Saturday, January 8, 2011

Uprooted and Replanted

Everything I Was

Written by: Corinne Demas

Released: April 2011 by Carolrhoda Books

Summary: "My walls were stripped, and all that was left in the room was a pile of boxes and my mattress propped against the wall."

So begins Irene's journey from an Upper West Side penthouse to—well, she's not entirely sure where. Irene's investment banker father is "downsized" when his company merges with another. When he can't find work, her family's lifestyle—and her socialite mother's spending—quickly catches up with them. Eventually, they're forced to move in with Irene's grandfather in the big family farmhouse upstate. But what begins as the most disastrous summer of her life takes a surprising turn when she meets a most remarkable family.

I was more than happy to have the opportunity to read this via netGalley. I think that I have found a new love with that website.

I went into this book not quite knowing what to expect. The cover suggests something more dangerous and haunting than a realistic story about a thirteen year old girl, but the summary offered stated something different than was visually represented. So, since I thought that the cover was beyond gorgeous, I took a chance on it.

This was a lovely book about the reality that so many people could easily face. It’s also a story that could be related to by so many people for one specific part or for the whole. It’s a very realistic telling of life.

Irene was a character who you could easily pass on the street she was so well formed on the page. At thirteen she comes off as exactly her age, which is nice to read in a novel. And her emotions were true to form; you experience her first real crush on someone her own age, thoughts over her parents and how they’re coping with their loss of status, her father losing his job, and living with her grandfather. You also get to see the inner workings of a girl who’s unsure of how to make new friends when she’s without her old ones.

I really disliked Irene’s mother. I’m sure that some would feel sorry for her, but I just wanted to slap her and then shake some sense into her pea-brain. I think it’s because I just cannot fathom characters like hers both on the page and in real life. Reading this book I just wanted to yell “get over yourself and move on”. But that just goes to show how spectacular the writing is when it comes to these characters. Corinne Demas sure knows how to write people.

In all, though I enjoyed this novel and I appreciate the opportunity to read it early, it’s only ranking a 6/10 for me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fantastically written book but it just didn’t push through an unseen barrier. Had it of done that it would have been incredible.

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