Every Exquisite Thing is a really different YA novel…
Book Review: Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick
Title & Author: Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick
Genre: Young Adult – Contemporary
Release Date: May 31, 2016
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
How I Got the Book: ARC via the publisher
As she befriends the reclusive author, falls in love with a young troubled poet, and attempts to insert her true self into the world with wild abandon, Nanette learns the hard way that rebellion sometimes comes at a high price.”
Every Exquisite Thing was not what I was expecting. It’s darker and more serious that I thought it would be. Which isn’t a bad thing, but expectations can affect my perception of a book, though.
It’s a book about a book, which I thought was amazing and very book-ception-y. Nanette is a teen who reads a book that literally changes her life. The book is called The Bubblegum Reaper, and Nannette meets the author, Nigel Booker, who sort of opens her eyes to a different way of thinking.
I really liked how Every Exquisite Thing explored ideas – how you can “quit things,” i.e. stop doing things that are expected of you if you don’t really want to do them. It’s sort of like the teen version of sticking it to the man.
What Nannette and her new friend Alex discover with this philosophy has it’s own consequences, which play out through the rest of the book.
While I wanted to deeply like this book, I felt like I was seeing a train wreck happen. I couldn’t look away, but I could see how painful it was from afar.
Then the book took a really dark turn. Characters start to do very negative things that have HUGE consequences for their life. Many of them made me super uncomfortable, so it was hard to enjoy the middle to end part of the story.
These bits add up to make a point…sort of…but, for me, it wasn’t enough to create closure or any sort satisfying resolution. I was disappointed but understand the perspective that was being shown.
Almost all of the characters were hard to like at some point. This isn’t a deal breaker for me, but it was hard to relate when I felt like one person did something worse than the next. Like one-upping each other’s awfulness.
I can’t say i enjoyed this book, but I did appreciate its purpose and intent. Every Exquisite Thing has a very different type of voice and is definitely adding something new to the genre.
This is the type of book you’ll either get or you won’t. The story offers subtle themes and huge consequences play out in dark and unexpected ways. Every Exquisite Thing is not your run of the mill YA book, and it will absolutely make you think.