jess rothenberg
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What people are saying

Inventive, gorgeous, funny and yes… heartbreaking. You will absolutely love this book.”
—Lauren Oliver, New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of
BEFORE I FALL and DELIRIUM


“The funniest, sweetest, most heartfelt, sigh-worthy and oh-so-romantic story I’ve ever read. You’ll love it!”
— Cynthia Leitich Smith, New York Times bestselling author of
TANTALIZE and ETERNAL


“[A] fresh and poignant narration, this first novel brings a welcome touch of irreverence to the larger themes of death, heartbreak, and forgiveness as Brie learns that sometimes there really are second chances.” 
— P ublishers Weekly


“An imaginative and intriguing vision of what might happen after death.” 
— School Library Journal


“Weaving significant contemporary issues into a romance flecked with humor, Rothenberg blends genres in a fresh and heart-wrenching way.  With echoes of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town and Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall, this is an emotional and thoughtful first novel with a twist.” 
—Booklist


“In this sweet, albeit heart-wrenching debut, 16-year-old Brie Eagan dies from a broken heart just after her boyfriend declares he no longer loves her…. [Brie] and Patrick banter like Sam and Diane or Chuck and Blair, which only turns up the heat on their suppressed feelings and intensifies the swoon-worthy romantic twist at the end. Despite all this, the author manages to tackle tough issues such as teen suicide and social isolation that will strongly resonate with the target audience.”
— BookPage


“This debut is a fast, twisty, highly dramatic read about the turbulent nature of love.”
Romantic Times


“Rothenberg’s stellar debut captures the interminable pain of having your heart broken and transports reader into the after-life, the after-though, and ever-after. Catastrophic History is more than an unforgettable YA tour-de-force. It’s a reminder that love does the unexpected, forgiveness changes worlds, and where there is a will, there’s a whole new universe waiting to unfold.”
— Examiner.com


A romance for the ages… [The Catastrophic History of You and Me] will wrench your heart, then it will make you laugh, then you’ll find yourself sobbing in the bathroom behind the toilet so your roommates don’t hear you.”
Beneath the Jacket


YOU GUYS!  THIS BOOK!  It killed me. Let me count the ways: I love inventive premises like this - especially when the execution follows through. In this case, sections are divided into the five stages of grief. In the denial part of the story, Brie is this totally corny cheeseball who wants nothing more than to slip back into her old life. In the anger stage, her whole personality shifts to vindictive as she attempts to make Jacob pay for what he did to her. The bargaining section introduces some seriously scary elements to an afterlife that has up to this point seemed relatively harmless. Sadness—whoa. And finally acceptance—where the book’s twist kicks in big time and we find out the real significance of the title…. Riveting, heartbreaking and ultimately satisfying. And that's all I'm going to say about that!” 
Presenting Lenore


“I can’t wait to read anything Jess Rothenberg writes next. She has the special ability to make readers cry, laugh, and even better, smile while you’re tearing up. THE CATASTROPHIC HISTORY OF YOU AND ME is one of my favorite books of 2012. It’s a beautiful, bittersweet story of love, friendship, sacrifice and letting go.”
The Bookish Babe


Refreshing in its storyline, effective in its narrative and heart-warming in its characters…. A beautiful story wound together by great writing that won’t let you tear away from the book, and will place a smile on your face by the time you finish. *Content sigh.*  I just wish it was longer.
Reading Between the Lines


“I loved this book with a passion.  All that needs to be said is: read it!  Especially if you like contemporaries, because The Catastrophic History of You and Me is wonderful and uniquegenius really.”
I Like These Books


“I was not at all prepared for how much I would love The Catastrophic History of You and Me…. Rothenberg takes a most improbable event, which could easily become silly and immature, and gives it a sense of timelessness and realism. It was done so seamlessly that I'm still not entirely sure how she pulled it off, but I won't be spending any time trying to figure it out... with something this wonderful, ignorance is bliss.”
The Hiding Spot


An amazing story! Not only is the cover gorgeous but the story inside is wonderful!  Rothenberg’s creative imagination sets the reader on a journey never written before….  like eating a piece of chocolate not realizing it has creamy caramel inside until it’s melting in your mouth….”
Books with Bite


Lauren Oliver’s blurb on the front says exactly what this novel is. “Inventive, funny, beautiful, heartbreaking”. Everyone needs to go get a copy of this book ASAP.  One of those rare books that I instantly fell in love with after the first line…. This novel is a masterpiece and Jess Rothenberg seems to have a key to my very deepest thoughts…. Not like anything I was expecting, but so much better…. Rothenberg made this quirky, magical, and unforgettable world that I loved more than I can ever say!”
A Little Shelf of Heaven


