You, Me, U.S. written by Brigitte Bautista, author of Don’t Tell My Mother, is a slow-burn F/F romance about two friends, Jo and Liza. Jo is a sex worker whose singer dreams have been shattered by rejections here and there, while Liza is a contractual salesperson who believes that the only way to “living happily” is going to the US. The latter found her chance when her American boyfriend whom she met online proposed to her, but things got complicated after she and Jo shared an almost kiss and when Jo had realizations in the middle of a sex dare.
What made this my first purchase was how the urban setting molded the characters’ personalities. The descriptions of both the characters and their carefree dialogues easily carried me from one page to another, not realizing I was at the end of the sample, hence the purchase. I could easily connect to them, especially in the parts that told about how they came to be. They have forgotten idealism—an inevitable event when you try to pursue your dreams but consecutive rejections scream at you to forget about them.
Jo found out the hard way that chasing your dreams was a lie. The best you could do was make them smaller and smaller until they came true.
At first I thought it was uncomfortable reading about a sex worker. But reading You, Me, U.S. made me understand what made their choices. I was attracted to Jo, perhaps, because she gave me a new perspective on life.
On the surface, it was comforting to blame something else for your troubles. But at the root of it, if she couldn’t blame herself, then she wasn’t in control.
Cheating and domestic abuse are present though, and these take maturity for one to understand why a certain character had done this and that. Not that this book romanticizes the aforementioned; it “desanitizes” them, making sure that the characters are responsible for their own actions. Jo as a sex worker, on the other hand, was not really an internal problem; it was not portrayed to me that way. It was just described as her work just as how Liza was described as a salesperson. Nothing more, nothing less.
However, the chapter near the ending seemed a bit off. The book could have ended in that one meeting, but it was extended to another chapter, dragging me to another series of questions asked by the characters.
It was a good read, especially if you’re into F/F romance, contemporary literature, and the friends-to-lovers trope. You, Me, US is available at Amazon Kindle for $2.99, or Php 153.00.