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Everything All at Once

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24 dares. 3 weeks. Take the leap.

Lottie Reaves is not a risk taker. She plays it safe and avoids all the ways she might get hurt. But when her beloved aunt Helen dies of cancer, Lottie’s fears about life and death start spiraling out of control.

Aunt Helen wasn’t a typical aunt. She was the author of the bestselling Alvin Hatter series, about siblings who discover the elixir of immortality. Her writing inspired a generation of readers. She knew how magical writing could be, and that words have the power to make you see things differently.

In her will, Aunt Helen leaves one writing project just for Lottie. It’s a series of letters, each containing mysterious instructions that are supposed to get Lottie to take a leap and—for once in her life—really live. But when the letters reveal an extraordinary secret about the inspiration for the Alvin Hatter series, Lottie finds herself faced with an impossible choice—one that will force her to confront her greatest fears once and for all.

360 pages, Hardcover

First published July 25, 2017

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About the author

Katrina Leno

10 books1,031 followers
Katrina Leno has written a few books. She has also read a few books. Ah, books. You know?

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5 stars
693 (25%)
4 stars
1,046 (39%)
3 stars
714 (26%)
2 stars
180 (6%)
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36 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 584 reviews
Profile Image for emma.
1,785 reviews43k followers
March 31, 2021
i recommended this to my mom and immediately got so jealous of how much she was enjoying it that i had to reread it

stays at 4.5!

---

I am truly between a rock and a hard place here.

In September, I read this book. I loved it so much that I gave it five stars, which I straight up never do.

Now, it is January. It is well past write-this-review o'clock. But there is a Problem.

https://emmareadstoomuch.wordpress.co...

I do not remember this book at all.

I know. I KNOW! There is no way on god's great green earth that a five-star read would be so forgettable it would be utterly lost in the cold dusty halls of my brain within 100 days, or whatever. But that's where we're at right now.

Let's talk synopsis. I will be basing the following information on what's been made available on Goodreads, and not on my own memory, because GUESS WHAT, I HAVE NONE. This is the most tragic thing that has ever happened to me. Ever.

Okay, so. We follow Lottie, whose favorite aunt/person, Helen, just died. Helen was mega-rich because she wrote Harry Potter. Fine, not Harry Potter, but a sprawling children's fantasy series about magical kids that sold hundreds of millions of copies.

So Harry Potter.

Helen left Lottie a bunch o'letters containing dares in an attempt to push Lottie out of her comfort zone. Because Lottie has anxiety. (Yay, mental health rep!)

I don't know what else I can tell you without #SPOILERS, but a lil magical realism comes into play at the end. Yes you read that right!!! Magical realism, my dear boy!!!

Some of you may know since I say it all the goddamn time that magical realism is pretty much my favorite genre - when it's done right. Which, like, rare. And when it isn't done right, it's garbage, I'm furious, I hate it.

But good news! This is the coveted Good Kind. Probably mainly because the magical realism only comes in at the veryyyy end and has straight up no time to be explained, let alone an explanation. It's just kind of left there. No time to mess it up! There are plus sides to abrupt endings with absolutely no closure!!!

Let's talk about the other good things of this book.

One, FAMILYYYYY. There is such a loving great wonderful supportive fun family at the core of this book, and I goddamn LOVE IT. Because orphans and dead/abusive/mean parents and fighting siblings and twins that hate each other can get a tad, uh, old. (Subtweet to the entirety of the young adult genre.)

It is très nice and refreshing to read about parents that give a sh*t and siblings who like each other, you know? (Once again subtweeting to all young adult authors in case you missed the last one. PLEASE NOTE THIS. My poor, semi-nonexistent heart can't take much more of this trope of familial suffering.)

Also, there are adventures in this book. ADVENTURES! Usually I have to outsource my adventure to middle grade, but here we are!!! Mini road trips and cool settings and a whole lot of ocean. It is, dare I say, pretty f*cking rad. It makes me want to go to the Pacific Northwest, which I can't say I had an inclination to do before. (Sidenote, is this book set in the Pacific Northwest? I feel like it is, right? I mean I might be wrong because I REMEMBER F*CK-ALL ABOUT THIS BOOK, but like...it's completely the Pacific Northwest.)

Oh goddamn I just Googled a cool real life setting from this book that I actually vaguely recollected (astounding) and it's in Connecticut. Oh my god. This book is set in Connecticut. Catch me hysterically laughing @ myself for being one hundred percent convinced that this was set in the Pacific Northwest. WHY. Do I associate cold spray-y oceans and harbor towns with Washington State THAT HARD? To a place I have NEVER EVEN BEEN?

I am full-on losing it. If I ever even had it in the first place.

