Scott, Elizabeth. Love You Hate You Miss You (2009). 276 Pages. Harper Collins. $16.99
It’s been seventy-five days. Amy’s sick of her parents suddenly taking an interest in her. And she’s really sick of people asking her about Julia. Julia’s gone now, and she doesn’t want to talk about it. They wouldn’t get it, anyway. They wouldn’t understand what it feels like to have your best friend ripped away from you.
They wouldn’t understand what it feels like to know it’s your fault.
Amy’s shrink thinks it would help to start a diary. Instead, Amy starts writing letters to Julia.
But as she writes letter after letter, she begins to realize that the past wasn’t as perfect as she thought it was– and the present deserves a chance, too.
Get this, I’m supposed to be starting a journal about “my journey.” Please. I can see it now:
As I’m set adrift on this crazy sea called “life,” I like to think of an inspirational poem I heard not long ago, one that made me weep because of its beauty. Today, I truly believe each day is a precious gift….
I don’t think so.
I wasn’t sure what to think, when I first got this book. It looked interesting enough, introspective journeys and self-discovery are fascinating when done right, and the reviews I found suggested that it was done well here. Having read it, I can agree. Amy is lost in a sea of self-doubt and loss. She’s wracked with guilt about the death of her best friend, and she blames herself for Julia’s death.
It takes a long time for Amy to come to terms with Julia’s absence, and to begin to move on. It takes even longer for her psychiatrist to really connect with her, and yet longer for Amy to realize that she is allowed to be happy, and to move on.
This is a complicated, quietly-sad book about teenage loss, and learning to live again after losing someone you care about. It’s similar to Please Ignore Vera Dietz, without the mystery, and without the shifting POV. Love You Hate You Miss You is about Amy, and everything is in Amy’s voice. Different approaches to a similar concept, and both are great in their own way.
Amy’s voice is captivating and strong, she tells her story in her own way, and it works. It makes you hope she’ll find some peace, and some happiness, and she will maybe heal. It earns a 4/5; it’s well done overall.