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Underneath Everything

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Mattie shouldn’t be at the bonfire. She should be finding new maps for her collection, hanging out with Kris, and steering clear of almost everyone else, especially Jolene. After all, Mattie and Kris dropped off the social scene the summer after sophomore year for a reason.

But now Mattie is a senior, and she’s sick of missing things. So here she is.

And there’s Jolene: Beautiful. Captivating. Just like the stories she wove. Mattie would know; she used to star in them. She and Jolene were best friends. Mattie has the scar on her palm to prove it, and Jolene has everything else, including Hudson.

But when Mattie runs into Hudson and gets a glimpse of what could have been, she decides to take it all back: the boyfriend, the friends, the life she was supposed to live. Problem is, Mattie can’t figure out where Jolene ends and she begins.

Because there’s something Mattie hasn’t told anyone—she walked away from Jolene over a year ago, but she never really left.

Poignant and provocative, Marcy Beller Paul’s debut novel tells the story of an intoxicating—and toxic—relationship that blurs the boundary between reality and fantasy, love and loyalty, friendship and obsession.

304 pages, Hardcover

First published October 27, 2015

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About the author

Marcy Beller Paul

1 book76 followers
Marcy Beller Paul is a young adult author, former editor, and full-time mom who still has all the notes she passed in seventh grade (and knows how to fold them).

She graduated from Harvard University and lives in New Jersey with her husband and two children. Underneath Everything will be published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins, in Fall 2015. It is her first novel.

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5 stars
153 (24%)
4 stars
140 (22%)
3 stars
171 (27%)
2 stars
104 (16%)
1 star
50 (8%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 150 reviews
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,723 reviews1,278 followers
October 20, 2015
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“What if we’re both not real?”
“We’re not,” I said. “We’re better than real. We’re the two little girls.”

This was one of these books where I got to the end, and still couldn’t figure out what it was really about.

Mattie was a fairly normal girl, but her relationships with her friends were a little confusing. She was best friends with a girl called Kris, and basically didn’t really talk to anybody else, and all because Kris had had some sort of falling out with a girl called Jolene. In fact Jolene seemed to be a major cause of problems in this book for everyone.

The storyline in this followed Mattie as she started a relationship with a boy called Hudson, who also happened to be Jolene’s ex. She reinvented herself a bit, but felt like she constantly lived in Jolene’s shadow. Kris was grounded, Mattie moved her relationship on with Hudson, and Jolene was noticeably absent from school. There was a bit of a mystery surrounding what had gone down between the 4 of them that Kris wanted to split from Jolene and the rest of her friends so drastically, but the mystery wasn’t really enough to keep the story interesting, and the romance wasn’t really enough either.

The ending to this wasn’t very memorable, and an hour after finishing I can’t really remember it at all, other than the fact that it didn’t feel like much of an ending at all.

6 out of 10
Profile Image for Arlene.
1,156 reviews641 followers
November 30, 2015
I don’t get it… I just don’t get it… After slowly trudging through 300 plus pages of Underneath Everything, I believe I might have missed the point somewhere along the way. Probably my most disappointing read in 2015.

From what I gathered, Mattie and Kris purposely removed themselves from the social scene back in their sophomore year after something went down between their Fabulous Four group that included Mattie, Kris, Bella and the core of this madness Jolene. Now that senior year is upon them, Mattie no longer wants to miss out, so she and Kris head to the high school bonfire where the wheels are set in motion for Mattie to get back what she lost… her social status, Hudson and Jolene’s attention.

It’s no surprise the ratings for Underneath Everything fall on two sides of the spectrum. I’ve seen some readers absolutely adore this book for pushing the boundaries using beautiful words and elusive writing. I will give it that… there’s a ton of eroticism that definitely doesn’t fit the Young Adult mold. The novel also dapples with topics around teen bisexuality, dysfunctional relationships, and obsessive personalities.

However, where others seem to easily connect with Marcy Beller Paul’s bold debut novel, I really feel this story will resonate with a specific niche of readers, and unfortunately, I don’t fall in that category.

