You and Me and Him

You and Me and Him

by Kris Dinnison

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Overview

You and Me and Him by Kris Dinnison

“Do not ignore a call from me when you know I am feeling neurotic about a boy. That is Best Friend 101.” —Nash
        Maggie and Nash are outsiders. She’s overweight. He’s out of the closet. The best of friends, they have seen each other through thick and thin, but when Tom moves to town at the start of the school year, they have something unexpected in common: feelings for the same guy. This warm, witty novel—with a clear, true voice and a clever soundtrack of musical references—sings a song of love and forgiveness.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780544671751
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 07/12/2016
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 640,999
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

Kris Dinnison learned to read when she was five years old. She grew up reading books nobody else had read and listening to music nobody else had heard of and thinking she was weird, which she kind of was. She spent nearly two decades as a teacher and librarian working with students from kindergarten to graduate school. The bulk of that time she spent teaching High School English while dreaming of becoming a writer. Now she lives and writes in Spokane, Washington. Visit her website at www.krisdinnison.net.

 

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1
 
Let’s get one thing straight from the very beginning: I am not one of those shrinking-violet fat girls. I don’t sit alone in my bedroom playing Billie Holiday albums while drowning my sorrows in a carton of ice cream. Okay, once—maybe twice—a year, but not every weekend. I have friends, a great job in a vintage record store, and even some minor social status. But I am an overweight teenage girl going to an American high school. It doesn’t take a clairvoyant to figure out there are going to be some issues.
 
The current issue: Which outfit will maximize the four and half pounds I lost this summer and minimize the remaining flesh? As usual, my mom’s annual summer diet plan for me didn’t result in any magical transformations, so for the debut of my junior year, I decide on my flowy hippie-chick skirt and a black T-shirt with sleeves too long for the heat of early September. I don’t love this outfit. But it fits, kind of. And it’s not hideous. Most of the clothes in my size look like they were designed for retirees in Miami Beach, Florida. I do not like my shirts bedazzled in any way. Someone in the plus-size fashion industry thinks if you put shiny stuff on a T-shirt, no one will notice the size of the person underneath. This particular first-day outfit is nothing tragic, but it’s more of a fashion whisper than a fashion statement.
 
I climb on the bus and make a beeline for Nash.
 
“Maggie.” He gives me a slight wave, then covers it by smoothing down his rockabilly sideburns. (He grooms them, no lie, with mustache wax.) I slide into the seat beside him. Nash shifts upward as the seat sags in my direction.
 
“Move your skinny ass over,” I say.
 
“Like my skinny ass has a choice?” He moves. “Nice skirt.” Nash squinches up his face like something smells bad.
 
I sigh. Nash is all about edgy, and my sixties Woodstock wear does not scream edgy. I feel a trickle of sweat drip down between my shoulder blades.
 
“Nice hair,” I say.
 
Nash pats his shellacked do, making sure it has kept its height through the bus ride. Finding all the follicles in place, he turns his attention to me. He fishes a peppermint lip balm out of his pocket and hands it over. He then picks three or four of my long, brown hairs off my shirt. Nash always grooms me like some fastidious chimpanzee mother. Finally, he straightens the silver charm on its chain around my neck. The charm was Nash’s gift to me on the first day of high school. It’s this cool spiral; he says it’s to remind me that he’s got my back. Always. I pretty much never take the thing off.
 
“Thanks,” I say when he’s done making me presentable.
 
Nash holds out his hand. “Did you bring the goods?”
 
I dig in my bag and pull out a Ziploc baggie. Inside is one of my signature breakfast bars, tailored especially for Nash: cashews, chunky peanut butter, oats, cinnamon, dried cherries, and a few dark chocolate chips. I know. Shocking, right? A fat girl who bakes. So cliché. But I started making these bars for Nash a few years back when his dad left and things went to shit at his house. He was living on ramen noodles and cold cereal, so now the bars are part of our morning routine.
 
I wave the baggie over my head, keeping his breakfast just out of reach. “Who loves you, baby?”
 
He snatches the bag from my hand and pinches off a corner of the bar, popping it in his mouth. “Mmmmmm.” His mouth is full. “What’s different?”
 
