You, Me and Our Heartstrings

You, Me and Our Heartstrings

By Author / Illustrator

Melissa See


Mental Health & Wellbeing

Age range(s)







Paperback / softback




A fresh and fun teen romance starring a girl with cerebral palsy, and a boy with severe anxiety. Noah, a cello prodigy from a long line of musicians, wants to stick to tradition. Daisy, a fiercely independent disabled violinist, is used to fighting for what she wants and likes to take risks. But the two surprise each other when they play. They fall perfectly in tune. After their performance goes viral, the rest of the country falls for them just as surely as they're falling for each other. But viral fame isn't all it's cracked up to be. No one seems to care about their talent or their music at all. People have rewritten their love story into one where Daisy is an inspiration for overcoming her cerebral palsy and Noah is a saint for seeing past it. Daisy is tired of her disability being the only thing people see about her, and all of the attention sends Noah's anxiety disorder into high speed. They can see their dream of going to Julliard coming closer than it's ever been before. But is the cost suddenly too high? An #own-voices romance that is sure to tug at your heartstrings Perfect for fans of Everything, Everything and Eleanor and Park Melissa See is a disabled author of young adult contemporary romances. This is her debut novel.



Set in New York, You, Me and Our Heartstrings follows the story of talented teen violin player Daisy and cello prodigy Noah, who are paired together to perform at their High School winter concert. Initially disagreeing on the music and to be played and each other, the two gradually become closer, leading to a passionate performance at the concert, a video of which goes viral on the internet. This brings with it much unintended and unwelcome attention, especially on social media and in relation to Daisy's disability (Cerebral Palsy). Yet Noah has anxiety issues of his own he is trying to deal with, and an appearance on a local TV chat show brings these and more stresses to a head for both Noah and Daisy.  Despite having the same dream of attending Julliard School of Music, will their dream of each other be discarded like a snapped cello string or will they learn to play the right tune together?

Despite my initial scepticism about the book after reading the blurb and thinking this was going to trope overload, I found this book to be a very enjoyable and engaging read.  Backed up with a diverse character collective and Scottish interest, I enjoyed seeing how Noah and Daisy's characters developed throughout the book and their changing relationship. The music references in the book as very accessible and for a non-musical person like myself I found these very interesting. The author has written Daisy's character with great skill, weaving her disability into Daisy's character rather than let this dominate the story, reminding the reader that Daisy is a person in her own right and not defined solely by her disability - it's part of who she is (though not everyone sees it like that as you’ll discover when you read this novel). Anxiety is an increasing issue with teenagers, and watching Noah struggle to come to terms with this and deal with it was at times difficult, and I hope readers who may relate to his symptoms can reach out for help dealing with like Noah did. Family and friends are there to listen and help.

The author does put a caution warning in the front of the book, highlighting the issues raised in the novel, also saying that 'If you aren't ready to read this content, Daisy, Noah and I will be here when you are'. It's a nice touch, and I would have liked to have seen relevant follow up advice links and details included in the book to remind those reading it that help is out there for the issues raised in the book.

The chapters are told from either Daisy or Noah's point of view, each taking the story forward.  At the end of some of the chapters are text messages and social media comments, which added another dimension to the novel. I liked this approach and thought it was a clever way to link parts of the story together and highlight the negative impact social media can have on people and their mental health. At its heart, You, Me And Our Heartstrings is about teens trying to negotiate high school with all the trials, tribulations and pressures this can bring, and also the love, laughter, tears, friendship, music and family that will help you through it.

320 Pages / Reviewed by Stephen Leitch, school librarian

Suggested Reading Age 14+


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