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Everything's Not Fine

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  82 ratings  ·  34 reviews
A Kirkus Best YA Book of 2020 About Finding Inner Strength

Wisconsin Library Association Outstanding Children's Book By a Wisconsin Author for 2021

Seventeen-year-old Rose Hemmersbach aspires to break out of small town Sparta, Wisconsin and achieve her artistic dreams, just like her aunt Colleen. Rose's love of Frida Kahlo fuels her paint brush and her dreams to attend a pr
Published May 26th 2020 by Turner
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Average rating 4.29  · 
Rating details
 ·  82 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell
I'm obsessed with books about art lol ...more
Stay Fetters
Mar 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Our experiences shape who we are. We can let them crush us, or we can rise above and emerge stronger."

Addiction and overdoses are two things we hear about daily. It has overtaken the media and it’s a worldwide issue. Addiction just doesn’t affect the addict, it can destroy a family.

Books with similar stories usually sugarcoat what actually happens to family's and addicts after an overdose but this hits the nail right on the head. This is the book that everyone should read to see what really go
May 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you @theffbc for a complimentary copy. I voluntarily reviewed this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

Everything's Not Fine
By: Sarah Carlson

So many young adult books seem to gloss over the heavy stuff and downplay the ugly parts of life. Everything's Not Fine does none of that. This book takes an unflinching and unapologetic look at the effects of heroine on a family. Rose, a teen in high school, has dreams of art school in her future-until she doesn't. Rose's mother ove
Laura Gardner
Mar 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thanks to @sjcarlsonauthor and @turnerpub for this free book to share with @kidlitexchange! It comes out 5/26/20.
If you're looking for an age appropriate book about what it's like to experience family opioid addiction and eviction as a teenager, put this book on the top of your list. Author Sarah J Carlson is a school psychologist and she's written a heart wrenching book on these timely topics. The book also incorporates the trauma involved with seeing a parent struggle with addiction. Also w
Carissa Mallmann
Dec 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I cannot wait to read this book when it comes out.
Cheryl (I Heart Fictional People)
Review originally posted on my blog: I Heart Fictional People


I’m guilty of judging books by their covers. I’m not proud of it, but it’s a weakness. I can’t turn away from a beautiful cover. And this was definitely one of those beautiful covers. I was drawn in, and I couldn’t look away. Plus, the title got me. I think we can all relate to this. Do people ever tell you everything is fine? Or do you tell yourself that? But then you think, no! Everything is NOT fine! It’s honest. I l
Mark Alpheus
Mar 19, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did not have a good start with this book but guess what? I love hoe it concluded! It was beautiful. Learning at the end of the book that the author is a school psychologist, I just~ wow.

Recommended to ppl who like painting, and explorations of trauma in books.
Amanda Mack
Apr 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Such a fantastic story and wonderfully written. The author perfectly captures the Midwest, the characters are so relatable and the subject matter relevant for the times. I just want to see this made into a movie!!!
May 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Review: Everything's Not Fine
Author: Sarah J Carlson
Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
Format: Arc Physical Copy
Rating: 5 stars ✨ ✨✨✨✨

My thoughts: This was a very important story that needed to be told. I like how the author took a different take on telling a different story that features the opioid epidemic. This story focused on the family and gave us snippets of how the different members of the family were dealing with the mom’s overdose (or not dealing). Rose throws herself into her art in
May 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Disclaimer: I received this e-book from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Everything’s Not Fine

Author: Sarah Carlson

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 5/5

Publication Date: May 26, 2020

Genre: YA Contemporary

Recommended Age: 16+ (drug use, addiction, near death)

Publisher: Turner

Pages: 304

Amazon Link

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Rose Hemmersbach aspires to break out of small town Sparta, Wisconsin and achieve her artistic dreams at Belwyn School for the Arts after she graduates. Paint
J Mccarragher
May 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kidlitexchange
@kidlitexchange #partner “Thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for the
review copy of this book - all opinions are my own.”

Wow! Sarah J Carlson hits it out of the park with her novel Everything’s Not Fine, a compelling story of what it’s like living with addiction. Set in small town Wisconsin, the twist here is that the addicted person is the main character, Rose’s, mother. How do you carry on as the oldest of four children, worry constantly about Protective Services taking your siblings and yo
May 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Rose Hemmersbach has a perfectly laid out plan maintain her GPA in senior class, complete the Balwyn college application assignments and escape from her small town Sparta. But when her mother is found almost dead from drug overdose in her hall everything is going to change. Rose priority has shifted to her siblings and Dad. She doesn't even have an ounce of creativity or willingness to paint and her senior year is just passing by in a blur.

But when her Art teacher gives an assignment to pai
Rosemarie ♦ wandersbetweenpages
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Zoe L.
The opioid crisis is something that hit really close to home with me when it swept through the small town I grew up in. Not only does it have devastating effects on individuals, but it can also have devastating effects on entire communities. So when I saw that this book covers addiction in a small town setting I knew that I had to read it.

