Everything All At Once – Katrina Leno

       Everything All At Once – Katrina Leno, Harper Teen, (9780062493095), 2017

Format: hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre: realistic (has a hint of magic at the end, but to shelve it in fantasy would give away a big plot point)

What did you like about the book?  High school senior Lottie Reaves’s famous aunt has just passed away from cancer. Helen Reaves was the beloved author of a middle grade fantasy series about Alvin and Margo Hatter, siblings who have discovered the secret to immortality; the series was huge and fans all over the world are grieving (think Harry Potter level fandom). Lottie’s grief and that of her family members’ is personal. Luckily Helen has left Lottie one last piece of her…and a mystery to solve. In a series of 24 letters written before she died, Helen gives Lottie instructions on how to be brave and live life to the fullest. The family relationships really shine in this book; I loved reading the banter between Lottie and her brother Abe. Lottie’s friendship with loud, fun Em is also worth noting; they understand and get each other completely. The book is interspersed with short snippets from Aunt Helen’s books; it’s amazing how much of the story gets from just these short pieces. Overall, I really enjoyed this book, which is part mystery, part romance and part adventure.

Anything you didn’t like about it? The romance isn’t as believable as the other relationships in the book and the middle dragged a little bit.

To whom would you recommend this book? Teens who like drama and adventure; give this to fans of 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson, as well.

Who should buy this book? Most middle and high school libraries

Where would you shelve it? realistic

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Not the very top, but near the top.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Laura Gardner, Dartmouth Middle School, Dartmouth, MA

Date of review: September 11, 2017

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