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No and Me [Paperback]

Delphine de Vigan
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
RRP: £8.99
Price: £6.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

2 Aug 2010
Lou Bertignac has an IQ of 160 and a good friend in class rebel Lucas. 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. But there she also sees the homeless, meets a girl called No, only a few years older than herself, and decides to make homelessness the topic of her class presentation. Bit by bit, Lou and No become friends until, the project over, No disappears. Heartbroken, Lou asks her parents the unaskable question and her parents say: Yes, No can come to live with them. So Lou goes down into the underworld of Paris's street people to bring her friend up to the light of a home and family life, she thinks.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; Reprint edition (2 Aug 2010)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0747599645
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747599647
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 61,790 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


`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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of A Trillian Books 12 Aug 2010
By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Very touching little book 1 Mar 2010
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
4.0 out of 5 stars No and Me 19 Mar 2010
By Jenny, Wondrous Reads TOP 500 REVIEWER
No and Me is a touching story about friendship, and what it means to stand by someone when they have no-one else to turn to. It's well written and easy to get caught up in, making it a must-read novel for 2010.

Lou is a charming narrator, and is one of the best I've come across in recent teen fiction. She's far too old for her age, yet innocent when it comes to boys, kissing and other parts of growing up that inevitably play on the teenage mind. She has a kind heart and good intentions, and though she has family problems of her own, she never lets them detract her attention away from No. She really is the best friend you could have, and I loved her.

No, on the other hand, took me a bit longer to warm to. I couldn't figure out what her intentions were, and whether she was just exploiting Lou's kindness. It turns out she wasn't, and by the end of the book, I was rooting for her like you wouldn't believe. Being homeless sounds like hell, and the fact that she coped with it is an achievement in itself. Of course, she had help in the form of Lou and her friend Lucas, and I dread to think where she'd have ended up without them.

Delphine de Vigan's story really appealed to me, with its portrayal of a family in crisis, life in Paris and one girl's unwavering determination to set a stranger's life back on track. It's heartbreaking and hopeful, and leaves you with the knowledge that there are still exceptional people in the world. You just have to be in the right place at the right time to find them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great engaging read! 18 Mar 2010
No and Me is the story of Lou Bertignac. A girl who is gifted with an extraordinarily high IQ of 160. For that reason, she is a thirteen year old studying in a class of fifteen year olds. Not only does she stand out because she interprets the world differently, but because she is smaller and less physically developed than the rest of her classmates. Lou's narrative voice is genuinely engaging and endearing. The style of the writing is so accessible that I just fell into the heart of this story and did not want to put it down.

Lou is a remarkable girl who carries out investigations and experiments on the world around her. She tests a range of ready meals to see how much of their content is the same. She measures, she calculates and she seeks to understand the workings of the world. She drifts off on tangents as her mind runs with an idea and she appears disconnected from the people around her. Lou is a fully rounded, quirky and interesting character to read about. There are two other main characters in this novel No and Lucas. No is an eighteen year old homeless girl who Lou connects with and in a way investigates. Lucas is seventeen and is in the same class as Lou because he has been held back two years. He is the ultimate cool guy and rather charming. Each of these characters has a striking depth and mystery about them.

The plot explores their three identities and the relationship between them. In fact in terms of action, there isn't all that much that happens in this book. It is definitely character driven and that is its beauty. The interactions between Lou, No and Lucas and the outside world are fascinating. It is Lou's telling of the story that makes you want to read on.

No and Me also explores contemporary issues.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars No and Me review
This book was very easy to read, it made you want to turn the pages. It was sad but a really good thought provoking read. You want there to be a good outcome. . Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amanda Eames
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic story. Suitable for young people as well - ...
Fantastic story. Suitable for young people as well - teenagers.
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Book club read
This was the first book in our new book club, chosen without reading the blurb, so chosen completely randomly. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mas
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book!
Excellent book! Had me hooked form the first page. Was sad when I finished it. Would definitely recommend it. One of my all time favourites.
Published 8 months ago by Gill
4.0 out of 5 stars French Alevel
A part of my A level course but generally a good book. Suits a teenage audience with a Jacqueline Wilson-esque theme.
Published 12 months ago by H.M
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb read
Was searching for a book to read with teenagers and this has captured their imaginations! Excellent - also enjoyed by most of the adults I work with too
Published 12 months ago by Tweds
3.0 out of 5 stars It's ok
The book was promising but I ended up not really caring what happened in the end. Quite predictable and I wont recommend
Published 13 months ago by deb
4.0 out of 5 stars An insight into young women
A young Parisienne teenager befriends a homeless girl. A fascinating story develops around the complexities of peer relationships and of family. Worth reading.
Published 14 months ago by philippa seligman
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good
Very good book. Very enjoyable and easy language (I read it in French too at the same time) definitely recommend as a quick holiday read. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Charlotte Hibbert
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good read
I loved this story. It will especially appeal to anyone who has been involved with teenagers. A great read - couldn't put it down
Published 14 months ago by Dee
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