Throughout the entire novel, I never felt fully engaged with the story. I constantly felt I was missing the point, sort of like walking into the middle of a conversation where the characters never desired to clue me into their story. The mystery to the novel felt a bit light and somewhat odd.

Overall, Underneath Everything was a story about a lot of things, but nothing very significant. Its major bragging right is that it’s a YA book that boldly depicts a story about a dysfunctional, borderline obsessive, bisexual teen relationship with lots of characters that are still trying to define themselves and their friendships. Not quite for me, but apparently it is for many others.
Profile Image for Paula Stokes.
Author 17 books1,153 followers
July 19, 2015
I was lucky enough to "meet" Marcy Beller Paul in an online class when she was writing the first draft of this book. Back then, it didn't have a title. It didn't even have chapters. It was just this outpouring of gorgeous words, this story about a group of friends with complicated relationships and a girl who was only beginning to figure out who she was and what she needed.

I got to watch Underneath Everything grow and change throughout several drafts. I got to see Mattie take control of her story--to mess up, to risk things, to suffer the consequences of her decisions and evolve as a character because of those consequences.

This book manages to be gripping without being sensationalistic; Marcy's prose manages to be lyrical without being overwrought. This feels like the kind of story that could happen to anyone, and there's something very compelling about that. If you like evocative description and complex and flawed characters, you definitely don't want to miss Underneath Everything.

I can't wait to see what Marcy does next! :)
Profile Image for I.W. Gregorio.
Author 7 books374 followers
March 26, 2015
This is a lushly written, utterly sexy debut about the dark underbelly of teen friendship. It's been a long time since I've read a book that captures the intensity of high school relationships so perfectly. Add in a simmering LGBT undercurrent, and this is a must read book!
Profile Image for Natasha Sinel.
Author 4 books44 followers
April 12, 2015
OK, so wow. I loved reading this amazing, surreal book. Haven't we all had toxic friendships that we can't quite seem to get out of? Marcy Beller Paul captures how it is to be the quieter half of a close/too-close female friendship and its consequences. Her sentences are beautifully written. I was pulled right into Mattie's world, and I was sad for it to be over. Hopeful ending rounded out the perfection. Loved.
Profile Image for Christi.
552 reviews22 followers
July 16, 2015
I've read a lot of positive reviews for this book, but I just don't get. I spent the entire book waiting for something to happen. Found the narrator to be very unlikeable, the storyline dragged, and I just didn't care about any of it.
Profile Image for Shannon (It Starts At Midnight).
1,138 reviews1,009 followers
October 16, 2015
This review was originally posted on It Starts at Midnight
So, I did enjoy the writing in this book. And the character development. And I really think that I will read more from the author, because I enjoyed the style.

But the actual story? I don't quite "get it". I mean, the point has escaped me, if there is one. I will say that the book started out really strong. Mattie had been betrayed by her friend Jolene, who knew she really liked this guy (Hudson) and snuck in and started dating him. Have you been there? I have. It isn't fun. At all. Not only is the dude you're having some hardcore (clearly unrequited) feelings for unavailable, but you've lost your best friend in the process. So while hearing this backstory, I was feeling for Mattie.

She basically disappeared from the social scene until one day, she decides to finally go to a party. And who does she run into? Hudson, of course. And, he is single, what luck! Jolene remains a mystery, though. All we really know is that she is an awful "best friend", and wasn't great to Hudson, or basically anyone. Jolene is not a nice person.

But Mattie is still kind of obsessed with her. And maps, Mattie is also obsessed with maps. I have no idea why. So the story meanders through navigating the social scene Mattie has re-entered, along with finally getting to be with the boy she's wanted to be with forever. And there's talk of Jolene, and how she's influenced Mattie and Hudson's relationship, as well as Mattie and Kris's. I just kept waiting for the meandering to be over, and for us to get into some real plot.