There's also good female friendship in here (rad) and it's pretty diverse (also rad). This is the sh*t of which I am a faaaaan.

The romance is mediocre at best and totally creepy at worst but it doesn't really matter because it's not overwhelming. (Cough cough, young adult authors I subtweeted earlier. You up? Take note again.) (Cough.)

But even though all this stuff is cool as hell and you should totally read this book TOMORROW, if you are for some reason unable to travel back in time and have your past self read it so you've already read it by now...I can't really give it five stars. Because I straight up forgot it.

Still, though. Read it. And take it from me: Do not wait three-plus months to review it. It will be a true lesson in futility and the pointlessness of evading responsibility.

And not in a fun way.

Bottom line: VERY GOOD. IN THE HIGHEST RANKS OF CONTEMPORARY. READ IT IMMEDIATELY AND THEN REVIEW IT RIGHT AFTER THAT AND LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES OVERALL.

---

oh, wow.

a big yes from me. a big, huge, enormous yes. this is so Good.

four stars. or five. I DON'T KNOW I'M HAPPY AND FULL AND THINGS ARE GOOD
Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,471 reviews19.1k followers
September 22, 2018
I loved this SO MUCH. So very, very much. However.... there is a romance-y part of this book (the ending, so I can’t give specific details) that I didn’t really like, so keep that in mind. It clearly didn’t affect my overall rating or enjoyment of the book as a whole, but it’s definitely a thing that I can’t pretend didn’t happen. This is still one of my absolute favorite books of the year and I’m still very much obsessed with Katrina Leno, but, yeah. Lol

(If you’re curious as to what I’m talking about, I mention it towards the end of my Day 5 ContemporaryAThon vlog! I do give a spoiler warning before going in to it in case you change your mind and want to find out for yourself)
Profile Image for Jasmine from How Useful It Is.
1,217 reviews334 followers
July 16, 2017
About: Everything All At Once is a young adult fiction written by Katrina Leno. It will be published on 7/25/17 by HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollins, 368 pages. The genres are young adult, contemporary, mental illness, and fiction.

My Experience: I started reading Everything All At Once on 7/12/17 and finished it on 7/15/17. This book is really a great read! There were many valid questions that makes me think about life and death. I love the characters and plot. I love the letters Aunt Helen left behind for Lottie and how meaningful they are. Despite the seriousness of the topic in this book, I love those rare humor that creeps out. I love how well Aunt Helen knows Lottie. The letters feels so real, as if she’s there talking and I can’t help smiling while reading them.

“It is one thing to crawl into bed after a normal day, but it is another thing to crawl into bed after an adventure – that’s the best kind of sleep, the still-excited, still-buzzing kind of sleep where dreams blur into reality and it’s almost like the sleeping and waking worlds blur and become one.” 41%

In this book, readers will follow the point of view of Lottie Reaves, a senior in high school going through the motions of losing her aunt to terminal cancer. She has anxiety attacks but she keeps it a secret, only her aunt Helen and best friend Em knows. Her family suspects of it but gave her space. Lottie is very close to her aunt because her parents are doctors and overworked and her aunt often babysit her and her brother Abe. Before her aunt passed away, she wrote 24 letters with missions/tasks for Lottie to complete. Her aunt was famous similar to JK Rowling where she published Alvin Hatter and the Overcoat Man series. Her letters would ask Lottie to take risk once in her life, let go of something she couldn’t live without, or cry hard and long. This book also posed a question of immortality and would you drink it if there is a fountain of youth available.

“for every single thing you learned about someone, there were a hundred other things you might never know.” 73%

This book is very well written. The characters are well liked and the plot is interesting. I love Lottie and her brother Abe’s relationship. I love Abe’s book collection. I like her friendship with Em. I like the diversity in this book where Lottie’s English teacher is Vietnamese, her mom is Peruvian, and her friend is a lesbian. I like Lottie-da’s easy going family. The letters from her aunt are interesting to read. I like following Lottie’s train of thoughts, yet it is sad and it makes me cry. One thing I don’t enjoy much from this book is the snippets of Alvin Hatter and the Overcoat Man series. It reminds me of Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell’s snippets of Carry On. I just personally don’t enjoy little pieces of a story because it’s a constant cliffhanger. Other than that, this book is a page turner and I highly recommend everyone to read it.

Pro: questions to think about life and death, questions about time, diversity, family dynamic, friendship, page turner, fast paced, adventures, humor,

Con: not really a con, but just be prepared to cry because there are sad parts

I rate it 5 stars!

