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The Story of Us Hardcover – April 24, 2012


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 660L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse (April 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442423463
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442423466
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #714,062 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Caletti’s latest Pacific Northwest romance is a stunner, with depth and ambiguity that respects and challenges the reader. Recent high-school graduate Cricket is at a crossroads in so many areas of her life: she can’t decide which college to attend; she has pushed away her adoring, long-term boyfriend, Janssen; the beloved family dog is clearly on her last legs; and her notorious “runaway bride” mother has found a terrific guy, Dan, and is getting married and moving out of the family home. Set over the course of the wedding week at an inn on the coast, the plot swirls to a heady, comedic climax while letters from Cricket to Janssen provide backstory. Among the wedding guests are Dan’s two spoiled, possessive teen daughters from a previous marriage, two sets of sparring grandparents, and the incredibly attractive Ash, a local boy who flirts nonstop with Cricket. Like many of Caletti’s protagonists, Cricket is a tremendously sympathetic Everygirl coping with issues of abandonment and trust. The tone of her narrative swings between wry accounts of comic wedding mishaps and heartbreaking meditations on the nature of love and loss: “Love, deep and endless and brave in the face of certain loss—through death and leavings and growing up and letting go.” One of Caletti’s best, this is a title to reread and savor. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A multistate author tour and plenty of promotional backing will ensure this book garners attention even beyond Caletti’s sizable fan base. Grades 8-12. --Debbie Carton

Review

* "Caletti’s latest Pacific Northwest romance is a stunner, with depth and ambiguity that respects and
challenges the reader.... One of Caletti’s best, this is a title to reread and savor." --Booklist, starred review

"Thoughtful and poetic... quite moving... a rewarding story of a girl's struggle to live and love in a world of constant change." --Publishers Weekly

"Caletti tosses readers into a story that is fast paced from the get-go. Cricket is very appealing. Her concerns about life’s changes feel real; her relationships with her mom and brother are loving and honest... A thoughtful and enjoyable book..." --School Library Journal

"There is a crowd of characters with a nice variety of simple to complex backstories, all of whom... to have a valid part to play." --VOYA

"Smart, likable Cricket is supported by a surfeit of colorful characters and plenty of action.... Caletti [has] exceptional insight into and compassion for her characters..." --Kirkus Reviews

"Caletti's talent for creating interesting, complex characters and relationships that remind readers of their own families shines through in this novel.... a beautiful, emotion-driven story. This is yet another excellent, family-oriented novel."  --thecompulsivereader.com

"One thing I could not stress enough is how real this book felt through the way characters acted and interacted with each other. This could be any family. The specific memories made it theirs, but the human interaction that came out through the novel could belong to anyone.... I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, and would recommend it for anyone who enjoys thinking about how we communicate and interact with others, and what it means to grow up." --darkfaerietales.com

"The story is driven by meticulously delineated and authentically imperfect characters—even Jupiter, Cricket’s elderly beagle, has a personality all her own—and sharp, clever Gilmore Girls-esque dialogue. Cricket’s first-person narration is mature and...self-aware; her observations about the nature of family, friendship, and the canine/human connection ring true." --The Horn Book

“Caletti’s writing possesses both vigor and perceptivity, with characters brought to vivid life in a quick turn of phrase. Readers uncertain about their own upcoming big moves into adulthood may relate to Cricket’s anxiety and applaud her negotiation of a difficult transition." --Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Customer Reviews

I felt very unsatisfied with the ending.
The Autumn Review
Caletti's talent for creating interesting, complex characters and relationships that remind readers of their own families shines through in this novel.
The Compulsive Reader
Love didn’t stand a chance.” I have read more than twenty books in the last several months, and ‘The Story of Us’ is the best thing I have read.
EmmiR5

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Review Courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: The Story of Us feels very personal, yet puts into words many things that people think about, but rarely voice.

Opening Sentence: I found out something a out myself as all those boxes piled up: I hate change.

