Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Didn’t you ever just simply want to…stop?
Star athlete and straight-A student Nanette O’Hare has played the role of dutiful daughter for as long as she can remember. But one day, a beloved teacher gives her his worn copy of The Bubblegum Reaper—a mysterious, out-of-print cult classic—and the rebel within Nanette awakens.
As the new and outspoken Nanette attempts to insert her true self into the world with wild abandon, she befriends the reclusive author and falls in love with a young, troubled poet. Forced to make some hard choices that bring devastating consequences, Nanette learns the hard way that rebellion can sometimes come at a high price.
If you’re looking for that feel good YA coming of age story, this isn’t it. Every Exquisite Thing is a story of struggling to find oneself in the midst of an identity crisis. It’s raw and gritty and not always fun.
Nanette O’Hare goes through the motions of her life daily. She plays soccer and acts a certain way because everyone expects her to. When her favorite teacher gives her his favorite book, all of this changes. Nanette is no longer comfortable living life the way she always has. As she begins to explore her individuality, everything in her life begins to unravel leaving Nanette even more confused than she was before.
Every Exquisite Thing might have been a darker coming of age novel, but that didn’t take away from the reading experience. It was beautifully written and engaging. Nanette was such a complex character. She was constantly changing throughout the story and trying to find out who she was meant to be. I could identify with several of Nanette’s conclusions, and I found myself relating to her more than I expected to. I enjoyed every moment I spent reading this book, even when the story took turns that were uncomfortable.
Matthew Quick did a great job of creating a unique story of growing up in the age of conformity and learning to be okay with your own uniqueness. Young adult readers are sure to benefit from Nanette’s troubles and insights. Every Exquisite Thing was the first book I’ve read by Quick, but it definitely won’t be my last.