Book Review: You Are Everything by Karen Rivers


ashley | You Are The Everything by Karen Rivers felt like it might be written for a younger age group than me, but there was something about it that was really appealing and since I’ve been reading some pretty heavy books lately, I thought I could use a break. I mean, a tragic plane crash has to be light reading, right?

This is written in the second person, with “you” stepping in to the main narration role. I’ve come across this take before and it always makes me feel a little more drawn into the story, especially when the character compliments your own thoughts and feelings, much like Elyse does for me. I had no problem stepping into her shoes, seeing the teenage world through her eyes. I really connected with her teen naivety and awkwardness on the cusp of self-awareness. However, this voice is not for everyone and I could see it getting a bit old after a while, especially with the way it is written and how many words and banter and back and forth there is.

It’s really hard to talk about this book without giving anything away, and I think it’s the kind of book that you want to read knowing nothing about it.

[So, mild Spoiler, if you don’t want to know anything about the book] This was a very unusual story and I couldn’t tell if, through the whole thing, we were floating through a dream world or if there was some kind of magical realism element to it, or if it was just a sweet and somewhat naive coming of age story about two survivors trying to find their place in their new reality. There were a lot of little moments where reality seemed to blur, where conversational banter seemed to be taken to a more movie-like level, where things don’t happen and memories overlap. But Elyse suffered a head injury, so all these lost moments are easily explained away. I think. Right? [End Spoiler]

My enjoyment of this ebbed and flowed the further I read, but I was always kept intrigued and captivated and curious about whether Elyse was just barely keeping it together, or if she was already flying way off the deep end. At times I thought the narrative dragged a little bit, but I’m one to rush along moments sometimes and this book was full of different moments.

There are definitely a lot of little clues throughout that can help piece the overall story together if you’re looking for that, but if you’re just sitting back and enjoying a somewhat sweet survival story, then I think you’ll be more apt to like where the story ends up. Overall, I enjoyed this for the most part. I like books that sometimes get really confusing and blur the lines a little bit and don’t’ lay everything out for your completely. It felt a bit repetitive sometimes, but it was a short and quick read so easy enough to ride through until the end, which is really the whole point of the book.


more information
amazongoodreads website

october 31, 2018

copy provided for honest review by
Net Galley