***Disclaimer: Many thanks to the author Katrina Leno, publisher HarperTeen, and Edelweiss for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.

xoxo,
Jasmine at www.howusefulitis.wordpress.com for a detailed review
Profile Image for Heather.
370 reviews16.8k followers
August 26, 2017
I expected more from this honestly. I enjoyed the message & the fact that her aunt was a bestselling middle grade author but I wanted a little more depth.
Profile Image for Katrina Leno.
Author 10 books1,031 followers
July 19, 2017
Wish I could give this 6 stars!!!!!!!! (Have we decided whether it's tacky to rate your own books?)
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,670 reviews1,268 followers
May 9, 2017
(I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“I know Aunt Helen is the one who died, but now it kind of feels like I’m next.”


This was a YA contemporary story, with a bit of a fantasy twist towards the end.

Lottie was an okay character and I felt sorry for her when she had to try and deal with anxiety and panic attacks. It was also quite sad that her aunt had died so young.

The storyline in this was about Lottie receiving 24 letters from her aunt after her aunt’s death, and slowly opening them and doing whatever her aunt asked her to do in the letter such as reading a book, attending a party, or buying a copy of her aunts favourite record. I didn’t find these tasks all that exciting though, and they really didn’t come across as ‘dares’ like the blurb suggests. We also got a twist towards the end which was more out of a fantasy story than anything, which was a little odd, and which I didn’t really see coming.

The ending to this was okay, and the book did have some nice messages about stepping outside of your comfort zone and really doing something with your life, but overall I just wasn’t wowed by this book.



6.25 out of 10
Profile Image for Maraia.
470 reviews171 followers
November 20, 2017
This was all sorts of perfect. I love that Katrina Leno's books are 100% relatable and 0% cheesy. She never "cures" her characters. She lets them grow while still being themselves, and they're always wonderful. This is a very emotional book, and I read it at exactly the right/wrong time, which only made my feelings while reading it that much more intense. Also: A+ for all the book love!
Profile Image for Misty.
587 reviews31 followers
January 24, 2018
I really enjoyed this book.
Lottie's aunt has just passed away and now Lottie and her family are trying to deal with the loss. Aunt Helen was a famous book author. Let's pretend she was like J.K. Rowling, but instead she wrote a children's series about immortality and was the biggest selling author etc etc etc.

Lottie received letters from her aunt after she died. The letters instructed Lottie to take chances and to get out of her comfort zone. The letters also told of a secret Aunt Helen was hiding.

Through the letters, Lottie goes on her own adventures. She meets Sam, someone who her Aunt had known. Sam seems to be mysterious and he is, but the author gave so many hints on who Sam was that you as the reader knew who he was before the big reveal in the book. Reason being why I only gave this 4 STARS instead of 5.

This book deals with the death of someone you love and also with anxiety. Lottie has anxiety and tries to hide it from everyone that she cares about.

The book also focused a lot on immortality. It was questioned, if you had the opportunity to be immortal would you? It makes you think if you would or not. I mean it sounds great and all, but if you truly think about it, being immortal would be lonely. I don't know about you guys but it just reminds me of that 90s show Highlander with Adrian Paul. That guy was like one of the last immortals and each of the immortals were killing each other off by cutting off each others heads. Oh and don't get me started on vampires, the concept is nice when you're perfect and beautiful and strong but I would not want to drink blood for the rest of my life!! I need my M&Ms fix!!! NOPE NOPE no immortality for me thank you very much!!!

I thought this was a good book. If you have lost someone close to you, then you will understand the feelings that Lottie is going through. This was a sad book but it was also a happy book at the same time.
Profile Image for Kitkat.
374 reviews106 followers
October 3, 2017
I was so excited for this book and maybe that's why I'm really disappointed. I just am so angry at the ending that I don't even want to talk about it. I just can't deal with the ending. I wasted my time with this book and I don't say that about every book I read. I was so excited to read it but then it just got ridiculous. The ending is just ridiculous and I can't understand the fantasy being added. It was so good until the author revealed Sam's secret. The characters were too perfect and their was no depth to the characters. Honestly I forced myself to keep reading until the ending. I lost my patience and gave up on it.
Profile Image for Sana.
1,076 reviews954 followers
March 13, 2017
Every single thing that happens in Everything All at Once is nothing short of amazing. It was, simultaneously, too late and too early in the week for all the emotions that this book made me feel.

It was so easy, almost effortless, to relate to Lottie. So many little things and big things about life and loss and death and family and siblings and friendship to relate to. ENDLESS LOVE FOR THIS BOOK LIKE HOW IS SUCH PERFECTION EVEN REAL.

