Everything Is Fine by Ann Dee Ellis (March 1st—Little Brown)
Grade: 2 stars out of 5
Summary: “Stuck at home caring for her severely depressed mother and abandoned by her father, Mazzy has only the day-to-day dramas of her neighborhood to keep her busy. But between flirting with the boy next door and worrying about the fact that she's flat-chested, Mazzy has to face the fact that her mom is emotionally paralyzed by a family tragedy. As readers delve into the story, they'll eventually discover what it was that tore Mazzy's family apart, and they'll see what it takes to put it back together.”
Review: Everything Is Fine is told in verses which creates a quick and interesting read. It reminded me a bad performance, hard to keep your eyes away but leaves an uncomfortable feeling in the pit of your stomach. Or the tryouts for American Idol. You just can’t help but feel embarrass for the person but the urge to change the channel is non existence. That was how I felt about Everything Is Fine. It’s awkward, and disjointed, but it’s undeniably hard to put down.
Mazzy was an on and off character for me. Sometimes I can relate to her feelings, and sometimes I feel that she needs to grow up. It was hard for me to pinpoint her exact age—she stuffed oranges down her shirt and yet she wears lacy underwear. Her relationship with her mother is where you can understand her depth. The way she is actually the one taking care of her mother instead of the other way around, the most simple of actions forces her to hate her mother. Maybe it’s the way that she [the mother] used to act before she fell into depression that causes her to hate her. Or maybe it goes deeper than that as we read the ending.
The ending I felt was satisfactory. In the middle of the story, the author mentions Olivia. I spent a good amount of time trying to remember who she was which might have worked in the author’s favor—trying to keep the readers on their toes. As the story progresses, the small bits of missing information begins to fill until we understand the actual reasoning behind everything.
There are also captions after every poem, like for example “Pencil on paper”. And underneath that, there will be a picture. I was not too sure the exact meaning behind each one, sometimes I did, sometimes it drew a blank stare, but I thought it was creative.
Overall: Mazzy was an odd character but she was interesting to read to say the least. Everything is Fine was a fun and quick read that is a library borrow if you enjoy verse novels.
Something was really off about the cover…