Book Review: Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick*

In the summer of 2013, I was lucky enough to
get a job teaching English in Milan, Italy, for a period of 4 months. Whilst I
was there, I read a number of different books, all influencing me and reminding
me of different aspects of my time there. One of the books I read was The Silver Lining’s Playbook by Matthew
Quick.
When I received a copy of Every
Exquisite Thing
in the post, I was quickly drawn to it and put it straight
to the top of my to-read pile. I’m a fiend for a good YA book and this is most
definitely one of those.

I finally got to finishing this book this gone
bank holiday weekend after finishing my university course forever! I got stuck
straight into it after my celebrations had subsided on Sunday morning, albeit
with a bit of a heavy head. I’d heard quite a bit of praise about this book so
I had high expectations and I’m happy to say that it didn’t disappoint me. I
was a little bit confused throughout the story as to where it was eventually
headed, but I think as a whole it was a very beautiful, thought-provoking and
poignant story. It had funny parts, it had happy points and of course, it had
sad parts. I got through it incredibly quickly, which I definitely think says a
lot about the book.

The story centres around Nanette O’Hare, a
young girl who receives an old copy of The
Bubblegum Reaper
from her teacher. Like many before her, she becomes
obsessed with the novel and the loose ends that it provides to its audience.
She arranges a coffee date with the author and from then on forms an unusual
relationship with him and one of his other fans, a boy of her age named Alex. Over
the course of the novel, Nanette and Alex form a friendship, a relationship and
attempt to solve the mystery behind the real story of the Bubblegum Reaper. I
thought Nanette was an interesting character on the whole, a tad whiney at
times but otherwise I really liked what she presented to the audience. I
particularly loved her relationship with Booker and the one she went on to form
with Oliver as the novel progressed. I also enjoyed how the novel, through
Nanette, tackled different social issues and did so excellently and with the upmost
of care. I found the major event of
the novel incredibly moving and I feel as though Quick dealt with the theme
surrounding this event particularly well, particularly considering the stigma
attached to it. I won’t say much more than that as you honestly really do need
to give this book a read, but it was poignant and thoughtful and I hold this
particular representation in high esteem.

I think this is one of those books that you
need to read to truly appreciate so I really encourage anyone reading this
review to pick up a copy of this and give it a whirl. I’m so glad to have had the
opportunity to read this beautiful book, thank you once again to the team at Headline Books for my advanced copy. Every Exquisite Thing was published 31st
May and can be purchased in all the usual places.

4/5