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A Million Things

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4.48  ·  Rating details ·  247 ratings  ·  106 reviews
Rae is ten years old, and she’s tough. She’s had to be: life with her mother has taught her the world is not her friend. Now suddenly her mum is gone and Rae is alone, except for her dog Splinter.

Rae can do a lot of things pretty well for a kid. She can shop and cook a little and take care of Splints and keep the front yard neat enough that the neighbours won’t get curious
...more
Paperback, Australian, 288 pages
Published March 30th 2021 by Text Publishing
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  • A Million Things by Emily Spurr
    A Million Things
    by

    Release date: Aug 24, 2021
    “Poignant, uplifting and beautifully written.”
    —Catherine Jinks

    "This novel pierces like a bullet and soothes like a psalm.”
    —Amy Jo Burns
    ...more

    Format: Print book

    Giveaway ends in: a

    Availability: 10 copies available, 2198 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Jun 01 - Jun 30, 2021

    Countries available: U.S.

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    Community Reviews

    Showing 1-30
    Average rating 4.48  · 
    Rating details
     ·  247 ratings  ·  106 reviews


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    Jayme
    WARNING: This book will break your heart! 💔

    This is a HAUNTING story about 10 year old Rae, and her beloved dog, Splinter as they survive for 55 harrowing days when her mother abandons them.

    Sure, she has left before-but never for this long.
    No CHILD should have to live like this.

    Trying to stay “under the radar” she continues to go to school, walk her dog, grocery shop by tapping her Mother’s credit card at the check-out lane, and pay the bills online.

    (I did feel that she seemed a bit TOO wise
    ...more
    Kaceey
    All the stars ⭐️

    I went into this read rather blind, as I do for most of my reads.

    At first, I was shocked, wondering what I had signed up for. But intrigued enough to continue.


    Midway I was so captivated I could not put it down. Thinking about the characters any time I had to step away.

    By the end, I was in tears. Wanting to crawl into my book and hug the characters.

    This is a story of life, strength, and resilience. It centers around 10-year-old Rae and her dog Splinter with their older, lonely,
    ...more
    Susanne  Strong
    Review to be posted on blog: https://books-are-a-girls-best-friend...

    Simply the Best!! Brilliant & Completely Heart-Wrenching!

    When I picked “A Million Things” for my book buddy Kaceey and I to read, I had no idea what I was getting into, I saw that this novel had great ratings and that was all I needed to know.

    As soon as we started reading it, both of us were blindsided. Shocked beyond all recognition if you will.

    This book was NOTHING like anything we had ever read before and honestly, we both
    ...more
    PattyMacDotComma
    4★
    “At first, before I moved to the couch, I tried sleeping in your bed: wrapped in your doona, one of your T-shirts pressed to my nose. Each breath in taking a little more of you, till all your scents were gone. Till only the warm, swampy smell of dog and the nothing smell of me were left and your pillow held only the shape of my head.”


    Rae’s a ten-year-old girl, talking to, and badly missing, her absent mother. The book is written this way, with Rae telling us her story over 55 days, something l
    ...more
    Carolyn
    This is a wonderful debut novel that will not only make you laugh and cry but also fall in love with the delightful characters.

    Told from the point of view of Rae, a nearly 10 year old whose mother has left her home alone. Rae's used to looking after herself as Mum often storms out of the house and disappears for a while or is angry or distant and in no mood for dealing with a child when she's home. So, Rae is good at being quiet and self-sufficient; getting herself ready for school, fixing her
    ...more
    DeAnn
    Jun 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: 2021, netgalley-2021
    4.5 Emotional Stars (rounded up for the tears)

    This book really snuck up on me and then proceeded to rip my heart out. It has been a while since I had to stop reading because of the tears pouring down my face. You have been warned!

    Rae is a precocious ten-year-old and so loves her trusty dog Splinter. Rae is taking care of the house, getting to school, walking Splinter, everything seems just fine. Then the nosy older neighbor Lettie cries out for help one day. Soon Mae is spending more time with L
    ...more
    Corina
    Mar 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Just amazing!!!

    Don't have the words to describe my feelings yet.
    All I can say at the moment is that you need to add it to your tbr.

    Full review:


    WOW, this book left me speechless.

    I realised very early on that A MILLION THINGS would be one of my few 5 star books of 2021. From the blurb to the execution, this book was amazing. And although my heart was hurting for Rae, it was also bursting from all the LOVE I felt for this book.