The Review:

The novel starts out with Cricket, who just graduated high school, moving away from her childhood home since her mother was remarrying. Cricket's whole life seems to be changing since she is moving, starting the next chapter of her life after high school, gaining family members, and also going through a break up with her boyfriend Janssen. Her complicated situation speaks to many people since almost everyone has gone through at least one of these issues, if not all of them.

The novel is set from Cricket's point of view as she endures the week before the wedding with fighting family members, and more drama than one family needs. Emails to Janssen are dispersed throughout the novel, but we never see his responses. In the emails, Cricket often recounts memories about when she and Janssen first meet up to the present. It was an interesting insight, almost like being confided in by a close friend. I felt like I knew Cricket. I had all of those same fears and feelings before, so I could relate. Also in the emails are lists about dogs, which I thought was a strong tie to the rest of the book because so much can be said about dogs, humans, and the relationships we have.

In the week before the wedding, all of the family convenes at a neutral location set on the beach where all sorts of chaos ensues. Cricket's step-sisters-to-be will have nothing to do with her family. Her divorced grandparents bicker at each other. The hostess keeps sneaking away to smoke pot.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By The Compulsive Reader VINE VOICE on April 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Cricket's life is changing rapidly, and there's nothing she can do to stop it. She's just graduated from high school and moved out of her childhood home, and now her mother is getting remarried. Cricket's mother has been close to marriage a few times before, only to back out at the last minute. Cricket doesn't want her mom to get cold feet this time--Dan Jax is perfect, even if his own kids aren't so enthusiastic about the relationship. As Cricket handles these major life changes, all occurring within a week of each other, she is also dealing with her own recent, not-quite-complete break-up and the trying to prepare herself for the prospect of life never being the same again.

Deb Caletti's latest book is everything readers have come to expect from her. She takes readers back to Bishop Rock, the setting of Stay, for The Story of Us. The charming and idyllic seaside setting is lovely, and it is an interesting parallel to the tension and turmoil that the characters experience in the week leading up to Cricket's mom's wedding. Caletti's talent for creating interesting, complex characters and relationships that remind readers of their own families shines through in this novel. Cricket has relied on her mom and her older brother (and beloved dog Jupiter) a lot over the years, and they've been through a lot of hard times together, so it's natural for her to just want them all to be happy. However, lots of internal confusion arises with the issue of the wedding and discussions of the future. Cricket is not so sure that she wants to move away from home yet, and while she knows that Dan is good for her mom, but she isn't sure if she believes that relationships, even with the perfect partner, can work.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jenny on May 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The Story of Us is about a girl named Cricket and we follow the story in her point of view as she encounters many changes in her life all in the course of one week. She has graduated high school and is going to college in the fall. She's moving from her childhood home, due to her mother's 4th engagement to a man named Dan, and they are getting married in one week. She's also leaving behind her longtime boyfriend, who she doesn't want to break up with but really has no choice.

I must admit as soon as I began reading this story is bored me. I feel as if the author was trying to additionally add the situation of Cricket and her boyfriend, due to Cricket writing emails to him but it just bored me even more. I would have liked for her to have ended that relationship and maybe throw in some broken heart drama and another guy enter the scene but honestly those emails were boring me out of my mind.

All the characters are developed nicely. I liked each character and could actually relate to Cricket's story. However, the plot just didn't do it for me. I tried to read page by page but honestly just kept jumping paragraphs to try to get to the end.

Although, this is a story that I did not enjoy, there are great ratings on both Amazon and Goodreads of people loving this story. Please do not get discouraged by my review and not read the book. If it's something you're into, by all means, pick up the book!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By GA book girl on August 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I'm a huge Deb Caletti fan. I've loved her ever since "Honey, Baby, Sweetheart" and "Wild Roses" is one of my all time favorite YA books. Her last book, Stay, was excellent. This book, however, I just couldn't get into, for three main reasons:

1) The dog: Constant references, endless pages, and sentences dedicated to the main character's dog, Jupiter, were overwhelming for me. I know Caletti loves dogs, they appear in almost all of her books. I'm not a big dog person, but even if I were, the dog felt like a bigger character than any of the humans. After a while, it became distracting, and I skipped the parts (seriously, I'm not exaggerating about the number of times she talked about every breath, movement, or imagined thought the dog had) just to get back to the action.

