Book Review: No and Me by Delphine de Vigan

Lou Bertignac has an IQ of 160 and a good friend called Lucas who gets her through the school day. At home her father cries in secret and her mother hasn't been out of their flat properly for years.
The Lou meets and becomes friends with No, a teenage girl living on the streets, and asks her parents if No can come to live with them. No's sudden presence within Lou's fractured family has an explosive force which will change the lives of Lou- and her parents- forever.
I really wasn't sure what to make of this book when I received it but I am pleased that I read it as I think it is great and extremely thought provoking. The book has been translated from the original French and is actually set in the city of Paris.
Lou's relationship with No starts out as a school project but eventually their relationship seeps into every part of her life. Lou is different, she is only 13 years old but her IQ has placed her two years ahead and therefore surrounded by people older than her. No is 18 years old but Lou and her have an extremely strong connection, strong enough for Lou to ask her parents if No can come and live with them rather than sleeping on the streets.
Delphine de Vigan explores the huge difficulty that homeless people have in integrating into society again and just how desperate and frustrating their situations can be.
At first I felt that Lou simply wanted to help No but as the book progresses I started to see that Lou perhaps sees No as the answer to some of her problems especially those surrounding her parents.
No and Me is a very powerful book and I think that it is perfect for young adult readers as it raises so many questions. I would highly recommend this book, it would be great for a book group or for the starting point of exploring homelessness with young people.

This book was published yesterday by Bloomsbury.


verity said...

This sounds an interesting read, especially as it was originally written in French. I think I've read about it elsewhere but can't remember where!

Vicki said...

I thought this was a very thought provoking and interesting book too. It was also very sad though... I cried quite a bit!

Dot said...

Verity- It was a really good read, I have seen it on quite a few reviews on other blogs too.

Rhiana- It was sad, really made you think though.

Savidge (Savidge Reads) said...

I have this on my bookshelves and it might be the perfect read between submissions for The Green Carnation Prize, am really looking forward to it!

Dot said...

Simon- Hope that you enjoy it, I think it is a good cross-over book.

The Readings of a Busy Mom said...

Gladded you liked it...it very different....great review too


Dot said...

The Readings of a Busy Mom- It was different but in a good way!

All change here!

I have made the decision to stop doing written reviews on here for a little while. I shall keep this page open but for the time being I sha...