Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick
4 out 5 stars.
“Sometimes you just have to pick a direction and make mistakes. Then you use what you learn from your failure to pick new, better directions so you can make more mistakes and keep learning.”
Goodreads Description: Didn’t you ever just simply want to…stop? Star athlete and straight-A student Nanette O’Hare has played the role of dutiful daughter for as long as she can remember. But one day, a beloved teacher gives her his worn copy of The Bubblegum Reaper—a mysterious, out-of-print cult classic—and the rebel within Nanette awakens. As the new and outspoken Nanette attempts to insert her true self into the world with wild abandon, she befriends the reclusive author and falls in love with a young, troubled poet. Forced to make some hard choices that bring devastating consequences, Nanette learns the hard way that rebellion can sometimes come at a high price.
It’s so hard to put together my thoughts and feelings about this book. I really want to write a review on it, but then I am not completely sure what I want to say. I apologize in advance if none of what you read makes any sense or if it’s not very good.
I really liked the message that I got from reading this book. To be yourself, your authentic self. Some people live their lives trying to be what other people think they should be. When you look in the mirror, do you see yourself or do you see what everyone else wants you to be? Do you do things for yourself or do you do things because people want you to do those things? It’s actually hard to tell the difference these days, especially with different things floating around the internet and TV/movies.
“And then one day you will look for you in the mirror and you’ll no longer be able to identify yourself—you’ll only see everyone else. You’ll know that you did what they wanted you to do. You will have assimilated. And you will hate yourself for it, because it will be too late.”
It’s also okay to quit things. I know you go through life and people say “nobody likes a quitter”, etc. etc. It’s okay to quit things though, especially if it doesn’t bring you the happiness that it once did. Nanette is struggling throughout the book with so many things in her life, especially with trying to be herself but also to make her family and friends happy. If you don’t like something anymore, then that’s okay.
“Just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean you have to do it.”
I wish that The Bubblegum Reaper was a real thing, because I want to fall in love with the book like Nanette and some other characters in the book did. At times the book did mirror some of the Bubblegum Reaper though and Nanette really thought the book was written for her. I like when I connect with a book so strongly that I feel like it was for me.
I laughed so much while reading this book. I fell in love with the characters and some of the friendships that developed in the story. I also teared up quite a bit. This book made me reflect on a lot of things in my life and sometimes I did feel really connected to it. There were a few times where I wasn’t sure about the book and where it was going though. At times I loved it more than anything and then other times I was wishing it were finished. So it was back and forth, but overall I really enjoyed the book. I liked the story and the message so much. I felt like it was really important. I even had a dream about this book last night, so I think it did leave a lasting impression on me. I recommend it!
Have you read Every Exquisite Thing? If not, do you think you will?
I hope you have a great day!