Read No and Me by Delphine de Vigan GeorgeMiller Online

no-and-me

Lou Bertignac has an IQ of 160. At home her father puts a brave face on things but cries in secret in the bathroom, while her mother rarely speaks and hardly ever leaves the house. To escape this desolate world, Lou goes often to Gare d'Austerlitz to see the big emotions in the smiles and tears of arrival and departure....

Title : No and Me
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781408807514
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 245 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

No and Me Reviews

  • Jim Fonseca
    2019-01-31 18:39

    This is a young adult novel, set in Paris and translated from the French. A friendship develops between a 13-year old special ed girl and a young woman (18 years old) who lives on the streets. The latter is Nolwenn, the “No” of the title.We’re never given a diagnosis in the story but we realize the special ed girl is autistic, and seems to have Asperger’s syndrome. She’s brilliant but stands by herself under a tree at recess; stifles her laughter; whispers in class; is terrified at having to make a class presentation. When she has to speak, her mind becomes a jumble of thoughts and she freezes up. She’s seldom invited to parties but even so, she’ll pass. She’s invited to go skating but declines because she’ll tangle the shoe eyelets.Psychologists have told her parents she is precocious and has a “disturbing maturity.” She reminds me of some other special ed characters in books such as the boy in Me and You or the older characters in The Solitude of Prime Numbers who very well know how to “act normal” but it’s just so exhausting! [Coincidentally both of these other books happen to be by Italian authors.] The girl tries the best she can: she hangs out at the train station to study other people’s emotions. Some of her thoughts:“Sometimes it seems as though something’s lacking inside me, like there’s a crossed wire, a part that’s not working, a manufacturing error. Not, as you might think, something extra, but something missing.” “They shouldn’t make people believe that they can be equal, not here [in school] and not anywhere.” “My mother’s right. Life’s unfair and that’s all there is to it.” Her parents are supportive but they have their own problems that add to the girl’s burdens. A short time ago her mother lost her baby sister and now is so depressed she never leaves the house; she has no energy for even simple household tasks; she sits in the dark staring into space. Of her mother she says “I don’t want to talk to her because she doesn’t know who I am any more, because she always seems to be puzzling over what the link is between the two of us, how we’re related.” The girl hears her father sobbing in the bathroom at night. The special ed girl meets the young street woman when she decides to do her school project on homeless people. We know the sad story of the young woman and we know she’s on drugs and where her spending money comes from. And we know that due to her “disturbing maturity,” the 13-year old knows what’s going on too – it’s just not explicitly stated since this is a young adult novel. The parents of the girl agree to take her into their home under “tough love” rules and she makes an impact on the whole family. The story is realistic, so we don’t expect a happy ending. All in all, a pretty good read for both young and old adults. The author may be specializing in writing about personality disorders because her latest work, Nothing Holds Back the Night, is about a family coping with a woman’s bipolar disorder.

  • Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
    2019-02-22 16:58

    This summer, I met a young girl from Croatia’s most war-affected city. She came here, on the other side of the country, to live in a trailer and work in a supermarket for very little money. It was just a lousy summer job, but to her, it was more than good enough. When at home, she lives with her father, barely scraping by, both of them unemployed throughout the year because there are no jobs where she comes from. She told me about growing up hungry and going to school with her stomach completely empty. She told me how her mother refused meals to leave more for her, because she was still growing and she needed energy for her schoolwork. She told me how her parents took turns eating because there wasn’t enough for both. And she said it all with a big smile on her face, the smile of a person who refuses to be defeated. I kept a brave face, but then I drove home and I cried for hours. I hugged my sleeping child and I swore that she’ll never experience anything similar. (I bet the girl’s parents made the same promise at some point, though, all parents do – and it scares me to death). But when I started thinking about things that could have been done to feed this girl when she needed it the most, things that SHOULD have been done, I felt deeply ashamed, even though back then, I was no more than a teen myself. There’s really no point to this story, except that I felt it needed to be told. No and Me isn’t one of those books that try to convince you you’re equipped to save the world – you really aren’t, and neither am I. We do the best we can, most of us, and we live knowing it’s not nearly enough. And it’s because of that knowledge that we turn our heads the other way and try to protect ourselves from things we cannot change.This is exactly why I don’t like reading contemporary YA. Things like bullying, abuse, even smaller family issues, make me feel hurt and powerless, and it’s something I tend to avoid at all costs. But No and Me is not one of those books. There’s something so very gentle about it because it doesn’t try to shock or hurt, nor does it try to change the reader in any way. It just is – it is a story, simple and beautiful, easy to read and even easier to accept, even while it’s breaking your heart. In No and Me, a thirteen-year-old child genius Lou Bertignac interviews an eighteen-year-old homeless girl for a school project and subsequently decides to save her. She brings her into her home to live with her damaged family and treats her like a sister she’d lost when she was just a child. Lou Bertignac is an extraordinary character: understanding how her mind works (she has an IQ of 160) and how it reflects on her emotions was a challenge and a true delight. And of course she and I have a huge thing in common:People who think that grammar is just a collection of rules and restrictions are wrong. If you get to like it, grammar reveals the hidden meaning of history, hides disorder and abandonment, links things and brings opposites together. Grammar is a wonderful way of organizing the world how you’d like it to be.*sigh* I wholeheartedly agree. This is the longest non-review I’ve written in my life, so I need to offer you an alternative. My friend Catie over at The Readventurer reads all these books I’m too much of a coward to pick up, and then she writes amazing reviews that are equal parts rational and emotional. She is my favorite reviewer in the world (and I’m not just saying that), and she’s the one who convinced me to read this book, so please check out her review if you can.

  • Petra X
    2019-02-13 19:30

    There are three people in this story. No, who is homeless, hopeless, untrusting and the natural ally of Luke, the rich and almost-bad boy. Two teenagers together. But he has a crush on Lou, who is years younger, too clever and naive only when it suits the story. And she is more the character used to reveal the story than a truly interesting heroine. The dark secret of the parents is sad, but banal. Their healing, the way they shake themselves off is what people do when they have guests, they make an effort. I found the taming of the street girl just a little simplistic and expected. Luke seemed to me to be the most interesting character but he was left undeveloped, the side kick. The writing was perhaps more YA, lacking the depth expected in adult literature.The book didn't, to me, contain any relevations. It wasn't a moral lesson, it wasn't the sort of book to be a guide to teenagers about how not to make mistakes or to stand up to peer pressure, to be oneself. It wasn't, to me, any of those worthy things that other reviewers have seen in it.What it was, was a really great story absolutely beautifully-written. Sometimes that's all you want from a book, to be a damn good read.

