C.G. Drews's Reviews > Everything All at Once

Everything All at Once by Katrina Leno
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really liked it
bookshelves: contemporary, magical-fantasy, young-adult, read-2017

Oh this book was a special little pocket of goodness. It perfectly combines contemporary with a smidge of magical realism that just pleases my heart greatly because MAGIC. I love magic!! And this one kind of sneaks up on you, because it's first and foremostly about dealing with grief, anxiety disorders, epic families, slightly mysterious boys, and a whole lot of ice cream. As books should be. Honestly if a book doesn't have ice cream, what's the point of its face. I ASK YOU.


It has such a good representation of anxiety. Like just spot-on and accurate. And NO magical-cure messages. Lottie is following directions from her dead aunt's letters but it's none of the "go throw a wild party and suddenly become an extrovert" nonsense. It's good stuff. I like.
The family is SO GOOD AND WHOLESOME. Nice parents in a YA book??? Hold me I'm GOBSMACKED. Lottie's were just the bessst. And I particularly adored how lovely her brother Abe was (he was like a massive bookworm) and their relationship was just afdjksafldas. I adore books with fantastic siblings.
• Also SO. MUCH. BOOKWORM. APPRECIATION. The author knoooows us. SHE KNOWS. This is full of people who treasure books, who are obsessed with books, who reread and collect and find their homes and hearts in books. Lottie's dead aunt was a super famous children's author and so everyone is obsessed with her books and it's just so sweet. And also goals??? Can I pls have Aunt Helen's career???
Oh and they sniff books. It just needs to be mentioned how awesome that is.
Excellent female friendships! #LIKE
The romance was honestly very very smol. Which I think is great because the book was really focusing on Lottie and her anxiety and dealing with losing her aunt...and her relationship with Sam was soooo not instalove. It was like this warm goldenly delightful friendship ALL BATHED IN MYSTERIES because Sam doesn't quite ever give anyone the full picture. And I loved him so much?!? (I actually have a weakness for Sam's in books. See: Shiver.) He was so sweet and I liked how lovely their romance was.
• Diversity!! Lottie is half Peruvian and her best friend is a lesbian, and then there are anxiety disorder rep and cancer rep.
• It talked about some HUGE topics. Like death. Lots of death talk. And about the meaning of life. And I just really liked having something so BIG and EXISTENTIAL CRISIS-ISH to think about. Nice.

I only had a few quibbles, really. And that was mostly that the magical part didn't come in till the end and then the book just up and ENDED. I think the ending was too abrupt. I do like open endings, but this left me going "ok but we didn't conclude anything at all". Which leaves me a little peeved. (I also think that, since I'm a fantasy addict, the fact that it was 98% contemporary and 2% fantasy just wasn't a me thing. So not particularly the book's fault.) Also I do think (view spoiler)

OH AND I TOTALLY GUESSED THE PLOT TWIST!! About 50% in!! I had it ALL figured out!! Boom. So either it was a touch predictable or I am super super smart. Let's assume the latter.

ALL IN ALL: this was definitely a special and lovely story. It's not fast paced and it was a bit "whaaaaa" mind bending with all the existential theories going on about the meaning of life (which is cake, duh, I'm sad they didn't come to that conclusion). The friendship and family and romance levels are A+ perfection and SO CUTE. And just omggggg the sheer amount of bookworm appreciation?!? I LOVE IT.

** QUOTES ***
taken from the eARC so pls don't re-quote until you've read a finished copy!!

"I'm fine," I said quickly, because we are taught as children that automatic response: I'm fine, when we are not. I'm fine, when we are anything but. I'm fine, when we can't stop thinking about death, about dying, about ceasing to be.

"You know she has the first editions of every single Roald Dahl book, right? I can't wait to..." He blushed, turned away from me, and cleared his throat.
"Were you about to say smell them?" I said.
"Obviously, no," he mumbled.

Buy yourself some books, Lottie. They help with everything.

Aunt Helen always said if you really wanted to get to know someone, take them to a bookstore. You can tell a lot about a person based on how they behave around books. Sam beelined right for historical fiction and picked up a book about pirates.


Writing isn't for everyone. It takes a lot of time and a lot of effort. It takes a little bit of talent, but mostly it takes practise and determination.

"Do you ever sleep?"
"Once a week I try and take a little nap."
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Reading Progress

April 12, 2016 – Shelved
April 12, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
April 6, 2017 – Started Reading
April 8, 2017 –
66.0% "There's so much BOOK APPRECIATION. They reread books, sniff books, collect books, geek out over books. Excuse me while I be in love."
April 9, 2017 –
80.0% "So I have a GRAND SUSPICION what the reveal will be. If I'm right, you may refer to me as Sherlock Holmes and bring to me all the mysteries of life."
April 10, 2017 – Shelved as: contemporary
April 10, 2017 – Shelved as: magical-fantasy
April 10, 2017 – Shelved as: young-adult
April 10, 2017 – Shelved as: read-2017
April 10, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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message 1: by Tandie (new) - added it

Tandie This book is calling my name! Great review Cait :-D

C.G. Drews @Tandie: I hope you enjoy it! :D :D

Samantha (WLABB) I really enjoyed this book, but I agree, it just sort of ended. I saw the plot twist, but still loved it nonetheless, but I hate open endings. I think when she was up on the cliff with Sam and asked him to do that thing and that you know what happened, but it's not abundantly clear (though I am sure what I wrote is not clear either)

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