Lastly, there are so, so many words just dedicated to books and reading and aahhh. One of my favorites (because I pretty much highlighted like 3/4th of the book):

'I can’t wait to . . .' He blushed, turned away from me, and cleared his throat.
'Were you about to say
smell them?' I said.
'Obviously no,' he mumbled.
'You know it’s mildew, right? That’s what you’re smelling.'
'It’s not mildew,' he said, raising his voice slightly, then lowering it when he realized he was getting defensive about books. 'It’s the chemical breakdown of  . . . You know what? It’s none of your business.'
'You’re going to get high off ink.'
'I’m not even talking about this with you,' he hissed.
*

Review to come when I'm feeling more than just keyboard slamming my feelings.

*Quote taken from the ARC and may change upon publication.
Profile Image for Ri (colourmeread).
287 reviews52 followers
September 11, 2018
I don’t know if you’ve ever had a book call to you, but when I was thinking about what I might want to read next one day, my eyes landed on this book and I knew it was time. Everything All at Once was everything I didn’t know I wanted and needed.

It was funny. It was relatable. And it was vulnerable.

Katrina Leno was able to write Lottie’s story in a way that felt like she was also writing to the reader. It never comes off preachy or pretentious, but always like having an Aunt Helen who’s there to challenge and guide, all while being gentle, funny, and sassy.

Everything All at Once was about a high school girl who recently lost her Aunt to cancer. She is grieving and isn’t quite sure how to let go, and she is anxious about life and death, and things that come in between.

This book is about her journey and how she grows, stumbles, and gets back up to face another day. Yes, it’s about loss and mental health, and it’s also about family, friendships, adventures, and living.

Everything All at Once may never affect you the same way it touched me, but it’s a book I’d gift a friend, the same way my friend gave it to me, because I think she knew everyone needs something like it.
Profile Image for Julie Zantopoulos.
Author 3 books2,245 followers
November 19, 2018
I really do adore Katrina's writing but there was something just off about this story that got to me. Like, the big "reveal" came so late and it was so obvious to everyone but the main character. It would have been so much better to explore the story without the "secret" being held for so long. So many interesting discussions could have been had if all information was out in the open for more than the last 20 pages.

However, it was a great look at loss, grief, mental health, and healing. I adored that part of the story but I must admit that the snippets from her aunt's story before each chapter didn't really add anything for me. The letters from the aunt were sweet but again, felt a bit anti-climactic at times. I know this all sounds negative but I really did enjoy the book, I promise. It wasn't a mind-blowing work of art but it was a really good story (even if it was a bit familiar-no spoilers but it seriously rips off a well-known book/movie in a few ways). Still, a fun read for those who like contemporary with the TINIEST hint of fantasy/magical realism.
Profile Image for Puck.
625 reviews294 followers
July 22, 2019
"Books can make you live a thousand lifetimes, a thousand different lives.
Books make you immortal."


A touching contemporary, with a small magical-realism twist at the end. When Lottie's aunt Helen Reaves dies, she leaves behind an unfinished book-series, millions of heartbroken fans, and 24 letters for his niece. These letters dare Lottie, who suffers from anxiety and panic attacks, to accept death and embrace the unknown future.

The theme of "losing a loved one" was handled tenderly and with care, and I loved how Lottie's family and her friends helped her deal with her anxiety attacks.
However, the plot of this book isn't very exciting since every chapter follows the same pattern: Lottie opens a letter, does the dare, repeat. Also, there is an unexpected magical-twist at the end that I wasn't a fan off: it was uncomfortable in a "Miss Peregrine" kind of way.

But although the plot is wonky, this book's emotional message is not:"Keep going, be nice, make friends." 3 stars, and a great summer read.
Profile Image for Mehsi.
11.5k reviews359 followers
April 23, 2018
A beautiful book about family, anxiety, friendship, mourning, letting go, and sadly also a magical element.

So this book was, up tot the revelation of the magical element, 5+ stars. I just couldn't, wouldn't, didn't want, to stop reading (sadly, one has to stop at times for sleep or for boyfriends), but you get my drift. Then the magical element was added, and my rating dropped to 5 stars. At this point I am still wondering if I should have this book to be 4.5 instead, and you know what, 4.5 stars it is. As that magical element really ruined my enjoyment and the beauty of the book.

I will put this part under spoiler.

