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Review: Every Exquisite Thing

Matthew Quick - Every Exquisite Thing
Expected publication: May 31, 2016 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 272
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 3/5

Nanette O'Hare is an unassuming teen who has played the role of dutiful daughter, hardworking student, and star athlete for as long as she can remember. But when a beloved teacher gives her his worn copy of The Bubblegum Reaper--a mysterious, out-of-print cult classic--the rebel within Nanette awakens.

As she befriends the reclusive author, falls in love with a young troubled poet, and attempts to insert her true self into the world with wild abandon, Nanette learns the hard way that rebellion sometimes comes at a high price.

Disappointing to the highest degree.

Okay, not true. Silver Linings Playbook is one of my favorite movies and Love May Fail, which is allegedly becoming a movie, and SLP have been on my reading wishlist forever, but I was expecting something more.

Nanette O'Hare - which honestly sounds like the name of a rabbit - receives a worn, torn copy of The Bubblegum Reaper from her beloved teacher, Mr. Graves. She finishes it in one day and demands he tell her more. After he is unable to - hence, the open ending - she decides to track down the author, who is a reclusive older man, Booker. Fortunately for Nanette, Booker is nice enough to answer most of her bookish questions, and he even offers to become her friend. Soon, he introduces her to a pretentious, untalented poet, Alex. (That's probably my annoyance seeping through. I have a fierce hatred for poetry.)

Alex and Nanette hit it off immediately. Both of them are obsessed with The Bubblegum Reaper, and Alex's obsession is slightly more manic.

Okay, so I really didn't like any of these characters. I did like Booker, at first. He shares semi-great wisdom, which sometimes borders on John Green territory. But seriously with his bullshit in the end? Really? How do you not expect your readers to be influenced by your work? Rude asshole. I think Nanette and Alex are weird, judgmental poseurs. Alex writes shitty poetry, no offense. I skipped most of it.

I couldn't sympathize with Nanette. At all. Frankly, the girl is batshit. The book is pro-therapy, which I found fantastic. But do you know Alessia Cara's "Here"? Rhyming and complaining and whining how she'd rather be anywhere else? Nanette is basically that for the whole novel. If she didn't have a friend, she would want a friend. If she were around her friends, she would be nauseated by them. Girl, just stay home, then.

The ending appropriately made no sense. Matthew Quick is undoubtedly an artful writer, but this is certainly not my favorite. 


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