Synopses & Reviews
You think you know John? Well, lets see . . .
What bathroom fixture did his father have in mind at his birth? What amphibian plagues John in band? Does algebra have a use, besides torture? Who or what is Lashasa Palulu? Who is Glory Hallelujah? Who is Violent Hayes? What do they want from John? If friends are people who like you, does John have any? Why do fools fall in love? If school is a place for learning, where does John go every day? How can anyone whos fighting a secret battle for his life know anyone, really? And how can they know him?
“Klass blazes past his previous literary efforts stylistically, introducing elements of magical realism to gradually reveal a quirky, talented, and likable guy. . . . The world may be ‘muddled and painful, but it is, ‘in the end, a love song,—a rewarding and important message for all readers.”—School Library Journal
, Starred Review
“[A] well-conceived novel. . . . The heros underlying sense of isolation and thread of hope will strike a chord with nearly every adolescent.”—Publishers Weekly
“Johns inner voice is wonderfully cynical yet sweet and sad. . . . This book is for anyone—teenagers and adults alike—who has ever been faced with the absurdity of a normal life.”—Voice of Youth Advocates
“[A] captivating first-person narrative with an original voice . . . [T]his is an engrossing story, in the vein of Laurie Halse Andersons Speak, to which readers will immediately connect.”—Kirkus Reviews
“John is a genuinely sympathetic, interestingly complex character, his highly mannered voice belongs to someone much older than 14, and its wildly inconsistent, veering in tone from seriously realistic to the farcical, from wryly sophisticated and ironically self-deprecating to sophomoric. Weigh that against some brilliant, dramatically charged scenes and John's endlessly intriguing character.”—Booklist
“I loved it because it describes the exact way I feel.”—A YALSA Teen YA Galley Reader
“Extremely realistic.”—A YALSA Teen YA Galley Reader
Moving, wholly involving, original, and emotionally true, "You Don't Know Me" is a multilayered young adult novel that presents a winning portrait of an understandably angst-ridden adolescent.
John ("My father named me after a toilet ") wrestles with the certainty that no one really knows him -- not in his miserable home, and certainly not at school. It's true that no one can guess his hidden thoughts, which are hilarious, razor-sharp observations about lust, love, tubas, algebra, everything. And then there's his home: his father ran off years ago, so he's being raised by his mother, who works long hours, and by her boyfriend, whom John calls "the man who is not and never will be my father." This man is his enemy, an abusive disciplinarian who seems to want to kill John and, in a horrible final confrontation, nearly succeeds.
One minute Im short, the next minute tall, one minute Im geeky, one minute studly, my shape constantly changes, and the only thing that stays constant is my brown eyes. Watching you. Thats right, Im watching you right now . . .
John wrestles with the certainty that no one really knows him. Although his hidden thoughts are hilarious, with razor-sharp observations about lust, love, algebra, and everything, John's home life involves an absent father, a mother who works long hours, and her boyfriend, who is abusive to John.
About the Author
David Klass is the author of many young adult novels, including Dark Angel and You Dont Know Me. He is also a Hollywood screenwriter, having written more than twenty-five action screenplays, including Kiss the Girls, starring Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd, Walking Tall, starring The Rock, and Desperate Measures, starring Michael Keaton and Andy Garcia. Klass grew up in a family that loved literature and theater—his parents were both college professors and writers—but he was a reluctant reader, preferring sports to books. But he started loving the adventure stories his parents would bring home from the library—particularly Jack London, Robert Louis Stevenson and Alexandre Dumas. After his sister twice won a story contest in Seventeen magazine, Klass decided he would win it too, and when he was a senior in high school, he did, publishing his first story, “Ringtoss,” in the magazine. He studied at Yale University, where he won the Veech Award for Best Imaginative Writing. He taught English in Japan, and wrote his first novel, The Atami Dragons, about that experience. He now lives in New York with his wife and two small children.