Phew, now that is out of the way, let's talk about the rest of the book. The book starts off when Lottie and her family are throwing out the ashes of her aunt (poor dad btw), and then we go back in time to when her aunt just died. When her family was hearing Aunt Helen's will, and the letters that came with it. The letters which Aunt Helen wrote for Lottie, as she knew that Lottie needed some extra love and care, knew she would be the most affected and the one most likely to collapse. Lottie has anxiety, and we see her go from light panic attacks to full blown panic attacks that feel like heart attacks. We see her cry, we see her world collapse, and we see her think of death (a lot). The letters are definitely helping her a bit more, bringing her closer to her aunt, and also easing the way for her to let her aunt go.
The letters vary from talking about Helen's life to how her life felt after the diagnosis, she reminiscences about how Lottie and Abe were back when they were younger, but they also contain dares, assignments, little or big things to do for Lottie. Like going out and meeting new people, letting things go, or picking up things or bringing things to people. It seems all very simple but for Lottie it is a big deal, and I loved how the author wrote about Lottie's reactions to the letters to when she had to do certain things for her aunt.
I have to say that for a while I thought Lottie was way younger than that she actually was. For a bit of the book I thought she was 14, maybe 15, but later on I could see she was definitely not that, it was as if something had shifted and Lottie acted more like her age or older.
I could talk for a lot longer about Lottie, but I will just end this section with that I loved Lottie and she was just fabulous, sweet, real.

Of course there are tons of other characters featured in this book. All of them are mourning the loss of Aunt Helen in their way, but we also see them try to continue with life.
Em was my favourite girl, followed by Lottie's parents, Aunt Helen (from what we could see of her in the letters she seemed like a wonderful person), Abe, and lastly Sam. I never did quite like Abe and Sam, but if I had to pick who was last, it would be Sam. He was just too perfect, too much there, right in the moment when he was needed, and again what I mentioned in the spoiler, that is what ruined his character further for me.

What more? Oh, yes, could we have a real Alvin Hatter series? Because I adored those excerpts from the books, those little parts that made me fall in love with Alvin and Margo and I wanted to see more of their story, of them, I wanted to read the whole thing, and not just parts of it.

Oh, and it took me up to the moment to realise the cover wasn't her jumping of a boat. :P

All in all, 5+ stars for most of the book, and sadly going downwards nearer to the end. *sighs* I would still recommend it, but if you don't like a magical element in a serious book, then don't read this one or drop it at the right moment.

Review first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com/
Profile Image for Maria Luna.
205 reviews25 followers
April 21, 2020

Eh, if by Everything All At Once we're referring to the lack of substance until the last twenty pages, then yes I'd say that's a pretty accurate title.

For the last few months I’ve heard a lot of hype surrounding Katrina Leno. Albeit, more toward Summer of Salt than anything else. However, I thought I’d start out with a novel on her backlist before jumping into her most recent work. If you didn’t know, Everything All At Once follows Lottie, the niece of a renowned author (aka the J.K. Rowling of our world), after the death of said aunt. Following her death, Helen leaves a plethora of letters containing dares, pieces of advice, and a couple of secrets to help Lottie grieve.

If it were for the premise alone I’d consider giving this a higher rating, because I do feel there was true potential in this story. However, my largest gripe with this story was how immature and undeveloped it ended up feeling. I feel awful writing something so crude, because obviously writing a novel takes serious time and effort. That being said, a lot of it felt two dimensional.

Beginning with the writing style; it was a lot of tell and no show. The most prevalent example of this was the anxiety rep. We’re constantly reminded that Lottie suffers from anxiety, it’s one of the reasons she’s the only one who gets handed these letters, but it was never shown. I could tell Leno sought out to write a book with great representation of anxiety, and for that I commend her, but she chose to do it in such a blatant way when I think subtlety would’ve proved more impactful. In other words, the repetitive and dry manner in which we were told of Lottie’s mental illness made it feel inauthentic.

Another example of the lack of depth in this story was in the characters and their relationships with one another. The characters never fully jumped off the page, so rather than find myself lost in the book, I started to see the author behind each word of dialogue. For instance, Lottie and her group of friends are all in high school, yet they often read as if from sixth grade. An example of this was when Lottie’s brother was given a magazine and his girlfriend wanted to see what was on it, “‘What! What! What! What!’ She said, a ‘what’ for every bounce.” Does that sound like an exchange between a high school girlfriend and boyfriend?

Additionally, the relationship within Lottie and her parents seemed unrealistic. At any given point in the novel, they didn’t appear to care where she’d been or question what she’d been up to. This especially dumfounded me considering it’s only been a matter of weeks, if not days, since the passing of her beloved aunt, and here Lottie is disappearing and reappearing at odd hours in the day and night. Not to mention there’s a point towards the end in which Lottie has a breakdown in the middle of the night, and after being caught by her mother expresses an idea that makes her seem “insane.” But rather than worry about her daughter’s safety or mental health, the mother expresses how tired she is and leaves her alone before going to bed. I don’t care how tiring your shift at work was, I doubt a good parent would leave a child in the middle of the night in the midst of mental break down after a considerable loss. At the very least, she could’ve woken up Lottie’s dad to deal with it, or make some sort of attempt to ensure Lottie wasn’t alone.

