Every Exquisite Thing


Rating: 5 Crickets

Title: Every Exquisite Thing
Author: Matthew Quick
Illustrator: Unknown
Publisher: Headline Publishing Group
Published: 10th May 2016

Eighteen-year-old Nanette O’Hare has played the role of dutiful daughter, hard-working student and loyal friend for as long as she can remember.
Then she reads a worn copy of out-of-print cult classic The Bubblegum Reaper – and a spirit of rebellion awakens.
Yet as Nanette befriends the book’s reclusive author, falls in love with a troubled poet and attempts to assert herself with wild abandon, she realises there can be nothing so devastating as loneliness.
But in this world of endless potential and beauty, there is a place for each and every one of us. All we have to do is find it.


I wanted to read this book because it was about an 18yr old girl who had always played the ‘good girl’ role, doing what everyone expected of her, and about what happened when she started to do things for herself. To rebel. I thought it would really relate to me, that I would connect to the book and the characters and find a piece of myself within the pages – and at the time I felt like I was alone in the world, so I really wanted to find a book I could really relate to.

Once I started to read it, I got 20 odd pages in before I realised that it didn’t really relate to me at all. The main character was not like me, in fact she was very different. It was disappointing to come to this realisation and I struggled to pick the book up again. But after a week or so I did pick up the book and I continued reading, and I kept reading it till I finished the entire book. The girl was not me. It was wrong of me to think that she would be. Her, like everyone else in this world, was unique and had their own set of problems. However, in the end, it did relate to me, in a way. She was different from everyone else, she never fit it, not really. She did what was expected of her, to make others happy. And while the situations she faced were quite different to mine, there was also a similarity to them. And I could relate to that, and I could relate to her uniqueness even though it was different from my own. In the same way I think a lot of people will be able to relate to this book in some way.

Nanette O’Hare was a great character and I enjoyed joining her on her journey to find herself. One of the best things about her character was that she didn’t let life keep her down – there were times in which it was struggle to keep on going but despite that she kept fighting.

This book reminded me of John Green’s books. I’m not exactly sure why but there was just something about it that gave the same sort of feeling, although it is also different from them in its own exquisite way. I also love how the book is dedicated to “the green bench near the creek” – it adds character to the book before one even begins to read it, and this book is absolutely filled with character.

People often talk about how after reading a book it can be like being left with a hangover. You can feel a little lost and it is hard to move on and return to reality. This is certainly the experience I had after reading this book. It caused me to question myself and my life and what it is exactly that I am doing and who it is that I am. I’m not sure that it will have this same effect on everybody, but it is most definitely worth the read and I highly recommend reading this book. It is a quick read, standing at 265 pages, but it is a value read. 


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