    I went into the book with low expectations, just knowing that I was intr
    ...more
    ʚϊɞ Shelley's ʚϊɞ Book Nook
    20515174

    This book ticked all the boxes for me and I didn't expect it to be so great considering it was from a 9 year old's point of view but that made it all the better. This unique perspective provides this story with a fresh curiosity right from the start. Spurr introduces the reader to a lot of inner dialogue, then slowly branches out, peeling away the layers of the background. This style mirrors the book's setting, another amazing literary device, and once the stakes are introduced, an
    ...more
    Sharon Metcalf
    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
    Kristie
    Mar 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: 2021, fiction, netgalley
    Wow... So, I have to admit that for the first 1/3 of this book I almost DNF it. The writing was very choppy with many sentence fragments. It did not flow well at all and due to this I could not get drawn into the story.

    I also had a really difficult time meshing the language, thoughts, and behaviors of the narrator to a ten year old child. Regardless of how mature a ten year old is, she is not completely self-sufficient. What ten year old considers things like the cost of heating and making sure
    ...more
    Creya
    Apr 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: 2021-fuck-yeahs
    Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group for providing a digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

    ⚠️ Trigger warning: Death & Dying

    This book was so incredibly SAD! Narrated by 10-year-old Rae, she opens the book by stating her realization that her mother is gone for good. Challenged with grief, she tries to carry on as best she can: cleaning the house, going to school, and even paying her rent. She keeps her head down and tries not to be noticed by her peers, but the
    ...more
    Text Publishing
    The following book reviews have been shared by Text Publishing – publisher of A Million Things

    ‘An original and impressively assured debut. A gem of a novel.’
    Graeme Simsion

    ‘Poignant, uplifting and beautifully written.’
    Catherine Jinks

    ‘Direct, assured writing, hard-hitting emotion and a wonderful sense of optimism. A Million Things is a debut to treasure, with characters whose dignity shines through their struggles.’
    Jock Serong

    'A Million Things swept me into its thrall so immediately that I didn’
    ...more
    Marianne
    Jun 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    A Million Things is the first novel by Australian author, Emily Spurr. The audio version is narrated by Rebecca Bower. Rae’s mum has left before: “The silence you left after you grabbed the keys from the bowl on the table and slammed out the door would stand like a person beside me. The bang made me jump every time. Even though I knew it was coming. Knew from the second your eyes lost focus and tightened and you stopped seeing me and saw only this thing ruining your life. You’d shout, grab those ...more
    Em__Jay
    In need of a book that’s like a punch to the gut followed by a hand reaching into your heart, and giving it an almighty twist? Look no further than the outstanding A MILLION THINGS by Emily Spurr.

    The story unfolds through the eyes and thoughts of 10 year old Rae. She lives with her mum and their dog, Splinter. It’s not uncommon for her mum to disappear for a while but she always returns . . . until that one day when Rae realises that her mum has abandoned their small family.

    Rae is sad and scare
    ...more
    La La
    4.5 stars on the blog.

    I love a story which imparts a deep message, but manages to be an uncomplicated read because more people will read it and benefit from it. This book is both uplifting and heartbreaking. The story grabbed me from the beginning and held me tightly to the end. I cried more than once and I'm not the crying reader type. The unique POV of an Adult Fiction story unfolding through the eyes of a ten year old was skillfully wrought, and a perfect way to shine a light on how a parent'
    ...more
    Celia
    A straight forward story, at least in its time line: 55 days in the life of a 10 year old girl who is left on her own. Her mother has left before but has always come back. Where is she? The reader is left to wonder. Will she ever come back?

    It is current day and Rae and her dog, Splinter, are on their own in Southern Australia. Rae has an unusual neighbor in Lettie, a serious hoarder. Lettie calls Rae Kiddo and Rae calls Lettie Goat-o (as in old goat). They forge a friendship helping each other o
    ...more
    Toni
    Jan 27, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Emotionally driven, original and a heart provoking read. Highly recommended.
    Marianne
    Mar 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
    A Million Things is the first novel by Australian author, Emily Spurr. Rae’s mum has left before: “The silence you left after you grabbed the keys from the bowl on the table and slammed out the door would stand like a person beside me. The bang made me jump every time. Even though I knew it was coming. Knew from the second your eyes lost focus and tightened and you stopped seeing me and saw only this thing ruining your life. You’d shout, grab those keys and stalk to the door, and bang. And I wou ...more
    Angela
    A Million Things by Emily Spurr

    Synopsis /

    For as long as Rae can remember, it’s been her and Mum, and their dog, Splinter; a small, deliberately unremarkable, family. They have their walks, their cooking routines, their home. Sometimes Mum disappears for a while to clear her head but Rae is okay with this, because Mum always comes back.

