Emily's Reviews > Everything I Was

Everything I Was by Corinne Demas
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Aug 03, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: 2011-reading-challenge, family-stories, ya-fiction, characters-i-wish-i-knew
Read in August, 2011

I'd give this book 3 and half stars if I could, but there were enough things I really liked about it to bump it up instead of down. Thirteen-year-old Irene lives in NYC but is about to have to leave. Her dad lost his job and they can no longer afford their penthouse apartment. She and her parents move in with her grandfather who raises plants in his nursery in upstate NY. Though it sounds like this could be a "poor little rich girl" story, it's much more about Irene figuring out what she wants and how to say so. Irene's frustrations are not about the sudden lack of luxury, they are about the uncertainly of what happens at the end of the summer and her parents making decisions for her without consulting her.

The supporting characters are my favorites, and that's the main reason for the bump up. I love the Fox family down the street and how everyone is welcome in their home. The author has written the very family I hope to raise. The grandfather is wonderful, quiet and perceptive, and one of my favorite moments is when he shows Irene the loft in the barn that he has fixed up for her, because he both remembered that she always loved the barn and knew she would want her own place to just be.

One thing I didn't like: the cover is kind of creepy and doesnt' have anything to do with the story.

I was very pleasantly surprised to find a scene where the wonderful Fox family puts on a circus as a birthday present for their mother because I had been needed a clown for my reading scavenger hunt. Hooray for unexpected clowns!

Reading Scavenger Hunt: Clown
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Sandralk I agree with the book cover! The girl does not represent the character in the story.

Fortunately, there is a "new and improved" (and less creepy) cover on the book.


Emily Sandralk wrote: "
Fortunately, there is a "new and improved" (and less creepy) cover on the book."


Thanks for letting me know about the new cover! It is better and certainly less creepy, but it still doesn't capture the story for me. I think because the land is so flat, it looks more like Iowa or Nebraska than upstate New York. But it is an improvement over the original cover.


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