Me, Myself, & Him
Me, Myself, & Him
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Annotation: In two parallel universes, eighteen-year-old Chris navigates the summer before college--in one universe he is forced to spend three months with his emotionally distant father in California, and in the other he remains home and deals with a swiftly changing friendship.
Catalog Number: #190267
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Publisher: Random House
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Pages: 295 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-524-71522-0
ISBN 13: 978-1-524-71522-9
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2018024028
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
Kirkus Reviews
Two what-if paths happen in tandem for a teen well-versed in the multiverse.After a casual encounter with a whippet (the huffing kind, not the dog) Chris Schweitzer wakes up wondering how to explain his visit to the ER. He could lie and say he tripped over a milk crate; coming clean about his derelict behavior would be all kinds of uncomfortable (like the moving 2,000 miles to spend the summer with his famous theoretical physicist father or else forfeit college tuition kind of uncomfortable). So...he does both. Chris experiences the deconstruction of his friend triptych (besties Wexler and Anna hook up), the awkward waves of addiction group therapy, a boyfriend with all the benefits, a born-again alliance, and a family wedding. Chris and friends philosophize and theorize on existence, physics, and religion every step of both ways. They posit what-ifs that happen within the next chapter or have just happened in the previous one. Subtle typeset variations visually segregate the parallel stories. Diagrams peppered throughout meant to clarify can be confusing, muddled, and superfluous. As two different Chrises unwittingly inspire and respond to each other's worlds, the white cast and dual narrative serve to make Chris realize he should be accountable for his own behavior. Would a sharper focus on only one of the universes have been better for narrative, conflict, and character development? Theoretically.This take on a trusted formula tries too hard to be different and ends up becoming overcomplicated. (Fiction. 13-18)
Publishers Weekly
Chris Schweitzer-s ideal Green River, Ohio, summer looked very different from the one that he-s living. It definitely didn-t involve being busted for doing whippits in the alley behind work and then shipped off to California to work under his genius physicist dad, who left the family years earlier. That he-s made to go to drug counseling every week and torn from his two best friends in their last summer before college feels to Chris like extra helpings of unfair. But what if Chris hadn-t been forced to leave his summer plans behind? Told in alternating chapters, one story follows Chris west, while the other follows an alternate timeline detailing what would have happened had he not been caught. Tebbetts creates entertaining dual narratives, but the ambitious genre meld-fantasy, sci-fi, religious, and coming-of-age story-falls short in delivering a coherent plot and leaves too many threads dangling. The hidden parallels linking each alternate-reality story, though, create enjoyable Easter eggs that sci-fi fans may enjoy. Ages 14-up. Agent: Michael Bourret, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. (July)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* So, here's the story , stories, for there are two of them in this wildly ingenious novel. Both feature the same protagonist, Chris Schweitzer. Both have the same catalyst: the gay, rising college freshman hu­ffs some nitrous oxide and passes out ? at. In one version of the story, the truth outs and Chris is sent to California from his small-town Ohio home to live with his obnoxious father, a famous physicist. In the second version, Chris stays in Ohio with his best friends Anna and Wex. The three teens' friendship begins to change awkwardly when Wex and Anna fall in love, leaving Chris a third wheel, lonely for love himself. Meanwhile, California Chris meets a boy with the improbable name of Swift, and the two fall in like, maybe in love. So we have two parallel versions of the same story and, thanks to Chris' father's profession, lots of musings about the multiverse and parallel universes. When Ohio Chris then has to go to California for his father's wedding, will the parallel lines bend and somehow unite the two stories? If all of this sounds a bit confusing, it is first. But readers will quickly become accustomed to the conceit and enjoy the clever story and extremely well-realized characters. Altogether, the novel's a winner in this and any other universe.
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Starred Review ALA Booklist (5/1/19)
ALA Booklist
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal
Reading Level: 7.0
Interest Level: 9-12
Lexile: HL650L

The last thing I remember is sucking down a lungful of gas and closing my eyes. My friend Wexler tells me that I set down the cartridge, stood up again, paused like I wasn't going anywhere, and then fell over, almost slow motion, like a tree going down, until I landed face-­first on the cement.

All of that's blank in my memory.

