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Just Wreck It All

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  86 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Crippled with guilt after causing a horrific accident two years earlier, sixteen-year-old Bett’s life is a series of pluses and minuses. But when the pluses become too much to outweigh the minuses, Bett is forced to confront her self-harming behavior in this stirring and powerful novel about self-forgiveness.

Bett’s life is a series of pluses and minuses: good moments she b
Hardcover, 353 pages
Published October 23rd 2018 by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books (first published 2018)
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Average rating 3.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  86 ratings  ·  28 reviews

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Lizz Zitron
Aug 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm unclear how anyone can write a review about a book they did not read. This book is not for everyone. This author writes really tough books that don't have simple answers and challenge readers. If you don't want your thinking challenged, then this book is not for you.
I am a librarian and I teach young adult literature and this is an amazing book. It is NOT fat-shaming. This is a story about a young woman who lives in her body fully and experiences life through her physical self. When she expe
Gina Beirne
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, read2018, ya
I don't normally write a full review, but I feel the need to do so to contradict all the negative reviews. This book is NOT about fat-shaming. It's about a girl's growth and return to her true self after an accident occurs involving her best friend that she feels responsible for. The language of the book is beautiful, and I love the imagery of the caddis houses as a metaphor for Bett's emergence from her PTSD.
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This one started super-slow for me. I was a fair bit into the story before I rested easily in the flow of the dialogue. I was restive through the first few scenes with Eddie. The headspace of Bett was uncomfortably real, and felt very authentic. She was so believable and broken that my heart ached. The arc of her growing understanding was a muted shine under every paragraph, getting brighter throughout the book. The part where two grackles landed at her feet as she was talking to Hugh Munin... I ...more
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I always kick myself when I am slow to review my recent reads. But it is a testament to Griffin's wonderful novel that her characters are as fresh in my mind now as they were a couple of months ago.

Griffin suspensefully weaves past and present to reveal the demons facing both Bett and [purposely vague to avoid spoilers] some others. Bett is inherently strong, in so many ways, that her struggle between self-restoration and self-destruction is an all-out war. I wanted so much to reach into the pa
Ann Cardinal
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Griffin's writing is just beautiful, quiet and cerebral. And she tells the stories of teens, like Bett, whose lives don't fit into neat trope boxes. Bett is wounded and complicated and trying to make her way through the world, coping how ever she can. I related to her, felt for her, rooted for her. It deals openly with female friendships, self-respect challenges, and trauma. I loved every page of it.
This book is not fat-shaming. This book talks about some very serious, very real topics, and does it very well. The plot kept me interested, the characters were just crazy enough for me to take them seriously, and the problems they were facing are problems that we, as teenagers, should have more books about. Five stars!
Jun 06, 2018 rated it did not like it
Bitch, fat-shaming is unacceptable in 2018.
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I tend to be suspicious of quirky characters. The ones that are defined by their wacky outfits, or the unicycle they ride, or any of a host of supposedly idiosyncratic qualities. At first I thought Just Wreck It All might be too heavy on the quirks for me to enjoy. Reading more closely, however, I realized that I was looking superficially at Bett's mom insulating their tiny house with books, and Ranger throwing in the word "cakes" every other word. (Ranger seems young for a seventh grader, but a ...more
Xan West
Jun 06, 2018 marked it as do-not-read
Shelves: nope
The blurb makes it pretty obvious that this book is full of fat hatred. Nope not gonna read it.
Nov 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
In full disclosure, the author of this book is an old friend of mine, and I am so proud of her because this book is so good! And I am not just saying that. Yes, I love that I can hear her voice in some of Bett’s words, but Bett herself is a truly unique character and she felt so real to me. The plot is really compelling and well-paced, with surprises and then more surprises. (To counter some of the early reviews, this book is NOT about fat-shaming, for heaven’s sake. Someone even tells Bett that ...more
Jun 30, 2018 rated it did not like it
I almost never write reviews but I'll make an exception for this slimy pile of shit. between the 400+ pages worth of fat shaming and the horrible writing style I damn near developed an eating disorder while trying to get through this book. The only thing that stopped me from shoving a gun in my mouth around 2/3rds of the way through was the two brownies I tried to inhale moments before.

I firmly believe that all literature has a right to exist, but some things, like this book, are best recorded
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Dec 20, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: not-recommended
Just Wreck it All by N. Griffin, 336 pages. Atheneum (Simon), 2018. $19.

