No and Me – by Delphine de Vigan

No et moi is a novel by the French novelist Delphine de Vigan and was first published in French in 2007.

Lou is an intellectually precocious girl with an IQ of 160 who lives with her parents in Paris. They took in an 18 year old homeless girl named No, short for Nolwenn, after Lou interviewed her and hang out with her for a short period of time for her school project about homeless people in Paris. Being as young, idealist and passionate as Lou is, she thought she would be able to solve the problem of homeless people, but things were more complicated than they seemed to be and got out of her control.

“We can send supersonic planes and rockets into space, and identify a criminal from a hair or a tiny flake of skin, and grow a tomato you can keep in the fridge for three weeks without it getting a wrinkle, and store millions of pieces of information on a tiny chip. Yet we’re capable of letting people die in the street.”

No and Me is another heartbroken story about homeless people in the world that I’ve read. The characters are straightforward and the plot is simple. Even though this was marketed as an adult novel, and won a few awards, France’s prestigious Prix des libraires for one, it reads like an YA fiction for me.

No and Me was adapted into a French drama in 2010.

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