Kelly (and the Book Boar)'s Reviews > Everything I Never Told You

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
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it was ok
bookshelves: denied-the-arc, liburrrrrry-book, read-in-2015

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“They will dissect this last evening for years to come. What had they missed that they should have seen? What small gesture, forgotten, might have changed everything? They will pick it down to the bones, wondering how this had all gone so wrong, and they will never be sure.”

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Hrrrrrrrrm. Good news is, I don’t think it’s necessarily only me this time.

The problem for me with Everything I Never Told You was with the characters. I don’t mind unsympathetic characters and I most certainly don’t mind dark subject matter (you could say it’s kind of my forté). What I do mind is feeling nothing – nada – ZILCH for the people I’m reading about.

The book begins with a dead teenager. While the family is unaware of said death, it doesn’t take them long to get filled in. Now, if you’re thinking this is going to be some kind of awesome mystery/thriller – you’ve got the wrong book. Basically this is a family study of the history of Marilyn and James Lee, their marriage, and their children. Bonus for me – my senile brain actually remembered that plot point even though I was on hold for my library copy for umpteen weeks. Unfortunately as I stated above, I still couldn’t get on board with the story . . . .

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While the majority of the book simply didn’t work for me, I did enjoy the subtle pop culture references that served as a reminder that the book was set in the 1970s and the fact that it was the white member of the bi-racial family rather than the Asian who was dead set on overachievement. Seriously – that racial stereotype has been done to death and needs to just burn in a fiery pit in hell.

I understand many loved this book, so definitely don’t remove it from your TBR based on my review. The good news is, even if you end up finding it “meh” like I did it’s short and reads extremely fast. As for anyone who is even thinking about asking me how I couldn’t loooooove this one or who might be drafting a comment that informs me I read this wrong? Don’t . . . .

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Reading Progress

July 3, 2015 – Started Reading
July 3, 2015 – Shelved
July 7, 2015 – Finished Reading
July 10, 2015 – Shelved as: denied-the-arc
July 10, 2015 – Shelved as: liburrrrrry-book
July 10, 2015 – Shelved as: read-in-2015

Comments Showing 1-17 of 17 (17 new)

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Tanya I didn't love it either, Kelly. Most of the characters were insufferable. But I liked how meticulous Ng's writing style was. Meh...

Alissa Patrick I'm in total agreement with you on this one. ::blows raspberries::

karen you are WRONG!! how could you not looooove this?

karen sorry, missed an "o" - how could you not loooooove this?

karen (:

Kelly (and the Book Boar) Ha! You're the worst troll. You forgot to curse at me and tell me I'm stupid.

karen your review didn't mention i should curse and call you stupid!! but i can! you stupid, dratted ninny!!

uh-oh - looks like i cannot, in fact, curse on the internet.

message 8: by Terence (new)

Terence What I do mind is feeling nothing – nada – ZILCH for the people I’m reading about.

I'm the same way. If I don't feel something for the characters then the book won't go over well for me.

Bonnie G. I kept thinking that these were the least interesting narcissists ever. I gave it a 3 because it was well crafted/workshopped, but on further thought it might have been better if it had a few more rough edges.

message 10: by Snotchocheez (new) - added it

Snotchocheez great review, Kelly! Almost didn't recognize the book. I read this last year and was so disappointed by it I didn'teven write a review. Now it's been so long I couldn't even review it if I wanted to. The only thought it left me with was: all this misery is not "earned". Super-meh for me.

Elyse (retired from reviewing/semi hiatus) Walters You express yourself well. I did love this book - the writing- and how it made me think. - but I also liked your review

Carmen I hated this, too, Kelly! Yay! So glad I'm not alone!

binnudeya How did I miss this! How could youuuuuuuuu NOT loove it! I just finished Did you ever have a family and all I can think of is how much this one is just better.


Kelly (and the Book Boar) binnudeya wrote: "How did I miss this! How could youuuuuuuuu NOT loove it! I just finished Did you ever have a family and all I can think of is how much this one is just better.


Oh noes . . . or maybe oh yes. That Family one keeps moving up the TBR list from all the rave reviews. I didn't connect with this one at all : (

Tolly Amen to this review. All of my feelings.

Diana Yeah, I just remember feeling like this book was a huge bummer. Well written, though.

April I had the same reaction to this book. I could not connect with any of the characters, not even the mom and I always connect with the mother! They were all just so unlikable. I did like the not so subtle message and that it wrapped up nicely. :/

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