And the whole time I was expecting something really outlandish, some kind of huge twist, or revelation, or.... something. Anything. In the end, I just kind of felt like the story lacked purpose. I kept reading, waiting to find out what the point was, and maybe there is one that I simply didn't understand.

Bottom Line: ::Shrugs:: The writing was nice, and I did have sympathy for Mattie and her situation. I just wish something more had happened, because it just felt like a nicely written glimpse into some girl's life.

*Copy provided by publisher for review.
Profile Image for Melanie.
106 reviews74 followers
October 13, 2015
Beautiful, sexy, messy, original and with a great message. Everything I love in a book. I was shocked most of times, holding my breath every time I turned the page because I had no idea what was going to happen next.

Loved every feeling this book cause me and I want you all to read it, if you enjoy books like this.

Plus, one the best intimate scene I've ever read in YA.
Profile Image for Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries).
1,216 reviews391 followers
Shelved as 'abandoned'
October 21, 2015
TL;DR Mattie is too passive and uninteresting a character, Jolene isn't compelling either, it's more fun to do a Freudian analysis on Mattie's love of maps than actually read the book, and I spent 160 pages with this book but still fail to care. I don't even care about whatever went down at the manhunt, which apparently takes too long to come out and is a bit of a disappointment, especially considering the wait. I'm exercising my right to DNF. So what if it gets better in the second half? No reader should have to suffer through a bad first half for a good second half.
Profile Image for Riki.
524 reviews33 followers
May 26, 2015
Woah. This book was so, so good in so many different ways. It is dark, brooding, sultry, and sexy. It is also beautifully written and lyrical in a way I haven’t read in a long time. Marcy Beller Paul writes incredibly flawed and complex main characters that are hard to root for, yet cry out for compassion.

This book is captivating, with gorgeous prose and a deeply unsettling female friendship. The relationship between Mattie and Jolene is toxic in the raw sense of the word, and the author expertly explores all that can possibly mean. There’s an extremely sexy homoeroticism to the novel that blew me away. Feelings between Mattie and Jolene are complicated and tense, and the way they develop on the page is breathtaking.

Written in an immediate way with a quick, first person present narration, this book would have been easy to blow through. I desperately wanted to know what happened next on every page, but the sheer beauty of the writing forced me to slow down and savor every word.

Despite being haunting and at times difficult to read, the novel ended on a hopeful note that kept me from feeling too unsettled. I highly recommend this book.
Profile Image for Sharon Roat.
Author 4 books329 followers
April 28, 2015
Whoa. Just finished reading an ARC of this beautifully-written novel. It was so different, and so incredibly tense. I felt like I was holding my breath the whole time.
Profile Image for Natasha at Book Baristas.
196 reviews179 followers
November 1, 2015
Review on blog: http://www.bookbaristas.org/2015/10/r...

Secrets. Deceit. Love. Betrayal. Loyalty.

UNDERNEATH EVERYTHING unearths all of these points and more in this story of friendship and the lines that blur when trust gets broken.

“What do you want to be, Mattie?”

Mattie had it all sophomore year – Hudson, the boy who made her feel, and the group of best friends, Kris, Bella, and Jolene, who were tighter than tight. Yet things were off. Mattie wasn’t fine with this, especially when her friendship with Jolene constantly teetered on the edge of suffocation. Then one night, she loses everything, or rather, she walks away from it all. She and Kris are a unit in the following year and a half. It’s them against the world. But she can’t seem to shake the past, can’t escape the feelings that Hudson gave her. Can’t escape the hollowness that sits where Jolene once sat.

“Being her best friend wasn’t a pinkie-swear kind of thing. It was rabid; a deep cut instead of a drop of blood; smashed glass instead of a store-bought necklace. It was thrilling, the lengths she’d go to for me.”

Mattie decides to take it all back. She lets love into her life in the form of a boy named Hudson, drinks the poison that is Jolene and once again gets caught up in a mess that she can’t ever clean off.

“Hudson had trusted me. He’d drawn me into his distant place. And I loved the dark, dense closeness of it. The shared secret.”

