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Every Exquisite Thing


Every Exquisite Thing

From acclaimed author of THE SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK comes another groundbreaking novel about finding yourself through other people and realizing that, while your life might change, it will always get better.

Nanette O'Hare is an unassuming teen. She likes to stay invisible and tends to have lunch in her favorite teacher's classroom. When Mr. Graves, her teacher, gives her an out-of-print copy of a novel called THE BUBBLEGUM REAPER, every emotion she has ever felt comes bubbling to the surface. Through Mr. Graves, she meets the author of this cult classic, who only lives 20 minutes away. Nanette is inspired by him to take more chances, so when he introduces her to Alex, another teen who loves THE BUBBLEGUM REAPER, she does not have any qualms about returning his obvious affections. But when THE BUBBLEGUM REAPER and its message of rebellion start to effect Alex and Nanette's relationship and life, Nanette begins to realize that there is no such thing as fiction.

"EVERY EXQUISITE THING is a book lover's dream.... I commend Matthew Quick for writing this absolutely wonderful novel."

When Nanette first opens THE BUBBLEGUM REAPER, she finds something she has never found before: someone who feels and thinks the same way as her. There is only one problem: he's fictional. As book enthusiasts, I think we have all had one of these moments. We open a book, fall in love with it and its characters and curse the world because none of it exists outside of the book. When I first read FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell, I was taken aback --- did Rainbow Rowell read my diary? Cath, the main character of FANGIRL, is my fictional equivalent. Quiet, shy, socially anxious, and always wearing sweaters of some kind. After reading FANGIRL, I was mad. I knew Cath and I were the same, but where was I going to find someone like her to be friends with? Where was my tribe? Nanette had these same thoughts, and I found myself relating to her in the same ways I related to Cath.

Then Nanette meets Alex, who is basically the main character of THE BUBBLEGUM REAPER. Not only was I mad reading this, I was jealous. Where is my Cath/Nanette? Or better yet, where is my Levi/Alex? Then I realized that all of these people are fictional and I needed to calm down, so I did. This whole Alex-basically-being-the-main-character-of-the-book plays into something that the author of THE BUBBLEGUM REAPER says multiple times throughout the novel: there is no such thing as fiction. In the case of EVERY EXQUISITE THING, I hope this is true. I loved the story line, I want most of the characters to be my best friends, and at the end I wanted more. That's the highest compliment I can give to a book --- when I want more of a story, I know it was fantastic.

EVERY EXQUISITE THING is a book lover's dream. The main character falls in love with a novel, just like we so often do, but then she gets to meet the author and becomes his friend. Then she meets the male protagonist's real-life equivalent --- and then they fall in love. To top it all off, Nanette has an adorable sidekick and a fun, rebellious attitude. What more you could want?

This book is not all sunshine and rainbows and exquisite things, though. It is mostly a happy book, but it also shows real-life consequences of trying to be everyone's hero. EVERY EXQUISITE THING gives you happy moments and then smacks you in the face with the truth: you cannot rely on anyone to help you become who you really are. People come and go and will help and hurt and kick and stomp, but the only person you can ever rely on is yourself. Nanette learns this lesson the hard way, but it was necessary and true and I commend Matthew Quick for writing this absolutely wonderful novel.

Perfect for fans of Matthew Quick's other novels and THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER by Stephen Chbosky, for the love,  the life and the love of life.

Reviewed by Bryn D., Teen Board Member on June 2, 2016

Every Exquisite Thing
by Matthew Quick