Dying to Know Youby Aidan Chambers
In this contemporary love story, a teenage boy named Karl enlists a famous writer to help him impress his girlfriend, Fiorella/i>
- LendMe LendMe™ Learn More
In Dying to Know You, award-winning author Aidan Chambers has created an indelible portrait of a young man discovering his own voice in the world, and has constructed a love story that is as much about the mind as it is the heart.
In this contemporary love story, a teenage boy named Karl enlists a famous writer to help him impress his girlfriend, Fiorella. She has asked him to write her a letter in which he reveals his true self. But Karl isn’t convinced he’s good enough with words, so he tracks down Fiorella’s favorite author and begs him to take up the task. The writer reluctantly assents, on the condition that Karl agree to a series of interviews, so that the letter will be based on an authentic portrait of Karl. The letter, though effective, has unexpected consequences for Karl, Fiorella, and the writer.
Praise for Dying to Know You
*THREE STARRED REVIEWS*
“Deliberate in pace and carefully insightful in its investigation of character, Chamber’s latest is a work of art that repays multiple readings.” —Booklist, starred review
"Chambers delivers yet another intellectually satisfying novel with equal parts philosophy and repartee, and this one may have broader teen appeal than his most recent efforts."
—The Horn Book, starred review
"Packed to the brim with challenging ideas, the latest from Chambers—winner of the Printz Award, Carnegie Medal, and Hans Christian Andersen Award, among others—is simultaneously an acutely observed (and surprising) love story; the chronicle of a young man coming into his own as an artist; and a slippery, twisting examination of the art of storytelling."
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“This quietly understated performance captures the wistfulness of music in a minor key and is ultimately successful in its life-affirming message.”
"Readers are hooked with snappy dialogue and keen insights; Karl is a multifaceted and likable character who will keep them engaged and rooting for him to find his way in love and in life."
—School Library Journal
Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) Choices 2013 list - Young Adult Fiction
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Barnes & Noble
- NOOK Book
- Sales rank:
- File size:
- 3 MB
- Age Range:
- 14 - 17 Years
Meet the Author
Aidan Chambers has received international acclaim and won every major young adult prize, including the Michael L. Printz Award and the Carnegie Medal. He lives in Gloucester, England, with his wife, Nancy. To learn more, visit him online at aidanchambers.co.uk.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
This book is interesting, fun, and very insightful. Although it is for young adults, it’s geared more towards older teens, such as 16 and on. That’s not to say that younger teens wouldn’t enjoy the story, but it would be more appreciated by people who have experienced their first love. Chambers takes an inventive approach to his writing, not always relaying on paragraphs to get his point across, but also using dialogue form to keep the conversation’s integrity.
This book is an amazing story about life and the friendships we make. The story is about an 18 year-old boy named Karl, coming to terms with himself and with life. He enlists the help of the narrator, a 75 year-old novelist. At the beginning, he needs his help to write his feelings on a list of various topics, as his girlfriend has asked him to do this for her. The narrator, see's a lot of himself in this young boy, and agree's to help. What's to follow is a journey with high's and low's, pushing the boundaries of friendship and feelings. This book was absolutely fantastic, and utterly heart-warming. To watch this friendship blossom, between two men of extremely differing ages is truely astounding. Men, women, young and old should read this book, to renew a little love that may be lost.
I was a bit hesitant in starting Dying to know you, for once, it was narrated by an older man (in his 60s, based on some descriptions), and that is a first for young adult novels! Basically Karl, an 18 year old boy, asks for help from this older man, to help him with his girlfriend. Fiorella, the girlfriend, gave Karl a list of questions and asked him to answer them, a way to get to know Karl better. Karl thought that what better way to do it than getting help from Fiorella's favorite author? For whatever reason, the older man, the AUTHOR, accepted this challenge. This is when the story truly begins. I was so intrigued! Everything that happened was told from the author's point of view, it was definitely different! The first 50 or so pages sucked me right into the story; you witnessed the problems Karl had with his life, the growing bond Karl and the author, and also the letters that the author wrote based on the interviews he had with Karl. I only have one wish, and it was that I wished the duo formed more letters/answered more questions. I loved the limited letters that were written. Imagine getting to know someone through questions/answer format. You get to understand Karl more, but at the same time I got even more confused. I kept on comparing him with my brother, Karl felt lost, floating in this world aimlessly.. maybe because of his condition, his creativity surprised me. the way he evaluated the surroundings, the meaning of his life, and what he is meant to be. He is definitely an enjoyable character. Aidan Chambers wrote such a simplistic book, without any major drama and I still stuck to it to the end and actually enjoyed it very much!! I am really liking the direction contemporaries are heading, they're not just the cuteness they used to be, but actually have meaning.
