Colette’s review of Everything I Never Told You > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Campbell Agreed- but yours is NOT a 3-star review, ha.


message 2: by Linda (new)

Linda I agree with you and Andrew.


message 3: by Linda (new)

Linda Smith Another who agrees with your points but thinks a 1 or 2 would better reflect them.


message 4: by Elaine (new)

Elaine No, it's a 3-star review: couldn't put the book down but object to improbable elements and simplistic relationships. Colette, I'd write my own review, but it's easier to just say I concur with yours :D


message 5: by Moumita (new)

Moumita Sarcar no mam.. these situations, these themes, do occur in real life... people experience them,.. be it the son who is neglected.. the daughter who doesnt exist.. or the overhyped one... the true projections of the society mouuld you, and more so, during the 70s... it is as true as it could get... maybe you have never expereienced something as such, so u couldnt relate. bt its real...


message 6: by Errol (new)

Errol Mortland Nice. Well said.


message 7: by Candy (new)

Candy I was brought up in this time period, as one of 5 children. Also in a small town, with more diversity than most small towns. I totally agree with this review, however, an edit would have helped it!


message 8: by Pamela (new)

Pamela It's a book about narcissists but the author doesn't realize it is. Sure the writing was nice though.


message 9: by Elisa (new)

Elisa Great review!


message 10: by Colette (new)

Colette Fehr Thanks Elisa!


message 11: by Colette (new)

Colette Fehr Thanks Elisa!


message 12: by Kerry (new)

Kerry McFadden I agree and give it a two.


message 13: by Colette (new)

Colette Fehr I probably should have done a 2 as well


message 14: by Colette (new)

Colette Fehr I probably should have done a 2 as well


message 15: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Having dated an Asian man for many years and being immersed in the cultural expectations within many Asian families, I can tell you that these relationships are indeed very real and quite on point. This is why I found this book so beautifully tragic, because it is in fact, so incredibly true to life!


message 16: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Ha! I just said the same thing in my brief review: "show, don't tell." Then I looked up others' to see if I was the only one who had that reaction. If the author would remove all the sentences that point out the obvious, and gave her readers more credit, this would be a five-star book. Maybe she can do that for a revised edition.


message 17: by Colette (new)

Colette Fehr Yes exactly! It made for such a tedious read!


message 18: by Colette (new)

Colette Fehr Yes exactly! It made for such a tedious read!


message 19: by Colette (new)

Colette Fehr Yes exactly! It made for such a tedious read!


message 20: by Ericka (new)

Ericka Seidemann You succinctly captured exactly how I felt about this book as well. It was good, interesting, but the heavy-handedness got me down.


message 21: by Feblub (new)

Feblub You are too nice. I gave this book 1 star.


message 22: by Feblub (new)

Feblub You are too nice. I gave this book 1 star.


message 23: by Ramona (new)

Ramona Schickling I felt this way exactly. Characters to over the top and single-minded. It angered me and intrigued me at the same time and yet at the very end, I found myself liking this book.


message 24: by Gina (new)

Gina Frankhart Working in psychiatry for 30 yrs and living in The Ann Arbor area with a lot go diversity, I fully agree that this is a problem is real among Asians. I grew up in the 70's so can relate to the limitations on young women. As a parent, it's natural to want your children to have a more successful career than you may have had


message 25: by Gina (new)

Gina Frankhart Working in psychiatry for 30 yrs and living in The Ann Arbor area with a lot go diversity, I fully agree that this is a problem is real among Asians. I grew up in the 70's so can relate to the limitations on young women. As a parent, it's natural to want your children to have a more successful career than you may have had


message 26: by Gina (new)

Gina Frankhart But the book left me unsatisfied. The characters needed to be more fully developed. The author repeatedly drove home the pressure on this young girl. The end was too neatly wrapped up. The ones left behind never get over this kind of loss.


message 27: by Gina (new)

Gina Frankhart But the book left me unsatisfied. The characters needed to be more fully developed. The author repeatedly drove home the pressure on this young girl. The end was too neatly wrapped up. The ones left behind never get over this kind of loss.


message 28: by Cris (new)

Cris My feelings exactly.


message 29: by Thviolette (new)

Thviolette Excellent review.


message 30: by Alex (new)

Alex Cassels Relieved to know I am not alone in thinking it totally lacked depth. The plot was watery, diluted by words that over explained each and every scenario.


message 31: by Heather (new)

Heather Thank you! Put into words how I felt about it!


message 32: by Jessica (new)

Jessica I agree. In some ways, it was so beautiful, and at the end, I felt it all tied together in a convincing and moving way. But in between, the characters felt one-dimensional. The pushiness and singular focus of the parents, in particular, was just unconvincing. I didn't buy that who they were as young people could result in who they became later, or even that such people as they later were could even exist in such singular focus. It bordered on silly. But I have to say that at some point in the book, I forgave a lot, and was won over by the overall themes. I think she is a beautiful writer and look forward to her next novel.


