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review 2020-04-21 12:08
Review: All The Forever Things
All the Forever Things - Jolene Perry

I received a copy from Netgalley.

 

I came across this one in my Netgalley TBR from a few years back and started reading it, not remembering anything about what it was about or why I had requested it. I think it must have appealed to the ‘Six Feet Under’ fan in me.

 

The main character Gabe (short for Gabriella) parents’ own a funeral home in a small town, she lives there with her younger sister, has an eccentric aunt, a BFF and a love of all things vintage. One boy made a joke about her being Wednesday Addams so she makes a point of making herself look like Wednesday (which made me like her even more). The novel starts with Gabe and her BFF paired for a school project with ultra popular guy Bryce and cool new guy Hartman. Bryce was the one who for years compared Gabe Wednesday Addams and also nicknamed her Graveyard Gabby which has stuck with her. He also ruined her first kiss with a boy she really liked. So Gabe is less than thrilled.

 

Even worse when her BFF Bree starts to click with Bryce and before long they’re dating. Gabe is mortified, and understandably so. She’s struggling to adjust when she’s so used to having Bree to herself, and this the jerk who made her an outcast. So naturally it’s completely logical that she wouldn’t be thrilled. Yet she’s willing to at least try for her friend’s sake. It’s not easy. Having been in a similar position personally, when a friend you’ve had for years starts ignoring you for someone else – it’s not easy. So Gabe’s reactions and ways of handling this felt very authentic and believable.

 

She’s grumpy and annoyed, especially when Bree starts ignoring her texts and calls, ditching her to hang out with Bryce and his popular friends and their girlfriends who both Bree and Gabe have always dismissed as airheads. Bree’s family situation is complex, and it doesn’t help that Gabe is moaning about her own responsibilities. She does some work in the family business and has to pick up her sister from the eccentric aunt. Normal things. Yet she doesn’t understand why Bree gets mad when she whines about it.

 

While Bree certainly wasn’t a favourite, or even that memorable of a character, you can empathise with her, especially with her miserable home life. Parents are MIA, separated and with little interest in her, so she lives with an elderly grandmother who suffers from Alzheimer’s. Grandma barely seems to know what planet she’s on. She’s got a hot new boyfriend and the popular girls aren’t so bad after all once you get to know them and her only other friend seems determined to hold a grudge and whines about stupid things and doesn’t seem to appreciate how lucky she is.

 

 At least for Gabe, the cool new guy starts paying more attention, and they start forming a tentative friendship with the potential for something more. Hartman seems like a nice enough guy, he has plenty of baggage and drama of his own. Then everything comes to a dramatic point on prom night. Gabe is talked into taking Bree, Bryce, and their friends in the family hearse. The group head off for an after party. Gabe has gone with Hartman as her date, and while the others want to explore some abandoned building, Gabe and Hartman wander off together. There’s a tragic accident.

 

And everything changes.  The event has a major effect on Bree who goes AWOL. Rattled with grief and guilt Gabe realises she has to put aside her grudges and prejudices and do whatever she has to to find her missing friend. Which means reaching out to some of the other girls who were there that night. There’s a touching sense of togetherness as the group come together to deal with the incident and Gabe realises that Bree might have been right after all – these girls and even the boys aren’t so bad after all. They’re just people. Like them, with flaws, complex emotions. Coming together in a difficult time forms new bonds which lead to new friendships and a whole change on life’s perspectives for Gabe.  There’s positive changes for Bree as well. The novel concludes in a believable way, without being overly emotional or dramatic.

 

It’s a well written, enjoyable book, and the characters are easy to understand and identify with.

 

Thank you to Netgalley and Albert Whitman & Company for approving my request to view the title.

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review 2018-03-02 20:05
All The Forever Things
All the Forever Things - Jolene Perry
What can I say about this novel? I’m sitting on the fence on this one as I found it frustrating and sad. How can individuals be so selfish and why do individuals lay down and let themselves be so exposed?
 
I found it frustrating that sixteen-year-old Gabe had only one true friend. I understand that living at a funeral home and having parents that own the home put a damper on things but there has to be a way to find friends. When Bree isn’t there for Gabe, she has nothing, a big fat ZERO and my heart broke for her. Then, when Bree started to turn into this evil person, I wanted to climb inside the novel and slap her because here was Gabe, acting like a little puppy: listening and following Bree like everything was fine and dandy when it wasn’t. I was fiercely gripping onto the novel, ready to tear it into tiny shreds! Come on Gabe! Smell the flowers, Bree is not concerned about you, she is concerned Bree and what is right in Bree’s world.
 
Oh, I was angry! Then, Bree introduced Hartman to Gabe. Hartman, the new boy at school. I thought Hartman was going to be Bree’s replacement as she bowed out of Gabe’s life. It got messy. This boy had baggage and Gabe wasn’t impressed with him. I wanted her to dump him but then again what else or who else did Gabe have? No one!
 
It was an emotional read for me. Some novels provoke an intense response from me and this one definitely did. I won a copy of this novel from Albert Whitman Teen in their Albert Whitman & Company YA gift set, thank you! This review is my own personal opinion.

