You and You and You

You and You and You

3.5 2
by Per Nilsson

Twelve-year-old Anon is so lost in his dual fantasies of befriending Sara, the owner of the library card he's found, and of his absentee father's god-like qualities that he doesn't mind that everyone at school is making fun of him. Seventeen-year-old Zarah has her mind on the alarming behavior of her jealous boyfriend as well as her relationship with a woman at…  See more details below


Twelve-year-old Anon is so lost in his dual fantasies of befriending Sara, the owner of the library card he's found, and of his absentee father's god-like qualities that he doesn't mind that everyone at school is making fun of him. Seventeen-year-old Zarah has her mind on the alarming behavior of her jealous boyfriend as well as her relationship with a woman at work, which suddenly becomes complicated. Nils, who is going through an existential crisis, engages in some risky behavior while exploring how it might feel to be dead. He is also obsessed with Zarah, although he doesn't really know her. Then Nils's friend Hannes makes a misstep that might have deadly consequences. When Anon meets Sara, and Nils meets Zarah, and Anon and Zarah and Nils all come together unexpectedly, their lives take surprising new turns.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Nilsson (Heart's Delight) uses an alternating third-person narrative to build suspense as he threads together the lives of three memorable young people: sixth-grader Anon ("short for `anonymous,' " he overhears his mother tell a friend), sensuous 17-year-old Zarah with a volatile boyfriend, and Nils, whom readers first meet as his friend shuts him inside a coffin (at Nils's request). The characters may be offbeat, but the author renders them completely credible. The trio's lives intertwine subtly at first. Anon finds a wallet belonging to a girl named Sara (the author drops a hint when Zarah mentions a "mirror sister" named Sara); Nils observes Anon walking into a lamppost through a coffee shop window; and Zarah randomly picks out Nils in a bar as the object of a ploy to make her boyfriend jealous. At times, Zarah's sexual adventures with Victor become quite graphic; in one such incident, Victor and Zarah have sex in the woods-on the very spot where Nils is temporarily buried (to once again experience what death might feel like). Nilsson's well-honed sense of irony leavens the novel's darker themes, and the triumphant merging of the trio's lives brings about unexpected and uplifting epiphanies for all three characters. With no tidy wrap-up, the novel will keep readers thinking about these characters' lives long after the final page. Ages 12-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Swedish author Nilsson delivers an interesting but odd story revolving around three characters, Anon, Zarah, and Nils. Each character's obsessive fantasy overwhelms their everyday lives. Twelve-year-old Anon is a misfit and often bullied at school, but that bullying only serves to emphasize his disconnection with the real world. He is lost in his fantasies-one about a girl he has never met and another about his absent father. The girl, whose wallet he found, becomes the imaginary friend he lacks while he imagines his father as a distant god. Seventeen-year-old Zarah's life spins around her abusive boyfriend, Victor, but her obsession with him seems just an extension of her obsession with looks and sexuality in general. She also dreams of a mirror-image twin and struggles with a new female friendship. Twenty-year-old Nils is obsessed with the nature of life and death. He even convinces a friend to help him spend a night in a coffin and another night buried alive. These three are catalysts in each others' lives and when they finally meet, each begins to draw the others into the real world, but things are still left uncertain at the end of the novel. Although each character finds a measure of acceptance and peace, many of their issues are never fully explored or resolved. With graphic sex and language, this book is targeted more toward older teens than younger, but it might be challenging to find an audience for it because of the distant tone and aloof characters. VOYA CODES: 3Q 2P S (Readable without serious defects; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2005, Front Street, 250p., Ages 15 to 18.
—Brenna Shanks
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Swedish magical realism comes alive in this mature, sometimes graphically sexual and violent, ultimately breathtaking and inspiring tale of three unconnected, deeply cerebral misfits whose complicated paths cross in a life-altering way in the end. How a 12-year-old who always wears blue galoshes and thinks that his father is a god, a beautiful but lonely young woman, and a dreamy teen who is obsessed with death become acquainted and have a huge impact on one another is at the heart of this quirky and lovely novel. There's a heady mix of light and dark themes, gritty language and whimsical behavior, disturbing moments and transcendent beauty. Many of the older YA readers to whom this book is directed will likely come away with a feeling of being somehow transformed or at least being given much to ponder. This is an outstanding offering that will stand proudly next to such YA literary gems as Aidan Chambers's Postcards from No Man's Land (Dutton, 2002), Kate Morgenroth's Jude (S & S, 2004), Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower (MTV, 1999), and Garret Freymann-Weyr's My Heartbeat (Houghton, 2002).-Jeff Katz, School of Library, Archival, & Information Studies, University of British Columbia Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Odd, almost morbid piece about several characters moving through life in a Swedish city. Un-talkative, low-affect Anon (named for abbreviated poet "Anonymous") is tormented by his sixth-grade peers but doesn't seem to care; he's busy fantasizing about a girl he's invented and the mostly-absent father he calls a "basement god." Seventeen-year-old Zarah works at a daycare center (despite finding children disgusting) and revels in having sex with her violently possessive boyfriend. Twenty-year-old Nils obsesses over death to the point that he spends time inside a casket (at night in a funeral home) and buried underground (in the park, by a willing friend). The narrative voice reveals selected internal thoughts but never anyone's full perspective, leaving readers on shaky ground for understanding-or liking-any particular character. By the end, only some questions are answered; things are a bit happier but the pall still hangs. Provocative but distant. (Fiction. YA)

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Product Details

Highlights Press
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)
760L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

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You and You and You 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When i first started reading this book it didn't really make much sense, but as i kept reading i began to love it. It wasn't until the end of the book that i got disappointed, i expected more out of this book, since the middle of the book was so good, the ending really killed it for me.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When you start reading, you think this is a book about absolutely nothing. Just three kids who are some what weird. But, thats what makes it such an amazing novel i think. Its different but despite the confusion it has a profound message to it