Title: Who I was With Her
Author: Nita Tyndall
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Teen/young adult fiction, Contemporary
Book format: Early release of Hardback
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Description: There are two things that Corinne Parker knows to be true: that she is in love with Maggie Bailey, the captain of the rival high school’s cross-country team and her secret girlfriend of a year, and that she isn’t ready for anyone to know she’s bisexual.
But then Maggie dies, and Corinne quickly learns that the only thing worse than losing Maggie is being left heartbroken over a relationship no one knows existed. And to make things even more complicated, the only person she can turn to is Elissa—Maggie’s ex, and the single person who understands how Corinne is feeling.
As Corinne struggles to make sense of her grief and what she truly wants out of life, she begins to have feelings for the last person she should fall for. But to move forward after losing Maggie, Corinne will have to learn to be honest with the people in her life…starting with herself.

*Free copy provided by publisher for review…

Review:  This is a touching and emotional story about dealing with grief as well as coming to terms and being ready with who you really are. Corinne Parker is devistated when she overhears some gossip about the death of a girl at another school. She runs as fast as she can to get away from everyone because the girl who died is Maggie, the girl from the rival cross-country team and the person she loved. But nobody knows that Corinne was dating Maggie, that Corinne was dating a girl, and now she has to deal with her grief in silence while hiding who she really is.

This is a moving story and one which I enjoyed although I did find it hard to get into at first. Corinne finds it hard to cope at school and around her dad and mom when she hears about Maggie’s death. She hasn’t told anyone she’s bisexual and she’s scared of what others will think of her when she does, leading her to stay in emotional turmoil grieving for Maggie while trying to get on with life without her. I like how this story developed. At first we see a really emotional Corinne who’s thoughts are messed up and tied with Maggie’s death. The chapters are all told in a first person perspective but switch between the present and past memories Corinne has of her life with Maggie. Each chapter is given a title of how many days, weeks or months it is before or since Maggie’s death.

As the story moves on Corinne constantly struggles to come out to anyone especially her best friend. In the meantime her best friend has an interesting side story which I felt was important and showed that there’s more diversity when it comes to teen sex and sexuality and I like the way this was portrayed as I haven’t yet read any books which feature a character like her. Corinne’s own story becomes more complicated with a new love interest and although I like the overall story between the two, I do think it was a little drawn out.

The ending and the later part of the story in general were very good. The pace picked up and I like the way things ended up with Corinne. It felt like a great conclusion to everything that happened and I like the positive feeling that you’re left with when you read this. There is some swearing in the book, a few uses of the f word although it wasn’t too frequent and there are a few references to sex although this wasn’t too detailed.

Overall I like this story. It shows a realistic portrayal of just how difficult dealing with grief is, both emotionally and practically. It’s all the more heart-breaking as Corinne has to deal with a large portion of this in silence. It’s also a great book about the emotional worries and difficulties that some people have about coming out and I think this would be an especially good book for anyone bisexual or otherwise as it may help them to feel less alone, and could help them in their on lives with the difficulties and emotional struggles of coming out. It’s also a great for anyone who likes a good sort of coming-of-age story.

What do you think of this book?  Do you like contemporary stories?  Let me kow what you think in the comments below 🙂