  • Nomes
    2019-02-02 22:31

    Ahhhh, this book is just CHARMING.I had no idea what to expect or if No and Me would be my kind of read ~ I really didn't expect to LOVE it as much as I did. It's a really different read to most contemp YA's I've read lately ~ which could be because this is imported and translated from French. I think this is the kind of book that some people will ABSOLUTELY ADORE and soak up and fall in love with. It may also leave other people scratching their heads and 'just not getting it'I am in the FALLEN IN LOVE category :)It's very much a book for people who appreciate literary fiction, lyrical writing and just poetic and gorgeously funny sentiments. This is due to the CHARMING and unique narrator, Lou ~ who has leapt on to a list of protags I ADORE.I'm not going to go much into the plot (you should discover it for yourself) but it centres around Lou (who's 13 ~ but skipped two years of school and is with the 15 year olds) and No ~ who's 18 and homeless. I wondered if it would be too MG for me (with a younger narrator) ~ but it's the opposite ~ it could easily slip into adult sales with it's intelligent and gorgeous protag and it's outstanding prose. It really is a cut above in terms of YA literary fiction ~ I was continually pausing to re-read sentences and paragraphs and just to make sure I was not missing out on even one perfectly placed word.Alongside Lou and No, there's Lou going to school (and the usual coming of age school stuff ~ parties and a crush ~ there's always a guy, hey ~ and assignments) and also Lou's parents ~ who I loved as characters. Lou's mum was beautifully handled ~ there's some painful family history and some mental illness and it was achingly told.The plot unravels at a steady pace, gradually revealing secrets and also moving forward to a conclusion that makes you feel like you just don't know what is going to happen. (I really didn't ~ it could have gone so many different ways)But it's not the plot that had me enthralled (although I was invested in the story). It was the writing. I felt like I could keep pausing to jot down half the book into my journal of favourite quotes. I haven't crushed this hard on writing for a LONG time ~ it was perhaps reminiscent of Maggie O'Farrell and Sonya Hartnett for me ~ authors who make me gasp and think and just revel in words and ideas and sentiments. Overall ~ it's a hopeful book, it'll break your heart a little, it'll make you think. It's nostalgic of the teenage years and the hope and optimism that surrounds them. It celebrates wanting to change the world, believing you can while at the same time feeling completely swamped and disenchanted and wildly fluctuating between everything. It's about family and friendship and growing up. It's just lovelylovelylovely. Le sigh...

  • Reynje
    2019-01-23 20:31

    At just 246 pages, No and Me is a slight book, a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it volume I found tucked in the dusty, unfrequented back shelves, behind a stand of current best-sellers in sparkly foil jackets. I remembered seeing a friend’s review praising the book for it’s charm (*Hi, Nomes!*), and if you’re familiar with my own reviews you’ll know I can’t resist a quiet, moving story. So I hooked it out with a finger – it had obviously been jammed there on the bottom shelf for a while – and brought it home to be read. And now that’s it’s read, rather loved. No and Me is a subtle and tender story about home and homelessness, told through the gentle, unique perspective of Lou, an ‘intellectually precocious’ thirteen year old girl. Lou’s family is quietly falling apart in the wake of a tragedy: they are a seemingly functional unit, yet they are separated and circling each other like satellites, held in orbit by the gravity of their unvoiced pain. Advanced through the school system by two years, Lou is struggling to find her footing socially, to align the intellectual and emotional worlds she inhabits. Then Lou meets and befriends No, a girl living on the streets of Paris, with a fractured past and a bleak future. As No enters the lives of Lou and her family, she irrevocably changes them, and the way Lou sees the world. I’m not sure how much of the rather distinct tone of this book is attributable to Delphine de Vigan’s particular writing style, and how much is owed to the translation from French to English. Regardless, there is a delicate beauty to this story and the unembellished manner in which it is told. There is something in Lou’s narration, the way she constantly filters, processes and analyses the world, the particular angle of her perspective and quirks of her personality, that speaks eloquently of the fragility of life and relationships. De Vigan’s writing is both clear and expressive, with some exceptionally lovely, quotable lines. There is a touching naivety and simplicity to the way Lou views No, and her sense of responsibility to affect change where she can. At one point, Lou says that it’s the “buts” that are the problem. If we saw past them, chose to act in spite of our reservations, maybe we could accomplish more. In some ways, this is more than a story about just No’s life and it’s juxtaposition with Lou’s, but also that of Lou’s coming of age, in the sense that she begins to understand the difference between expectations and reality, what it really means to trust, to be let down, to understand that even our best efforts and intentions are not always enough for someone who is broken. What it is to feel impotent against a harsh world.The characters are lovingly crafted, with distinct personalities and dimension despite the sparseness of description and page time for some of them. From Lou’s shattered mother, her quietly stoic father, No’s thorny exterior and bruised heart, Lucas’ fearless nonchalance (Lucas <3), each of them feel real and nuanced, and have strong presence throughout the story as it unfolds. The quietness of No and Me may not be to the particular taste of some readers – it’s a story that builds gradually and is weighted by Lou’s introspection. It’s a book to be savoured and internalized. It’s restrained and understated. But personally, I found it exceptionally lovely and thought-provoking, with a lot of honesty, emotion and depth within its comparatively few pages.