2) Cricket's relationship with her boyfriend (shown mainly through emails): I appreciate the use of emails as a device to tell the reader about a relationship (see, for example, "Snail Mail No More"). Caletti used emails from Cricket to her boyfriend to fill us in on their relationship. However, the emails included in the book were long, and to me, unrealistic. First, they all started with long lists about various dog traits (again, see point 1). I just don't see someone taking the time to write all of that before they respond to the other person saying "I don't think we should see each other anymore." I just don't see it happening. Second, Cricket felt really guilty throughout the entire book about something she did to hurt her boyfriend. By the time we finally find out what that was (320+ pages in), it was extremely disappointing, and not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. A lot of wasted angst for no payoff.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

First of all, a confession. I am a literary addict. I read endlessly, voraciously. In lieu of a book, I will read cereal boxes (Cap'N Crunch breakfast jokes, Special K Heart Smart facts), shampoo bottles, pamphlets in doctors' offices about kidney stones and allergies (neither of which I have), and even those self exam charts with the little arrows going around in circles. My books are multiplying, becoming furniture themselves - end tables, nightstands. On one wall, I have a bookshelf, minus the shelf. I get restless, even sad, when I leave a fictional world I love and am not yet immersed in another. The highest compliment I've gotten about one of my books was from a reader who said she read slower as she approached its end, rationed out the remaining pages because she couldn't bear for it to be finished. Oh, joy. I knew just what she meant.

I was happily hooked at a young age. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and was one of those quiet kids carting home a stack of books. Was? Still am. My mother says there were several years where they never saw me; they just shoved reading material and food under my door (not true, but pretty close). My parents said I'd mess up my eyes reading at night in the back of the car. They were probably right.

Writing, too, was part of my life since I was six or seven. I would get an idea, then bolt off to write it down. A hippie teacher of mine gave encouragement. "Groovy," he'd scrawl, and I had a sense I was on to something. After we moved to the Seattle area when I was twelve, I continued writing - short stories, bad poetry, and later, lyrics.

Being a writer was the only thing I ever wanted to be, but I didn't have the courage to study creative writing in college. I pictured rooms full of people wearing berets and dressed in all black, talking about Turgenev, which sounded a lot like the noise that escaped my throat whenever I was in one of those courses where they asked you to read your work aloud. I worried I wouldn't have the talent, since I didn't own a beret and never wanted one. So I studied journalism. I worked on the radio station, reading the news. What I learned more than anything was that I wasn't a journalist. I earned my B.A. degree from the University of Washington, got married, won the Nobel prize (just seeing if you were still awake) and did PR work. I got serious about fiction writing after my children were born. I didn't want to be one of those people who talked about their dream but never did anything about it. That seemed sad. I worried I would end up sitting alone at the counter at Denny's eating pie and smoking cigarettes, and I've never even smoked. So I made a decision. I would write and keep writing, at least until I was published. No giving up, no going back. I would have the determination and persistence of a dog with a knotted sock.

I read everything on the craft, studied, took notes, wrote and wrote, until finally, finally my fifth book, QUEEN Of EVERYTHING, was published. I would say I'm self-taught, but it isn't true - all my years as a reader, all of those authors I read, taught me. From Mrs. Piggle Wiggle to Tess of the D'Urbervilles. From Encyclopedia Brown to The World According to Garp. Books are what inspire me to write, and to write better. I believe in their power. Books teach empathy and define our lives and times. Writers are our truth tellers, and I strive for honesty in my writing. I want my readers to recognize their own experiences and to see our shared humanity in my work - our mistakes, our triumphs, our pain, those small moments of rightness. I want my readers to miss my characters when the book is set down. If my reader says, "Oh yes, that's just how it is. I know - that's how I feel, too," then I've done my job. I've given what I can to my fellow addict, and maybe, just maybe, I've added a piece to her nightstand.



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