Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon
“Maybe growing up means disappointing the people we love.”
I read this book right after finishing Sharp Objects, which may be why I didn’t really love it. I predicted the ending… because both books have an extremely similar plot twist! Although that was the same, the books were overall very different in nature.
Everything, Everything is a typical coming-of-age young adult novel. Maddy is an 18 year old who hasn’t left her house in 17 years due to an illness where she is highly allergic to, basically, the world. She keeps to herself, but finds herself interested in the new boy next door: Olly. Through her conversations with him online she begins to wonder what she is missing and what could be a risk worth taking.
My rating: 3/5 stars. I enjoyed this book, but it isn’t something I am going to read again. I predicted the ending (slthough I doubt that is common… I think that was just an odd circumanstance given the book I had just finished). Additionally, I felt elements in this book were just… unrealistic. I may be wrong, but I don’t feel like a girl who has basically been in solitary confinement her whole life would be as socially adept as Maddy is. It was hard for me to suspend disbelief here. Regardless, it was an interesting book, and it is definitely about an interesting topic. I would recommend it to fans of young adult literature or medicine/health/psychology topics.
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
“Sometimes it is all too loud.”
I have read Gillian Flynn’s other two novels, Gone Girl and Dark Places, and enjoyed them. This book did not disappoint. Her books are definitely disturbing, but that is something I like about them. At times (especially at the beginning of the novel) this book seemed like it tried too hard to be disturbing, taking extreme efforts to point out gross or undesirable aspects about people. I believe this is one of her earlier pieces, so that may be why the integration of these elements wasn’t as seamless as in other books. Here’s the Amazon plot summary:
“Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story—and survive this homecoming.”
My rating: 4/5 stars. I enjoyed this book, and the ending took me by surprise. I thought I had it figured out, but I was wrong. As I said earlier, parts of the beginning of the book bothered me, but the story itself made up for it. I would recommend this book to lovers of thrillers, mystery, and suspense. I would not recommend this book to the easily disturbed.
The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
“I am practicing being kind over being right.”
Confession: I saw the movie before I read the book. I’m a disappointment, I know. I just love Jennifer Lawrence (and I honestly didn’t realize it was a book beforehand…). Anyways, I’m so glad I finally got around to reading it because it was so good! I daresay.. I liked it better than the movie. The plot of the book and the movie are the same, but the order in which certain information is revealed differs. Here’s the Amazon summary if you’re unfamiliar:
“Meet Pat Peoples. Pat has a theory: his life is a movie produced by God. And his God-given mission is to become physically fit and emotionally literate, whereupon God will ensure him a happy ending―the return of his estranged wife, Nikki. (It might not come as a surprise to learn that Pat has spent several years in a mental health facility.) The problem is, Pat’s now home, and everything feels off. No one will talk to him about Nikki; his beloved Philadelphia Eagles keep losing; he’s being pursued by the deeply odd Tiffany; his new therapist seems to recommend adultery as a form of therapy. Plus, he’s being haunted by Kenny G!”
My rating: 5/5 stars. I loved this book! It’s hard not to compare the book to the movie since I saw the movie first, but I feel like I really got to know Pat in the book through his voice. I also liked that the reader didn’t know what happened between Pat and Nikki until the end of the book (it’s revealed much earlier in the movie). There’s also much less of a focus on the dance competition. I’m pretty interested in mental health issues, and this book does a nice job of portraying them. I would recommend this book to fans of the movie and to people interested in mental health.