Me and You is a short story with a big punch

Thank you to Grove/Atlantic Inc. for sending me a copy of Me and You in exchange for an honest review. This is part of the Red House Books NetGalley Reading Challenge.

The problem with reading on a Kindle is that you don’t know how long a book will be unless it’s stated outright. I’m usually so excited to buy a book, I don’t ever bother reading how long a book will be. So I was surprised by how short Me and You by Niccolo Ammaniti is.

In just 182 pages, Ammaniti manages to hook his readers and break their hearts.  I call it a short story but I suppose it’s more of a “novella”. Me and You introduces you to a petulant little boy in Italy named Lorenzo Cumi.

When Lorenzo lies to his mother about going on a ski trip so he can hideout in the family cellar, you think he is a brat. But when you find out that he lied about being invited to the trip, you realize he’s just a poor kid who doesn’t fit in. Lorenzo is having the time of his life as a hermit in the cellar when his step-sister shows up. He soon realizes that she’s a drug addict.

As a child, Lorenzo faces difficult issues and situations that he’s too young to understand how to deal with. But it’s his childlike innocence that help him come to terms with heartbreak and disappointment. Lorenzo is told by doctors and has convinced himself that he doesn’t belong – that he doesn’t care about anyone but himself. But Ammaniti shows that Lorenzo is more sensitive than he thinks, that he yearns to be loved and accepted.

And that’s what makes him one of us.

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