The book Every Exquisite Thing, which has been compared to The Perks of Being a Wallflower, is the story of teenager Nanette O’Hare and her journey to her true self. At the start of the novel, anyone who knows her would say she has reached the pinnacle of her teenage life: good grades, team captain and star of the school’s soccer team, and a lots of college recruitments. Her life seems absolutely perfect to everyone except herself, as she slowly comes to realize she doesn’t really know who she is.
At the end of her junior year, she’s handed “The Bubblegum Reaper,” a mysterious book that represents the complete opposite of the universe in which she exists, and is quickly immersed in the popular world encased in the novel. As she reads and re-reads the story of a boy named Wrigley, Nanette starts to tap into the fiery soul she didn’t know she possessed.
Choosing to abandon her old life and search for answers to the questions that have been swallowing her whole, Nanette is led into a world of rebellion where she flips and becomes a little more wild and selfish, trying to make sense of the life she’s living.
Will surviving through the many struggles of self-evaluation show her that it’s okay to scrap everything and start over? Or will it leave her with no choice but to just “quit”?
Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick pulls you in and doesn’t let go until the end leaves you questioning your own life and whether or not you should stop conforming to the world and be who you really are. I enjoyed how relatable the book was and how easily I could connect to most of the characters, especially Nanette. I appreciated how much detail the author offered when talking about the different struggles of other characters too; he didn’t just summarize them like other authors whose work I’ve read.
Honestly, the only complaint I have is that there isn’t a second book to follow. I fully recommend “Every Exquisite Thing” as a good diversion from a long night of studying.