Quite frankly, I simply found myself suspending my disbelief too often. Beware, a mild spoiler ahead (pretty tame though), but one of Aunt Helen’s requests was for Lottie to teach her final class at the University she worked at before passing. I’m sorry but in what world would an administration let a teen run a college level class? People pay SERIOUS tuition money to be at university, and you’re telling me no one’s going to bat an eyelash at a highly unqualified teen teaching there? I doubt anyone would make an exception for J.K. Rowling’s niece.

Nor do I think a high school class would revolve a lesson plan around a student’s deceased famous aunt. Which is exactly what happens at Lottie’s high school. Her English teacher decides to dedicate a class to the meaning of life, which seems incredibly insensitive considering everything, and basically pushes Lottie to say Aunt Helen’s famous words, “'Keep going, be nice, make friends.’” And I’m sorry (again), but is it just me or are those really stupid words? Like how do you dedicate a whole class to that meager, oversimplified, and frankly dumb statement?

Overall, the novel had strong points but eventually lost its footing, and alongside it a sense of reality, rendering it to read underdeveloped. I realize this review is salty, and maybe that’s because I spent a lot of dragging hours on a book that didn’t feel worth it, but I truly mean no harm. This simply wasn’t the book for me. I’d say that if you were a fan of Lucy Keating’s Dreamology, then you’ll probably enjoy this too.
Profile Image for Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd).
1,126 reviews245 followers
July 13, 2017
“Books can make you live a thousand different lifetimes, a thousand different lives. Books can make you immortal.”

Everything At At Once is a beautifully moving story of grief and finding happiness when you feel like there is none left. Following letters from her recently passed aunt, Lottie Reeves grows in courage and boldness in this fun and engaging contemporary with a bonus scavenger hunt feel!

Things I Liked :
Lottie and her family are charming and create a warm atmosphere that easily invites you into the story. Aunt Helen's letters are familiar and comforting. They further this wonderful sense of family in the story.

I also LOVED the hints of magic in the story and the whimsiness it added. It really elevated the story and made the entire story a grand event, which I'm sure Aunt Helen would have appreciated.

There was really excellent pacing in the story. Often when we have a character who is reading letters from someone, were begging them to hurry up and “keep reading, you’ll get your answers,” but here, Lottie doesn’t dwell on the letters, or let them hold her back. Yes, she’ll reflect on them, but they really serve to move the story and her development forward.

Things I Didn’t Like :
I had a few clarity issues in the story. It took me forever to figure out who was the older sibling and who was the younger sibling between Abe and Lottie. A minor detail, but it was a little annoying for me personally. I also must have spaced, because it took me a while to realize they were in New England. I’m also a little confused about why Sam reached out to Lottie, was it just because of her relationship to Aunt Helen, or something else?

This was a super fun summer read, that packed a lot of emotion into a great discovery story. The characters and family shines, captivating you and drawing you into their world as they come to terms with a recent tragedy. You really connect with them and Aunt Helen as we follow these little adventures she left for Lottie. Everything All At Once is an emotional adventure that feels both familiar and magical.

I received a copy of the book from HarperTeen via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for antonia.
388 reviews96 followers
July 15, 2018
“The moment I started reading, I was no longer in my bedroom, no longer sad, no longer even myself.”

This was literally the weirdest book I have ever read. I was expecting a good contemporary about grieving with a little love-story, and that's what I got. For 300 pages. And then the last 50 started. I have no idea what the author was thinking, it makes zero sense and I'm super confused. Also the anxiety representation is horrible. At one point her love-interest tells her to breathe deeply and she's like wow thanks so much that helped!!! Like really, she's dealing with anxiety for years and never heard about breathing exercises..? Okay then.

So yea, I'm too confused about this. I can't really recommend it but then also the writing style was good? I don't know.
Profile Image for Nicy.
167 reviews24 followers
December 22, 2020
5 stars!
This book talks about death and loss of a family member and still manages to feel like a light contemporary read. It is sad and funny at the same time and thought provoking. Katrina Leno's books always have some fantastical elements and twists and this one was so! good!
Profile Image for Iryna *Book and Sword*.
430 reviews680 followers
April 30, 2018
“The moment I started reading, I was no longer in my bedroom, no longer sad, no longer even myself.”

This is a mediocre/good book that had the potential to be great/amazing, but alas, it didn't reach that potential. It's a shame really, because I loved many components of this book, but I didn't love the book as a whole all that much.

Let's start with the good stuff:
- Healthy and heartwarming siblings relationship portrayal.
​- Diversity all throughout.
- Anxiety representation.
- And the main topic of this book is grief, which is such an important topic, that maybe doesn't get explored enough.

