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Everything Beautiful in the World

3.37 of 5 stars 3.37  ·  rating details  ·  208 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Lately I feel like an astronaut out on a space walk – constantly praying the tube attaching me to the ship doesn’t snap and send me flying into outer darkness.

The only good thing about having a mother with cancer is that people are willing to let you get away with pretty much anything. Like failing a Latin test. Or being late to class. Or skipping tennis practice. But the...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published October 28th 2008 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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(showing 1-30 of 548)
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Okay, so I wasn't one to sleep with my art teacher and I don't believe my daughter is (please, please, please) so I'm having a bit of a hard time relating to this. But, I did have a mom with Cancer and I have seen a shrink, so maybe I can voice some thoughts.

For a debut novel, the style is reasonably well written. If you're into the teacher makking on students vibe, I'd recommend Boy Toy by Barry Lyga. Now, that one had some creepy crawly imagery that seriously had me thinking about home school...more
Sonia Reppe
May 18, 2009 Sonia Reppe rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who like coming of age
Shelves: 5stars, coming-of-age
Loved it! It looks deceptfully simple, but it's deep, and Levchuk masters the point-of-view thing, meaning she gives the protagonist, Edna, a unique outlook and definitive personality. We really get to know this high-schooler as she enters a relationship with her art teacher who falls in love with her and she deals (or doesn't deal) with her mom's cancer. She's afraid to see her mom, fearing that if she does, it will be the last time she sees her. So Edna has some things to work out. Takes place...more
Loved this book! Some teenage girls will probably become familiar with the storyline. At the end of the book, the narrator gives an important message, that I felt was so true. A huge recommendation.
Jun 19, 2008 Rachel marked it as to-read
Released November 2008
This was a nice surprise. I hadn't heard anything about it, I just happened to pick it up off the new YA pile at work. I don't actually think much of the cover, it looked kind of boring to me, and I almost took it back unread. So glad I didn't! This is a beautifully written first novel. It's a coming-of-age story set in 1980. The protagonist, a seventeen year old girl named Edna, is dealing with a host of different problems. One thing that set this apart from a lot of YA, she isn't just dealing...more
Jul 28, 2011 Daisy rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Daisy by: I don't know and I'm not sure why I picked this up
Shelves: autism, tennis, ny
at first: Strange that about 20 pages in, you find out that it's 1980. That makes you re-think everything you just read but oh well.

Edna -- I like so far how every few pages you learn something new and unexpected about her. (Good name.)

The music references provide a flashback of a soundtrack that put you right when you need to be.

upon finishing: The spine on my library copy says YA but I don't care and it might not even be true. This is a pertinent, raw novel that makes me cry. Edna is confused...more
I mistook the prose style for passive summarizing, so at first I was dragging my feet reading this book. Then I began to get it. This is the internal world of a teenger who wants to think about anything except the worst thing that's happened to her: her mother getting cancer. She feels the weight of an imaginary guilt, believing it is her fault that bad things happen to the people around her, but even knowing that belief is irrational, she has trouble shaking it off. Her journey is handled with...more
This book was about a 17 year old girl whoes name was Edna. She fights with her mother alot and they claim not to like each other but when her mother tells Edna that she has cancer the fights stop. While her mother is at the hospital she doesnt visit her at all and believes now she has a chance to do whatever she wants. Her and isnt talking to her and nethier is she talking to him. SO she is free to do anything. Mr.Howland is her teacher and he scares her. She tells him whats up and he question...more
Katerin Escalante
Lisa Levchuk purpose of writing the book “Everything Beautiful in the World” is not very clear. Edna’s behavior Edna's behavior appears largely random. Her impulses, while natural enough for her age, are exaggerated and irrational. This suggests some form of mental illness, but left unexplained, they basically confuse the reader. For me, this made the story more interesting. I don’t think this book could have a lasting value. Well for it really didn’t have one because it was basically a novel.