This was such a gritty and raw and honest book. It takes a deep look into how addiction affects a person and their family. And this is a book about family. The
Udisha Jain (bookstacks_literature)
The writing style of the entire story can be recognised as modern day narration. The protagonist of our story is a teenager. Now when I say teenager, what comes to our minds is messy, confused, recognising life, facing the world, possible addictions, depression, do not care about anyone but themselves, but are all teenagers like that? No. Absolutely not. Rose is not like that.

We see the continuous development and growth of the protagonist as we read further page by page. There were times when I
May 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
By Sarah J. Carlson

This novel contains both beauty and tragedy that is so truthfully spoken of what happens to 17 year old Rose when she finds her Mom overdosed & dying on the kitchen floor. This YA Novel brings the realities of who transpires to a family as the result of one persons choice to use Heroin. Seeing the pain and responsibilities Rose must now face that her Mom is in the hospital, is raw and heartbreaking. To see how it can change a once popular “pink Freshman Hi
Valerie Biel
May 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Everything’s Not Fine by Sarah Carlson made me cry—in the best way that a book can. Carlson’s writing transported me so completely into the story of 17-year-old Rose that I was heartbroken over the messed up family situation she finds herself stuck in along with all of the extra responsibilities that really shouldn’t be placed on a teenager’s shoulders. It’s no secret that this story centers around Rose’s mom’s heroin addiction and the overdose that nearly kills her. Carlson handles this timely ...more
Feb 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This gritty realistic YA novel takes a hard honest look at the cost of drug addiction in family that is might be considered the working poor. It's the start of Rose's senior year and she desires to go to a prestigious art school in California, but her mother is a heroin addict and overdoses at the book's beginning. Rose can't focus on school. She struggles with being over responsible for her younger siblings well being at times and at other times not wanting to have anything to do with them. She ...more
Aug 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a high school level book. It is about a seventeen year old girl who lives in Wisconsin. She is interested in going to art school after she graduates. She struggles to focus on her own goals because she has to deal with the fact that her mother is a heroin addict. When Rose, the main character finds her mother dying on the floor from an overdose early on in the story, she takes on the role of caring for her younger siblings, helping her father pack their belongs because they are being evi ...more
John Clark
Jul 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are plenty of YA books around the themes of addiction and family dysfunction. What sets this one apart and above many of the rest is how well the author portrays the flow of insanity that permeates the thinking of family members affected by someone else's addictive behavior. Those affected are on a razor's edge much of the time, battling anger, fear, flickering hope and feeling like the addict's disease and accompanying behavior are hiding in the dark, like a boogeyman, waiting to kick any ...more
Stacy Black
May 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sarah Carlson's second novel successfully captured the complexities of the main character, Rose, being a teen grappling with her future, and then added on the extra layers of trauma, addiction, home insecurity, and financial struggles. The novel navigated the two worlds of typical teen and traumatic home life beautifully and the result was that I wanted to finish the book all in one sitting. A great depiction of what many families are experiencing when facing addiction but written in a way that ...more
May 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I won this book through a goodreads giveaway.
First off I love reading about books that are set in the same state as me (Wi). Second this book was really enjoyable, I've never been really big on reading about addictions, but I actually really liked this one. It was from the oldest daughters point of view and how she handled every day that went by. It shows you how hard it is for kids to deal with parents with addictions. 5/5 stars
Amy V. Hefty
Dec 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Must Read!

Sarah Carlson’s novel tackles the subject of heroin use and the negative impact it has on the lives of those who love the user. Her characters are multi-faceted and well developed. Told you though the eyes of a high school seniors whose mom is addicted heroin, this book is an absolute page turner. It is obvious that the author did extensive research to make this book come to life!
May 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just wow! Rose's story trapped me from beginning to end. Set in rural Wisconsin, the author manages to capture the world of a teenager that is crumbling in front of her eyes. The raw pain and maturity of Rose opened my eyes to the difficulties that many families endure when dealing with addictions. Highly recommend it! ...more
Kimberly Gabriel
May 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A gripping story about the bonds of family and addiction, Everything’s Not Fine showcases the power of love and resiliency. With unforgettable characters and an equally memorable setting, Rose’s story will take readers on an emotional journey that is, at times, gut-wrenching but ultimately hopeful.
Jan De la Rosa
Mar 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: trabajo
I worked closely on this book with Sarah so I'm pretty happy is coming out soon and I'll know what you think 📚👏 ...more
Books, Tea, Healthy Me
Loved this book. SO much!!

Read my full review here:
Mark Grotjohn
May 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved the book! My heart ached in all the right ways, including at the end. What a blunt look into the mind of a young person dealing with adult emotions and events. 5 🌟
Jun 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book. I like the way Carlson pulls the reader in with her descriptions. Enjoyed the character development.
Ann Dickinson
Sad story of a mother's addiction, and has 4 children. Teenager takes burden of trying to fix everybody. ...more
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Sarah J. Carlson writes contemporary YA that delves into complex, real world problems. Professionally, she is a school psychologist who works primarily with a diverse, mostly low income population. Her professional focus is around supporting the success of children with behavioral and mental health needs and helping to promote resilience in children who have been exposed to trauma or toxic stress. ...more

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