    So, when Rae wakes to Splinter’s nose in her face, the back door open, and no Mum, she does as she’s always done and carries on. She takes care of the house, goes
    ...more
    allie luka
    Jan 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing
    “Knowing you is not one thing, it was never one thing. It’s a million things.”
    .
    This book broke my heart into a million little pieces. It’s the story of 55 days in the life of Rae, who’s managing to keep up with all her day-to-day activities in the sudden absence of her less than stable mother. Her dog, Splinter, is her best friend and they do everything together. There is also Lettie, the crass old lady that lives next door. However, one day Lettie experiences a fall, and her and Rae develop a v
    ...more
    Megan
    Jan 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Oh my gosh, I was not expecting to get so invested in Rae's life, but I did. I wasn't sure about the book from the beginning, since it's written a little stuttery, but this is going down as one of my favorite books. This book brought out so many emotions in me- I was nervous for Rae the whole time, I felt for Lottie and everything she was going through, and Splinter... Let's just say I cried a few times towards the end. What a journey. Highly recommend this book. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC. ...more
    Anjali (bookstersisters)
    Apr 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
    A million things is the story of 10 year old Rae who has been abandoned by her mother. Rae tries to hide it from everyone including her neighbors, teachers and the authorities and how she survives and what happens to her form the crux of the story.
    Rae is such a resourceful little girl, full of bravery. My heart wept for her and her situation. I just wanted to jump into the book and give her a hug. She was precious.
    Her evolving relationship and friendship with her cantankerous neighbor Lettie w
    ...more
    Kathy
    May 20, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: fiction
    I received a digital ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

    I don't typically like the fiction trope of a child and elderly person becoming friends - it is often handled in a manner that makes for saccharine reading. However, Emily Spurr has disabused me of that notion with two perfectly spirited but cantankerous characters, Rae and Lettie.

    Rae is a ten year old and the narrator of this novel. While she doesn't always sound/act exactly like a ten year old, she is generally "belie
    ...more
    Raelle | raellephant
    Feb 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: 5-star
    I decided to pick up this book because the synopsis seemed interesting and the main character's name is Rae, and my name is Rae. My dry sense of humor just couldn't resist.

    A Million Things ended up being so much more than I expected. The story follows a young girl named Rae and her dog, Splinter, who are both left at home alone. Rae is used to being alone. She's used to her mother working long shifts and having to take care of herself for large parts of the day. But this time it's different, an
    ...more
    Sarah Krause
    Jan 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    I read a quote recently about how when you finish a book it's so sad because you fall in love with the characters but that's all you will ever know about them once you finish, so it is heartbreaking. We'll, this is one of those books. I'm going to need Emily Spurr to create a blog or something where we get to just check in with Rae and Lettie once every few months. Not too much to ask?

    This book got me from the very beginning. Told from the viewpoint of 10 year old Rae, it is difficult to review
    ...more
    Emma Fitzgerald
    Jan 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: netgalley
    I liked how this book was written from 10 year old point of views. This book is beautifully written and I love the author style of writing you get a real feel for the characters. It is heartwarming and sad story and a your girl and her next door neighbour who has her own problems but they find each other and give comfort to one another which is lovely. This book is about being on your own , obsessions grief and love.
    I highly recommend this book to other people. I will definitely be reading more
    ...more
    lori light
    Feb 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: myfavorites, 2021
    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
    Jaclyn
    Feb 03, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    A sad and sweet story about unlikely friendships, resilience and loss. Also the only novel where someone drinks a cup of my favourite Russian Caravan tea. I found myself rooting for Rae and Lettie as they faced their grief and their pain. #amillionthings
    Monica Mac
    Mar 27, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    When I first started reading this book, I was a little thrown by it being written in the first person and using the voice of a 10 year old. However, as I continued, I found myself being drawn into Rae and Lettie's lives, despite myself.

    Rae lives with her mum and her dog, Splinter, in a house in the suburbs. There is an older lady next door who seems kinda grumpy and they avoid each other, pretty much. There is also a very annoying little boy who lives a few doors down who seems to be very needy
    ...more
    Laurie
    Feb 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
    This book really threw me right in the middle of the plot, with all the emotions, feelings of sadness, panic, heartbreak and loneliness as I fell in love with Rae, Lettie and especially Splinter.
    There are secrets that are unimaginable, yet continuance, and a developing friendship for Rae (ten) and Lettie( elderly) that made me cry at times.
    It is survival of the fittest and it sure isn't easy without someone who cares, not concerned, but cares!
    "A Million Things" is well written with details tha
    ...more
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    Originally from Tasmania, Emily lives in Melbourne, Australia, with her partner, their twins and a deaf, geriatric cat. Shortlisted for the prestigious Victorian Premier’s Unpublished Manuscript Prize, A Million Things is her first novel.

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