  • Catie
    2019-02-03 15:36

    One of my most vivid memories from childhood is the first time I realized that homelessness is a regularly occurring thing. I think I was about five or six, and as my parents and I were climbing into our old car, a man came up and asked my father for some spare change so he could get something to eat. My father gave him some coins but I was so shocked and devastated. It didn’t seem like enough. Surely this man needed immediate help! When we got home, I went to the plastic jar where I’d been storing up loose change for months, hauled it out, and demanded that we go back and find that man so I could give it to him. In my child’s mind, that jar was a vast fortune, capable of solving the whole situation. My mom brushed it off and demurred, but I didn’t understand. There was a man out there who didn’t have enough to eat and obviously that was an emergency that needed to be dealt with. I felt anxiety for that man for months afterward, wondering where he was and what happened to him. In later years, when I didn’t have enough to eat, I learned that poverty is something that most people don’t want to hear about or acknowledge unless they’re living it. I learned that it should be a source of shame for those who experience it first-hand. I learned to hide it and pretend as much as I could that it wasn’t happening. Now, when I’m driving in my closed up, air-conditioned car I often pass by people on the street, holding up signs asking for help. And maybe I feel a stab, but I don’t stop. And I try not to think about them after I’ve passed.This book so artfully encompasses both of those points of view: the child’s and the adult’s. Lou, the thirteen year old narrator, is a child prodigy wise beyond her years in some ways but still very immature in others. When she begins interviewing eighteen year old No, homeless and abandoned by everyone she ever counted on, she wants to save her. She’s old enough to know that saving No is not something that she should wish for or attempt, but she’s young enough to try to do it anyway. She still has a bit of that belief left – that a jar of coins or a bath or a home or unconditional acceptance could solve everything. I think that what hits me the hardest about this story isn’t so much that Lou would try to save No, would believe that she could save No, but that No so obviously wants to be saved. Despite knowing deep down that no amount of Lou’s help will save her, No wants it to be true. Not just for herself, but for Lou too – it’s as if she wants to give Lou the gift of her rescuing. And despite my years and years accrual of denial and apathy, these girls got to me too. Even though I knew that nothing in this world is ever solved that easily, I desperately wanted it to happen. As the story progressed and the slow but inevitable intrusion of reality set in, the sense of doom I felt really turned this quiet little book into something substantial and powerful for me.No and Me has the kind of narration that I love best: a deeply personal voice with a narrow focus that feels all-consuming. Lou is the very real, flawed, sympathetic person who gets to tell this story, but No is always very much there. She may be in the background but her actions – both on and off-stage – are a huge presence in the novel. If you’ve ever been a square peg/over-thinker/misfit (as I believe many of us readers are) then I think you’ll probably really relate to Lou:“I’m not too keen on talking. I always have the feeling that the words are getting away from me, escaping and scattering. It’s not to do with vocabulary or meanings, because I know quite a lot of words, but when I come out with them they get confused and scattered. That’s why I avoid stories and speeches and just stick to answering the questions I’m asked. All the extra words, the overflow, I keep to myself, the words that I silently multiply to get close to the truth.”No’s story hit me the hardest, but I loved Lou’s as well. She’s a very closed-off and fearful person and her relationship with No (and with sweetie/layabout classmate Lucas) leads her to a very grey but fulfilling ending, which I needed after No punched me in the gut.Delphine de Vigan’s writing is clean and subtle but powerful and I am completely impressed by the translation. I’ve read a few translated novels this year and this one really stands out. Every word just feels right. That being said, this book also feels absolutely Not American which I LOVED. I hate it when translated books are stripped of everything uniquely foreign during translation – what’s the point? I read French and German and English and Australian and etc. books because I WANT to experience something non-American. This book reminds me quite a lot of Antonia Michaelis’ The Storyteller, but it’s much less brutal and much more quirky and sad. Apparently there’s also a film! But it’s only available overseas. Boo.Perfect Musical PairingBrand New – Sowing SeasonNoelle from Young Adult Anonymous gave me this song and I matched it up with this book for her in one of our challenges. I still think about this book every time I hear this song, which to me is about slow healing and recovery and about inner strength.But, while I was listening to this song (over and over, naturally) I started thinking about how much I love songs in general that have delayed and sudden crescendos (and books too...kinda like this one, for example). And that made me think of this song:Jimmy Eat World – Invented Which I think is my song for Lou and Lucas and that ending which was just perfect.Also seen at The Readventurer.

  • Keertana
    2019-02-20 18:41

    Rating: 4.5 StarsNo and Me is that book that you wish you had a time machine for; the one you want to go back in time and thrust to your young teenage self, begging them to read it because perhaps, if they do, they'll understand life a little better and won't make all the mistakes they will. It's the type of novel that whisks you away into a completely different world, but its prose isn't flowery like that of Laini Taylor; instead, it's a more subtle type of beauty where each and every phrase simply makes you put down the book and think. I knew, even before I picked up No and Me that it would be amazing - it did, after all, come recommended to me by three of my most trusted bloggers - but I didn't quite expect the level of wonder, of emotion, and of nostalgia that this book would make me experience, all over again and somehow new at the same time. Truly, No and Me is a literary gem like no other and really, I cannot recommend it enough. Delphine de Vigan's debut into YA Literature seems to be a simplistic story, one of Lou, a thirteen-year-old precocious girl living in France who interviews No, a homeless eighteen-year-old woman, for a school project. Only, Lou can't stop thinking about No or the homeless life she leads and when she invites No to live with her, to become part of her family, she doesn't count on No's own past coming back to haunt, not only No, but Lou as well. In my eyes, the depth and beauty of this novel isn't in its plot or subject matter, but in its writing. Lou, as a highly intelligent teenager, sees life in a different light and it is this - her flashes of brilliance, her incredible insight - that made this novel so special for me. No and Me isn't an easy novel to read. I'm sure that we've all had an experience or two with homeless people, perhaps less if you haven't traveled outside of America. Ever since I was a child, however, I've been painstakingly aware of the plight of the homeless and beggars. Born in India, I witnessed hoards of homeless people daily, on every street, begging for money or selling cheap plastic toys to tourists in an effort to make a few cents. If it wasn't on the streets, it was in the railway stations as children sold tea instead of attending school, in the airports where they would greet you stepping off the plane - everywhere. I've visited India every summer since I moved to America when I was a baby, but it never fails to shock me, every time, the number of homeless who are still there, who will probably always be there, and most of all, the plight of those like us who are, frankly, unable to do anything. It is this lesson that Lou learns in this novel, this earth-shattering wake-up-call, but more than even her friendship with No, her dependency on her, her refusal to believe that No and herself really did not belong in the same world, let alone the same life and the same home, was Lou's life at home. Although this novel focuses primarily on No and her impact on Lou's life, it also focuses on Lou's parents; her mother who has been numb with grief ever since her second child died in her arms, her father who cares for No with an optimism that hides his inner grief, and Lou's own social awkwardness when making friends and approaching seventeen-year-old Lucas who is everything she sees herself as not being. For me, it was the realistic portrayal of Lou's home life, of her struggles with her parents and her inner insecurities about growing up with a mother who never really cared that touched me more than anything else.Perhaps best of all, though, is how painstakingly life-like this novel is. Its ending never wraps up any loose threads, never tries to explain No and her behavior or even the lives of those living on the streets, never tries to sugar-coat the fact that Lou's mother will never be the same despite the tragic events that happened years ago...it's almost an abrupt ending, one that leaves you smiling, with the twinkle dimmed from your eyes. Yet, it's a beautiful story, one that is written unflinchingly, told realistically, and leaves you wanting to simply hold the novel to your chest as you're forced to - yet again - contemplate the simple truths of existence that one person is too small to change. Nevertheless, this manages to be a novel of immense hope and although I wished for a slightly longer, dragged out, or even more conclusive end, I wouldn't have it any other way - this book is perfect, just the way it is. I'd urge you all to check out the reviews of Catie from The Readventurer and Maja from The Nocturnal Library who are the reason why I picked up this gem.You can read this review and more on my blog, Ivy Book Bindings.

  • Hershey
    2019-02-04 18:30

    A poignant tale of longing and belonging.Have you ever befriended people who live on filthy streets? Forget that question, have you ever looked at them in the eye?Do you remember in your Social Science class, the books and the teachers always tell you that everyone is equal? Do you believe it?If yes, then why aren't you making friends with the poor? Why aren't you giving them food, clothes and a place to stay? How much can the Services set up by the Government help? There are millions of homeless people. Can we provide a home for all them? I don't think so. Very few with hearts made of gold will provide. Not everyone. Lou is a person whose heart is made out of gold. She befriends No - a homeless street girl. I don't know why or how; it just happens. Their bond is...beyond words. I cannot understand how a little girl like Lou can be so big. Bigger than the biggest of the humans.She understands the complexity of life. She wonders how life keeps going on and on. She's super clever. She conjugates theories when faced with difficult situations. She's beautiful in her own way. And there's No who is as unique as Lou. She is very different. Very quiet. She doesn't speak much but this book is all about her. I didn't like this book as much as I wanted to but it made me wonder. You know, there is so much happening, so much that doesn't include us. Often, the world revolves around us. We mess up our speech and fret over it for days but at the same time, somewhere someone is homeless, sick and dying and yet they keep quiet and accept life as it is. I don't know where my thoughts are exactly going. One day, I want a free world. A world where everyone has a home, everyone can buy whatever they want without paying, do whatever they want (of course, not murdering and stealing and all), there could still be laws or new laws could be introduced, there could be so many changes.... It's seems very far- fetched, I know. Someday, I hope things change. I hope people change. I hope people have hearts made out of gold.

