“So this is where we begin: with me, naked and in love in the bathtub, like many a tragic protagonists before me.”
Um, is it possible to find your friendship soulmate in a book? Because if so, I think I’ve found mine.
From the very first page I was instantly hooked and obsessed with the storyline and the main character. Flora is a witty feminist, vintage fashion lover, blindly infatuated with a boy whom uses her as a muse for his photography blog. She’s anything but predictable and is one of the most complex characters I’ve ever come across in a YA book. Although she may seem a bit plastic and materialistic in the first few pages, as the story progressed, I found myself relating to her thoughts and views on life, while also desperately wanting to be her best friend.
“At the surface, she’s pure 1958, but inside beats the heart of a Jezebel editor.”
This book isn’t your typical self-discovery,” this is who I was meant to be!” story or romance novel; it’s so much more. I interpreted it as an interesting and unique take on the idea of the manic pixie dream girl cliche and the idea that we often view someone the way we want to view them, rather than accepting who they truly are. Flora becomes a popular feminist icon, in ways she has no control of, and must learn to deal with her newfound, and somewhat created for her persona, while trying to understand who she really is and who she wants to be. The story also discusses mature topics in a refreshing, lighthearted, and humorous way, that will leave the readers reflecting on their own life and experiences.
“Miss Tulip isn’t supposed to exist in this world, or feel rooted to it in the form of just one person. But at the same time, she isn’t lofty or merely an ideal…”
What makes this book even more vibrant and unique, is all of the sub-main characters. Since the storyline is told through a series of emails, letters, and journal entries, you get a better understanding of each character’s thoughts, versus if it was told through first person narration and dialogue. Each character has their own set of struggles and traits that set them apart from others. There is no such thing as a stock character in this novel. Everyone somehow leaves an impact or is substantial enough to be noteworthy, and that made the book so much more thought-provoking and entertaining to read.
Everything Must Go isn’t merely a story about self love, but instead the process towards figuring out who you are and who you aren’t. Through the tellings of her first sexual encounter, forming “platonic soul friends”, experiencing heartbreak, discovering art, seeking awareness of important issues, and more, we really start to discover who Flora is, while also understanding that it’s okay to not be one thing or have to belong to one city or person.
“I’m only saying that I want to be weathered by the storms of life. I want to be struck by lightning and I want to grow despite of it. I want to do lots of my growing underground, spreading roots, and even if I’m dead, I’ll be growing.”
I’m so thankful I got to read this book months before it’s release date! If you’re into activism, badass and ambitious women, and just understanding life in general, then I totally suggest you buy Everything Must Go once it hits bookshelves on October 3rd! I cannot wait to read more from this author.