Thursday, August 11, 2011

Every Little Thing in the World by Nina de Gramont

Title: Every Little Thing in the World
Author: Nina de Gramont
Publisher: Atheneum
Release Date: March 23, 2010
Date Read: July 25 - 29, 2011
Rating: 5/5 stars 
Source: Library

Summary
Sixteen-year-old Sydney Biggs is a “good kid”—smart, pretty, self-aware. No one doubts that she’ll go far in life. But lately her mother worries that Sydney is wandering down the wrong path and getting all caught up in petty teenage rebellion and shenanigans. When Sydney and her best friend, Natalia, “borrow” a car to go to a party and then get escorted home by the police, their parents pack them up and ship them off to a hard-love wilderness camp to stop this behavior before it gets out of hand, before things go too far. The problem is, they already have.


Sydney the “good kid” is pregnant.


In the wilds of Canada—where the girls are to spend the next four weeks canoeing, camping, and foraging for food—time is ticking, because Sydney isn’t sure what she wants to do about this baby. And she certainly isn’t expecting the other heady issues that will confront her as she forges friendships with her adventure mates, including a guy who makes it no secret that he is a major thug, and a teen television heartthrob with a secret of his own, not to mention her own best friend—who is very adamant about what Sydney should do.
Review
You know when you wake up at 5 in the morning to finish a book, that it's one of the best. Not as deep as The Breakfast Club, the quirky cast of characters in Every Little Thing in the World will tug on your heartstrings. An amazing story of self-discovery and self-worth, Sydney's journey in the Canadian wilderness is not only about her pregnancy but also about morality, life, and death.

Many people have complained that there are too many Mary Sues in YA lit. Sydney totally breaks the stereotype of a typical female protagonist. She's a "good girl" but has sex. Shocking! How she starts dating her boyfriend, has unprotected sex, isn't in a committed relationship, and doesn't know what to do with the baby was refreshing in the sea of virgin and sex-crazy narrators. I love how she wasn't cut and dry about her opinions of teen pregnancy and actually took the time to think about them all. Right from the start I thought I knew how she would end up at the end but I was so wrong. Her journey was amazing!

Some of my favourite things in Every Little Thing in the World revolved around the crazy cast of characters at Sydney's camp. I learned so much about the pressure put on teenagers by the rest of the world to define themselves at an early age and always stick to their beliefs. As Sydney struggles to define herself as both a daughter, friend, and possible soon-to-be-mother, we're introduced to other teens facing similar problems. The huge parallels between Natalia and Margit, Sydney and her baby, Sydney and her mother, and Sydney choosing abortion vs Mick killing a man create huge emotional waves and themes for readers to think about. In a very Breakfast Club-like scenario we see how strangers cope when flung together in a survival scenario and how those bonds can never be broken, and are often stronger than the love we share for people we've known our whole lives.

One thing I really dislike in reviews is when readers let their personal opinions cloud their judgment of a book. I've read a bunch of reviews on Goodreads hating on Every Little Thing in the World because Sydney routinely considers abortion as an option. If you aren't open to the concept I suggest you either don't read it or find it within you to write a review based on the actual plot, character development, and themes rather than what choice you'd actually make. I'm glad that more YA authors are open to discussion abortion rather than always shoving it off as not an option or immoral. 

Recommended: I Know It's Over (C.K. Kelly Martin), Someone Like You (Sarah Dessen), Tripping (Heather Waldorf)

9 comments:

  1. I think books of the authors who take time to write about such sticky issues like teen pregnancy should be given a chance. Whether one is in agreement with the approach or not is a secondary issue and should not cloud their judgement about the book. Your review got me interested in the book and I hope I could read it soon enough!

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  2. I loved this book despite the few problems I had with it - the annoying best friend and the drinking while pregnant being the two big ones. What I loved was how completely realistic the whole internal bettle was with Sydney.
    The author was kind enough to send me a copy last summer and it was one of the best books I read all year. If you're interested, here's my review http://theladycriticslibrary.blogspot.com/2010/07/every-little-thing-in-world-written-by.html

    Great review!

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  3. I never looked twice at this book with such a ehh cover (I had no idea what the summary was tbh) but this review has convinced me. 5/5? And with such a different yet interesting premise? And i love what you wrote about her breaking all the stereotypes, I definitely want to read this book now. Fantastic review.

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  5. Thank you for sharing such a fantastic and well-written review. ;-)
    ~Sherry

    Sherry Soule Author Website

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  6. Definitely going add this to the TBR pile. Hadn't heard of it before. Nice review!

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  7. I've never heard of this one, but I really want to read it now. When an author can approach a topic like teenage pregnancy, from the very realistic POV of a teenager and consider ALL the options, then that is a feat in itself. I'm adding this one to my wishlist and will definitely be getting it in the future. Fantastic review, Laura.

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  8. Never heard of de Gramont but this book sounds really nice!

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