  • Blair
    2019-01-23 21:37

    Do you ever read something you love so much that it immediately makes you want to purchase the author's entire back catalogue? That happened to me with Delphine de Vigan's Based on a True Story. I so adored it that I was inspired to go on a second-hand book-buying spree, ordering copies of all de Vigan's previous novels (well, all that have been translated into English). I decided to read them in chronological order, meaning No and Me came first despite appealing to me the least. I saw this in a lot of bookshops back when it came out in 2010, but it never really caught my interest. I assumed it would be one of those sickly-sweet happily-ever-after stories designed to make the reader feel smug about their moral stance on an issue without actually having to do anything about said issue. Furthermore, most reviews treat it as YA – it was published as adult fiction here in the UK (where it was a Richard & Judy book club choice), but it's about teenagers, and I can see how it might be better suited to a younger reader.The narrator is Lou, a precociously intelligent 13-year-old. She's skipped a couple of grades at school, is terribly shy, and has no friends – if you don't count an unlikely (and, I must say, rather unbelievable) alliance with Lucas, the bad boy heartthrob of her class. At home, her mother, unable to recover from a family tragedy some years earlier, is severely depressed. At the start of the story, Lou is put on the spot by a teacher about an upcoming presentation, and tells him she's met and will be interviewing a homeless girl. That's the catalyst for Lou to befriend an 18-year-old runaway named No (not, as I first assumed, because she has 'no name' – it's an abbreviation of Nolwenn). Lonely Lou gets very attached to her very quickly, leading to great upheaval and more than a little drama.There are some glossed-over bits and some implausibilities. Lucas's interest in Lou is far-fetched, his parents' near-constant absence is very convenient, and Lou's chronic shyness in other situations makes the ease with which she approaches No seem unlikely. But de Vigan writes around these issues with a tricksy elegance, and Lou's voice is perfectly pitched: startlingly clever in the way only a precocious kid can be; sometimes funny; often more revealing about the narrator herself than the story she's telling. The plot tackles the moral complexities of Lou's altruism, commending her idealism in the face of others' indifference, while refusing to shy away from the fact that she may, in the end, do more harm than good.I wish I hadn't read the last page, which I hated – I was leaning towards 4 stars until that. Otherwise, this is a likeable, thoughtful story with a charming narrator and a sobering streak of realism.TinyLetter | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr

  • Scarlet
    2019-02-19 21:51

    “How do you find yourself at the age of eighteen out on the streets with nothing and no one? Are we so small, so very small, that the world continues to turn, immensely large, and couldn’t care less where we sleep?”Four years ago, on my way home one night, I met a girl in the train. She was a kid really, selling cheap jewellery. I was standing by the exit, waiting to get down at the next stop. The train jerked, she dropped her stuff and I helped gather it all up – maybe that’s how we got talking. It was a conversation that lasted less than a minute because I had to get down soon, but I remember asking her where she lived. She said:“Hamara toh koi thikaana nahi hai didi. Hum toh bas idhar-udhar so jaate hai. Kismet ho toh platform par.”Translation :“People like me don’t have destinations. We sleep here and there; on platforms when we’re lucky.”I can’t stop thinking about that encounter ever since I began reading No and Me.I liked this book a lot. I think I would have liked it just as much even if I hadn’t met that homeless girl that night. No and Me has an impressive subject, two brilliantly sketched characters and a beautifully written story. It’s amazing how this book, which I stumbled across by chance, has left such a deep-seated impression on me.I won’t say that the book is perfect. A lot of the things that happen are too convenient (view spoiler)[(Like how easily Lou’s parents agree to take No in, and how they can hide No in Luke’s large house because he lives by himself) (hide spoiler)]. Plus the book ends so suddenly that it’s bound to leave a lot of readers feeling high and dry. But that doesn’t really matter – not to me at least.For me, No and Me isn’t so much about the story as the strangely beautiful bond it explores between the two girls – Lou and Nolwenn. Two girls, who live in starkly different worlds within the same city. Two girls, who try to help each other and make promises they can’t keep. Two girls, who can never fit into each others’ worlds, no matter how hard they try.And just like that incident in the train, this book doesn’t really make me sad; rather, I feel tormented, ill-at-ease and thoughtful. I feel guilty that I never asked her name. I wonder where she is now, where she’s sleeping tonight.No and Me deserves a lot more readers than it gets.“Before I met No I thought that violence meant shouting and hitting and war and blood. Now I know that there can also be violence in silence and that it’s sometimes invisible to the naked eye. There’s violence in the time that conceals wounds, the relentless succession of days, the impossibility of turning back the clock. Violence is what escapes us. It’s silent and hidden. Violence is what remains inexplicable, what stays forever opaque.”

  • Nafiza
    2019-01-30 22:58

    First, thank you Keertana for recommending this book to me. Your review pushed me to pick it up and I can’t tell you how glad I am that I did so.I have this fascination with books written in different languages. Mostly because I can’t read them and I am immediately convinced they are troughs full of treasure that are locked to me because of my inability to read them. This is the feeling that drove me to learn English when I was a kid and the same feeling that drove me to learn Korean. I’m still working on the Korean but French and I had a short relationship that spanned just the four months that made up one term. I may go back and try to learn it again but until then, I will remain ever thankful to translated books. There are not many out there but I will try to read the ones that are.I’m not so familiar with French lifestyle and culture to be able to comfortably comment on how French the novel is. And I don’t know if the translation changed the narrative in ways to make it accessible to North American readers (or should I say English readers). The book is told from the perspective of a very bright, very smart fourteen year old who is not just smart on paper but smart in the way she thinks and observes the world around her. No and Me is a painful novel. The pain, however, is juxtaposed by hope. There are different kinds of losses and Lou learns several heart wrenching lessons about life and people.This novel is inordinately beautiful. The prose, the relationships between the characters and the subtle romance. There is no brashness that is so common in North American YA protagonists. Lou is more restrained, in fact, the entire novel is somewhat restrained. The passion is there but the flavor is different. No broke my heart and I will long wonder what happens to her. And that I think is the ultimate success of this novel. The author creates characters who linger in your memory long after the pages of the book have been turned.

