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No and Me Paperback – 2 Aug 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; Reprint edition (2 Aug. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747599645
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747599647
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 248,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Review

`Lou's transparent narrative − at times naïve, at times profound − marks this apart as something special'
--The Sunday Telegraph

`A moving and thought-provoking novel for young adults'
--School Librarian

`A very enjoyable book to read as Delphine de Vigan pulls you into the complex, yet addictive narrative' --The School Librarian

`A fulfilling read that gives a great insight not only into the grimy world of homelessness, but also into a family trying to cope with a death of an infant'
--The School Librarian

About the Author

Delphine de Vigan is the author of several novels, including Jolis Garcons, Soir de decembre and Les heures souterraines. No and Me is her first novel to be published in English; it was a bestseller in France (100,000), where it was awarded the Prix des Libraires (The Booksellers' Prize) in 2008, and also a bestseller in Italy (50,000).George Miller is a regular translator for Le Monde diplomatique's English-language edition. He is also the translator of Conversations with my Gardener by Henri Cueco and Inside Al-Qaeda by Mohammed Sifaoui.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on 12 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback
On the surface No and Me seems like a run of the mill Young Adult novel of a teenage girl dealing with both a family tragedy and growing up. Dig a little deeper though and this book is so much more than that, largely because of two factors. The first being the simple yet emotion filled writing style. The story is told not just from a first person point of view but it really did read as if an intelligent teen was retelling it - including those unique rambley off-topic moments, which all just added to the character and effect of the book. In some ways it reminded me of Catcher in the Rye.

The second aspect of this book which made it unlike so many others was Lou herself. Her character was very much like the protagonist in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time (Mark Haddon) in that she used intellectual means, such as mathematical problems, for coping with the emotions of every day life. I really liked how Lou was extremely intelligent but at the same time had issues functioning with normal life. At one point she states that she has an IQ of 160 but can't tie her own shoe laces. She doesn't socialise well and dreads the presentation she has to do in front of the class. She collects food labels to compare the ingredients and conducts various experiments at home just to satisfy her curiosity.

Through Lou we also get to know No, the homeless girl who eventually comes to live with the family, and Lucas a boy in Lou's class. No clearly has her own issues to deal with - living on the streets and then adapting to family life - as does Lucas. Lou and Lucas are complete opposites in their class at school. Lou is two years ahead and Lucas is two years behind. Lucas is the only one who really pays attention to Lou and it makes a unique friendship.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By C. Langridge on 1 Mar. 2010
Format: Hardcover
I read this book in a day, it was so quick and easy and light to get through, yet the subject matter is quite dark in places. There is a lot about loss, about silence and about the violent qualities of those things. Charmingly told through the eyes of a child.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By N. A. Spencer on 24 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback
No and Me is an unusual story about two French girls from totally different backgrounds who become friends. Lou Bertignac (Me of the title) is a lonely but extremely bright schoolgirl who lives with her parents in Paris. She has a close relationship with her father but has become detached from her mother. Outside of her home environment she hasn't any friends and spends a lot of her time in thought puzzling on life's many conundrums. Nolwenn (No of the title) is a streetwise homeless eighteen year old who has no family to turn to and lives rough on the streets of Paris.
In a knee-jerk reaction to the questioning of one of her teachers, Lou decides to prepare a project for presentation to the class at school on the homeless. It is while trying to research this that she befriends No.
The novel develops the burgeoning relationship between the two girls in a sympathetic and honest way, highlighting how sometimes it is easier for Lou to talk to No about growing up than it is to discuss these worries with her parents. The book also explores the relationship that develops between No and Lou's parents as the friendship between the two girls becomes stronger and they begin to develop a greater mutual support and understanding for each other.
This is a brief synopsis of the novel and I do not want to go into more depth than I have above because I do not want to give too much of the story away.
In addition to the above, there are many thought provoking questions put forward by Lou throughout the book, to both her father and No, as she attempts to understand her surroundings, and the adult world she is trying to comprehend, which for me added to the overall content of the novel.
I also feel this would be a good choice of book for a Book Club as it offers many topics and issues which could be discussed in a group setting.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By L. H. Healy TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 14 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback
I loved this novel. A beautiful translation of a French book by Delphine de Vigan. This is an incredibly moving and heartfelt tale. Our narrator is Lou Bertignac, a teenage girl living in Paris. In some ways she is incredibly intelligent and a very deep thinker for her age, yet in others she is iinexperienced and innocent. She decides to do a presentation, which she is dreading, to her class on the topic of homelessness, and one day, when at the station induldging in some people watching, she encounters No (short for Nolwenn). No is 18 and homeless. And so begins the story of 'No and Me', as Lou's life is impacted by her new acquantaince with dramatic and lasting results.

This is a wonderful story. It is a fairly short novel, and I think will appeal to young adults and older readers alike. It is very well narrated by Lou, her point of view seems to be captured perfectly. Predominantly we learn about Lou's relationships with her father, good, and with her mother, not so good, and with Lucas, a boy at school who is the one other person in her class that she feels she might understand or have a bond with, despite or perhaps because of, his stark differences to her way of behaving. The chapters are short and encourage you to just keep reading a little bit more.
I really liked the character of Lou, and her attempts to do right, and to reconcile this with the reality of life and its' constraints. I felt that I could really put myself in her place, and understand how she felt about her mother, and about No. So glad to have read this.
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