Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick
Description: Nanette O’Hare is a hardworking high school student, a good daughter, a best friend and a great soccer player. Yet, Nanette feels like there must be more to life than going through her every day routine. A teacher sees Nanette as a kindred spirit and gives her a book called “The Bubblegum Reaper.” Nanette becomes consumed by the mysterious book about a boy who decides to “quit.” Her teacher helps her get in touch with the reclusive author; it is through the author that she makes new friends, finds her first love in a troubled teen and begins to question her very way of living.
Review: “The Silver Linings Playbook” is one of my favorite books (waaaaaay better than the movie), when I saw that the author wrote a new YA novel I was dying to read it. Unfortunately, the book didn’t have the same magic as “The Silver Linings Playbook,” at times I honestly thought I was reading a John Green novel (think “The Fault in our Stars” without cancer). I really did want to like this book, I love YA novels that are philosophical and forces you to think. The reason why I didn’t like it is because I found it preachy and the story line obvious (who would have thought the troubled poet would get himself into trouble and meet a sad end?!?). The characters are very stereotypical – the troubled violent teen who writes angsty poetry, the teenage girl who has it all but yet it’s still not enough, the reclusive author who won’t answer questions, a boy who gets bullied by his classmates and a group of high schoolers who only care about getting drunk and hooking up. I wasn’t able to connect with the characters; I wanted to shake them, tell them to suck it up and deal with it (which might have to do with the fact that I’m now in my mid-20s and can see past high school agony). While I wasn’t able to connect with them many teens who have dealt with bullying, peer pressure and divorce will feel for them. Although I wasn’t a huge fan of the book I do know some teens who will enjoy it. The book depicts the ups, downs, ins and outs of being a teen. It portrays the confusion and varied emotions that hit in the high school years. Although it depicts these emotions nicely I don’t think it shows how to best handle them and might leave teens with more questions and answers (just like the author of “The Bubblegum Reaper”). I would recommend this book to young adults who like John Green and those who question society norms but are mature for their age.
*please note that I received an advanced copy of the book from NetGalley