I think that the marketing of this book is extremely misleading. It looks like a young adult book, with the intense, older-looking model on the frontI think that the marketing of this book is extremely misleading. It looks like a young adult book, with the intense, older-looking model on the front cover, and the synopsis does not mention that Irene is only 13. Once you open up the book, however, it is clear that Irene is young. I would not have read this book if I knew Irene's intended age, because realistic middle-grade fiction does not interest me. This book is just another example of that.
Everything I Was is about loneliness and figuring out that your parents are real people after all. When you are a kid, your parents are infallible. They are always right and do what is right. Then come the moments when your realize that they make mistakes and have faults, just like everyone else.
Irene's father has just lost his job, and they are forced to live with her grandfather as they are no longer able to afford their Manhattan penthouse. Irene's mother can't seem to grasp that they aren't rich anymore, and continues to spend and spend, making excuses up as she goes. Irene sees what her mother is doing is hurting the family, causing tension between her mother and her father, and she hates her mother for it. Irene leaves her grandfather's country home as often as she can, making friends with a family with kids her age. She finds this family remarkable, the way they laugh together, play together, how they can own so little but have so much. With a crush on the oldest boy and friends with the older girl, Irene is sure this is where she wants to stay. But when Irene's mother tries to get them to move back into a stuffy Manhattan apartment, Irene must not only face her mother's faults, but challenge them head on.
This book would have made a good YA book if all the kids had their ages bumped up and if the content was a bit edgier. I mean, if you are going to market it as a YA book, why not?
Two stars, because it was not anything special, but it wasn't terrible either. ...more
I decided to read this book mostly because I was seeking a nostalgic read. Even though I never read this book before, I had seen the moive based on itI decided to read this book mostly because I was seeking a nostalgic read. Even though I never read this book before, I had seen the moive based on it (albeit losely), and it just seemed the kind of thing I would read when I was younger.
The writing was simple and the plot fast-paced. I kept in my mind that the book was designed for a juvenile audiences, but that didn't keep me from noticing the flat characters. There was little or no characterization or development. But, this was a fantasy, and it did that part well, providing some new creative elements to the genre. Well, at least it was new forty years ago. An enjoyable fantasy, and I just wish I had read it when I was younger. ...more
This book was a little too cutesy for my tastes. It was a very easy read and unchallenging, even for a children's book. The plot wasn't particularly oThis book was a little too cutesy for my tastes. It was a very easy read and unchallenging, even for a children's book. The plot wasn't particularly original or interesting either. My biggest problem was the narrator. She just seemed too naive for a girl of 12. Calling her mother "Mommers" and her grandfather "Grandio", and just being pretty darn ignorant overall made her seem like she was 10 years old. I just didn't find it believable. ...more
I'm no stranger to Neal Shusterman, so when I saw this book with his name on it at the library, I had to pick it up. Once I read the back, I convincedI'm no stranger to Neal Shusterman, so when I saw this book with his name on it at the library, I had to pick it up. Once I read the back, I convinced myself that it would be interesting.
When fourteen year old Jared and his friends decide to form a club of "second-bests" and play anonymous tricks on each other's arch rivals, the harmless pranks escalate until they become life-threatening.
This book had more potential than it did worth. It was all right. Very quick, I read it in less than a day. But it could have been more, ya know? If only Shusterman could have went deeper and really explored his characters then it would have been fantastic. I felt the characters were nothing more than a name on a page, instead of well-developed individuals. The story was kind of disturbing and a tad unrealistic. Like these guys were in a life-threatening situation and are making jokes about piss. Anyway, I would say the writing is for middle-schoolers, but the material might just satisfy older readers too.
I don't particularly recommend it, but if you like Neal Shusterman, give it a shot. I don't think I'll seek the sequel, but if I come across it, I might read it. ...more
I remember crying over this one in 6th grade. Other than that, I remember some dogs that died, a kid that was killed with an axe, and being grossed ouI remember crying over this one in 6th grade. Other than that, I remember some dogs that died, a kid that was killed with an axe, and being grossed out over the use of the word "entrails"....more