“A little cardamom. Fewer cherries. It was too sweet.”
 
“Well done, Mags.”
 
I wait as he chews, looking out the window at the rows of identical cedar split-levels lining the streets. It’s a decent neighborhood, but it’s in between: not new, but not old enough or cool enough to be vintage, either.
 
As soon as he finishes breakfast, Nash glances around to see if anyone is listening and leans in close. “Check out the hottie in row two.”
 
I tilt my head up above the back of the seats and catch a glimpse of tousled, longish brown hair in the left-hand seat. Ducking back down, I ask, “Who is it?” without letting my lips move.
 
Nash shrugs, and we fan ourselves with our hands. Nash and I have the same taste in almost everything: teachers, music, art, literature, and boys. The good news is we can mock anyone who doesn’t share our aesthetic. The bad news is we have to lay claim to guys we both crush on. There just aren’t that many crush-worthy possibilities in Cedar Ridge.
 
“Dibs!” we say at the same time.
 
Nash narrows his eyes at me. We’ve been doing the dibs thing since elementary school, but we didn’t start using it on boys until seventh grade. It’s kind of a running joke with us, this idea that we can have a guy just by claiming him. Never once have any of the crushes reciprocated, but the ritual allows the one with dibs to discuss the object of his or her affection as if romance was a realistic possibility.
 
“Okay.” I hold my hands up against Nash’s world-famous death stare. “You can have him.” Not a big deal. I’m long past believing in the fairy tale of the handsome stranger who sees past my not-quite-modelesque figure to discover the fabulous Maggie within. After all, that would be some headline: “fat girl snags new guy.” I gaze out the window as the bus turns the corner and rolls along the lakefront. The evergreens still cast long shadows a good distance into the lake from the shore. But starting about thirty feet out, the water glitters with early morning sunlight. I steal another glance at the new guy and cross my fingers that Nash has an actual chance with this one.
 
When the bus rolls to a stop in the parking lot, we descend into the bustling fray. The kids who drive start streaming in from student parking. I link arms with Nash and move in their direction, hoping to blend into the stream and avoid the shame of being bussies. But Nash stops short, which yanks me to a stop. I look up and see New Guy. He’s a little taller than Nash, with sandy brown hair, tan, freckled skin, and these grass-green eyes casting around for something to hold on to. Nash steers us in his direction, and we come to a halt right in front of him.
 
“Hi,” Nash says. “You lost?”
 
The New Guy just looks at Nash.
 
“Nash Taylor.” He hooks his thumb in my direction. “Maggie Bower. Welcome to Cedar Ridge,” he adds, releasing my arm and giving a little bow. “This way.” Nash sweeps his arm in front of him, ushering New Guy in the direction of the main building. They start to move off, leaving me alone, the current of students flowing around me.
 
I’m not sure if I should follow, but as Nash chats up the New Guy, he gives a surreptitious head jerk, the universal sign for “get your ass up here.” New Guy doesn’t seem bothered by Nash’s bossiness or by Nash leading him around. That fact alone is surprising. Maybe this one will break our losing streak.

