ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Book Review: You Me Everything by Catherine Isaac

Updated on May 10, 2018
Laura335 profile image

I am the author of three middle-grade children's books, and I blog on the side. My favorite topics are movies, writing, and pop culture.



I recently won an advance copy of Catherine Isaac’s latest novel, You Me Everything in a Goodreads giveaway. Excited to get the chance to read an anticipated novel before it is released, I dove into my copy, expecting a breezy, predictable romance novel about a single mom burying the past and looking ahead to the future. Instead, this novel unfolds unrealized truths and dark histories among its protagonist and her family, creating a layered and heartbreaking read that surprised me and surpassed my expectations of this story.

“I blamed myself for the fact that William was not the gurgling, contented bundle of joy I’d assumed he would be. I was certain I must have been doing something wrong…”

- Catherine Isaac, You Me Everything

Plot Summary

Jess and her 10-year-old son, William, spend their summer in the French countryside visiting William’s father, Adam, the owner of a tourist chateau in the French countryside. Jess’ reluctance to see her ex exposes itself as animosity in his presence as she is reminded of the night of William’s birth when Adam was a no show, preceded by a pregnancy lacking in support on Adam’s end and a possible affair taking place during her labor and delivery. She is also not happy about leaving her mother, whose body and mind is disintegrating from the effects of the late stages of Huntington’s Disease. However, Jess finds it necessary for Adam to connect with their son due for reasons of her own. As father and son grow close, Jess finds herself torn between her plan coming together and the anger she feels toward Adam’s past offenses, but the truth about those offenses slowly rise to the surface as the summer progresses.



On the outset, this book is set up like a Lifetime movie of the week. Jess is your typical angry ex-girlfriend who was stuck with the responsibilities of raising a child by herself due to not being about to recognize her boyfriend’s deadbeat status before they reproduced. Adam is your typical self-obsessed man who somehow managed to hit the jackpot in both looks and money, despite being a cheating, awful guy. He’s got a stereotypically young, new girlfriend. Then there are her friends: the exhausted supermom, Becky, and the cradle robbing, stylish, Natasha, there to provide two perspectives of moral support for Jess while trying to escape from their own problems. There are also her seemingly perfect parents who encourage Jess to go on this trip, despite being left behind to deal with her mother’s progressing illness. But, nobody is exactly as Jess initially paints them, and their true selves are exposed as the story is revealed.

“That in the dark mess that her brain has become, sometimes it’s still possible to turn on a light.”

- Catherine Isaac, You Me Everything


While it doesn’t take front and center at first, the core message of this book is basically to inform readers about the debilitating horrors of Huntington’s Disease. Jess’s mother’s condition is typically explained text-book style as to how she developed the disease and how it breaks down her body in a combination of symptoms resembling Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and MS. Jess protects the reader from the gory details through the first half of the book, much in the way she protects her son from knowing about his grandmother’s disease at all. As this book shows, however, secrets cannot remain so forever. Eventually, they are forced to come out, and the characters have to expose the truths that have been hiding for years, warts and all.

As a result, the characters must also learn to accept each other’s imperfections as well as their own. They expect too much of themselves and each other, and relationships break apart when they cannot meet these expectations. It’s this element that helped me to connect to Jess’ situation, considering how I do not know what it’s like to be a single parent who resents her child’s father. While I don’t agree with all of the choices she makes, this is what makes her human, and the reader needs to accept her faults as she learns to accept others’ in the story.

“I want William to live as a child should- with excitement and optimism, where the only thing he has to worry about is not being able to master a decent kick in soccer.”

- Catherine Isaac, You Me Everything

My Review

This book was surprisingly deep and poignant, surpassing my expectations. It was still the breezy beach read at certain points, a great summer book to read while tanning but full of twists and surprises that shifts the reader’s perspectives of the characters and their situations at the story unfolds. You don’t have to be in Jess’ situation to get her. You just have to be a person who understands what it’s like to have a tunnel vision-perspective of your life and be taken aback when that perspective is expanded to reveal the entire truth of your world and everyone in it.

The story is very well-balanced, shifting between Jess’s relationship with Adam, William, a man she meets at the chateau named Charlie, her friends’ conflicts, and her mother’ illness. The chapters are short and flip-flop between past and present, discussing important elements of her life, such as her dad’s past alcoholism, Adam’s behavior during Jess’ pregnancy, and her mother’s change in attitude that led to her diagnosis. These individual pieces of information join together like a puzzle by the end of the book. It creates a good spin on an otherwise stereotypical story about a deadbeat dad struggling to make amends for 10 years of near-abandonment. The ending surprised me by not being over-the-top, fairy-tale happy or tear-jerking depressing.

I recommend this book for adult women looking for a summer read with substance. It’s a fast read with short but detailed chapters that remembers to paint a pretty portrait of the French countryside, the family’s relaxing vacation life mixed with the tension of skeletons in the closet, love triangles, and desperation for a solution to a murky future. It brilliantly reflects the destructive mess that life can be, even in the middle of paradise.

“We assume good health is our God-given right, to be taken for granted, as if we’ll always feel this well.”

- Catherine Isaac, You Me Everything

What did you think about "You Me Everything?"

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Sounds like a good read.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Congratulations on your win! The book sounds very interesting, thanks to your review. Themes of the plot and subplots are so different; it really would be like two stories. Thanks for sharing.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I have not yet read the book and it looks interesting to meet the characters. From what you have written about the book, it looks like it's full of characters trying to live through life.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)