fFirst the story. The story line is compelling and the writing is subtly beautiful. At first you just want to know, what is so great about this Fiorella that makes this plumber Karl, who obviously has a lot inside of him, seek out her favorite author and ask for his help. And the author agrees. On condition. Karl is a hard character to get to know, to both the author and to us. He doesn't like to give anything away, only what is asked for, but Fiorella has a huge list of questions she wants him to write in letters to him. She is basically demanding that he reveal himself to her in letters, love letters, so that she knows all about him. Karl is a quiet man, only 18, but already has a trade and we learn more about him in the silences than we do in the conversations he has with the author. The story is told through the author's point of view and his observations may or may not bias us towards certain people. But he does give us a lot of insight into the other characters in the novel and himself. He is clever in seeking the answers to the questions Fiorella has asked and good at writing the letters in a way that it sounds like Karl would have written them. The pace is kind of slow, but this wouldn't be a story you could rush. It's like the unfolding of a map as Karl, with the help of the author, Fiorella, his mother and others slowly learns who he is and isn't. The author and Karl have much in common, the loss of someone dear to them, depression, doubts about who they are and what they are doing in life. But the author has the luxury of experience, so he has answers. But he doesn't want to feed them to Karl, he wants Karl to discover them on his own, learn from his mistakes. Whenever the author starts in on something about himself, he writes, "but that has nothing to do with Karl's story," and leaves off anything about himself. So we don't know too much about the author and yet we do by knowing Karl. It's not an exciting story, but a slow enjoyable story about Karl discovering himself. It gave me pause to think many times and I smiled many times as I read. I love the relationships Karl formed with the author and the one he had with his mother and his boss, who had been his father's best friend. I absolutely hated Fiorella! She was not deserving of Karl and even though we don't see much of her, we read about her a lot and she's just shallow and cruel. The fact that she demands these letters alone was a sure sign that I wouldn't like her. The ending is so unexpected and warranted that I was sorry it was over. But I was left with a feeling of peace and contentment, that it was the right way to end it. I realized that it was the way I felt throughout the novel. Peaceful and assured. I felt like the author, in the story, was guiding everything toward this particular ending and that I had just been along for the ride. Just a note-When I say author, I mean the person narrating the story. I don't remember ever getting his name and as I thumbed through, his name wasn't ever revealed. So, the author could have been Aiden Chambers or it could have been a character in the novel. There is a reference to how hard it is to publicize books after you've written them, that writing them is the easy part. It felt like Aiden Chambers was speaking directly to us, his audience. It was very cleverly written as if it all happened to Aiden Chambers himself. There is talk of suicide and sex in this novel so use your discretion.
This one's a tie between 3.5 and 4. So, I heard about this from Laura (Boundless Bindings). You have a guy that wants to impress the girl he likes by getting her favorite writer to help him write answers to questions she wants him to answer. Easier said than done when Karl is dyslexic. And from there, a slow friendship and bond grows between the writer and Karl. This one, I had taken a longer break than I thought and finally saw it on the shelf and continued to read where I left off. The writing was good, especially the descriptions, the thoughts of both characters. Then there's the pacing. Don't get me wrong, I like a slow pace book as much as the next person. But with this, it did takes its time. Then the story takes a turn halfway into the book. And I don't mind at all. Okay maybe a little. But still, it was a good read. Even if you weren't sure at first who was talking. And with most pages, its mostly dialogue driven. Not that that's a bad thing. Good read and I like the cover.
Good grades dont mean shx