  • Adriana
    2019-02-09 23:57

    "Eu nu sunt pentru tine decat o vulpe, la fel ca o suta de mii de alte vulpi. Dar, daca tu ma imblanzesti, vom avea nevoie unul de altul. Tu vei fi, pentru mine, fara seaman pe lume. Eu voi fi, pentru tine, fara seaman pe lume.Poate ca doar asta conteaza, poate ca e de-ajuns sa gasesti pe cineva pe care sa-l imblanzesti."

  • Eric Boot
    2019-02-08 20:47

    This book wasn't really bad, but it wasn't good either. I didn't really like the style of writing and the romance was just bad AF. But it was quite eye-opening about being homeless in a big city. Overall 3 stars. Probably longer review later/

  • Indah
    2019-02-07 18:30

    My very first french book I read by myself. Can't say that I'm not proud. I really liked the story but I didn't like the ending at all.

  • Summer
    2019-02-07 17:47

    ”We can send supersonic planes and rockets into space, and identify a criminal from a hair or a tiny flake of skin, and grow a tomato we can keep in the fridge for three weeks without getting a wrinkle, and store millions of pieces of information on a tiny chip. Yet we're capable of letting people die on the streets.” No and Me reminds me a bit of Friday Brown, Both portray the harsh realities of homelessness, of not belonging, but one, more than the other, is more powerful in its message, and that is No and Me.This is how you write a coming of age novel.This is how you portray a teen’s thoughts and insecurities. This is how you handle the issue of having no home.Lou, the main character, is an exceptionally intelligent girl. She looks at things in her own unique way, she’s a bit shy, and she is uncannily perceptive. No, the girl with no home and a brutal past, is the polar opposite of Lou. She’s impatient, outspoken, intense, emotional; but in the end, lovable. The friendship that blossomed between them was explored beautifully. This isn’t a happy novel, I must add. There’s quite a saddening ending, and the issue itself gives the book an almost dark feel.”I let No go, carrying her plastic bag. She turns the corner. Nothing’s shining around her. Everything"s gray and dark.”The prose is imperfect, but perfect for this novel. It does so much to characterize the character of Lou, to paint her personality and convey her thoughts.Lou’s relationship with Lucas is a bit… confusing, I guess? There was no build-up to their romance. It wasn't at all insta-love, but one moment they’re friends, and the next… This isn't really a complaint, more of an observation, but I liked how the romance was not the center of the story.No and Me has its weak moments in terms of pacing and such, but overall delves brilliantly into the topic without being overly preachy or trying too hard to be emotional. Essentially, it just shows things the way they are.I’d recommend this for fans of Friday Brown and for those who are looking for a more serious contemporary read.

  • Mai Laakso
    2019-02-13 20:36

    Ranskalainen Delphine de Vigan on kirjoittanut kirjan, joka on oikea helmi kirjojen joukossa. Kirjan nimi on No ja minä (No et moi 2007, suom. 2012). Kirja on Viganin neljäs romaani ja ensimmäinen suomennettu teos. Kirja voitti vuonna 2008 Prix de Libraires-palkinnon. Kirjan päähenkilö on Lou, 13v. tyttö, joka on jo lukiossa huikean älykkyytensä vuoksi, vaikka on niin nuori. Älykkyys eristää hänet muista oppilaista ja Lou on yksinäinen. Hän on myös perheensä ainoa lapsi ja äitinsä masennuksen vuoksi hyljeksimä. Lou tekee esitelmän kouluun, johon No lupautuu haastateltavaksi. Esitelmän aihe on asunnottomat naiset. Tytöt ystävystyvät. No muuttaa jopa Loun kotiin asumaan joksikin aikaa. No löytää työpaikan, mutta työpaikan pomo pakottaa Non prostituutioon ja alamäki on jälleen valmis. Nuori Lou ei halua päästää Nota kadulle ja yrittää auttaa Lucasin avulla Non kuiville, mutta vaikeaa se on.Lou on vielä nuori, mutta kiinnostunut yhteiskunnallisista asioista, hän ei ummista silmiä, vaan haluaa auttaa. Hänen ajatuksensa on, että jos jokainen ihminen ottaisi yhden asunnottoman luokseen asumaan, ei asunnottomia enää olisi. Kirja on hyvin silmiä ja ajattelua avaava teos, joka sopii luettavaksi nuorille ja aikuisille.

  • Jo
    2019-01-26 16:55

    Oh this book was wonderful.I’d never actually heard of this book before I read Rey’s gorgeous review of it. I’ve always been curious about YA books from other countries (meaning not The Big Three: USA, Australia and the UK) because they must be out there. I know they’re out there but it’s difficult to find out about them because they never get the time of day which is such a shame because I know we’re missing out on all these beautiful YA books that are being lost in translation.I’m thinking The Readventurer ladies need to do all the hard work do a Wall of Books of YA from Other Countries so we can all gorge ourselves on them. I wonder if they do requests? Ha..Anyway… this book.Lou is such a wonderful narrator and has a fantastic way of seeing the world for a girl so young. There was a lovely naiveté about Lou and how she saw both the world in which she was growing up and No’s situation. Normally in books, I get frustrated with narrators when they’re naïve because I just want to get them to open their eyes. But with Lou it provided the perfect vessel to allow Ms de Vigan to explore what it’s like to balance on that cusp of “young adulthood” in this modern world. I think thirteen is such an interesting age in your life because you’re not really anything.There’s no way you’re a child anymore but you’re only just a teenager, and everything is changing. This is the time where your expectations and reality don’t always match up and it’s strange and it’s upsetting, but there’s nothing you can do about it.And Ms de Vigan perfectly portrays this disillusionment that you get when you’re stumbling through this age. When you’re expected to go to parties at the weekend instead of timing how long it takes for wet footprints to disappear of the kitchen floor. When you realise it’s not “cool” to do well at school. When you realise that not everyone in the world has a roof over their head and a warm meal every day like you do. I really enjoyed watching the world change through Lou’s eyes. It was subtle, stripped back and often incredibly moving.I’ve always said that, on the whole, YA books aimed at a younger audience are the ones that deal with darker subjects so much better than some aimed at older readers. (The 10pm Question and A Monster Calls come immediately to mind). I don’t know what it is, but I love it so much which is why I will never not read a book just because it’s on the younger side of the YA spectrum.Not only does Ms de Vigan portray homelessness in a way that’s heart breaking but realistic, but also the subject of loss and family problems. I don’t really want to go too much into this aspect because I think it would be better to experience it first hand from reading it, but the passages describing Lou’s mother, father and their past combined with No’s history were so well-written. Even poor Lucas’ situation made me sad.I thoroughly enjoyed this book because it was so different to anything I’ve read this year. It’s powerful in its subtlety and shows that you don’t need to clobber your readers over the head with emotion and angst to create a thought-provoking and moving book. The characters are fantastic (I had a little soft spot for Lucas. I can’t help but think a lot of authors need to take note of him because that’s how you write a lovely “bad” boy) and the tumultuous friendship between No and Lou was perfectly crafted.Also? The ending was perfect for this story. I actually finished this book on Sunday morning and I mean morning. I woke up at half five and there was no way I was going back to sleep so I finished it and those last couple of chapters made my heart ache so much that even in my absolute knackerdness (Yes, I know that's not a word), sleep was the last thing on my mind.Sometimes I wish for happy endings, even though I know that I would be annoyed if I got it. I think this is one of those books. I’m glad, so glad that Ms de Vigan didn’t grant me that wish with No and Me.You can read this review and lots of other exciting things on my blog, Wear the Old Coat.

