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When You Were Everything

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  58 ratings  ·  35 reviews
You can't rewrite the past, but you can always choose to start again.

It’s been twenty-seven days since Cleo and Layla’s friendship imploded.

Nearly a month since Cleo realized they’ll never be besties again.

Now, Cleo wants to erase every memory, good or bad, that tethers her to her ex–best friend. But pretending Layla doesn’t exist isn’t as easy as Cleo hoped, especially
Hardcover, 400 pages
Expected publication: March 10th 2020 by Delacorte Press
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Average rating 4.40  · 
Rating details
 ·  58 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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Apr 19, 2018 marked it as to-read
Yup! Give it to me!
Eric Smith
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
This book destroyed me and I thanked it for doing so.
Justin A Reynolds
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book has everything I want and gave me a few things I didn’t understand I needed. Wise and melancholic, gorgeously nostalgic, Woodfolk’s stories pummel your heart and make you stronger for it.
Rec-It Rachel
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
told in dual timelines of then and now, ashley woodfolk's newest masterpiece is about what happens when both sides of a friendship implode and how you can't put the pieces back together but you can make two new puzzles
Melanie (bookswritinghappiness)
03-23-18 | I haven’t even read The Beauty That Remains yet and I’m already super hype for another Ashley Woodfolk book : )
04-29-18 | I just finished The Beauty That Remains and wow I can't wait to read more of Ashley Woodfolk's writing!! Also, I just realized how much this synopsis reminds me of I'll Give You the Sun, and I freaking love that book, so I have high hopes for When You Were Everything. Is it 2019 yet??
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
***Thanks to NetGalley for providing me a complimentary copy of WHEN YOU WERE EVERYTHING by Ashley Woodfolk in exchange for my honest review.***


Cleo and Layla are best friends. Until they aren’t. Cleo, jealous when Layla’s world expanding with new friends and opportunities, sees her friend’s growth as rejection. She strikes out and Layla’s friends strike back. Cleo escalates with a cruel comment about Layla’s stuttering and things go from bad to worse.

Friendships are complicated.
Feb 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, arc, book-bingo-2020
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: lgbtq, read-in-2020
I'm sorry, but that was so weak.

I loved Beauty that remains - emotions, characters having distinct voices, story line... But where The Beauty that remains was emotional and easy to feel, When You Were Everything is dull and distant. Yeah, I get it, it's about friendship - losing one, finding other. But why no one is talking about how Cleo deserved that? Girl. People grow apart, people change. You couldn't handle that, did something terrible, and even though you did apologize - Layla doesn't
Samantha (WLABB)
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Painfully honest and so relatable. My heart broke over and over again for Cleo, and I loved the way Woodfolk explored the "friend breakup".

Full review to follow

*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.

Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh my lord Jesus this book was absolutely brilliant! The main character goes through trials of losing friends and gaining more. She goes through her family being separated but, it was written so beautiful! Ashley Woodfolk knew what she was doing when she wrote this book and it was absolutely amazing. It’s honestly leaving me speechless!
Dec 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Full offense but how dare Ashley Woodfolk make me cry on my morning commute today!! If I had to read this and cry over having my friendship breakups reflected back at me then so do you. Thank you to the author for this extremely relatable story and for the unexpected ARC after our chat at a YA book event last month, I can't wait to read the published version ...more
Sidney Ropp
Sep 25, 2018 marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2019-releases
This gives me complete I'll Give You the Sun vibes, and I've determined I need this book immediately.
Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
When You Were Everything

( Arc received from Net Galley)

"Somehow I'm the girl who makes all the wrong choices, but I am also a girl who aches in every way to be wanted despite my mistakes "

I requested this arc on a whim and it turned out to be something that came to me in the perfect time in my life. If you have been through a friendship breakup, toxic friendship, or even questioning whether you should cut someone out of your life, definitely check this book out.

The story follows our main
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Amazing book about losing a best friend and moving on. I really related to the main character. She handled losing a friend the way I imagine most teens would.

This book is told in dual timelines of then and now, and I think it works perfectly for the book. The “then” is when the MC Cleo and her ex-best friend Layla were still close but starting to drift. The “now” is Cleo moving on and trying to start a new life with Layla. I love the dual timelines and I love that you don’t find out everything
Emily Murray
Jan 06, 2020 marked it as to-read
Shelves: netgalley-arc
Thanks to Random House Children's & NetGalley for the e-ARC!
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
Cleo's supportive grandmother has died, her parents' marriage has dissolved, and her relationship with her best friend has exploded. Diverse characters were very relatable, and their interactions were realistic. Jealousy and feelings of being left out lead to the deterioration of Cleo's friendship with Layla. Eventually, things are said (and posted on social media) that cannot be forgiven. Cleo is feeling an overall sense of loss and betrayal and has to develop a new support system outside of ...more
Lori Harris
Review on my blog, Lori's Bookshelf Reads

Disclaimer: I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. This does not affect my opinion.

