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Everything Grows

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  184 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Winner of the Foreword INDIES 2019 Silver Medal for YOUNG ADULT fiction.

Fifteen-year-old Eleanor Fromme just chopped off all of her hair. How else should she cope after hearing that her bully, James, has taken his own life? When Eleanor’s English teacher suggests students write a letter to a person who would never read it to get their feelings out, Eleanor chooses James.

Published May 7th 2019 by Three Rooms Press
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Average rating 3.82  · 
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Mar 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Everything grows
is a great book that deals with a lot of important issues.

After the suicide of James, one of her classmates, Eleanor finds herself writing to him as an assignment given to her by one teacher. Writing to him is definitely a way to put her thoughts on paper and also to make sense of what happened and to understand James better, since when he was alive he was her bully.
This writin
mad mags
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
A story about growing up, coming out, and finding the words to speak your truth.

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through Edelweiss. Trigger warning for suicide, child abuse, and homophobia.)

Dear James,

I fell asleep clutching your notebook. We sit in classrooms for years and years. Same faces. But we have no idea what we are all swallowing deep, deep inside us. Why were you writing to me, James? Me? And why did you choose me to bully? Do we hate the people we recognize oursel
Jody Joy
This is a story of with many different issues that Eleanor faces as a teenager. She faces puberty with no self esteem, her mother has just tried to commit suicide. And now her bully has committed suicide. El's English teacher comes up with the idea for each student to start a journal of letters to someone expressing their thoughts and feelings as a means to cope with his suicide. El chooses to write hers to her bully. I want to thank the publisher through LibraryThing for the ARC to review. ...more
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A lot of books show up at my home that go unread - to be given away or on the never-ending TBR pile. Thankfully something about "Everything Grows" urged me to read it and now. And that is exactly what this books does to your heart - it plants into your heart and tears it apart as it blossoms.

Aimee Herman gives us the tale of Eleanor. A teen in 1993 (This GenXer is still floored each time she reads a book that is nostalgic for her own high school days and LOVES it. Even if it is hard to read "hi
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review-books
Eleanor has had quite the year, a mother who survived a suicide attempt and now a classmate, her own bully in fact, that successfully left this earth far too soon. This is the story of her emotional ride into dealing with these events and discovering her true identity.

Written as if journaling to the deceased classmate, James, the truths Eleanor admits to herself, her family and her "friends" are raw. Set in 1993, it is disturbing to see how far we HAVEN'T come in acceptance over two decades late
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the book I wish I'd had when I was a teen. Having been a high-schooler at the same time the book was set, the nostalgia factor was enjoyably high. Pick up a copy, you won't regret it. ...more
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, arcs-ahoy
There's a lot to love about Everything Grows. Aggie is worthy of all the attention paid to her over the course of the book. El is pretty spiffy most of the time (not everyone could forgive and actually legitimately mourn their bully, even after finding out the reasons behind them being a bully), Helaine is wonderful, and I want nothing but the best for Flor.

Thing is, don't go into this thinking that this is a story just about Eleanor coping with the death of her bully because it's so much more
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: glbt
I am still always astounded that LGBTQ teen fiction exists. There was nothing like this when I was a kid, and had there been, I would have devoured a book like this. Eleanor is trying to make sense of a lot of things in her life, including her mother's depression, her bully's suicide and the attractions she is beginning to have to girls.
Her English teacher encourages her class to start writing letters to anyone, that will never be read or shared, and Eleanor begins writing to James, her newly d
Mar 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
Got the ARC from work. As a teenage nirvana-loving trans kid living in northern jersey... yeah, I related to this book lol. A for representation. B- for writing a realistic teenage voice... a lot of “[sentence using a word that every 15 year old would have known for years] (VocAb wORd!! XD) (idk where i learned that word lol),” and the word is always something like “enigmatic” or whatever... Most 15 year olds know those words, and if you want to dumb it down to make the narration sound younger, ...more
Dec 05, 2018 added it
Read an ARC as part of my internship—Looking forward to the release day in May
Eleanor, our protagonist, happened to be such a refreshing voice in YA lit as I found her openness to question the world, embrace it and share all of that with her loved ones, not without difficulty but with truthful will and desire to do so.
It might come from the fact that I’m the exact opposite, even if I’m double her age it’s nothing new, and I admire people who...dare, I guess?

But really having a young protagonist really engaging with her family and new friends without the « nobody can get m
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a very clever way of looking at a myriad of issues through the eyes of a teenager. We first meet Eleanor while she is dealing with her mother's latest suicide attempt. Making this even more compelling for Eleanor is the suicide of a fellow student, James, a student who had a history of bullying Eleanor. Fortunately for Eleanor she has a new English teacher who suggested that her students start a journal where each would write letters to a person where they expressed their thoughts and fe ...more
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq, e-arcs
This book was provided to me in e-ARC format by the publisher through Edelweiss for review purposes
There are some pretty intense themes in this one including: suicide, depression, homophobia, and child abuse

"I feel something in me, something that feels incomplete. Something that feels unspoken."