 

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review 2017-04-02 00:00
All the Forever Things
All the Forever Things - Jolene Perry I like the idea behind this book.
I loved the blurb. I expected quirky, and some of it was. But most of it was kinda, well, blah. At least for the first half. The third quarter picked up a bit and the last quarter was what saved this book for me.
I didn't like Gabe much in the beginning, she did grow on me. Rather slowly mind you. She was too self involved and very imature. Though she is only 16, I tried to give her some slack for that but despite that she felt immature and also much younger. She does do some growth though which is what totally endeared her to me at the end of the book.
The support cast is in some ways quirky but when one scratches at the surfaces they take on the normal roles we get in basically every YA contemporary book.
The only difference here and what kept me going was the recurring theme of loss and death. It gives the book some unexpected depth. It is also what kept me going, when I was pondering if I should DNF 30 or so % in.
The first half felt incredibly long wound and like it was trying too hard to be different. Barely anything happened other than Gabe having internal and not so internal dramas.
Perry did an interesting take on death and loss. Retrospectively I like how she set it all up, even if I wasn't a fan of it in the first half. And she turned it around as well, looking at the question of living. The question of change and friendship were raised. Hartman was such a great contrast to Gabe when looking at life. I love how Perry made them reflections to each other, so similar yet coming to a totally different view.

"Forevers are personal, Gabe. My father's existence may not matter to a star a million miles away, or even to someone else who lived on my street. But my father's life was so much to me. The way I live my life will always be influenced by knowing him. So, in my world, my father is forever. In my world, that time we spent on the beach is forever. I will never forget that. Forevers are everywhere."

I am giving 3 Stars, because the first half was a generous 2stars, the 3rd quarter 3 and the last bit probably 4Stars.
It's worth giving it a try, because while something are the usual usual other parts are so different, unexpected, insightful and beautiful.
Like Reblog Comment
review 2017-04-02 00:00
All the Forever Things
All the Forever Things - Jolene Perry I like the idea behind this book.
I loved the blurb. I expected quirky, and some of it was. But most of it was kinda, well, blah. At least for the first half. The third quarter picked up a bit and the last quarter was what saved this book for me.
I didn't like Gabe much in the beginning, she did grow on me. Rather slowly mind you. She was too self involved and very imature. Though she is only 16, I tried to give her some slack for that but despite that she felt immature and also much younger. She does do some growth though which is what totally endeared her to me at the end of the book.
The support cast is in some ways quirky but when one scratches at the surfaces they take on the normal roles we get in basically every YA contemporary book.
The only difference here and what kept me going was the recurring theme of loss and death. It gives the book some unexpected depth. It is also what kept me going, when I was pondering if I should DNF 30 or so % in.
The first half felt incredibly long wound and like it was trying too hard to be different. Barely anything happened other than Gabe having internal and not so internal dramas.
Perry did an interesting take on death and loss. Retrospectively I like how she set it all up, even if I wasn't a fan of it in the first half. And she turned it around as well, looking at the question of living. The question of change and friendship were raised. Hartman was such a great contrast to Gabe when looking at life. I love how Perry made them reflections to each other, so similar yet coming to a totally different view.

"Forevers are personal, Gabe. My father's existence may not matter to a star a million miles away, or even to someone else who lived on my street. But my father's life was so much to me. The way I live my life will always be influenced by knowing him. So, in my world, my father is forever. In my world, that time we spent on the beach is forever. I will never forget that. Forevers are everywhere."

I am giving 3 Stars, because the first half was a generous 2stars, the 3rd quarter 3 and the last bit probably 4Stars.
It's worth giving it a try, because while something are the usual usual other parts are so different, unexpected, insightful and beautiful.
Like Reblog Comment
review 2017-04-02 00:00
All the Forever Things
All the Forever Things - Jolene Perry I like the idea behind this book.
I loved the blurb. I expected quirky, and some of it was. But most of it was kinda, well, blah. At least for the first half. The third quarter picked up a bit and the last quarter was what saved this book for me.
I didn't like Gabe much in the beginning, she did grow on me. Rather slowly mind you. She was too self involved and very imature. Though she is only 16, I tried to give her some slack for that but despite that she felt immature and also much younger. She does do some growth though which is what totally endeared her to me at the end of the book.
The support cast is in some ways quirky but when one scratches at the surfaces they take on the normal roles we get in basically every YA contemporary book.
The only difference here and what kept me going was the recurring theme of loss and death. It gives the book some unexpected depth. It is also what kept me going, when I was pondering if I should DNF 30 or so % in.
The first half felt incredibly long wound and like it was trying too hard to be different. Barely anything happened other than Gabe having internal and not so internal dramas.
Perry did an interesting take on death and loss. Retrospectively I like how she set it all up, even if I wasn't a fan of it in the first half. And she turned it around as well, looking at the question of living. The question of change and friendship were raised. Hartman was such a great contrast to Gabe when looking at life. I love how Perry made them reflections to each other, so similar yet coming to a totally different view.

"Forevers are personal, Gabe. My father's existence may not matter to a star a million miles away, or even to someone else who lived on my street. But my father's life was so much to me. The way I live my life will always be influenced by knowing him. So, in my world, my father is forever. In my world, that time we spent on the beach is forever. I will never forget that. Forevers are everywhere."

I am giving 3 Stars, because the first half was a generous 2stars, the 3rd quarter 3 and the last bit probably 4Stars.
It's worth giving it a try, because while something are the usual usual other parts are so different, unexpected, insightful and beautiful.
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