  • Tina
    2019-02-05 19:35

    Original post at One More PageI stumbled upon No and Me by Delphine de Vigan from Nomes, who gave it a glowing review on Goodreads. I was looking for a translated book to read for my TwentyEleven Challenge and this seemed like a perfect one, seeing as it was translated from French to English. Plus, I have learned to trust Nomes' taste in YA contemporary books, so I decided that splurging on an ebook of this is worth it.Lou Bertignac is a smart kid, youngest in class with some OCD tendencies. She's also painfully shy, so she lives in her own world, admiring popular guy Lucas from afar, and hiding the fact that things at home were not okay ever since her mom sank into depression. During one class, Lou was asked to come up with a project idea and she blurted out "homeless teens" without much thought. True enough, on her way home, Lou meets No, a homeless girl living in the streets. Pressured by her project, she gets to know No, and as their friendship grows, Lou finds the courage to ask her parents if they could "adopt" No. To Lou's surprise, her parents agree. Lou and No promise to be there for each other forever, but when No's secrets come haunting her again, can this promise hold them together?There's this local TV show that's been airing here since I was a kid, one that creates a reenactment of some real life experiences that people sent to the network through letters. No and Me felt like a perfect story that can be submitted to this TV show. I wasn't sure what to expect with the book, really, except that it was a contemporary read. So maybe I was expecting some kind of family talk, not a lot of romance, but certainly not something...well, almost sad.Not that I'm complaining, of course. It wasn't what I expected, but hey, shouldn't I have known by now that expectations in life are rarely ever met? (As a good friend once told me, "The key to happiness is lowered expectations." But I digress.) But what No and Me lacks in happiness and lightness, it makes up with its characters and the charming writing. Lou is such a character, and even if we're so different, it was easy to get into her shoes and see things her way. I really and truly felt for her, especially when she was determined to stick with No even at the expense of defying her parents. I felt her frustration when she can't say the words she wants to say, or when the things she wants to say turn out wrong. She's young and strong in her own way. Other people say that Lou reminds them of the autistic kid protagonist of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. It is partially true, but I thought Lou was easier to get into.And the writing. Nomes was right: it was very, very charming. Maybe the charming factor came from how it was translated from French? I read this while I was on the train from Vienna to Geneva, and in my mind I was comparing how different French and German sounded to my ears. It was then I fully realized how charming the French language sounded, and I'd like to believe that that charming factor managed to cross over when No and Me was translated to English.No and Me is not exactly a happy book, but that doesn't mean it's bad. I liked it a lot, and it gave me that feeling of wanting to be Lou - wanting to believe in the best of every person, even if they have disappointed me a few times. If Lou truly existed, I'd like to believe that she still continued to hope even after all that had happened to her. I'd like to believe that she heeded what her teacher told her: "Don't give up."

  • Frahorus
    2019-01-22 15:52

    Mah... Poteva essere scritto meglio.

  • Maura
    2019-02-06 16:39

    I felt nothing. Have you ever read a book, where you feel no emotions about it. This is what I felt with No and Me. Maybe it's because I don't really comprehend the situation, because I'm to young. Or that where I live, you don't really see any homeless people. Or, I don't know. But I really wanted to have feelings about this story, but it just didn't happen.I think the problem with this book, is that the character narrates to much. She tells you to much, instead of the author describing it. And I believe that, that may be one of the reasons why I felt it had no affect on me. I mean, the one situation in the story is that Lou's family is falling apart. I rather Lou describe it to me, then tell it. Also, in that situation, it was brought in to quickly in the story. I wished that issue were slowly brought to my attention, then immediately. Because I had the strong sense that I was dropping into a conversation that started a millennium ago, and I was only joining it now.Even through all that, I still found it a intriguing read. It's quick paste, and you want to learn more and more. The characters (Lou, No & Lucas) were nicely written. Especially Lou (the protagonist). Lou has an IQ of 160, so she acts differently then most girls. She is very smart, but acts very childish. And for a while, it was hard to believe that she was in high school. So I asked my aunt, because my cousin is the same as Lou, and she totally agreed that, that is how someone would act. Or how my cousin acts. One thing that I could connect and understand about Lou, is that she's shy. She has a hard time talking to people, and doing stuff that out of her boundary line. No (and yes that is a name, short for Nolwenn) is a interesting character. I can't relate with her, though I know people who have some of the problems that she does. And I can connect with her as a bystander. Lucas on the other hand, is the type of guy I would like to have in my life. That is all I'm going to say about him.I don't think I would find myself recommending this book to someone. But if someone ask me, I would tell them to read it. It has an important message in there, that I think is useful to learn about. This is the type of book where you have to reread it a few times to fully understand it, especially the ending. I didn't enjoy the ending, because I didn't understand it fully. And I think if I reread this, I would comprehend it.Overall it was a great read, but not the best. Another thing is, it's important to remember that this is a translated book. So there is some cultural differences in it.

  • Ana Lúcia
    2019-01-28 21:59

    Uma pessoa pega num livro juvenil para desanuviar as ideias e depois, inesperadamente, sente-se dilacerada, farta-se de chorar e gosta muito…Lou tem 13 anos, intelectualmente muito precoce, um QI de 160, associal, diferente, sente-se como “um minúsculo grão de pó, uma partícula invisível”. Tem a cabeça cheia de “coisas”, coleciona palavras novas numa espécie de vertigem e inventa inúmeras “ teorias para se apropriar do mundo e combater a solidão”. Vive numa família profundamente deprimida, que nunca recuperou da morte da filha mais nova. Com uma sensibilidade enorme, Lou quer “que a Terra gire ao contrário” e decide salvar Nô…Nô tem 18 anos, vive nas ruas de Paris. A rua onde se vive com medo, frio, errância, violência, com horas passadas à espera de tudo e de nada… A amizade entre Lou e Nô é uma viagem pela miséria do mundo e os seus defeitos mais profundos.Um livro bonito e muito triste, que tem tanto de inocente como de perturbador.Um livro que, por todo um conjunto de pequenos detalhes surpreende. “Seremos nós coisas tão pequenas. Tão infinitamente pequenas, que nada podemos?”“À noite despeço-me dela sem saber onde vai dormir. Procuro dizer-lhe algo que lhe dê coragem, não encontro as palavras, não consigo ir-me embora, ela baixa os olhos e não diz nada. E o nosso silêncio fica prenhe de toda a impotência do mundo, o nosso silêncio é como um regresso às origens das coisas, à sua verdade.""Nos livros há capítulos para separar os acontecimentos, para mostrar que o tempo passa ou que a situação evolui, títulos carregados de promessas. O encontro, A esperança, A queda. Mas na vida, não há nada, não há títulos nem cartazes, nem painéis, nada que nos avise atenção: perigo, derrocadas frequentes ou desilusão eminente. Na vida estamos sozinhos com o trajo que nela usamos, e azar o nosso se esse trajo estiver cheio de buracos.""Antes de conhecer Nô, achava que a violência residia nos gritos, nas pancadas, na guerra e no sangue. Agora sei que a violência mora também no silêncio, que é por vezes invisível a olho nu. A violência é esse tempo que cobre as feridas, o irredutível encadear dos dias, a impossibilidade de voltar atrás. A violência está naquilo que nos escapa, não tem voz, não é visível, a violência é tudo aquilo que não tem explicação, tudo aquilo que será para todo o sempre opaco.”