Dawn Powell
Most commenatators here are giving plot summaries (wrong) rather than evaluations (correct). Also, mostly everyone is missing the humor! This is a VERY funny book, honest and truthful, real, no holds barred. The point is not that Edna is supposed to be perfct. Hello--what planet is this? Who of us is perfect, especially what 17-year-old kid on her own trying to find her way? Think again, please, folks. This is not fantasy fiction. It's real life.
This book touched me so much, I may have to buy it some day.
I love how the main character was so realistic and so relatable and even shared some of my quirks. She wasn't perfect, she wasn't terrible, she was just human.
Nov 28, 2008 Emily rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
I don't know why I liked this book so much... but I did! Perhaps because it takes place in 1980... though it did take me awhile to pick up on that.
Loretta Nyhan
Critics are always tossing around comparisons to Catcher in the Rye when writing about YA books; in this instance it actually fits.
Jan 01, 2009 Martha rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: teen
This is one of those more psychological YA reads. Not a lot of action, but compelling and suspenseful nonetheless, which is impressive.
Lenore Appelhans
Edna’s mother has cancer and the only good thing about that is people are willing to let her get away with pretty much anything. If she fails a test, is late, or misses tennis practice, everyone understands. What they wouldn’t understand is her illicit romance with her art teacher, the one thing that makes her feel happy lately. Not that she’s going to tell anyone – especially not her therapist who wants to convince her to visit her mother in the hospital. But she just can’t and no one is going...more
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Natalie Bochenek
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Edna is a young student struggling with the sickness of her mother, death of her brother, and the loss of a real relationship with her father. In time, she falls in love with Mr. Howland, her teacher, but the relationship soon causes more troubles for her. Throughout this book, I felt a lot of ups and downs; there were parts in which I thoroughly enjoyed what I was reading, and other times when I could not remember why I had picked up this book in the first place. I felt like the author, Lisa Le...more
I have to say, when I got this book from ALAN to review, I had no idea what it was about. When I started reading it, I was extremely disturbed. It's the story of seventeen year old Edna and the love affair she begins with her high school art teacher Mr. Howland. Edna's mother is in the hospital being treated for cancer and her father is not around. This basically gives her the freedom to come and go and do as she pleases. It makes the affair between her and Mr. Howland possible and allows for he...more
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I read "Everything Beautiful In the World" and I thought it was by far one of the best books I've ever read. I love all the obstacles that Edna is faced with. I love the way Edna's mind works in the story. There are moments where she has flashbacks about things in her childhood, things that made her into the person she is today. Edna's steemy relationship with her art teacher is also another thing that keeps the reader from closing the book. Each time they are together you wonder if they'll get...more
Stephanie A.
This was way better than a story about an adulterous high school teacher/student relationship should be. In fact, I ended up being rather fond of it. I don't know why. I wanted their love to somehow triumph in the end! The real reason this book stands out to me, though, is that it was the first one I'd ever read with a student/teacher relationship, and instead of confirming my suspicions that it would be terrible, it made me curious about how many other takes the library shelves might have on it...more
Mar 05, 2009 Gail rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Donna
Taking place just as the disco era gives way to new wave, Jersey Girl Edna must deal with her mother having cancer, and also with her growing infatuation with her high school ceramics teacher.
the author gives voice to Edna in such a manner that it is possible to remember what it's like to be seventeen and filled with conflicting emotion. Often times what you're experiencing doesn't make sense, or follow any rhyme or reason.
As an adult, and as an educator, I naturally had issues with the cerami...more
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Erica Daphne
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I feel neutral about this book. On the plus side, I think it handled several tough topics (cancer, unequal sexual relationships) gently and truthfully; on the minus side, I didn't completely believe the actions and motivations of the main characters and found them to be somewhat superficial. It reads more like a memoir than a novel. For much of the book we are inside the narrator's head reading summaries of events and conversations. My favorite parts were the therapy sessions, because they conta...more
Edna's mother is dying of cancer, but she refuses to visit her in the hospital. As a way of dealing with the pain, she develops a sexual relationship with a teacher. Set in the 1980s, this book reads like a diary of vignettes. Edna speaks directly to the reader ("As I mentioned earlier..."). The adults' actions in this novel disgusted me, but the psychology of the novel is fantastically well-written. I ranked the book 3 stars because the topic wasn't enjoyable for me to read, but it may appeal t...more
Megan Jones
Although this wasn't a great literary work, or YA novel, the authentic voice of the narrator gives it a redeeming quality. That, and the authors extremely effective use of songs in the narrators life (from The Boss, to the Styx), makes the reader a little more connected to the time period of the novel, and the emotions of the characters in the novel as they appropriately fit with the music. It's a fast read, but probably more ideal for a younger audience as it's somewhat predictable.
i learned that love itself is ageless , however we are not.
with that put in my mind i realized that even when we think we might love some one you have to realize the down fall of the situation. you have to accept that when you do love someone you must let them go or in this case reunite with them. this is an amazing book filled with life lessons, the consequences of falling in love and the power of family.
i declare this book my favorite of all time!
Jillian McAdams
Mar 04, 2009 Jillian McAdams rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Realistic fiction lovers. If you liked Go Ask Alice
It was a good, short read. I picked it up at the library for no apparent reason. A high school girl has an affair with her teacher while her mother gets treated for cancer. Not a feel-great book but an interesting look into one person's mediocre life. Warning to parents, strong sexual content / inapropriate teacher/student relationship, drug abuse.
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