message 33: by Joyce (new)

Joyce Completely agree! Too much telling and one dimensional characters that I couldn't empathize with. I thought I was the only one who felt that the mere 300 pgs took forever. It's unfortunate as it could have been a very good subject matter and portrait of grief had it been written more masterfully and elegantly. Too bad.


message 34: by Laurie (new)

Laurie Lemson Thanks, all of you! I wasn't able to put into words what I felt about this book. You have.
The most depressing and redemptive book I've ever read.


message 35: by Leslie (new)

Leslie I'm only about 50 pages in and I agree 100%. So disappointing. The poor writing is really distracting and I could care less about the characters. Plus their actions make no sense! Why would the brother and sister of a dead sibling NOT immediately tell their parents everything they knew to try to find out what happened?? This is not how people normally behave. I don't know whether to continue reading.


message 36: by Christine (new)

Christine Law I completely agree with your review. Spot on


message 37: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine Toor Agree completely! I was actually frustrated reading it


message 38: by Alexandra (new)

Alexandra Longhouse I felt the exact same way. I found the book an enjoyable read, especially initially, but I was really hoping that there would be more depth and complexity to the characters, and this never happened. I had hoped it would get better, but it only got worse.


message 39: by Laura (new)

Laura Starks What a great review, and I completely agree. I thought is was beautifully written but was left feeling just kind of unfulfilled or meh as you say it, especially with the ending.


message 40: by Jen (new)

Jen Parrott THANK YOU!!!
You so perfectly said what I was thinking. I was starting to feel horrible for not loving this book until I read your review.


message 41: by Andi (new)

Andi Thank you, I've been saving this book thinking I'd love it, I'm halfway through and want it to end!


message 42: by Rachel (new)

Rachel I felt the exact same way when I read this. Thanks for so eloquently voicing what I was thinking :)


message 43: by Cathy (new)

Cathy Well put! I just finished this and couldn't quite pinpoint why the characters interactions drove me a little crazy! you perfectly explain my feelings on this book.


message 44: by Nicole (new)

Nicole I personally bought into the characters because I identified from a cultural standpoint. Ng was able to express this frustration in a way I never could. For example, there isn't a lot of open dialogue in an immigrant Asian family. It's mostly DO and fulfill expectations. But I digress, this was a mixed family but a lot of similar elements were there. The only character I didn't really buy into was the father and his obsession with making his daughter popular.


message 45: by Kelli (new)

Kelli Colette Fehr-just read the book and agree with everything you wrote. I am easily moved by real emotion, and despite finding the book to be a page-turner, the characters felt flat and unbelievable to me. The emergence of Jack's love for Nath seems like a politically correct overlay that was necessary to move the plot, not a true rendition of character. Hannah was the only character who felt at all real. In the end, as with so much mediocre modern fiction, I felt manipulated by, rather than emersed in, the story.


message 46: by Kelli (new)

Kelli Gina-the only problem is that real literature isn't supposed to fulfill the purpose of a magazine article on problems that humans need to solve. This book was didactic, formulaic, and despite the important issues it raises, disappointing.


message 47: by Eric (new)

Eric Buechel This is a fantastic review.


message 48: by Scott (new)

Scott You've really crystallized my experience of reading it, too. I often found myself wondering who the hell were her editors, for there's undeniably some great stuff in here but mixed right in there were some stunningly sophomoric observations. I myself did not find it a "page-turner" and in fact sometimes was reluctant to pick it back up the next day. However, I disagree with those dismissing it entirely. There were several really moving, eloquent moments, in my opinion. Unfortunately, more often than not these small epiphanies would be immediately followed by some asinine observation of what was already quite clear, totally undercutting the magic the author had just wrought. I agree that a revised version would be quite worthwhile. She needs an editor who'll go in there and excise every instance of her TELLING us how a character feels when she's already captured it profoundly. It pulls the reader immediately out of the moment and undermines whatever empathy was just blossomed in the same breath. I literally just finished this book half an hour ago and came here to read responses to help me sort out my very mixed feelings about the work. Instead, I'm now much more interested in looking up what Collette's other reviews are saying.


message 49: by Linda (new)

Linda If I didn’t finish every book I start, this is one I would have never finished. The parents were so focused on their own disappointments and pain, they nearly destroyed their children. Their inability to communicate was grim.


message 50: by Annscm (new)

Annscm Perrigo Yes, exactly! Although I was way more than “a little ‘meh’ when I was finished it. I wanted to throw it across the room, so angry was imat spending so much time on it. Maybe i’m Beyond literary fiction at this point, and just want a good story. This wasn’t it. And in addi5ion several reviewers have mentioned what a fast read it was. Not for me—I slogged my way through it. Thank you for your concise and accurate review, Colette.


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