Growing up, Mattie has always needed someone there. She’s the girl who doesn’t know how to be alone – I think everyone is like her at some point in their lives. I know I was. Because of this, she latches onto friendships –Kris’, Hudson’s, Jolene’s—like a lifesaver to keep her from being left by herself.

Mattie surrounds herself with maps, yet she’s still lost. You’re lost right alongside her. You feel that emptiness she feels being with these people she doesn’t know how to communicate with. I felt like the skin she wore just never felt form-fitting. At that point in Mattie’s life, you kind of understand that her feeling lost becomes real in the way she outwardly portrays herself. You have this idea of maybe molding yourself to what you think others want to see when they look at you. You end up needing to be that person they see. For Mattie, this need drove her to do things she never would have done, yet making those mistakes lead her to a better place.

UNDERNEATH EVERYTHING dives into the heart of toxic friendships, knowing and understanding who you are when no one else is around, and being okay with that person. This debut was gritty, stunning, honest, and overall an A++ read. I absolutely recommend this.
Profile Image for Marci Curtis.
Author 2 books266 followers
June 9, 2015
WOW...this story is an absolute GEM. So beautifully written, so haunting, so authentic, so powerful.
Five glorious stars.
Profile Image for Gisbelle.
770 reviews218 followers
August 1, 2015
My thanks to Balzer + Bray

Point of View: Single (Mattie)
Writing: First Person | Present Tense
Setting: New Jersey
Genre: Young Adult | Realistic Fiction

To me this book practically made no sense whatsoever. It made me feel like I start reading a book in the middle of the series since everything was a huge frigging mess.

The storyline wasn't interesting enough to hold my attention. By chapter 13, I just wanted to get this book over with. There was nothing I liked about it.

The characters were beyond weird and confusing, especially the main character Mattie. Half the time I had no idea what was going on with Mattie. And I couldn't careless for her relationship with Jolene. If your friend practically tries to suffocate you to death, you stay the fuck away from her. Simple as that.

Saying this book was dragging is understatement. I got nothing from the book after reading about 30% of it. Everything was all an enormous puzzle. Not the kind that makes you want to keep on reading, but the kind that makes you want to bang your head against the wall for being so stupid to waste your time like this.
Profile Image for Lauren  (TheBookishTwins) .
454 reviews205 followers
January 7, 2016
I received a free copy via Edelweiss for review purposes.

Actual rating: 3.5

The summer after sophomore year, Mattie and Kris dropped off the social radar and no longer went to parties or hung out at bonfires, and they certainly steered clear from popular girl and ex-best-friend Jolene. Now Mattie is a senior and is tired of missing out on things so she takes everything Jolene took from her, including Hudson. But Mattie finds herself drawn to Jolene once again.

Underneath Everything is a captivating read with a beautiful prose. However, I don't think that Mattie and Jolene's relationship should be romanticized, which I've seen some people do, because it's not just toxic and obsessive, it's abusive. Their relationship is deeply disturbing, and Jolene was not a likable character, which I think was the point. Mattie is still drawn to Jolene, unfortunately, but other than the flashbacks, I don't think that the story progressed all that much.

