONES OF THIS STORY!!!! *beam of sunshine lands on book* *the angels sing* John is a really sort of needlessly cruel character, and I think that would be one of the main reasons why someone wouldn’t like this book. The other thing that made it different was that I didn’t actually know where the story was going??? What was the point???? WHAT WAS GOING ON????? Though this would usually bother me, surprisingly it didn’t!!! Hooray! John’s character was so intriguing and the events were so very exciting that having no idea what the point of the book was didn’t bother me at all. The story’s structure and the plot moved very smoothly and there was never a dull moment. The writing seemed sort of like a mixture of Lemony Snicket and John Green? I’m not sure how to explain it…The beginning is also very very confusing and uses WAY too many words and backtracks than what I would’ve liked…but…oh well. Haha. Just kidding, I love backtracks. No wait! I don’t! HAHA I FOOLED YOU AGAIN! The one thing I was so very disappointed in was that this book was about an angsty teenager, and not about some creepy stalker stalking a helpless person… -_- *cries into pillow* (also, this book is not the song You Don’t Know Me that’s music video strangely features a box of fruit-loops…I don’t even know)

Fabulous Quotes

And I am John, named after a toilet, by my father for reasons that are not so obvious. He could have called me kitchen. He could have called me living room. He named me John.

I learned those moves from watching nature shows on television. This are, in fact, the  exact contortions a wildebeest manifests when it is being devoured alive by a pride of hungry lions.

“No,” I say, “I am John. Luke is a horse.”

What Does the Cat Think?

I got the meowves like Jagger

I give this book 4 stars out of 5!

2 thoughts on “You Don’t Know Me

  1. What a unique novel. It’s really sounds like there are so many layers. Your enthusiasm sells the book. I would be interested because of the abuse issue. Thanks for a great review.

    Was in Florida last week, so missed MMGM. So, I didn’t miss your review of Ashes. Hope you liked it!

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