I think main reason as to why this book fell so flat for me was the writing - don't get me wrong, it was pleasant, easy and enjoyable, but it definitely was missing a spark. This could have been a very emotional book, but it wasn't, at all. Not to me at least. The words were there, the topic was there but the execution just wasn't.

When I picked this book up to read I was under the impression that this was young adult, and I think that it's marketed as one, but besides an occasional use of word "shit" there was nothing young adult about it. The whole ending and a plot twist, if you can call it that, was very juvenile.

​I am also not a fan "book inside of a book excerpts" and this book had them after each chapter. They also contributed big time to the book feeling much more like middle grade than young adult. Normally I love to get my hands on some good middle grade, but with this book I wasn't feeling it. Maybe because I set myself up for young adult setting. I'm not sure. I guess my overall feeling of this book is "I'm not sure what went wrong, but it wasn't as good as I thought it might".

​Despite all of that there were many things that I liked, especially when anxieties were mentioned - it did feel real and relatable. I enjoyed many of the things Lottie did, but also a lot of those things felt a bit too simple, a bit too mundane. The cover of the book did say "24 dares", so once again my hopes were a bit too high.

​Also I wasn't a big fan of the whole "super famous writer aunt, with movies and merchandize made out of her books." I immediately thought about the author of Harry Potter as being inspiration for that particular character arc. Some people might enjoy that, but to me it just felt like an overkill.

​In the end, the book felt easily forgettable - it didn't give me what I was hoping it would. However that is a personal feeling and the book might work out for many other people. I'd recommend it, but as a middle grade book, definitely not a young adult.

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Profile Image for Danielle.
Author 2 books222 followers
March 5, 2019
I didn't want this book to end, which is fitting for a story with themes of life and life ending and grief and time and choices. It's about how we choose to live with the limited time we have, framed by letters Lottie's late Aunt Helen leaves for her to read and instructions to follow (and a secret she's kept).

(Lots of gems for writers and readers too as the aunt character was a novelist.)

"Books can make you live a thousand lifetimes, a thousand different lives. Books make you immortal." (p. 84)

"Life is a risk, Lottie. Sometimes you have to answer the call." (p. 85)

"You can see, then, how perseverance is really the key to any sort of success." (p.111)
Profile Image for Mackenzie (bookish_black_hole).
299 reviews44 followers
March 1, 2019
I'm really tired and sleep deprived so this review may be all over the place. I LOVED THIS SO MUCH. So much. This is such a great story about the journey of dealing with grief/loss of a loved one. I really felt like it accurately depicted how up and down you feel. I also especially appreciated that the main character, Lottie, dealt with anxiety and the author portrayed it in a very natural light - it makes me feel seen and hopefully it'll help people who experience the same thing to not feel like they're abnormal! I loved that this had a touch of romance, but was mostly about friendship and family relationships. I loved Aunt Helen's letters pushing Lottie to try things a bit out of her comfort zone - I think I need that push sometimes. I don't know!! I just had so many feelings and I'm so sad the book is over!!!!!
Profile Image for Zemira Warner.
1,569 reviews1,038 followers
June 16, 2017
I was one of the few people who actually loved Katrina Leno's first book, The Half Life of Molly Pierce and I was so happy when I saw Everything All at Once was getting a lot of positive reviews. I knew I had to read it.

And it didn't disappoint. Leno delivers a moving story about extremely caring and lovely family, their grief over loosing one of their members and mental illness. You could feel the love they share for each other. I wanted to be a part of their dynamic.

I was surprised with the magical element. It was a nice touch.
Profile Image for Mili.
346 reviews32 followers
August 31, 2019
Everything all at once was a swift and emotional read! 5 stars.

Katrina Leno so far for me reads very comfortable and has great simple yet magical and emotionally loaded story telling. I was flying through this book but it definitely kept bruising me with emotions. Lottie the MC has anxiety and she just lost her aunt to cancer. The family is very close and they are grieving in their own ways. We experience how Lottie's anxiety takes shape and the way her thinking pattern spirals and becomes irrational at some points. I think a lot of us with anxiousness would recognize this and it certainly hit home with me. I think it made me connect with the story even more. The family inherits all kinds of things, one of the things Lottie gets are letters by her aunt. Her aunt felt a deep connection with her and wanted to share a few life wisdoms she learned during her life, but there is more in the letters than Lottie expected.

The main focus is grief but also Lottie confronting her anxiety. I loved how at some point I got swept away by the story. After reading two works by Leno I definitely want to read more. These are great inbetween my heavy duty fantasy XD!

Profile Image for Molly.
456 reviews129 followers
December 17, 2016
I HAVE SO MANY EMOTIONS RIGHT NOW.