  • Sandra
    2019-01-28 17:33

    Casualmente ho letto questo libro in contemporanea con un altro, appena terminato, “la trota ai tempi di Zorro”, che, benchè diversissimo da questo, tratta, a mio parere, un tema analogo. La crescita, il passaggio dall’infanzia all’adolescenza, e le difficoltà e i problemi che sorgono durante questa transizione.Lou è una ragazzina tredicenne con un QI più alto della media, così si trova in una classe di quindicenni, che usano già il reggiseno e il trucco. Lei è una bambina, isolata dagli altri, sola in un’infanzia non goduta a causa di una tragedia che ha colpito la sua famiglia quando lei era piccola, costretta per questo a crescere più in fretta. Lou incontra No, una ragazza più grande di lei, che dorme alla stazione, senza casa, senza lavoro, con problemi di alcoolismo, anch’essa sola, di una solitudine nata da un’infanzia tragica. Due solitudini diverse eppure simili, che si incontrano e si fanno forza l’una con l’altra, perché Lou non solo trova finalmente un’amica, ma soprattutto comprende che “nella vita siamo soli con i nostri vestiti, peggio per noi se sono strappati”, che nella vita non c’è nulla che indichi attenzione pericolo, o delusione imminente. Questo vuol dire crescere, e Lou è cresciuta.Questo mi sembra il tema principale del libro, trattato dalla scrittrice con linguaggio semplice e chiaro. Ho letto commenti dove si fa riferimento al tema del nomadismo, dei barboni, dell’incomunicabilità: sinceramente mi sembrano temi accennati ma non sviluppati in pieno dalla De Vigan, che rimangono in superficie. Un libro complessivamente bello, non un capolavoro, destinato, a mio parere, alla lettura degli adolescenti.

  • Amy
    2019-02-20 22:44

    If I could describe this book in one word...GAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHLou Bertignac is a 13 year old sophmore who doesn't really have any friends. She lives in France. One day she meets No, a homeless girl, and asks to interview her for her school project. Eventually she asks her parents to let No move in with them.Allow me to repeat myself:GAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHSlow. Slow death...The writing drove me crazy. It is stilted and annoying and unclear. And I seriously wanted to go hit someone. But it was also alluring. I couldn't put it down. Lou irriated me. I wanted to smack No. And Lucas, the 17 year old sophmore, also made me mad. I couldn't figure out if he was hitting on the 13 year old or just felt bad for her.It was just a weird, depressing, disturbing book. The French people, culture...characters, drove me crazy. In some ways it was a unique and interesting. But I also have the urge to go scrub my brain. Several f-bombs and general swearing.Ugh. I'm so glad to be done with it.

  • Anna
    2019-02-04 18:29

    les ados sont tellement stupide des fois, la fin

  • Luana
    2019-02-20 17:44

    La copertina, è una bella copertina. Il titolo, è un bel titolo. Aver trovato in un libro che acquistai il segnalibro che pubblicizza 'Gli effetti secondari dei sogni' mi ha convinta a comprarlo, quasi si trattasse di un segno del destino. Leggendo la quarta di copertina si scopre che l'autrice, Delphine De Vigan, ha vinto - grazie a questo romanzo - 'il prestigioso Prix des Libraires al Salon du Livre 2008.A questo punto sorge spontanea la domanda: chi è che la De Vigane ha pagato per riuscire a vincere il premio? Con chi è andata a letto per meritarsi di essere insignita? Non che il libro faccia totalmente schifo, ma l'unico premio che gli avrei dato è Premio per 206 Pagine da Leggere in un'Ora di Tempo da Perdere. La trama è banale, i personaggi inverosimili, la morale intrisa di un fastidioso e superficiale perbenismo. Il titolo mai fu meno azzeccato - ma di questo non si può imputare la colpa all'autrice in quanto il titolo originale 'No et moi' calza a pennello.C'è la secchiona con un quoziente intellettivo da 160, un genio.C'è il ribelle della classe, spavaldo, bocciato più volte del figlio di Bossi.(Per chi abbia visto il cartone animato Rossana, capirà bene che i due personaggi provengono direttamente dal cartone giapponese, niente di più scontato)Ci sono due famiglie, i loro irrimediabili segreti, la chiusura totale, l'incapacità ad esprimere il dolore.(E a questo punto, non vi sembra di sentire un'eco che vi risveglia ripetendo 'Paolo Giordano, solitudine-ne-ne-ne, numeri primi-primi-primi)Ovviamente c'è lei, il 'caso umano', la disperata, la montagna di merda sulla quale si accumulano tutti i problemi che affliggono tutti i protagonisti - cosa che accade sempre, del resto, nella vita reale che tutti si preoccupino per tutti (Thomas More era meno utopista -, No, una barbona.La trama la scoprirete da voi - nel caso in cui vogliate spendere (buttare) 9€, quindi non vi racconto altro. Vi basti sapere che in scena non entrano personaggi, ma maschere. Maschere già viste, che non variano, i personaggi che popolano i romanzetti degli ultimi 10 anni. Complessi, depressioni, segreti.Lo stile non rapisce, l'ho letto in due giorni perché in aereo avevo ben poco da fare e perché son solita leggere i libri sino in fondo - altrimenti come farei a demolirli quando non si salvano nemmeno sul finale? Ecco, l'ho detto, finale. Un finale sconclusionato, un finale, permettetemi la licenza poetica, m e r d o s o. Mentre il Lettore legge pensa 'Ma cosa sto leggendo?'. Vi assicuro, un fantasy è meno fantasioso di questa vicenda in cui nella Parigi del 2006/2007 una barbona viene accolta in casa da un genio (che poi, ne riparlerei di questo appellativo) con alle spalle una famiglia depressa.Un vago amore adolescenziale, un amore impossibile (lei è una secchiona, lui un figo trasandato).Tuttavia, De Vigane talvolta riesce a scrivere tre righe di seguito in maniera decente, colmi di congiuntivi e barlumi di consapevolezza riguardo la psiche umana.Consigliato, a chi dovesse affrontare un viaggio in treno di 3 ore e non sapesse che cosa leggere di non troppo pesante.Per tutto il resto, tenete quei 9€ saldi nelle vostre mani e provvedete ad un acquisto migliore - magari una buona pizza o un bell'uovo di Pasqua, visto che siamo nel periodo adatto.