Overall, not a book I would suggest if you're looking for a 'sexy' book about two teenage girls, because I think that Jolene is a very troubling character who was rather abusive to Mattie, but would instead recommend Underneath Everything if you're looking for a YA book about complex characters with a mystery element.
Profile Image for Patricia.
2,267 reviews42 followers
September 9, 2015
Most of the first part of the book kept referring to "what happened on that night" which grew tiresome. In addition, I never could get a handle on if the author wanted me to think the interest between the main character and her ex-friend/friend was sexual or just regular friendship infatuation. I'm fine either way, but having that point so muddy was distracting. All characters seemed flat in an over-dramatic way, I found the depiction of high school social structures and popularity entirely unrealistic and the whole thing where the girl liked maps seemed like it was just the "thing" that had been grafted onto her to give her some personality.
Profile Image for Lori Goldstein.
Author 6 books431 followers
June 16, 2016
This is dark and twisty and gave me the chills in the best way. The author's dreamlike narration is hypnotizing and sweeps you up into this tale that keeps you second guessing everything the same way the characters do. Unlike anything I've read in a long time and I can't wait for the chance to lose myself in more of Ms. Paul's stellar writing.
Profile Image for Jen Ryland.
1,477 reviews900 followers
Shelved as 'setting-aside-for-now'
July 18, 2016
This isn't grabbing me the way I hoped. Setting aside for now and will read some more reviews and decide whether or not to continue....
Profile Image for tessa.
69 reviews10 followers
March 6, 2022
toxic friendship with romantic undertones we love you
Profile Image for Michelle.
1,312 reviews51 followers
February 20, 2016
This review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!

Underneath Everything began with a boom and surely ended with one, too. I kept this book at school, only reading it during my amazing English class when we were required to every morning, but when the weekend arose, I decided I could not wait until Monday to read it again and just finished it in one more sitting. This novel was fabulous, the story was memorable, and I just cannot get enough of everything that the author included in this story to make it intriguing and surprising. Make sure you do take note of the suspense and plot twists that will shove at your face. This one is a wild ride that you cannot figure out until you're basically, like Mattie, underneath everything, essentially.

Like the summary that first caught my eye noted, this one is about an intoxicating/toxic relationship. You cannot pick or point at one of the two. There are points that surround themselves to both ideas. From the start of the novel, readers are torn between a bunch of characters who we do not really expect to make a big comeback in the story. We have Mattie, who is our torn protagonist, definitely going through a bunch of problems and overcoming her demons in the story. Jolene is the rebellious, carefree secondary character who the story really is about, in a way. Mattie cannot discuss her feelings with herself, everything is inward. Readers could not even discuss this because we did not know at all, whether this was the real thing or not.

"There was a story: she said the first line, I said the next. The ending changed, but the beginning was always the same. It was our lullabye." (10)

That quote above made so much sense when Marcy Beller Paul revealed the truth to us in the end. It seemed like she did not even know what would come out of this, and I imagine this great author planning as she wrote. And seriously? Sometimes books should be written like that to stir confusion in readers, but obviously in that good, normal way that will not cause us to rate this one star. There is a difference between quality, in this case. Everything you read in the first few chapters will jump back at you. In a way, this book was written so psychologically that I could admit that I have never dealt with anything similar. Contemporaries lately have broken my heart so many times. I love it. I am seriously addicted to these kinds of books.

Readers could easily feel connected to the characters. Marcy Beller Paul writes from the perfect perspective of a teenager; we are selfish, careless and we never know what we want. Mattie is innocent, but her character really develops towards the end. That is my perfect definition of a teenager—we come of age, we realize what we want and we mature. She switches between her obsessions, being with Hudson, taking new stands in their relationship and figuring out what her friendship with Jolene would eventually turn into.

Mattie and Hudson were not meant to be. I did not see anything with them other than lust and desire. It is interesting to see later on what their relationship really was for Mattie, what she thought of Hudson and why she made that mistake. This is not your average contemporary story, as you can tell. It certainly was quite more than that, and all of the puzzle pieces fit together afterwards to create a rich and powerful story that only this author can conquer wonderfully.

"Being high makes me superaware of where I end and everything else begins—what separates things. Drawn lines. Soft skin. It's like being inside one of my maps. Everything is contained in its rightful place. Safe." (30)

Underneath Everything contains all of the juicy stuff: secrets, toxic relationships, friendship, mystery and betrayal. Sara Shepard would certainly approve of the plot of this novel and if you are a PLL lover, this is perfect, but much more darker in that sexy way. It is definitely unique and satisfies my tingly jittery feels.
Profile Image for Brittany S..
1,486 reviews697 followers
October 12, 2015
Initial Impressions 9/10/15: Hmmmm I'll say 3.75 stars
I wasn't TOTALLY as hooked as I wanted to be with this book. There's a bit of a Thirteen vibe but once you hear that comparison/get that movie stuck in your head, it's hard not to expect even more crazy shit. It was definitely good, very interesting, and so easy to see how someone can manipulate someone else like that. I suppose it was a bit more realistic as far as toxic friendships go and less shocking but I was holding out for a bit more insanity.

