Monday, February 26, 2018

Everything Must Go by Jenny Fran Davis Review

Title: Everything Must Go
Author: Jenny Fran Davis
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Series: Standalone
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

Everything Must Go was the February pick for one of the book clubs I go to, and I wasn’t sure what to expect, at first. I was slightly confused by the description, and even more so after I began reading the book; the format was just so unusual. But I decided that despite my doubts, I would just jump in with both feet and let the book lead me where it would. And honestly, I was very pleasantly surprised. I was laughing, crying, screaming, cheering—this feminist, hilarious debut is one of my favorite books of 2017, maybe ever! It took a little bit for me to get into, and to get used to the format, but once I did, I was absolutely hooked. Flora’s journey through young adulthood, navigating romance, friendship, family, self-discovery, and autonomy is hilarious, timely, realistic, and achingly tender, and I loved every crazy, honest moment of it. I’ll never forget Flora Goldwasser, or her coming into her own! One of the best coming of age stories I’ve ever read!

Flora Goldwasser has made the decision to upend her life totally in pursuit of a hip, gorgeous photographer—so much so, in fact, that she even changes schools to get closer to him. But she realizes that upstate, bucolic New York is totally different from her posh, comfortable school in Manhattan, Flora goes to backpedal, only to find that it’s much too late. Surrounded by Quaker kids who value things like the outdoors, their inner qualities instead of what’s on the outside, and personal freedom (even if it means going to the bathroom out of doors), Flora finds that her new school is a whole world away from her beloved Manhattan, she’s certain that she won’t make it out intact. But along the way, she discovers her own autonomy, what it means to be herself, and the real value of friendship, family, and change. This book is one of the best of the last year, and I will never forget it!

I was a little iffy about this book at first; I wasn’t sure of the plot and the format threw me at first. Told through journal entries, emails, bits of screenplays and letters; it kind of reminded me of Feeling Sorry for Celia. But once it got going, I was absolutely transfixed; I was laughing, crying, cheering, groaning, and screaming with fury. I loved Flora and her distinct, wry voice; I loved her character development and watching her grow. She went from a na├»ve, confused girl to a strong, capable young woman, full of power and self-control and completely comfortable with herself. I loved it. The pacing was breakneck, and I couldn’t break away; even when I wasn’t reading it, it was continually on my mind. I also loved the other characters; Flora’s friends from her old and new school, as well as her family; they were a great foil to her funny, wry personality. The only person that I didn’t really like in the book was Elijah; he seemed just like the typical, run-of-the-mill hipster artiste poseur, and he really rubbed me the wrong way, even before the big thing happened that I refuse to mention in this review. The ending was wonderful; I laughed, I cried, I cheered. This book was like finding a new friend; I really loved it. One of the best books of 2017! The bottom line: An unapologetically funny and feminist debut that had me feeling literally everything, Everything Must Go was absolutely wonderful, and I will never forget it! Next on deck: Renegades by Marissa Meyer!

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