“Not only did the premise rock my socks off (I mean come on the girl died from a honest to god heartbreak). It has MUST READ written all over it…. Jess Rothenberg has HUGE writing skills and I will be reading her next book for sure.  A must read for every YA fan!”
YA Indie Princess


Lauren Oliver nailed the description of the book“Inventive, funny, beautiful, heartbreaking”.  Those are the exact words I would use to describe it (if that wasn't total copying!)  I have never read a book like this—it was like Teen Angel plus that show Revenge on ABC….  A bittersweet read that has a wonderful finish….  The author rides the line between fantasy and contemporary fiction with skill and ease.  I loved this book and I can't wait to read more from this very talented author!”
Short and Sweet Reviews


“A heart-warming and heart-breaking debut novel that made me laugh, cry, swoon, consider anger management classes and so many other emotions that whizzed about! This is one novel I would definitely I would fall in love with over and over again.”
The Girl in a Café


This. Book. Wins. The Catastrophic History of You & Me is not a book I'll soon forget. It's cute, funny, heart-breaking, sad, beautiful, honest, and a whole slew of other adjectives…. I teared up—okay, bawled like a baby because I tend to be overly sentimental—twice within the first two chapters alone. But I also laughed—a lot—throughout the book. And I swooned...oh, did I swoon…. I will recommend this debut novel to everyone, and I mean everyone.”
The Starry-Eyed Revue


“A sad, romantic story that will make you think about your life, family, friends, and loves. It’s a story that as a 14 year old I’d have stayed up all night reading and swore I was too sick to go to school the next day—“see mom, my eyes are so red and swollen”—just so I could finish it. As an adult, I simply stayed up all night and napped the next day. I look forward to reading more by this awesome author.”
Lisa’s Loves


“[Catastrophic History] was one of my most wanted upcoming reads….  Everything I wanted and nothing like I expected all at the same time.  There was love, sadness, heartbreak, betrayal and hope. All of them woven together so well, to tell Brie’s amazing story and let you live in her world for just a little while…. A world you will want to visit the first chance you get.
The Book Life


“An undeniably bittersweet novel about heartbreak, getting over him and coming to terms with death…  An incredible debut…  After reading Catastrophic History I went into a week-long reading hangover, the novel was so awesome I couldn’t bring myself to read anything else!”
Badass Bookie


“A powerful YA debut about death and the power of forgiveness…. While 2012 may have barely started, I can say with absolute conviction that this will be going in my top ten favorite YA novels of 2012.”
iBBookBlogging


HEARTSHATTERING!  I recommend this with a million stars and you will love the ride with Brie to finding her happily ever afterlife.”
— Melissa, Beneath the Cover


“I fell in love with this book when I first laid eyes on the cover (I know, I know. Don’t judge a book by its cover.) But in this instance, the book lived up to its stunning cover and beyond…. A blast to read… Keep the tissue close by because you’ll be sobbing like a baby.  This book touches your heart and your soul…. I was left completely jaw droppedThe Catastrophic History of You and Me was a beautiful story about love.  About life after death.  And about self-discovery.  I enjoyed every minute.”
The Crazy Bookworm


“A very fulfilling read, it made me sad, it made me laugh and it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It had the perfect balance of humour, heartbreak and good ol’ teen angst.”
Alluring Reads


Sweet, funny, charming, and just a little bit heartbreaking, The Catastrophic History of You and Me sucked me in and, like its protagonist, stubbornly refused to let me go. I strongly recommend having a box of tissues and a cuddly, furry animal on standby while you read.  Jess Rothenberg creates a magical, quirky, and beautiful world. Despite the (many) tears I shed over the course of the book, it’s certainly not a sad book.  It’s brimming with hope and joy, and light moments shining through the darkness.  It’s about coming to terms with loss, but also about learning to treasure the past while embracing the future.  About learning to let go and live the journey… because, well, to the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.
Saz101


You’ll laugh and you’ll cryprepare yourself with tissues…. Jess Rothenberg is a comical genius! (I haven’t giggled this much while reading a novel in a very long time.) Fun and fearless!  Recommended for readers who love emotional reads with a lethal dose of humor.
A Cupcake and a Latte