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You and Me and Him 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books ive read!!
amandaferber More than 1 year ago
Loyalty, drama, betrayal, distrust, and... baking! "You and Me and Him" by Kris Dinnison encompasses each of those themes seamlessly as the book progresses. Dinnison begins by introducing the loveable narrator: Maggie. Characterized by her baking skills and her nonchalance about her chubbiness, she is a narrator any reader is sure to support. The event that sparked the plot occurred between Maggie, her best friend Nash, a gay boy with a great sense of style and endless sarcasm, and the new kid, a "hottie" (in Nash's words) named Tom who is an instinctive flirt and is seemingly nice. It gets quite complicated once Maggie and Nash both develop crushes on Tom. Because of Tom's naturally flirty personality, Maggie and Nash both receive mixed signals. This is one flaw of the book. Tom was WAY too nice to them and he knew he was being cruel even though he said he was a nice guy trying to find himself. The friendship progresses and Nash plans a trip for the group: monumental plot event number two. When Nash is unable to attend, Tom and Maggie are forced to go ALONE and they have a wonderful time. And then the two of them go hiking ALONE. And then they have dinner ALONE. While this is happening, Nash feels more distant from Tom and betrayed by Maggie. Eventually an antagonist has to come into play. And that she is Kayla: popular, rich, thin, and beautiful. It turns out Kayla had been friends with Maggie in middle school but she had sabotaged Maggie and they hadn't spoken since. Suddenly, Kayla wants to become friends with Maggie again, which is too suspicious, and Maggie succumbs to their old memories. Nash is worried and warns her about Kayla, a warning Maggie should have taken. As if Maggie didn't have enough things to worry about: her obsession with junk food and the people in her life who always reminded her of her weight, like her mother. Fortunately, she has a job at a record store with Quinn, a gay store owner who sometimes acts as Maggie’s shrink and is a relieving character to read about after the drama that later goes on. Ultimately, Tom and Maggie get closer: they share their first kiss. Maggie begins to feel really guilty that she betrayed her best friend, especially since Nash won't get to experience his first kiss as soon. Exaggerated rumors spread about the kiss and everyone is turned against each other: massive plot event number three. Nash won't talk to Maggie at all (even after numerous apology attempts), Tom is averse to Nash, and Maggie is furious at Kayla, who spread the rumors. This is why the whole plot of the book keeps you reading: you never know who is going to say what and the effect it could have. Though the feud starts to get old, Tom KISSES MAGGIE AGAIN, and then claims he only liked her as a friend. All of the drama eventually subsided when Maggie hosted a bake sale to feed the hungry, showing everyone that she was doing just fine. Though predictable, Maggie and Nash exchange a heartfelt apology and Maggie finally gives Kayla a piece of her mind. Even Maggie and Tom found a good place in their friendship to remain and she got on good terms with her mom. Altogether, the drama in this novel was thrilling and the values learned were touching. It went by pretty quickly, even though some parts may have dragged on. Although the plot line wasn't too original, the way Dinnison added some variations to normal high school life was admirable. The next time you need a quick novel, choose this one.
MaryCF More than 1 year ago
This novel has an intriguing and unusual plot. A guy and a girl who both have a crush on the "new guy" at school. What I like best about the book is the main character, Maggie. She is trying hard to be true to herself and loyal to her best friend Nash. But as in life, things are not always so clear cut. She doesn't make the best decisions, always, but grows and in time has the courage to see herself more clearly, even if it's painful.
DownrightDystopian More than 1 year ago
The second that I heard about You and Me and Him, I knew that it was a book I wanted to check out. First of all, it was about two best friends who had been together for a while and always had each others backs, but it was also about what happens when two best friends happen to like the same guy, which I found to be really intriguing! Maggie and Nash aren't part of the popular crowd, but they've always had each other. When they meet a new guy on the bus named Tom, Nash calls dibs, which means that he's Nash's for the taking and only Nash gets to fawn over him. Maggie is okay with this, until Tom starts spending a lot of time with just Maggie since Nash has to keep bailing out due to family reasons. I really want to explain more but I feel like if I do, I'll include too many spoilers! I feel like that's all that you really need to know. Maggie and Nash were the absolute best. Maggie was overweight and many people made fun of her for it and made her feel bad about it, including her gym teacher and her own mother. I felt extremely bad for her because of that, because she was such a sweet person. Maggie was really into baking as well, which I loved since I enjoy baking too. Her specialty was cookies, since it's what her grandmother used to make too. Nash was my favorite character I think. He was always there for Maggie whenever she needed him, though sometimes he was a bit too angsty, but I still loved him. I felt horrible for Cece, who had a crush on Nash, because she knew that she wouldn't ever get a chance to be with him, yet she pined over him anyway. Tom was a likable character for the most part as well. I love how much he adored the outdoors and going on hikes. He was also really into the record shop that Maggie worked at, which I found to be super cool. You and Me and Him captured so much of the high school experience, from dating to rivalries to friendships, and that's what made it a new favorite! Plus, the characters were so entirely lovable and I know that I will never forget them. I'll definitely keep my eyes out for more books written by Kate in the future, but in the meantime, I'll be recommending this book to everyone!