I consider myself an adrenaline junky when it comes to books. Maybe because in real life I’m such a subdued human being that when I read I prefer to live vicariously through characters doing crazy shit. That’s one of the main reasons I tend to avoid contemporary/mystery books unless they REALLY stand out to me. A few months ago a friend recommended to me Celeste Ng as an author, it was around the time where the hype for Little Fires Everywhere was crazy. Anytime I get a book recommendation I 100% always at least check the book out online, so when I found Everything I Never Told You( if I keep referring to this book by its’ full name by hands will actually cramp so let’s use EINTY for now :’)) and Little Fires Everywhere on Amazon for a reasonable price… YUP I started reading EINTY the next day.
Title: Everything I Never Told You
Authors : Celeste Ng
Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.
So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, and her parents are determined that she will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. But when Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos.
A profoundly moving story of family, secrets, and longing, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.
Although it took me a wHILEEE to get through this book, I enjoyed it to some extent. We follow the story of a teenager who suddenly goes missing and although her parents had thought she was completely happy, throughout this book we discover the struggles she really went through. A lot of books depicting teen angst tend to be (As expected) about trivial nonsense, like does jack from class 3B really like me? Or Will I ever fit into this school and be one of the popular girls? Of course I’m not saying that ALL books depict this, but a majority do… So when I read through the concerns that this teenager had, and the immense pressure she received from her parents as well as trying to fit in as a Chinese-American in the xx’s I really found myself respecting her as a character. Seldom is a book written after a main tragedy, so it was really interesting to read about how these different characters had their own coping mechanisms and seeing some of these actually reflected in myself.
It’s no spoiler that the ‘main character’ dies, that literally happens within the first few pages, but whilst getting to know each character and becoming closer with the family I did feel somewhat invested… The multiple perspectives really were what kept this story alive, reading such an intense story got overwhelming at certain points so having that change of viewpoint was refreshing. I will say though that at points I really just wanted to put the book down. Especially at around 2/3 of the way through, there weren’t many developments and the story kind of plataued to the point where it was just draining. The only thing that kept me interested was finding out how Lydia actually died…
I would recommend this for readers who are looking for a change of pace to their current reads, it’s an intense read but one with relatable characters that are well developed and an easy to read writing style! Yet to read Little Fires Everywhere, so if you’ve read it let me know in the comments what you thought!