Author: Pamela DuMond
Genre: Contemporary Romance
My Copy: Review Copy via Author
Add to: Goodreads
Synopsis: She's driven to save her life. He's haunted by breaking one. Some secrets are risky to share. But nothing's more powerful than falling in love... Nineteen-year-old Sophie has the kind of hope that makes her do weird things—like leave her family and friends behind in her small hometown and travel thousands of miles to a strange city—Los Angeles. She didn’t plan on getting into the middle of a bar fight on the USCLA campus her first night in town. She didn’t want to be rescued by twenty-one-year-old Alejandro, the hottest guy she’s ever met. She has no time to fall for a guy because her stakes are high—life and death. Sophie’s starting a promising, experimental USCLA Medical study that could heal her debilitating disease. But California’s filled with all kinds of alternative healers offering medical miracles. When she ventures on her own to find them, she quickly discovers that L.A.’s a tough city, with bad guys more than happy to take advantage of her. She hires Alejandro to be her driver and her bodyguard. Their journeys take them to sunny beaches, dicey ghettos, campus hang-outs, gang-infested hoods and celebrity parties. And she learns that healing doesn’t always come the way you think you need it. Sophie’s healing is six-foot-two-inches tall, has stunning hazel eyes, black, shiny hair and a rock solid chest that shelters her. Her healing is a smart, gorgeous Alpha Boy with a killer sense of humor—Alejandro. As they fall in love, she realizes Alejandro isn’t your typical college party boy—he has a dangerous past. And Sophie isn’t the only one who keeps secrets. A Story of Hope. A Story of Love. A Story of Redemption.
Pamela DuMond’s The Story of You and Me is your typical new adult romance novel: girl meets boy and both fall head over heels. Unfortunately, this one fell flat despite the author’s reason for writing this novel (which brought tears to my eyes when I read the author letter).
Character development is a bit weak. We get to know Sophie fairly well, but she’s still keeping us at arms length. At times, she comes off as a bit of a ditz (more on that later) and I just had a difficult time actually liking her and couldn’t connect with her. Then there’s Alex, the hot guy that makes Sophie weak in the knees. The problem? I thought he was too sweet and a bit too perfect though he’s hiding a terrible secret. Overall, I had trouble being attracted to him, but did really like getting to know him. We have several secondary characters that are important including Sophie’s neighbor in LA, Cole (loved him!) and Blue, a wheelchair bound patient Sophie meets in the hospital. Although, I really liked Sophie’s grandmother and wished we had more scenes with her! She was a hoot!
Narrative is first person via Sophie and as a narrator she’s trustworthy, but it took some to warm up to her. I’m not sure if it had to do with the DuMond’s writing style or the choice of words, but at times I found myself going back and rereading sentences. The writing did come off a bit amateurish in some areas, but will admit that it improved over the course of the novel. While DuMond had some lovely scenes, the chemistry between Alex and Sophie felt forced. The grand secret that Alex has, is a heartbreaking tale and a hard lesson for any teen, and in this day in age it was a bit refreshing to have a character who changes for the good based on an incident.
I debated with the rating between a two and three, but decided on a two for several reasons. First, I found Sophie to be a bit too trusting and I can sort of see what DuMond was doing. By giving us a Midwestern Sophie in the big city, she put Sophie through a series of ridiculous trials. There’s an incident involving a gang and while I’m not saying what happened to Sophie wouldn’t happen in real life, it just felt a bit too convenient. Here she found a way to bring Alex and Sophie together. I just found Sophie needing to be rescued a bit tiresome especially when she was fighting to find a cure for herself and her grandmother. If she had the strength to do that then she’s not entirely helpless. Then there’s the whole off to experience / find out what Sophie could about alternative medicine. Again, I’m not saying alternative medicine doesn’t work, it just was a bit too out there for me especially when Sophie is dealing with a quack of a doctor who has his own two bodyguards. Furthermore, I quite didn’t understand the obsession with nicknames. Immediately Sophie is nicknamed cheesehead because she’s from Wisconsin and everyone seems to call her that, Alex calls her bonita left and right and it just feels out of place. It’s almost as if DuMond had to prove to her readers that he’s Mexican-American and what better way than to have him call her “bonita.”
What I did like about The Story About You and Me is that we don’t have any misunderstandings and both Sophie and Alex are upfront with their feelings. They might not share their past right away, but when they do, it’s all open. I just adored Sophie’s grandmother and her quest to learn Yiddish.
Overall, The Story of You and Me is a light read though forgettable. Fans of the film A Walk to Remember might enjoy this.