Review as originally posted HERE on The Book Addict's Guide 10/12/15: As soon as I heard that UNDERNEATH EVERYTHING had a Thirteen feel, I knew I had to read it ASAP. There’s just something about toxic friendships that’s so interesting and gripping – I think maybe because we’ve all been there to some degree, even if not quite as extreme.

The rumor about the Thirteen vibe was true for me! I definitely saw pieces of the book that reminded me of the movie but I will admit that I was hoping for a bit more. UNDERNEATH EVERYTHING was absolutely a good representation of how seemingly good friendships are actually quite harmful but I guess I was just hoping to see a few more shocking things in there. It wasn’t pretty, but it didn’t have quite as many “omg moments” as I expected. It was enjoyable, though, because UNDERNEATH EVERYTHING shows maybe a bit more of a realistic and commonplace side of a toxic friendship and although I still haven’t quite experienced anything to that degree, I’m sure many of us will see pieces of our own friendships in the book which is even scarier.

UNDERNEATH EVERYTHING was a very quick read for me. I actually finished it in a day! I was quickly sucked into Mattie’s world and I wanted to know everything about her crazy friendship with Jolene. I think maybe I’ve read a few too many books because as messed up as their friendship was, I could kind of see things from Jolene’s side. I don’t think she was right in any way but once I got to know her story, I started to understand more why she turned out the way she did. It was very unpleasant and a bit scary but also very interesting.

The book had its highs and lows for me and I wished the pacing had been a bit more consistent. I actually think my interpretation of the pace came because of an expectation so while I found it to be a bit slow at times, I’m sure other people won’t have an issue with it. I was looking for more heart-pounding confessions and emulations but there was also a lot of character development too. While I always appreciate character development, I do think I wasn’t as crazy about those scenes because I was hoping for more thriller in the book than contemporary and personal reflection.

UNDERNEATH EVERYTHING was an exciting read and even though I read it in a day, it was partially my determination to finish… I hoped for a BIT more of a pull to keep flipping those pages. It didn’t quite “wow” me but I think it’s a very interesting read and I hope others will think so too! I know I definitely want to read more books like this.
Profile Image for Angie.
329 reviews158 followers
December 22, 2015
Originally posted at Lady Knight Reads

I cannot properly word about how good this book is. It's the kind of book that burrows under your skin and sticks with you for weeks. I know this because I finished it nearly three weeks ago and I'm still thinking about it daily.

I was immediately pulled into Mattie's story by the absolutely GORGEOUS writing. The author has some serious talent with the the kind of lyrical, haunting sentences and paragraphs that I love in my books. The writing is utterly flawless and I cannot gush about it enough. Of course gorgeous writing alone is not enough to make me love a book. I'm 100% a character reader so naturally what sealed Underneath Everything's place on my list of favorite contemporaries forever was the characters.

The characters in this book are messy. Their relationships are messy. Their immature and toxic and terrible to themselves and each other and I loved them all. They felt real and complex and easily pulled me into their lives. I felt so hard for Mattie. Her feelings of insignificance, her need to be loved, her confusion over her feelings for Hudson and Jolene. I loved the way she just decided to say fuck it and go after what she wanted despite the problems it caused. Admittedly I didn't at all care about Hudson and thought he was the ultimate pretentious tool, but I was all for Mattie going after what she wanted

The dynamic between Mattie and Jolene really hit home for me. While I never had a friendship quite like theirs, I did spend over a decade of my life in a toxic, codependent friendship that dominated every aspect of my life. So I get why Mattie can't stay away from Jolene. I can relate to that kind of allure and that's really what this book is about - messy relationships and lives and figuring out who you are outside of the people you think define you.

