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Everything That Makes You Hardcover – March 17, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—As a child, Fiona Doyle was in a horrible accident that left part of her face permanently scarred. Now in high school, she is an excellent student, has a family who loves her, enjoys talking to her best friend, Lucy, and has a crush on Trent McKinnon. In alternating chapters, readers meet Fi Doyle, the imaginary girl who escaped that horrible childhood accident. Now in high school, Fi is the best lacrosse player, has a family who loves her, and enjoys talking to her best friend, Trent McKinnon. In both versions of this story, Fiona and Fi successfully navigate through school, fall in love, go to college, and struggle with the conflict. As expected, Fi's life goes down a different path than Fiona's, but readers will see that theyhave much in common after all. McStay entertainingly weaves similar characters and circumstances throughout their worlds. It is interesting to see how each girl interacts with these people and reacts to her environment. The author consistently builds the plot without breaking the pace of the narrative. The story line flows from chapter to chapter even though there are two different points of view. The protagonists are believable and the language is appropriate. McStay's debut explores the theme of choices and how those choices become the framework for the person who makes them.—Jeni Tahaney, Duncanville High School Library, TX
Entertaining and intellectually stimulating, the novel invites discussion about how much of a person’s life is determined by events and whether some tendencies are inborn. (Publishers Weekly)
McStay’s debut explores the theme of choices and how those choices become the framework for the person who makes them. (School Library Journal)
It’s impressive that McStay makes readers invest in both Fi and Fiona simultaneously; teens who have ever wondered what it might be like to live a totally different life will appreciate this experiment. (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)
Everything That Makes You is an inspiring exploration of destiny, strength, and the power of human connection. I loved Moriah McStay’s spot-on dialogue and strong characters. A striking debut! (Susane Colasanti, bestselling author of Something Like Fate)
The amazing dual stories of Fi and Fiona dare us to consider what it means to be driven by our passions, and how a twist of fate can alter our lives forever. A winning debut. (Leslie Connor, award-winning author of Waiting for Normal and The Things You Kiss Goodbye)
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Top Customer Reviews
All the best,
Fiona/Fi are the exact same person living completely different lives because of a decision made when she was just five years old on that fateful trip to the zoo; whether to get a bag of popcorn or visit the panda exhibit. One lead to a tragic accident that, twelve years later, she is still trying to come to terms with. The other left her with little more than a stuffed panda and some great memories. But despite being on separate paths, their two lives are connected and intersect in odd and amazing ways.
Sometimes when making decisions I wonder what could have happened if I had taken the other option; choosing one class over another, leaving earlier to not miss the bus, etc. Sometimes even just one second of delay can end up saving someones life… I thought this was a great concept and an interesting book to read. I’m a believer in fate and this definitely has a lot of it interwoven in the plot.
Despite the two girls being in alternate universes, there are some similarities and coincidences that prove that even though their two lives could not be more different, they are still meant to end up where they do and to meet the important people in their lives that influence them. McStay does a great job of connecting all the characters and their stories in both versions of Fiona’s life. A lot of relationships stay constant between both, but others are completely different from one version to the other, yet they work very naturally and are easy to believe and follow along with.
Initially you think that Fi’s life—the version where she is not badly burned and scarred—is the perfect one, but she isn’t happy either and suffers quite a bit as well. She becomes lost after losing both of the things she loves the most and spends a whole year trying to get out of this funk and get her life back on track. Fiona—who has had to deal with angry scars covering the entire right side of her face basically her entire life—is actually the one I found more inspiring. She is very self-conscious, as I image anyone would be in her situation, and unfortunately she lets this stop her from doing what she truly loves. Eventually she realizes that everything happens for a reason and what you do with your situation is what ultimately defines who you are, so why worry about something you have no control over?
Fiona/Fi live out two different lives because one was involved in a tragic accident as a child and the other wasn’t. Fiona deals with horrific scars because of a freak accident involving hot oil at the zoo when she was a kid. Because of the scars, Fiona is introverted and quiet and extremely, painfully self-conscious. Fi was never involved in the accident – she’s the star lacrosse player, popular, and has no problem being the center of attention.
I love the idea of this book, and McStay has a beautiful way of writing. Her descriptions are powerful and drew me in with every page.
The problem was I didn’t like either incarnation of Fiona/Fi. Fiona I found to be too quiet and awkward. Fi was brash and irritating. Maybe I would’ve liked a mixture of the two, but these two were polar opposites and polarizing as main characters. I never cared about the outcome for either girl.
Again, I can’t stress enough that McStay has a great voice that I think will really resonate with readers. She is going to have a bright future. Unfortunately, the characters in this one weren’t to my liking, but I will definitely be picking up her next book!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was on of my most anticipated releases off the year, so I had high expectations.Read more
Did I Like It: Yeah, I did. It was really packed with emotion, and from the highs to the lows, you really felt what the...Read more