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Every Exquisite Thing

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  7,167 ratings  ·  1,343 reviews
Didn’t you ever just simply want to…stop?

Star athlete and straight-A student Nanette O’Hare has played the role of dutiful daughter for as long as she can remember. But one day, a beloved teacher gives her his worn copy of The Bubblegum Reaper—a mysterious, out-of-print cult classic—and the rebel within Nanette awakens.

As the new and outspoken Nanette attempts to insert he
Hardcover, 265 pages
Published May 31st 2016 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Anne I was hoping there would be a list of all the references when I reached the end of the book, too! I highlighted several of the poems and songs as I wa…moreI was hoping there would be a list of all the references when I reached the end of the book, too! I highlighted several of the poems and songs as I was reading, but didn't catch all of them. Here's a semi-complete list:

- poetry of Charles Bukowski: "The Genius of the Crowd," "Roll the Dice," "Bluebird"
- poetry of Philip Larkin: "Annus Mirabilis," "High Windows"
- music by Lightspeed Champion: "Midnight Surprise," "Salty Water"
- music by Los Campesinos!: "In Medias Res," "What Death Leaves Behind," Album "Hold On Now, Youngster"
- Beatles: "Paperback Writer"
- poem by Pablo Neruda: "Tonight I Can Write"
- play by Sophocles: Antigone
- music by Pat Benatar: "Love is a Battlefield," "Invincible," "All Fired Up"
- novel by Oscar Wilde: The Picture of Dorian Gray(less)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,167 ratings  ·  1,343 reviews

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Emily May
Oct 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
And then one day you will look for you in the mirror and you’ll no longer be able to identify yourself - you’ll only see everyone else. You’ll know that you did what they wanted you to do. You will have assimilated. And you will hate yourself for it, because it will be too late.

This was exactly what I needed to read right now. As a fan of Quick's other novels, this book feels both comfortingly familiar, but also different in many ways. Nanette O'Hare is the kind of misfit we would expect fro
Jun 04, 2016 rated it liked it
“Just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean you have to do it.”

This tale follows star athlete and straight-A student Nanette O’Hare. Nanette has played the role of dutiful daughter for as long as she can remember. But one day, a beloved teacher gives her his worn copy of The Bubblegum Reaper—a mysterious, out-of-print cult classic—and the rebel within Nanette awakens.

This review contains *spoilers*.

The whole premise of a book within a book captured my attention from the start.

“The Bubble
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
UPDATE: $2.99 on kindle 11-3-2016. Not sure for how long

I figured this book would make me cry and it surely did, thank you book.

I loved so many characters in the book, Nanette, Oliver, Alex, Booker (even though he had his moments), Nanette's parents, Officer Damon. The book is sad and good and just everything.

Nanette is a hotshot soccer player at her high school. One day her teacher gives her a book to read, "The Bubblegum Reaper." After reading the book, Nanette is not satisfied with the endi
This one is tough to rate. I liked the writing, but that is about it. The tone is so cynical and melodramatic it is almost painful to read. I can see this one between 2 and 3 stars, but part of me thinks that is too low, and part of me thinks it is too high.

Now, I am almost 40 and this book is about high school, so right away you might say, "Matthew, you can't relate!" But, I can, because I was there once: depressed over the smallest things, picked on, stressed out, writing dramatic poetry, str
Sep 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, starred-2016, 2, ya
You could say this is a standard Matthew Quick book. Misfits are his specialty. Yet, even though the subjects matter of the story are well-trodden (by Quick himself too) - bullying, loneliness, depression, obsession with a work of literature - Nanette's experiences affected me. Maybe because Quick touches here upon something that YA doesn't explore enough - the very real challenges of being an introvert in an extrovert-dominated world.

Because Nanette's problems are so peculiar to her closed-off
Es Summer
Jan 06, 2016 rated it liked it

Matthew Quick is the cult leader of misfits and weirdo's.
Like me.
He speaks to us on a personal level and he just knows where it hurts, where it suffers, and he uses it to abuse us with his lyrical words. To hurt more, to make us suffer more, but for some reason, he is a healer as well.
He makes us accept our true being and wants us to fight for it.

Every Exquisite Thing begins so beautiful with Quick's poignant outlook on society and individuals.
The main narrator, Nanette, is very likable, and w
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

“Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic.”

What did I think about this???? Hmmmmmmm . . . . .

Palm Springs commercial photography

Honestly I’m still not quite sure and since none of my friends have read it yet I don’t have anyone confirming I (once again) read something wrong so I’m going to leave myself planted firmly in the middle of the road.