This book was so amazing and hit me so close to home. Much like Lottie, I was close to my grandmother the same way she was with her aunt. All of her emotions and grief I felt deeply while reading this and there were parts that really gut punched me at the most random times.

This book made me cry. I rarely cry over books and I choked up quite a few times and kinda lost it at the end. SO MANY EMOTIONS.

The characters were all so wonderful. I really love the way that Katrina Leno writes siblings and best friends. I also loved the parents in this book A LOT. Abe was my favorite & I wish that I had a brother like him.

The whole Alvin Hatter book series was fucking perfection. To be honest I am NOT a fan of the "book within a book" type of books (I loved Fangirl but hated the Simon parts and won't read Carry On. There have also been other books that I have skipped or dropped because of the book within a book parts) but it worked SO WELL in this book. The sections that were from the Alvin books actually made me yearn for a Harry Potter reread. But the best thing about the Alvin books is that they AREN'T Harry Potter specifically. They are Narnia, they are Percy Jackson, they are A Wrinkle in Time, they are The Golden Compass. Alvin Hatter is the stand in for your favorite childhood books paying homage to them all. And that is what I loved so much about them. (Yes Aunt Helen is totally the JKR of this world).

This book is surprising too and if you're a close reader you'll be able to figure out the magic. I was SO PLEASED with the ending and with the clues and with Aunt Helen's big secret. I was so happy with the choices Lottie made too.

There is also A TON of diversity in this book that is reflective of the world around us. I really love how naturally Katrina writes diverse characters without it feeling like she just forced them in for diversity's sake. It feels very REAL and authentic.

I feel like this book was meant for me. I am so honored that Katrina let me read it so early. This book was made up of so many things that I love (letters in a book! Amazing friendships, quite romance, hilarious conversations, musings about time and the universe, magic, Conor Oberst).

Lastly, if you are a book lover or a writer, this book will be something that you can really understand and just really connect with. So please check it out this coming July!
Profile Image for Jovana Autumn.
553 reviews174 followers
January 11, 2022
“This was her, as a building. One foot in the sand and one in the water; completely approachable while at the same time being so, so cool.”


→ I am going to start the review by saying that I am glad Katrina Leno wrote a book that is heartfelt, realistic with a core theme of family, friendship, self-care, and a pinch of magic.

The story follows a teenage main character, Lottie, and her family grieving the loss of their beloved aunt/sister. Said aunt has left our protagonist a set of letters each containing an instruction, so there is an almost episodic structure here, each letter has a different challenge and a lesson derived from it for both Lottie and the reader.

“I realized more than I ever had before that Abe was a secret, that everyone was a secret, and for every single thing you learned about someone, there were a hundred other things you might never know.”


One would think that such a book would be fun and engaging to read with a bunch of sad reflective moments that pack an emotional punch. In my case, it was more like a friendly peck on the head. That made me sad because I liked the overall idea and some sentences resonated with me like this one:

“Now your words are out in the world. It may seem like a tiny step, but tiny steps are just as important as big ones because they still lead you forward.”


My overall mild reaction might be because it was dragging at certain parts or I found the magical part strange and unnecessary or I just didn’t feel it enough and that’s fine. I can admit that in a sea of books in the golden age of publishing, this one is leaving a positive trail behind. It’s objectively a solid book and subjectively sweet and edifying; it just failed to amaze me and get in my must read pile.
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You know that feeling when you read a book and like the idea but the overall execution was painfully average and failed to make you invested on a deeper level? When you are 100% sure you will forget it in a few years and it makes you sad and underwhelmed? That's what happened to me with this book, review to come.
Profile Image for *Layali*.
515 reviews90 followers
September 19, 2017
I think this novel started out amazing! I loved the concept. Lottie's aunt, Helen, passes away earlier than most were expecting. I related to Lottie a lot with regards to losing someone you love when you aren't ready. Aunt Helen also happens to be a well known author of a children's fantasy series, which the author has included excerpts of the novels between chapters. I loved this aspect of the novel. I also loved that Aunt Helen planned ahead and wrote Lottie a bunch of letters to read after she passed with things to do and secrets to admit.

During the first half of the book, I was completely enthralled. The second half was not really my cup of tea. Lottie's friend, Sam, is introduced, and I have to say I wasn't a fan of him. He felt distant and like he had no voice as a character. Lottie's anxiety played a big role through out the book, but it didn't seem realistic with the "challenges" she faced from Aunt Helen. The extent of Lottie's inner monologue and the things she was trying to convince the reader she suffered from didn't match up with her actions. I was also not a big fan of the ending. It kind of made sense, but I felt like it really took away from the initial theme of dealing with loss, grief, and anxiety.
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