  • Kahlan
    2019-02-07 22:46

    Il n’est pas rare que je pioche dans la bibliothèque de mon fils. Nous partageons un amour de la fantasy que je lui ai sans doute inculqué dans ma frénétique recherche de thèmes qui pourraient l’amener à la lecture quand il était petit. Mais cette fois, c’est dans un de ses livres scolaires que je me suis lancée, le genre d’ouvrages avec lesquels j’ai généralement beaucoup de mal parce qu’il touche d’un peu trop près à la réalité, et que je ne lis pas pour lui être confrontée, surtout pas. Seulement voilà, Delphine de Vigan, j’en entends parler depuis longtemps, et j’avais envie de la découvrir. Comme je m’y attendais, No et moi est une histoire touchante et très bien écrite. On s’intéresse à Lou, une jeune fille surdouée de treize ans, scolarisée au lycée en classe de seconde où elle ne se sent bien évidemment pas à sa place. Quoi d’étonnant ? Lou a deux ans de moins que ses camarades et même si elle leur est intellectuellement supérieure, son corps reste celui d’une enfant. Elle n’a pas les mêmes préoccupations qu’eux, elle se pose sans cesse des questions sur tout un tas de choses existentielles, comme le point commun entre les plats surgelés, le sens de rotation de la langue quand on embrasse ou encore le fait que l’on soit capable de prouesses technologiques alors qu’on laisse des gens dormir dans la rue. Lou adore se rendre à la gare pour observer les gens, leurs émotions lors des départs ou des retours. C’est à cette occasion qu’un jour, elle fait la connaissance de No, jeune sans-abri de dix-huit ans. Leurs deux vies n’ont absolument rien en commun, mais c’est avec une sensibilité désarmante que Lou va apprivoiser son aînée et se mettre en tête de l’aider. S’ensuit une très belle histoire d’amour et d’amitié, avec les mots de cette surdouée qui enchaîne les phrases à très haut débit. Cela parle de différence, de tolérance, de solitude aussi. Lou se bat, de toutes ses forces, pour changer l’ordre des choses, mais mon regard d’adulte qui a depuis longtemps perdu certaines illusions, devine aisément que cela va mal tourner parce que malheureusement, les choses ne sont pas si simples. C’est une très belle histoire que j’ai adorée et détestée tout à la fois. J’étais conquise par l’idéalisme de cette petite Lou et en même temps terrifiée à la perspective qu’elle ne le perde ce qui, je le craignais, ne pouvait manquer d’arriver. Le sujet est difficile, très sombre et Lou est un petite lueur d’espoir dans une imposante masse de ténèbres. La réalité l’a soufflée… Un récit plein d’humanité et de justesse mais qui fait mal, un roman dont on ne ressort pas indemne. J’ai marché en regardant droit devant moi, je connaissais le chemin, quelque-chose venait de m’arriver qui m’avait fait grandir.J’aurais tellement préféré qu’il n’en soit rien...

  • Jennifer Wardrip
    2019-01-22 16:34

    Reviewed by Jaglvr for TeensReadToo.comLou Bertignac is horrified about the thought of having to give a presentation in class. She is two years younger than the rest of her class, having skipped two grades. And that 2-year difference is glaringly obvious to Lou. She is tiny compared to everyone else, and the popular girls, Axelle and Lea, are pretty. And Lucas, at the back of the class, is totally self-assured, even when their teacher is admonishing him.Lou chooses the topic of homelessness for her presentation. Her teacher, Mr. Marin, is excited by the topic and offers to supply her with articles and statistics. Lou tells him that she's going to interview some of the homeless in the city for an inside view. This is how she comes to meet No(lwenn).She spots No at the train station. Lou likes to people watch, and the station is one of her favorite places to do this. After tentative steps, Lou convinces No to join her at a local café, and the two begin to talk. No is very hesitant at first, and refuses to talk about herself, only those on the street with her. As time goes by, No starts to wait for Lou to arrive.When Lou's project is over, No disappears. Lou is haunted by the desperation in No's face, and decides to do something about it. Lou asks her family if No can move in with them, but her family has issues of their own. Her mother lost a young baby and has never been the same since. Her father has been juggling a job and home responsibilities. But surprisingly, they agree to allow No into their home.Once No arrives, Lou learns firsthand how living on the street can affect someone to the core. Even with the acceptance of Lou's family, and the aid provided by Lucas, No has trouble trying to embrace a life she's unfamiliar with. No's own mother didn't love her and No has let positive chances slip through her fingers. No's struggles are a harsh awakening for Lou, but throughout, Lou tries to save No.NO AND ME was originally released in 2007 in French. It was translated to English in 2009 and we are now finally able to enjoy this wonderful story. If you did not know that it was originally published in French, you'd have no idea that English wasn't the original language. The story translates beautifully and is written in such a way that No and Lou could be in any city. Though it takes place in Paris, the story is applicable to any large city that has a homeless population.If this story opens your eyes to just one homeless person, I think it has done its job well. After all, as Lou ponders in the book, if everyone helped just one of the homeless, think of what a better place the world would be.

  • Nicola
    2019-02-16 16:51

    This is one of those books that makes me wish Goodreads had half stars. I don't think No and Me is really a five star book but four stars seems too little. I really enjoyed this one and it had me hooked from the very beginning. The narrator is unusual and believable. She's a thirteen year old who believes she can change the world. No was an interesting character- frustrating but highly intriguing. I thought Lou's parents were very well developed and their behavior felt right and I was able to connect well with the whole family. The book is an easy read in terms of language but it does cover the very real and grim topic of homeless people in France and is incredibly insightful and compelling. I would recommend this book to anyone who's looking for something a little different to the norm.

  • Stephanie (Stepping out of the Page)
    2019-02-18 18:34

    This book was incredible. Informative and touching, this book captured my attention easily. The characters were interesting, more complex than you immediately think, and the book was well written. I got completely absorbed into the typical French atmosphere and culture, whilst discovering more about the less desirable aspects of the city that people don't usually talk about. I felt the book was very realistic and has the potential to teach a lot of things about life, not just the homeless.

  • Adria Cimino
    2019-02-17 18:40

    A very touching book with issues that unfortunately are so real. The simple writing style makes the novel an easy read (even in French if it's your second language), but it isn't "easy" emotionally. I found myself quickly attached to the narrator for her will to make the world a better place by saving a young girl from homelessness.