Every Exquisite Thing is the story of Nanette, an average teen who has always done the rig
Apr 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: shelf-awareness
Confession time: I hated Nanette. She was a pretentious snob who looked down on everyone and anyone, and had no real criteria to go on. I can see from all the 4 and 5 star reviews that I'm very much in the minority with this, but I just couldn't do it. I tried to be profound and insightful like Nanette, but then I kept snorting with laughter at that and couldn't do it properly.

Here's why: Nanette's an idiot because she asks ridiculously stupid questions all the time. She's a snob because she thi
"Every Exquisite Thing" by Matthew Quick is a beautifully written coming-of-age novel. I really loved the protagonist, Nanette O'Hare. She was relatable, I wanted to be her friend! I used to feel the way Nanette felt when I was in high school - lost, confused, angry, indifferent, serious, and withdrawn. Heck, I still feel all those mixed-up emotions even now (I'm in my mid-30s)! That's what makes this novel so well...exquisite! It doesn't matter what age you are, feeling like outsider is part of ...more
Jan 19, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
I feel kind of terrible for rating this book low. But despite how short it is, I was really bored and found it particularly bland:

- The main character has almost no personality. She's also very stuck-up

- The romance is bland. Terrible. Boring. Unnecessary

- Look, I get the message the author is trying to tell us — about how sometimes you just feel like quitting and there's no shame in doing so (and a few other things that I've conveniently forgotten) — but the issues that the MC is facing doesn't
Sep 28, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: audiobook

Why this book?
I had it on my tbr list for awhile

What I thought

All i'm gonna say is the whole talking in the 3rd person thing was just annoying. Also Ruining the prom and her graduation for her boyfriend and Parents and being downright selfish totally ruined the book for me. I just hated Nanette, her personality was just horrible. I only read it all because it was a quick read.
Ann Marie (Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine)
You can read this and all of my reviews at Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine

Every Exquisite Thing started off well enough. I would say that I enjoyed about the first third of the book. Then things began to fizzle and I was unable to recover my interest. I considered DNF'ing it but  1) I've already DNF'd two books this month 2) it was a fast enough read that I didn't feel I was wasting too much time 3) I held a glimmer of hope that the ending would blow me away.

I though the premise of the book was a good one - t
Maria Espadinha
Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Social Carnival

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment”

She’s a great athlete!
She’s a fabulous student!
She’s a dutiful daughter!

When all she ever wanted was being herself!...

Everyone else looks at her as a winner, but it’s the image of a loser she sees reflected in her mirror!

Gosh!... How manny of us have been involved (still are?!) in this Social Carnival?!...

As social beings, society is constantly manipulating us into b
Maria Espadinha
Aug 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
The BB Dilemma

This story starts with a book inside a book: Nanette, the main character of this plot, is reading a book about a boy named Wrigley, who is always munching chiclets and talking about giving up. Giving up of what, is something Nanette couldn’t figure out yet, but that doesn’t prevent her from turning the next pages, to find out a bit more about Wrigley:
It happens that Wrigley is in love with a girl who has a twin. It all started the moment he saw that girl confiding all her problems
Eva • All Books Considered
May 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Review originally posted at All Books Considered: 5 STARS

I am so mad at myself for waiting so long to read something by Matthew Quick! I need to immediately read Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock and The Good Luck of Right Now, both of which have been sitting on my kindle for awhile because I loved this book, his latest, so much! I seriously think there are probably no two books that speak more to me and how I felt when when I was a teenager than Things I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally and Ever
♛ may

There’s something about Matthew Quick’s writing that just speaks to me. Wow, I sound so dramatic but honestly, it’s like he understands and knows how to explain “confusion.”


I know a lot of people would dislike this book and I can totally understand why. Nanette is a confused teenager nearing her final months of school and she is absolutely lost. But at times she comes off as stuck-up and ungrateful and hella melodramatic.

Yet, I relate to her so much.

I feel like this coming of age novel is t

I hated this book so much that it's not even getting a place on my blog because there is no way I'm carefully writing paragraphs about this stinking heap of cow pats okay

At first I though that the main character was male because it's been a while since I read the blurb and then it turned out she was female and I needed a moment. Also she forms two uncomf
chan ☆
Jun 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-contemporary, 2018
immensely strange, wholly unsatisfying, and simply unputdownable

to try to sum this book up in a simple synopsis would be reductive, so i'm not going to attempt it. but i will say that it's a book about a girl navigating through her last year of high school and trying to figure out what kind of person she wants to be.

through her interactions with the other characters in the book, nanette discovers pretty interesting things. and that's where this book resonated with me. there are so many little
I was on quite a roll this year—I hadn't read a single book I hadn't liked. Then, of course, I eventually came across the quintessential "oh so very special white girl who has everything but is still discontent" book. I liked Silver Lining Playbook. I liked Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock. I don't know what Matthew Quick was going for with this book, but he missed the mark with me.

