Can you want something—or someone—so badly that you change your destiny?
Elyse Schmidt never would have believed it, until it happened to her. When Elyse and her not-so-secret crush, Josh Harris, are the sole survivors of a plane crash, tragedy binds them together. It’s as if their love story is meant to be. Everything is perfect, or as perfect as it can be when you’ve literally fallen out of the sky and landed hard on the side of a mountain—until suddenly it isn’t.
And when the pieces of Elyse’s life stop fitting together, what is left?
You Are the Everything by Karen Rivers
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication Date: October 30, 2018
How do you talk about a book that made you feel emotions you can’t even name, because you’ve never felt them before?
— me, Lily @ Sprinkles of Dreams, still spell-bound after finishing this book.
You know how people say that there’s a crack in everything, and that’s how the light gets in? This book found its way into my heart, and my soul, and enveloped both so seamlessly, that it didn’t need the tiniest sliver of a crack to begin with.
You Are the Everything invoked a whole new capacity of emotive value in me, as well as introduced me to a whole new dimension of storytelling. It’s a book that, in my opinion, should be read without knowing all too much about the characters, their motivations, and the story arc.
Commemorative of We Are Okay by Nina LaCour, I was led, both by the synopsis, and the cover, to expect an all-too endearing book, filled with fluff, and light-hearted banter, even amidst tragic events.
Instead, I read a book that was all that, but also so much more; a story that is eerily reminiscent of the magical realism genre, somewhat mysterious, brimming with melancholy, and serenity, and all kinds of tangled up emotions that leave a bittersweet taste on your tongue.
I loved the narrative voice, and the many little anecdotes and details that infused every aspect of this story with vivacity, and color, and poignancy, and made me fall in love with the few characters that it focuses on. Both the friendship, and the romantic adoration aimed at the love interest were so realistically depicted, that I was wholly entranced.
“(…) maybe that’s how it is for everyone to some degree. Maybe all of us are holding tight to what we think matters, and releasing everything else into the morass of the past, a hazy place you once visited, taking with you only a handful of glittering stones containing all that you want to have matter.”
I was left feeling spell-bound, and fascinated by everything about this book, but especially the foreshadowing, and the little clues along the way that, looking back, make you realize how brilliantly this book was crafted, and how much thought went into the plotting, and planning, and the wonderful writing.
I can’t wait to read everything else Karen Rivers has written, and will write in the future.
Karen Rivers is the author of twenty-one novels for children, teens, and adults, including the highly praised The Girl in the Well Is Me, All That Was, Before We Go Extinct and A Possibility of Whales.
She lives in British Columbia, Canada. Find her online at karenrivers.com or on Twitter @karenrivers.
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