Courtney's Reviews > Everything Beautiful

Everything Beautiful by Simmone Howell
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's review
Dec 27, 09

bookshelves: 2009, ya-fiction
Read in December, 2009


That should be all I need to say.

I love this cover of Everything Beautiful. The sea glass heart really ties into the story nicely. Also, I wished I'd watched the one-handed lo-fi Everything Beautiful book trailer because I spent part of this book wondering wtf a memory cross was (now I want to make one). Before you read this book you should look at that cover and watch the trailer. Also because I like them both a lot.

About the book itself: I adored it so much! I want to call it delightful or a word that is something like delightful but a little bit more hard-edged and bad-ass, like Riley Rose, the protagonist, who is delightful(ly bitchy & cynical) and also hard-edged (angry and sad) and bad-ass (no qualifiers, she's just bad ass) with a big heart. Here is an over-simplified premise of Everything Beautiful: it's about an overweight girl, Riley, who is struggling with her mom's death and gets all rebellious. Dad reunites with his faith, gets remarried, him and his new wife send Riley to Christian Camp.

Everything Beautiful takes place over the course of seven days and it's not about being found/saved, it's not about preaching religion--it's about a girl in a certain situation and things shifting just enough to offer the kind of hope you need for change. Everything Beautiful has a big cast, but I found each character compelling and likeable, even when they were at their worst. And DYLAN! Dylan an "alumni camper and recent paraplegic, who arrives with a chip on his shoulder"--is one of my most favourite male protagonists that I have read in a long time. I would give him top five placement, I think. And I love love loved the romance between him and Riley and thought it was beautifully developed. I think they are one of my favourite YA couples I've read in a long time. It was just so... BITTERLY ROMANTIC! And then tenderly romantic. Aaah I just. They'd be a Top 5 YA Couple for me. They were just great.

After I finished Everything Beautiful, along the lines of what Adele said, I did wish that there was a companion novel from Dylan's POV or something. That's how strong a sense you get of these characters wandering off the page into their own scenes.... I just really loved Dylan, dangit. Anyway, this was a great book. I like the unexpected backdrop of a Christian Camp (not something I see every day in YA) and I loved the way Howell used it... just really thoughtful, really good. Also I cried.

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Reading Progress

12/26/2009 page 19
6.25% "Think by pg 10, I'd laughed like 20 times. Cynical & funny (w/a dash of <3 breaking). I like this book already."
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Steph Su (new) - added it

Steph Su Ahhh you're doing it again, messing up the order of my TBR pile! I've heard amazing things about this book, and haven't gone wrong with a rec from you once, so I think I'll maneuver things a bit and get to this sooner! Thanks!

message 2: by Courtney (new) - added it

Courtney Hee! If you read it, I would be DYING to hear your take on Riley/Dylan. They really are my most favourite YA couple to happen in a long time, I think... I was going crazy through pages just to get to the scenes with them, they were so well done!!!!

message 3: by Steph Su (new) - added it

Steph Su Ooh, a yummy YA couple? Looking forward to this extra-specially much now!

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