Customer Reviews for

The Center of Everything: A Novel

Average Rating 4
( 92 )
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5 Star

(38)

4 Star

(30)

3 Star

(13)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(4)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Absolutely Fantastic!

I had read Laura Moriarty's other 2 books before I read this one and I feel like even though I went in reverse order, I saved the best for last. I am an avid reader and audio-book listener and this was by far one of the best books I have read in a long time. You cheer...
I had read Laura Moriarty's other 2 books before I read this one and I feel like even though I went in reverse order, I saved the best for last. I am an avid reader and audio-book listener and this was by far one of the best books I have read in a long time. You cheer for Evelyn and her family the whole way, hoping that they will finally catch a break in life. I was so sad to see it end just when she was ready to start the next chapter of her life in college. Perhaps a sequel? A must-read!

posted by ILgirl07 on February 1, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

GOD AWFUL

This book is the worst book I have read in a long time. The author jumps ahead 3 years in one page, then stretches one day our over 3 chapters. It is boring and pointless. The author does not explain important things. She also seems to forget things that happene...
This book is the worst book I have read in a long time. The author jumps ahead 3 years in one page, then stretches one day our over 3 chapters. It is boring and pointless. The author does not explain important things. She also seems to forget things that happened, like in the middle of the book, they are watching TV, even though their power got cut off in the beginning. DO NOT BUY THIS!

posted by Anonymous on October 11, 2007

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2014

    Depressimg

    I am in the middle of the book. I just finished The Chaperone which was excellent. This book is well written but it seems more appropriate for a 12 year old who can identify with Evelyn. There's just so much heartache and despair. If the author was going for that she succeeded.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2010

    Still trying to finish

    This book is so slow moving and somewhat boring that every time I try to read it I find myself falling asleep. The story seems to be leading up to something, which is why I keep trying to read it but it's taking to long to really involve me in the story so that I want to stay with it! I will ammend this review if I ever get finished and find that the end is worth the effort of sticking with it, but so far I'm not there!

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  • Posted February 12, 2010

    Interesting, but not terribly original.

    While I agree that this book is absorbing while you are reading it, I also found it to be equally forgettable afterward. The central character, Evelyn, is the primary source of interest. Most of the other characters come off as losers who inspire little empathy in the reader. It is certainly not a crime to be poor, but they seem determined to remain in their pathetic, dead-end existences, with no aspirations for anything better, and (more importantly) no sense of responsibility. I did think that the ending was a little bit too abrupt. I was left hoping that Evelyn would go on to college and rise above environment poverty and lack of self-responsibility in which she has grown up; unfortunately, there is room for doubt as to whether she will be strong enough to do so with so many forces around her trying to drag her down. I feel that this book is a fairly strong indictment against our current welfare system, as we observe Evelyn's mother (Tina) and two best friends (Deena and Travis) mired down in the welfare lifestyle and the self-perpetuating cycle of poverty that it promotes. It could provide a good jumping off point for discussions about poverty, welfare, and what the rest of us should or should not do to try to improve the lives of those who cannot or will not try to help themselves.

    I feel, however, compelled to point out the many similarities between the plot and structure of this book and another, far superior novel, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. ATGiB also tells the story of a young girl (Francie Nolan) growing up in a poor family, but I felt it was far superior, more compelling, more memorable, and with many characters with whom one can sympathize. I feel quite certain that Ms. Moriarty must have read ATGiB at some point, as the parallels with her own novel are far too numerous to be coincidental. Both books focus on a young girl growing up in a poor family and are told (primarily) from her point of view; both books cover the span of time from when the girl is ten or eleven until she is about to go to college; both girls have much younger siblings; in both families the father goes away before the baby is born (Francie's father dies whereas the father of Evelyn's baby brother simply takes off); both girls are intelligent and determined to get an education and achieve a better life; both girls had grandfathers who were abusive; and so forth. The most striking difference between the two books is that the mother in ATGiB is very hard-working and responsible and is determined to help her children to better themselves. She is dead-set against charity or taking handouts and believes that education and hard work will enable her children to achieve a better life than she herself has had.

    TCoE does, however, provide what no novel from the 1940's can, namely, the sense nostalgia and remembrance for the time of one's own youth and young adulthood. Many of today's readers will vividly recall the 1980's, whereas few people alive today can remember the 1910's.

    In the final analysis, I felt that The Center of Everything is absorbing and easy to read, but could have been better.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2008

    Enjoyable...mostly

    Not the best book that I have read, but enjoyable enough to finish it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2006

    Didn't live up to reviews

    I had read the reviews from this website and thought that this would be a good read. I was disappointed. There was really nothing as far as a plot. It was one of those books that I kept reading, thinking that maybe it gets better. I never thought it did.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2011

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    Posted August 28, 2011

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    Posted August 17, 2010

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    Posted April 9, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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