Kommer du tycka om mig nu? by Lina Axelsson Kihlblom

Kommer du tycka om mig nu? - Lina Axelsson Kihlblom

Kommer du tycka om mig nu? is, without a doubt, a book everyone will be able to identify with. It's about feeling like an outsider, about not fitting in, and self-discovery.

To be fair, I knew close to nothing about the author. Here's what I knew about her: she's been on television. That was it. I remembered her name and that it had been mentioned on TV, but I couldn't remember in what context. A quick google search gave me this: She was the principal (or Headmistress, if you'd like) at a school where only 55% of the students had grades that would not qualify them for high school (or gymnasium, as we call it in Sweden). The school was known for troublesome students and it had a bad reputation. Three years later, that procentare was 75%.

Color me intrigued. I still didn't quite know what to expect from her story. I expected it to be about those years at the school, but in truth this is the story of four different stages of her life. First, it's her as a child, struggling with her identity and other's perception of her. Second, it's about her struggles with fitting in in her teens, due to several reasons. She had troubles learning, and was more or less told she couldn't do better. Third, it's about her after her years at university, her first job, and realizing what she actually wants with her life. And, lastly, it's about her years at the school.

It's a fascinating story. Her determination as a young teen to get good, no, the best grades. Then, as she grows, her determination to be true to herself and with others. It all comes together in the end, during her telling us about the years at the school. These pieces of her story shows how her youth and early adult life shaped her, what her motivations are and come from. Let me just say this: I admire this woman. I'm practically in awe of how strong she is.

Because, another thing that permeates this book is the frustration and longing. As a child and teen, she has a goal: the future. In the future, she's going to live. She's going to be herself. She'll be what she wants to be, without people questioning her. But that's always in the future, after years of school when she's able to make decisions on her own, as an adult. And when she reaches the future where she can make her decisions, even if people greet her openly with what she wants, there are still obstacles that postpone her future further, and she's left wondering if she'll loose her early twenties, a time she thought she'd be happy in.

Kommer du tycka om mig nu?, while inspiring, could also have done with better editing. While the story itself is fascinating, the structure and writing style wasn't as good. Jumping between the four parts back and forth got tiresome (especially when some of them started to overlap). Perhaps it's a bit drawn out too (which could've been solved by another round of editing). But this is my only complaint, and it's a rather small one seeing how others might find this structure a good choice for telling this story. In the end, the book's message makes up for the, at times, stilted writing.