This is one of those contemporaries that can feel largely plotless because there isn't some huge life changing thing that Mattie is trying to work through, she's just living her life and figuring out how she fits into the world and it worked perfectly for me.

I also have to say A+ to the ending. I know a lot of people won't love it, but I am a huge fan of contemporary books that don't wrap everything up with a nice red ribbon because that's how life is.
Profile Image for Wren.
615 reviews
November 7, 2015
This book was supposed to be about a toxic friendship, and I sure got that. I was continually stunned by what Jolene did. She went too far. She always went too far. I don't care if she said she wouldn't hurt Mattie. It's wrong. I don't care if Mattie got a rush from it. Suffocating someone is not a good way to show love. What Jolene did was dangerous, risky. I'm a normally cautious person, so what she did really freaked me out.
Admittedly, reading the things Jolene did gave me a little bit of a rush. Not that I'd ever do those things to any of my friends. I consider my friends my family. But I felt like I was experiencing those things. The author made me feel Mattie's fear and panic. But don't think I want to be suffocated or tied up. I'll stick to my books and whatnots. Thanks but no thanks.

I actually felt like Jolene had some sort of mental disorder. I'm not trying to categorize her; I'm trying to understand her. I'm not sure which mental disorder, though.
Jolene always pushed things too far. She coated Mattie in stories and drowned her in fantasy. I feel like it's actually Jolene that is drowning in fantasy. She acted as if she was superior, but it was all an act. For this, I started to hate Jolene. I truly, vehemently hated her. She was putting people in danger. All for the thrills. All for Mattie. That's not right.

Mattie felt so boring. I know that's probably really vague. I wanted Mattie to change. I wanted her to become someone else or at least experience a final conclusion. She really ended up at the same place as in the start of the book. She didn't learn much. She didn't realize things. I was disappointed in her. You didn't learn anything from your experiences? Seriously?

Now, I want to take a moment to talk about Hudson. He's truly a nice guy. Truly. I don't think he'd hurt a fly. But he was pushed around and hurt. I would love to make him a match. I think he doesn't deserve any of the things that both Mattie and Jolene put through. He deserves happiness.
Does this mean I approve of the romance? Nope. Do I still want happiness for Hudson? Yes. Does that mean his happiness will come from being with Mattie? Nope.
Profile Image for anne ✧.*.
155 reviews10 followers
July 12, 2021
i’ll give this a solid 3.7 stars because that ending was- something and i really enjoyed reading this but the flashbacks ((maybe this is just because i have a fever and my brain is literally rotting rn)) made no sense to me lmao
Profile Image for Stormy.
464 reviews123 followers
June 17, 2015
I can't say I exactly enjoyed this one, but it was a book I just couldn't get enough of. Teen friendships can be so messy and complicated, both the great ones and the toxic ones, and it's rare to get a book that REALLY digs in as deep as Underneath Everything does. Something about this book reminded me of a Courtney Summers novel. The subject matter is completely different, and the prose isn't quite as sharp(meaning harsh, not the quality), but in the way the book really gets into the relationship the main character and her friends have. Full review to come.
Profile Image for Christina (A Reader of Fictions).
4,230 reviews1,651 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
February 24, 2016
Chapters read: 2

The voice hasn't grabbed me, nor do I feel hooked. The reviews all say this isn't really a plot book, so without voiciness to hook me, I fear I'll be bored, and I'm not sold on this being a Christina book.
Profile Image for Julie.
1,567 reviews
June 4, 2015
This was a different book where friendships are broken and slowly brought back. There is romance but a toxic friendship has it's ups and downs and an undercurrent of romance with someone's. This book took a while to reveal what happened and why a friendship ended. Different.
Profile Image for Lee Kelly.
Author 4 books317 followers
November 11, 2015
Beautiful dreamlike writing, a one-of-a-kind narrator, and a portrait of friendship that is honest and real. It's simply a must read.
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