I think one of the most important themes in this book is coming into and defining yourself. Learning that because some one labels you something doesn't mean its your full definition. I like that througho
Jun 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Everything Grows is the story of a young adult who first goes by Eleanor but then later finds comfort in the name Eler.

I enjoyed this book despite the heavy topics of a classmate who commits suicide. James is a big part of the book since he has a journal where he wrote letters to Eler.

The voice of the MC was very appealing, I enjoyed the unfiltered view into complex family relationships, the coming out arc was also lovely since it was positive with the one exception of the MC's childhood friend
Apr 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Everything Grows by Aimee Herman is an introspective young adult novel.

Eleanor Fromme's reaction to the news that her classmate who bullied her, James, committed suicide leads to unforeseen consequences. Her best friend Dara's shocking comments serve as a catalyst to a realization that Eleanor has struggled to articulate for quite some time.  In the midst of this uncertainty, she is also still grappling with her mother Shirley's suicide attempt and Eleanor's fears that she will try again.  Her j
So glad I finally read this book. At first I was disappointed I didn’t pick it up sooner, but now I’m glad I waited. I don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much or gotten as much out of it if I’d read it last year or even last month. This is a special story about a girl who is finding herself and learning it’s okay to not fit in. Absolutely loved it!
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: amazon-vine, 2019
Please see my review on under C. Wong. Thank you!
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thought provoking. A wonderful introspection of who we are and what we can become. The whys and wherefores of or journey's and how to deal with our internal sense of who we are. ...more
Nov 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Genre: realistic fiction, YA
2 LGBTQ main characters: 1 gay, 1 lesbian/questioning
1 LGBTQ side character: transgender

Importance of identities to plot: 5/5
Romance: 4/5
Coming out: yes

Notes: Takes place in 1993-94. TW suicide. I like that she goes to a support group because her mom almost died by suicide, but didn’t. It brings a unique perspective.
Rachel-Morgan Lanouette
I don't know. It wasn't terrible but much like the main character, the book seemed top be missing something. ...more
Cindy Stein
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, lesfic-ya
While 15 year old Eleanor is still trying to deal with the fact that her mother survived a suicide attempt, she learns that a boy in her class who's been bullying her has committed suicide. In response, and without knowing why, she cuts off all her hair and is then labeled a lesbian in school, including by her best friend, who quickly backs away. In an effort to make sense of all of this, Eleanor begins to write letters to James, the boy who committed suicide as part of an English class assignme ...more
Dec 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: teen
Check out my review on my blog You Know You Wanna Read It: ...more
Nov 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I friggin loved this book !!!
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
* 4.5 Stars *
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one that I wish had been around when I was a teenager. Eleanor's story is one that many teens and adults would benefit from reading. Predictable in some places, but overall strong character development and plot. I appreciated the fact that while we're asked to sympathize with Eleanor's bully, we're NOT asked to excuse his behavior. The book still addresses how harmful his behavior was. ...more
Bev Weiler
Jun 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is an interesting and engaging look at the struggle that non-conforming LGBTQ+ youth must face as they grow into themselves. It brings a voice to the least addressed experiences in the current YA LGBTQ+ fiction cannon. Working with a number of transgender youth as a therapist, I can see how this would become a staple on the shelves of many of them and be a much sought after addition to their personal libraries.
Brandi Collins
Nov 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
First off, I love the fact that this novel is set in the early 90s (when I was a teen) because sometimes it's nice to feel that instant nostalgia for the characters. This book has a lot going on, which is very much realistic for teens from any era.
Eleanor has cut her hair and stirred up a lot of drama around her. She's dealing with the suicide of a classmate who bullied her, and now people are thinking Eleanor is a lesbian due to her haircut. Eleanor isn't really sure about her sexuality and be
Wren Hawke
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq, gender, fiction, ya
Extremely introspective, resonated deeply with me re: gender identity stuff. Gender is fluid and changing yo~! I enjoyed the letter style of writing, and the small anxiety induced crossing out of passages that the reader can still see giving a glimpse of Eler's insecurities and thoughts. Theres quite a few pages I tabbed bc I appreciated the quotes. A bit heavy when dealing with suicde, but deals with the topic in a realistic, non-dramatised way that made me feel comfortable approaching the subj ...more
Absolutely amazing! Talks of gender, sexuality, religion, mental health, the past, everything. It's everything in a nutshell and it's so beautiful. I wish I could give it 15 stars instead of just 5. It's a solid masterpiece and will be going in my collection for sure. ...more
A copy of the novel was provided by the publisher for review.

I think the first thing anyone needs to know about Everything Grows is that one of the most prevalent themes throughout the novel is suicide. I almost put it down because of this but I decided to give it a go because Everything Grows sounded interesting, and I love supporting queer books by people that aren’t published with the big five.

I am pretty glad that I ended up finishing Everything Grows after our rocky beginning. I think that
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Aimee Herman is the author of "Everything Grows", a queer YA novel that explores mental illness, bullying, coming out and gender identity through 15-year-old Eleanor Fromme's letters to her bully.

Aimee is also a poet with two full length books of poems, meant to wake up feeling (great weather for MEDIA) and to go without blinking (BlazeVOX books) in addition to being widely published in journals a

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