Often laugh-out-loud funny, but that’s not nearly all it is…. In my experience, books that strike me the most are the ones that successfully mix humor and tragedy. One of the recent stellar examples is Looking for Alaska.  Jess Rothenberg does this extraordinarily well…. It is a valuable skill, and one that pretty much guarantees that I’ll read her next novel, and the one after that.”
The Nocturnal Library


“Oh, man, The Catastrophic History of You and Me is breathtaking. <3 At first, I wasn’t quite sure about it, but near the end, it gets SO DANG GOOD that I might’ve reread it three times. IT’S JUST SO GOOD.” 
Gypsy Book Reviews


“One of those all around awesome kind of books…. Jess Rothenberg is one talented lady. Fans of Leila Sales will eat this one up, with its charming characters and funny plot. The voice is incredible. Once you start reading this one, you won’t want to put it down…. A heartbreakingly beautiful debut, and I am very eager to see more from her in the future.”
The Book Cellar


I loved it. Debut author Jess Rothenberg brings all her considerable talent to the table, and with Catastrophic History, gives readers an emotional, poignant, and oddly hilarious take of life—and love—after death. It makes you think about your own life—who you are, if you’re living a life you can be proud of, if you’re loving with all that you have….  A masterfully told story of love, redemption, friendship, grief, and life.” 
Once Upon a Prologue


BrilliantAbsolutely luminous. Jess Rothenberg has written one of the strongest and most heartfelt contemporary YA novels I’ve been privileged to read in my entire life….  [She] has captured the teenage voice to a T….  I look forward to [her] future books with the same enthusiasm I give to John Green, Maureen Johnson and Stephanie Perkins.  She deserves it.”
Mermaid Vision Books


Buy it. Read it. Love it. It is so great.  Be prepared with tissues as I cried CONSTANTLY (not quite, but very nearly)!” 
The Reader Room


Oh gosh. *Tries to breathe.*  Jess Rothenberg reins nothing in, leaving emotion strewn about in just about every place we stumble across through Brie’s wrenching journey to peace and acceptance…. There is a reason why [Catastrophic History]is blurbed by Lauren Oliver…. Our imaginations are ignited and we wonder what lay in the beyond awaiting our souls as we are introduced to Rothenberg’s gorgeous, inventive take.”
Paranormal Indulgence


The Catastrophic History of You and Me is a unique contemporary read with surprising depth and should not be missed!”
BookChowDown


“So fresh and original—I mean how do you even research the topic of your heart shattering in half? Jess Rothenberg created a world of haunting and beautiful at the same time. I really enjoyed The Catastrophic History of You and Mefresh and new and worthy of the praise it has received.”
— Willa, age 14


How do I measure how much I loved this book? Well, I had to “call a friend”, Millionaire style, and ask what happened at the end. Seems like I got too excited and did the mad dash to the finish line! Catastrophic History will rewire your “sensible” cells and demand you read it in one sitting, whether it's 5am or not! The romance ties together with the conflicts perfectly and is another platform on which Brie can question what her life means to her compared to another…. I was truly stunned by how well Rothenberg made it work and I'm on my knees bowing down to her brilliance! Grab the popcorn and tissues, and sit your behind down to read this with your girlfriends. (Pssst…offer free hugs.) Prepare to be awed and filled with absolute contentment as Rothenberg takes you through the emotional five stages of grief. Give Acceptance a wave when you see her!”
Read Me Bookmark Me Love Me


“I would whole heartedly (cheesy pun totally intended) recommend this book to anyone who’s ever had their heart broken. The Catastrophic History of You and Me is a love story like no other, with a hilarious heroine, and the ultimate disaster romance this is a story of life, death, love and all the glorious things in between at its best.”
Jess Hearts Books


“I really just can’t explain how I feel about this book.  I just can’t…. so beautiful and moving. This greatly reminds me of The Lovely Bones.”
Reads and Thoughts


PHENOMENAL!!!! Beautiful, tragic AND hilariously funnyYou will not be able to put this book down. No, I’m completely serious. I stayed up all night (*ahem… on Christmas!) reading it!
The Bookish Brunette


“A phenomenal read that I absolutely flew through. I was immediately hooked by the authentic voice, which was totally confirmed when I teared up on page TWELVE…. It’s perfect…. Put this one on your list of Not to Miss Debuts for 2012!”
Reading in the Corner


Hilarious, beautiful, heartbreaking and healing. I loved it so much, I think I may go read it again.”
The Best Way Out is Through


