Book Review: Every Exquisite Thing

Every Exquisite Thing
By: Matthew Quick
Published by: Headline
Release date: May 31, 2016
Genre: YA contemporary
272 pages
Buy it at Amazon, Bookworld
Source: Review copy courtesy of the publisher

Nanette doesn't feel like she really belongs, until her favourite teacher hands her a copy of The Bubblegum Reaper, a cult classic that is now out of print. Discovering the author, Booker, lives in her town, she seeks him out and an unlikely friendship develops. However, they are only able to be friends if she doesn't discuss the book with him at all. He won't talk about it. 

Booker introduces Nanette to Alex, another fan of the book and the two of them bond over their mutual love of the story, and develop theories about what the ambiguous ending means. 

Eventually, the reason Booker won't discuss the book comes to light. I won't tell you what that is, but it does force Nanette to go through some pretty tough times.

I may be well past my teenage years, but I remember what it was like to feel like I didn't fit, that I had to be someone else, play a role, to feel "normal". Quick captures this perfectly in Nanette. That feeling of longing, but not knowing what it is your longing for. Of doing something because it's expected that you'll do it, and because you're good at it, not because you get any enjoyment out of it. Of being part of something, and whether that's better than not being part of anything.

I also know what it is to become obsessed with a fictional world, and to want to know as much about it as possible.

Every Exquisite Thing is a moving and engaging coming of age story. Like many of Matthew Quick's titles it deals with isolation and mental health issues. This is a book that will resonate with young adult readers who are feeling like a square peg in a round hole.


From Matthew Quick, bestselling author of The Silver Linings Playbook , comes a heartfelt, unconventional and moving novel for readers who love John Green and Annabel Pitcher.

Nanette O'Hare is an unassuming teen who has played the role of dutiful daughter, hard-working student, and star athlete for as long as she can remember. But when a beloved teacher gives her his worn copy of The Bubblegum Reaper - the mysterious, out-of-print cult-classic - the rebel within Nanette awakens.

As she befriends the reclusive author, falls in love with a young but troubled poet, and attempts to insert her true self into the world with wild abandon, Nanette learns the hard way that sometimes rebellion comes at a high price.

A celebration of the self and the formidable power of story, Every Exquisite Thing is Matthew Quick at his finest. 


  1. Great review! I also loved this one so much -- I totally agree with you re: this capturing being a teenager so well and becoming obsessed with a fictional world, probably something all of book bloggers can relate to!

    my review


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