Language: PG-13 ( 80 swears, 0 “f”); Mature Content: G; Violence: G



Two years ago Bett was athletic, fearless, and prone to daredevil behavior (fizzicle feats, she called them). But when a dare gone wrong leaves her best friend severely and permanently injured, everything changes. Now, Bett is extremely overweight, depressed, and forbids herself from enjoying anything in
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
The idea that this is a fat shaming book is beyond me. There is a difference between fat shaming and being concerned with the downward spiral of someone's mental and physical well-being after a traumatic event.

Maybe I am more understanding of this because I have battled a similar situation. Due to a very traumatic childhood I was very obese throughout my teens and most of my twenties. It wasn't until my late twenties and early 30s that I was able to begin to see the damage I was causing to my he
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
About a quarter of the way through, I realized this was one of the “gotta” books, as in I gotta see what happens next and the heck with the laundry, the deadline and the hungry cats (okay, not that last).

I found Griffin’s book humorous, sad, light-hearted, relatable, timely and well-written. “…both of them laughed so hard and so long that no sound came out and the last part of the bus ride was over before they knew it because the laugh was as wide as a week.”

I cared about these characters and t
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I expected this YA book to be predictable and maybe even too depressing, but it’s neither of those things. There are a lot of subplots with twists and turns that cannot be given away in the description. There were several times that I was laughing out loud over dialogue between Bett and the boys on the bus.

Also, this book does NOT fat shame as others have suggested (I suspect from just reading the premise). Weight loss is not salvation in this book. Boys tell Bett she is beautiful (at her bigge
Mrs. Europaea
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book was a bit much for me. To balance out the crude language, Griffin needed something saccharine to kind of round it out and while Bett is overwhelming round, that's all her character really was. I'm not into body shaming but Griffin made Bett one dimensional, she had no depth.

Stays/Twinklers. Mutt. Eddie. Fire. Accident. I just couldn't relate to anything. I know I'm not the target audience for this but even by the end when Bett learns about her father and Eddie reveals what really happ
Harold Johnson
There was a lot that I didn’t understand about Bett. She came off as schizoid but I’m not sure why she chose to hang out with a bunch of characters who have little to do with her struggles with binge-eating. Until I realized that these teens exist to reveal something out of Bett’s life. This novel follows a third-person perspective that is a little more distanced from the protagonist. I like the bird’s eye view of Bett’s life as she goes from outgoing to isolating herself. Just be ready because ...more
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-chalenge-q1
I think the book was very good. I love how N. Griffin flashback between two years ago and now. Then she makes both sides come together and explains what actually happened. I love how she explains how her pluses are her way of never forging her self and that at the same time it makes feel sad for Bett having to do that. Never let your self enjoy anything in life anymore, I wondered why she was always so protective of Ranger but, as the book goes on it slowly became more and more clear. l
May 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
When I say I struggled to get into this book, I mean I struggled. Literally nothing but boring flashbacks and predictable plot for the first half of the story. 1 star for that.

The second half picks up. Still predictable, but at least there's a bit more action. 3 stars for the 2nd half.

Average of 2 stars for the whole book.
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
She did an amazing job at writing real characters in this book. The emotions and anxieties were easy to feel and it made the story that much more authentic.
Jessica Nelson
Jun 30, 2019 rated it did not like it
Beautiful cover, not a great story.
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
This one I DNFed early on I just really didn't like the story and the writing style. It just wasn't for me at all.
Jan 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-copyright
Reads more like a middle school book, despite Bett being a junior. I think the inclusion of Bett's eating disorder could have been done better, but I liked the overall resolution.
Dulcey Heller
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
May 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
really a 2.5
Dec 27, 2019 rated it did not like it
I didn't find it very interesting. The first characters we get introduced--I found annoying, and the lack of conflict at the beginning irked me. Not badly written, just not to my tastes.
Oct 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Was sometimes confusing, but ending was kind of unexpected. Liked the characters. One thing I didn't understand was why only five students rode the bus. If they were going to an alternative school, I could understand, but they went to the regular local school. Seems like there would be a lot more students on the bus.
Michael Murphy
May 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
rated it liked it
Jun 18, 2019
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N. Griffin is the author of The Whole Stupid Way We Are (Atheneum), coming out on Feb 5, 2013, as well as an as-yet-untitled middle-grade mystery to be released in the fall of 2013 (Candlewick). She received her MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and lives outside of Boston with her beau and their dogs.

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