Laugh-out-loud funny, heartwarming, inspiring and bittersweet. It’s a touching journey of life, death, love and acceptance that gives both your ribs and tear ducts a healthy workout…. Not a book you want to miss!”
Eleusinian Mysteries


“I completely
agree when Lauren Oliver described this book as gorgeous, funny and heartbreaking. Because Catastrophic History is all that…and more.  You should not miss this one.  Charmingly awesome!”
Aeropapers


A sweet, fun, heartbreaking story all wrapped into one…. Really causes you to think about grief, revenge, consequences to your actions, the power of friendship, and the importance of family. I highly recommend this debut, and cannot wait to read other things from Jess Rothenberg in the future!”
A Birds Eye Review


To date, I have read 116 books this year and I can easily say that Catastrophic History is easily one of my top 3! Oh yes, it’s THAT GOOD. Jess Rothenberg rocks the house with her debut novel about love, loss, death and soul mates. It’s quirky, silly, deep and beautiful. It’s full of imagination and heart break…literally, and it sucked me so entirely I went back to my old ways of cooking and cleaning, WHILE READING because I couldn’t put it down.  I laughed with Brie. I cried with her. I shared her heartbreak and remembered entirely what losing your first love is like. I cheered her on and stood by her when she made a stand, it was like having a new best friend for awhile! Every girl who’s ever been in love can identify with Brie completely. Catastrophic History will be one of the biggest, most popular books of 2012, I can feel it! Don’t waste another minute—add this to your TBR, re-order it. Beg someone to borrow it…do whatever you have to do to read this book!
Me, My Shelf & I


“Oh dear! This has got to be one of the best reads for me this year!  From start to finish I loved every single bit, the high, the lows and everything in between…. Anyone who has ever had their heartbroken could definitely relate.”
Spellbound by Books


“Oh. My. Gosh you guys better have this book either on your wishlist or pre-ordered. If you don’t get to it! Like now, you'd be doing yourself a great favor. I love this book so much! Definitely will be a book I'll read a million times throughout my life. I'm positive that The Catastrophic History of You and Me will be the BEST book published in 2012. To Jess Rothenberg, thank you for writing this terrific story. You now have a fan who will buy and read anything you write.”
The Teen Bibliophile


“Four hours and half a box of Kleenex later….  This book was so heartbreakingly beautiful, and sad, and funny, and I literally hugged the book when I was done with it.”
Nina Reads


“Even though Brie is forever fifteen, she still goes through tremendous and awesome growth, and I loved every single minute of it.” 
A Good Addiction


A must-buy, it will make you laugh out loud. It will make you cry. It will make you want to tell everyone else to go buy it!
Ramblings of a Readaholic


Wow, this book is so good! I'm glad I loved it. I cried and laughed along with it, which is probably weird considering I was on public transport for most of the books, I'm glad I listened to those who have already read the book before me and got it for myself. It was a great read, I'm sad that I've finished it.”
I Solemnly Swear That I am Up to No Good


“A beautifully crafted story about letting go, moving on, and discovering what matters most… I would definitely recommend this one to both teenagers and adults.”
Pretty Opinionated


“I love books that make me feel more than one emotion… I love it when my chest feels tight and achey for a moment, and then it gets all sweet and giggly; when I want to cry and smile at the same time; when I feel like I can’t get enough from the story and I would like to keep reading about the characters until the end of time.  This goes for [Catastrophic History], this goes for Brie and Patrick, for a heart which continues to beat, even though it has been broken in two.”
Reading After Midnight


Holy crap. There are a lot of great, great YA books on the market, and many of them center around a dead protagonist…. I mean no disrespect to any of the other books (authors) I’ve enjoyed so heartily, but right now from my perspective, [Catastrophic History] blows them out of the water.
Bellas Novella


I want to be Jess Rothenberg when I grow up. I have to admit that when I saw an online description, coupled with the fact that the book was written by a former editor with crazy connections, I had been somewhat skeptical. But then Jess started reading.  And the book deserves all of its praise, and more. Allow me to elaborate: I was, for the day, hating the world, and thinking the worst of everyone in it. And then, within a few lines, I was in love with this book.  Now, that’s some skill. So get yourself some tissues, some snacks (you won’t want to stop reading anytime soon), and a reading room of one’s own. Ms. Rothenberg, I salute you. You’ve been able to quiet your well-trained internal editor and write something heartfelt, gorgeous, and many kinds of intelligent. Go out and get it, folks. This book is amazing, and is likely to be one of the most talked-about books this season.”
Agency Gatekeeper


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