Everything All at Once by Katrina Leno
Publication Date: July 25, 2017 by HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
[Special thanks to the publisher for the review copy!]
From the author of The Half Life of Molly Pierce and The Lost & Found comes a magical new YA novel about 24 dares, 3 weeks, and taking a leap into the unknown.
Lottie Reeves has always struggled with anxiety, and when her beloved Aunt Helen dies, Lottie begins to fear that her own unexpected death might be waiting around every corner.
Aunt Helen wasn’t a typical aunt. She was the author of the best–selling Alvin Hatter series, about siblings who discover the elixir of immortality. Her writing inspired a generation of readers.
In her will, she leaves one last writing project—just for Lottie. It’s a series of letters, each containing mysterious instructions designed to push Lottie out of her comfort zone. Soon, Lottie’s trying some writing of her own, leaping off cliffs, and even falling for a boy she’s only just met. Then the letters reveal an extraordinary secret about the inspiration for the Alvin Hatter series. Lottie finds herself faced with an impossible choice, one that will force her to confront her greatest fear once and for all.
This gorgeous novel is perfect for fans of Jennifer Niven, with the scavenger hunt feel of Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes, and a dash of magic that evokes Tuck Everlasting.
I haven’t read both Thirteen Blue Envelopes and Tuck Everlasting, but I certainly know what it means to read a book “perfect for fans of Jennifer Niven” because Jennifer is great at making people cry.
And my, this book really played with my emotions.
Its humorous prologue made me smile, and it introduced me to characters that I’d want to have as friends in my life. For a story of loss, it has the perfect dose of happy.
Lottie was really close to her aunt, and it was painful to read about her grief. It’s like she lost so much of herself. And on top of that, she’s dealing with anxiety – thinking about the many ways people can die and how she could die any minute and literally follow her aunt’s footsteps.
Aunt Helen’s letters gave this blanket of comfort amidst the anxiety – she had words that made their mark, words that you’d want to read over and over again. (She’s a bestselling author in the story, after all.)
I want to do some of the dares Aunt Helen wrote about because I feel like I’ve been holding back on something great. I’d also love to read the Alvin Hatter books, if they’ll ever exist in this life. ❤
Lottie discovered truths about herself and Aunt Helen as she read the letters. She met this mysterious boy Sam, and he had a big role in Lottie’s great adventure.
The story unfolded in ways I didn’t expect, and I love how the clues from the beginning of the book led to the big reveal.
I kinda guessed what the secret of the book is. Actually, it’s pretty easy to predict. But it’s not really about the secret – it’s about everything that happened before it was confirmed. It’s about everything that you will feel while reading this book.
Everything All at Once is a beautiful novel of finding strength in the love of the people around us. It’s a story of hope in a sea of grief, a ray of sunlight after a terrible storm. It’s a book you’d want to read on a sunny day, leaving you with a warm heart as you finish reading the last page.
Final Rating: 4.5/5