When I woke up, if that's what you can call it, the first thing I saw were these yellow and blue streaks, moving away from me like paint running down a windshield. On the other side of that, I saw one of Wexler's black Keens, the ones he wore at the restaurant, but just one of them, right there in front of my face.

"Hang on, man. You're going to be okay. I called the ambulance. It's okay."

It wasn't, though. I could see the shoe, and I heard Wexler's voice, but they weren't, at that time, Wexler's shoe and Wexler's voice. They were just shoe and voice. I had no idea where I was, or how I'd gotten there, or why everything was sideways.

The first thing that kind of made sense was the sound of the siren. I knew it was an ambulance. That was good. At least I knew something.

And then there were all these people. EMTs and police. More shoes.

A cop kneeled down next to me. It was starting to come together.

"What's your name, son?"

I tried to answer, but everything came out g, l, a, and r. "Glaaarh . . . gharr . . ."

"Your name?"

The first words I actually managed were "I'm having . . . trouble . . . speaking."

He just shrugged and took his lack of grasp for the obvious somewhere else. I heard Wexler giving them my information. Then they put a big thick collar around my neck and lifted me onto a stretcher.

The back of the ambulance was like this lit portal with night all around it, and I slid right in. My face didn't hurt. I don't know why, it just didn't. I thought the collar was a bit much, but someone took my hand away when I tried to loosen it.

And then we were moving.

I'd always wanted to ride in an ambulance. It was on the list with helicopter, glider, and, yes, fire truck, so I couldn't help at least noticing that it was happening. The whole thing was so much like a movie or TV show that reality kind of got drowned out. "Riding in an ambulance" was all front and center. "I am so screwed" wouldn't show up for another forty-­five minutes or so.

At the emergency room, they wheeled me right in. A doctor came into the bay where they had stuck me and felt around on my face. When she got to my nose, she made this sympathetic kind of sucking sound.

"What happened to you?" she said.

"Well . . ." I didn't know how to tell her anything but the truth. "I did a hit of nitrous oxide and passed out on the cement." My voice was really small, like if I barely said it, it would barely be true. "Does my mom have to know about that?"

"You're eighteen," she said, with the same kind of tone she might use to say You're a dumbass kid in every respect but the law. "That part's up to you."

I'm not sure how the standard exam is supposed to go in these situations, but I'm pretty sure I got the discount package after that. She gave me another quick once-­over, said something about X-­rays, and left.

I lay there alone for a while, and the shame started to creep in, but also a dose of aggravation with myself. Why couldn't I have just said I fell down on the cement?

Excerpted from Me, Myself, and Him by Christopher Tebbetts
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Perfect for fans of Becky Albertalli's Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and A. S. King's Still Life with Tornado, this story of parallel time lines cleverly explores how our choices can change and shape us--as well as the ways in which choices don't change the core of our being at all.

When Chris Schweitzer takes a hit of whippets and passes out face first on the cement, his nose isn't the only thing that changes forever. Instead of staying home with his friends for the last summer after high school, he's shipped off to live with his famous physicist but royal jerk of a father to prove he can "play by the rules" before Dad will pay for college.

Or . . . not.

In an alternate time line, Chris's parents remain blissfully ignorant about the accident, and life at home goes back to normal--until it doesn't. A new spark between his two best (straight) friends quickly turns Chris into a (gay) third wheel, and even worse, the truth about the whippets incident starts to unravel. As his summer explodes into a million messy pieces, Chris wonders how else things might have gone. Is it possible to be jealous of another version of yourself in an alternate reality that doesn't even exist?

With musings on fate, religion, parallel universes, and the best way to eat a cinnamon roll, Me Myself & Him examines how what we consider to be true is really just one part of the much (much) bigger picture.

"Wildly ingenious,...altogether, the novel's a winner in this and any other universe."-Booklist, Starred Review

"Tebbetts creates entertaining dual narratives...[and] enjoyable Easter eggs."-Publishers Weekly

"An engaging story that examines love, relationships, and the different paths one's life can take...[perfect] for fans of Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli's What if It's Us, Bill Konigsberg's The Music of What Happens, and Robyn Schneider's The ­Beginning of Everything."--SLJ

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