Actual Rating: 3.5 stars!

TW: bullying, divorce, toxic friendship, death of a family member, underage drinking, slut-shaming, teen pregnancy, absentee parents, pedophile relationship, cheating, girl-girl hate, gossip
Rep: F/F side romance, QPOC side character, black main character, some black side cast

"Somehow I am a girl who makes all the wrong
Brenna Clark
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you so much to Netgalley for the ARC of this emotional yet uplifting tale of a girl attempting to piece her world back together after a best friend break-up. This isn't a topic that I see explored very often, and if it is, it isn't ever in this kind of unrelenting detail. I think people are inclined to be incredibly understanding about romantic relationships falling apart, but the loss of a platonic love can be just as devastating. We meet a plethora of people as we grow, and some are ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sarah Kovach
Jan 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-books
Loss of friendship. Bullying. Family turmoil. Growing up. These are all events that occur in When You Were Everything. Many of us can relate to one or many of these events, and that is the reason that When You Were Everything is a book that needs to be read by everyone!

Told through the perspective of a high school student, Cleo, who recently lost her best friend, When You Were Everything takes you on an emotional rollercoaster that has you gripping on for dear life. Throughout the book, you feel
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
I don't think I was mentally prepared for what this book put me through. I went through a friendship breakup so similar to Cleo and Layla's in the past and this hit so close to home.

When You Were Everything gives a look into the complications and the trials that friendships go through when you grow apart with someone. I am deeply impressed with how Ashley Woodfolk made it abundantly clear that both of the parties involved were both deeply flawed and ultimately both of their behaviors lead to
Danielle Tebo
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever had a friendship fall apart in front of your face?

When You Were Everything perfectly captures the pain of losing a friendship. This novel by Ashley Woodfolk encompasses every messy detail of picking up the pieces and rebuilding trust after feeling left behind by the person you care most about.

This book had me in tears, remembering past friendships and rethinking where things went wrong. The characters had me questioning my own decisions while cringing at the choices they were
Feb 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Just about everyone has gone through an awful friend breakup, but no one ever talks about it. Reading this book felt so validating and it was so fresh to read about these feelings that are so rarely spoken about. The writing and story was so realistic and emotional and was way too relatable. Also it was so nice to see that the main character could admit that she did wrong too. I was ready to have to read an annoying, can-do-no-wrong MC, so I was relieved that this book went deeper than that. ...more
Feb 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
Thanks so much to NetGalley for this ARC.
I had to finish this book and ended up reading the whole thing in a day--I just had to know how it all turned out. This back-and-forth-in-time train wreck of a friendship breakup was that compelling. I found this story of love, loss, hurting each other and then moving on to be a great story for teens and middle-aged ladies. Recommended.
Lindsay Montague
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was a beautifully crafted story of a friendship coming to an end. That's what happens as you get older and move through high school.Getting to see how the friendship became fractured alternating to the aftermath was really well done.

The other positive to having alternating time lines was seeing the blossoming of other, new relationships. The journey that these characters go through was wild, especially with the protagonist Cleo. She has her moments when she is very unlikable, you just want
Kim Small
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poc-rep
Ashley is just so damn good at writing a melancholy book with straight up gorgeous, lyrical prose.
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult, fiction
My heart. Oh, my heart. This book may be titled When You Were Everything, but to me this book IS everything.
Tanya Pickles
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Cleo... smh
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-reads
This is an incredibly well-written book that tears at the heartstrings and gets the pain of a friend break-up just right. Woodfolk really captures just how devastating a friend break-up can be, and I love that this is one of two new books (alongside Spalding's WE USED TO BE FRIENDS) that take seriously this experience, which is almost as common as romantic break-ups but not nearly as frequently portrayed. I think this book will be so helpful to young people (and frankly, adults) who will see ...more
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Having experienced the unique heartbreak that can come when you lose your best friend in a dramatic and climactic fashion, I requested this book through Netgalley thinking I might be able to relate to Cleo. I’m so glad I did. The author poignantly captures just how devastating a friendship breakup can be, and how hard it is so move on even though it is for the best. This story took let me time travel 17 years in my own past and left me in (good) tears.
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Ashley Woodfolk graduated from Rutgers University with a BA in English and her life-long love of books led her straight to the publishing industry. She's a member of the CBC Diversity Committee and markets books for children and teens. In her abundance of "spare" time, she writes contemporary YA. Indie movies, beer, books, and burgers are a few of her favorite things. She lives in Brooklyn with ...more