This felt like a desperate attempt at guessing what a teenage girl might sound like if you'd chatted with one over break
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I received a copy of this book through NetGalley


Every Exquisite Thing is populated with the most dynamic characters who at one point or another, encapsulate every raw emotion you can think of.

I really loved Nanette as a main character and thought her navigation of her high school years in the wake of reading The Bubblegum Reaper (which I totally want a copy of) was brilliant. Her interactions with the other characters, particularly Alex, were weird and wonderful and I f
Disappointing to the highest degree.

Okay, not true. Silver Linings Playbook is one of my favorite movies and Love May Fail, which is allegedly becoming a movie, and SLP have been on my reading wishlist forever, but I was expecting something more.

Nanette O'Hare - which honestly sounds like the name of a rabbit - receives a worn, torn copy of The Bubblegum Reaper from her beloved teacher, Mr. Graves. She finishes it in one day and demands he tell her more. After he is unable to - hence, the open
Kyla Harris
Feb 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Plot - 18/20- The plot was great. I love how it jumped all over the place. I love the message it brought.

Characters - 18/20- Were SO FUN. I loved meeting each of the new characters in her life. Quick is stunning at writing them. They're so real. There's nothing fake about them, it just makes me happy, like I've made 10 new friends.

Creativity - 17/20- Everything about the Bubblegum Reaper! The way Quick went about the story was defiantly new and entertaining. I didn't know what to expect.

Catherine McKenzie
Nov 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was heart-breaking and funny. Reminded me of Jennifer Niven's book which covered similar themes. ...more
madandelion [hiatus 160420]
I feel like I'm giving every good book I come across 5 stars these days because I'm hardly finding any that I want to really get into. But this was exactly the book I needed right now. Gravely. So it earned the privilege of getting 5 stars.
“Well, there’s the type of person who says there are certain types of people and then tries to be one type or the other. And then there are others who say bananas to the whole concept of types and won’t allow themselves to be filed neatly away under some so
Nur ♾ The Shape-shifter
"People enter our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime."♡
"NOOR LOVED IT!";) Perfect for a summer read yet so deeply life-changing it's insane! So far honestly I think this is the best Matthew Quick book! READ IT!!!
Jul 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
interesting plot, lot of unique elements, but there was a lot of unneeded content in here
T.J. Burns
My first thought when reading about The Bubblegum Reaper was “Ok, that was weird.” I didn't get any Buddhist, or minimalist, or existentialist, or even nihilist implications from the Wrigley story and I hoped I wasn't supposed to.

Soon I learned that Wrigley’s story is supposed to be “weird,” and that "weird" is a compliment in the world of this book: Mr. Graves and Nanette are "weirdos" and Mr. Graves says "all great writers were 'weirdos,' too--that our best artists, musicians, and thinkers we
Feb 22, 2017 rated it did not like it
I probably would have liked this better if I hadn't just finished 'Make Lemonade' so I was irritated at 'Rich Girl Problems.'
In this book a pretty, popular teen girl doesn't feel like she fits in with other kids. Of course they drank gallons of booze, gave bj's with as much discretion as a handshake, and turned on each other worse than a pack of dogs. So, who would want to fit in?
Add to her pretty self, involved parents, good grades, and wealth is a natural skill at soccer. Yep, not much to
Oct 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
Read on recommendation from my neighbor!

I'm a big fan of Matthew Quick's YA novel "Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock" so I was excited to begin this book. It did not disappoint. I remember the feeling of being about ready to graduate from high school having done all that was "expected" of me and thinking about heading off to college in the fall and wondering, "What the hell am I doing???" This is what happens to Nanette after she is given a book to read by her English teacher. He calls it a cult class
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Matthew Quick is the New York Times bestselling author of THE SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, which was made into an Oscar-winning film; THE GOOD LUCK OF RIGHT NOW; LOVE MAY FAIL; THE REASON YOU’RE ALIVE; and four young adult novels: SORTA LIKE A ROCK STAR; BOY21; FORGIVE ME, LEONARD PEACOCK; and EVERY EXQUISITE THING. His work has been translated into more than thirty languages, received a PEN/Hemingway ...more

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