Title: All The Pretty Things
Author: Emily Arsenault
Genre: YA/Realistic Fiction/Suspense
For fans of Sadie and The Cheerleaders comes an all new thriller about a boy who turns up dead under suspicious circumstances and the one girl who may be the key to solving the mystery of his untimely death.
This was interesting read, and I didn’t except the story to go this way. From the synopsis, I thought that it was going to be a psychological-mystery thriller. However, it was more of a drama/contemporary/mystery, but with other serous topics woven into the story. I don’t mind when stories deviate from the description, but it was a shock to me. I think that one reason that I didn’t mind the plot difference was the fact that the writing was very nice. It wasn’t to info dumpy or mystery heavy. Those things don’t bug me, but it was a welcome surprise that worked well in this case .
Ivy, who is the main protagonist, at the beginning of the book, has returned home from summer vacation. Her best friend Morgan is having a hard time after discovering the body of her special needs co-worker Ethan. When Morgan starts to withdraw from Ivy, she tries to do everything in her power to help her friends. Morgan’s only request is that she find out more about Ethan’s death. Ivy, Morgan, and Ethan worked at Fabuland, which is owned by Ivy’s dad. Her parents are divorced, and she has one older brother that has become more estrange from his family.
Fabuland – and Ivy’s dad – are both a major factor in the story. We got to learn a lot about her dad, and also her parents’ relationship. Her dad is selfish, condescending, arrogant, and unethical. As for Ivy, I didn’t find there to be much depth to her character. The author told us a lot about her family life (which plays a big part throughout the plot). However, I didn’t get good sense of Ivy’s personality. Sure, I learned that she was hard working, loyal and timid. But, I wanted there to be more to her character.
The supporting characters were mundane, and like Ivy, there wasn’t much depth to them. They all just blended together. I didn’t necessarily hate any of them, I just didn’t get a good sense of who Ivy’s brother or mother were. The most well written character was Ivy’s father, which I understand, since he is very significant to the story. I had never read a character like him before, and it was interesting to see the author’s take on that ty. He was horrible person, but she wrote him as someone that thought they were one of the good guys.
The plot jumped around a lot, and there were times that I had no clue where the story was going. I didn’t know how the author was going to connect everything, but she managed to make the multiple story-lines come together. The ending wasn’t jaw dropping, but it was at least slightly unexpected. It felt very ‘real world’ in my opinion, and the plot kept things down-to-earth. I sympathized with Ivy by the end of the book, since her life unraveled right before her eyes. The story leaves you wondering how someone can be a bad person, and yet you still love them? Is it right to love someone that has done atrocious things? I think that the answers to these questions aren’t black and white. You will never know if the choice you make is best. All you can do is make a choice and live with it.
I always want to mention the trigger warning for books with sensitive subject matter. This story has many important trigger warnings, so I recommend you visiting BookTriggerWarnings.com to see them all. Let me know if you have, or want to read this book. I know that it hasn’t been well received, but don’t let that scare you away. If you want to make my day, follow the blog to get notifications about new posts.
Until The Next Chapter,