Reviewed by Amber Elias, age 15
Who I Was With Her by Nita Tyndall
Corinne knew who she was. Or at least she knew who she was supposed to be. She knew that she was supposed to get good grades in school and have an abundant social life. She knew she should try harder on her cross country team, try to make it to State and get a scholarship to a good college. She knew she was supposed to follow her father’s dream of getting out of this town, where they had become imprisoned due to her alcoholic mother and a nasty divorce. She knew she was supposed to kiss boys, like Trent. However, while she knew she was supposed to be all of these things, she wasn’t. Corinne didn’t want to run, and she wasn’t sure if she wanted to go to college. Her friends were great, but she didn’t always trust them, or feel like she could truly be herself around them. She just didn’t have the drive to do much of anything. And she definitely didn’t just kiss boys. However, Corey was perfectly fine letting others drive her life, since doing it herself would’ve been way too hard. That safety net came crashing down when her girlfriend of a year, who no one knew about, died in a car crash. Now, Corinne didn’t know who she was, or what she was supposed to be.
Who I Was With Her is a different take on a classic LGBTQ+ struggling romance trope, and it was definitely refreshing. While the story seemed a little repetitive at times, it truly showed the inner monologue of someone, especially a stressed teen girl, dealing with an immeasurable amount of grief. Losing people you love isn’t easy, and it isn’t any easier when you can’t tell anyone about it. The writing style was face -paced and slightly dizzying, which really puts the reader in Corey’s headspace. The novel also touches base on the nature of young romance, and how teens tend to put the entirety of who they are into someone else in the name of “love”. It was a really fun and introspective read!
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