"Every Exquisite Thing lives up to the hype...You're going to wish you could follow Quick's awesome heroine Nanette for another 500 pages or so when you get to the end."Bustle.com
* "The author's beautifully written first-person narrative captures the thoughts and feelings of a sensitive eighteen-year-old girl struggling against the shallowness she sees around her....All of the elements of this novel work together to make this an outstanding coming-of-age story."VOYA, starred review
* "Like the many anticonformity books before it, this will find a dedicated audience among teen readers."School Library Journal, starred review
* "Quick continues to excel at writing thought-provoking stories about nonconformity.... [and] paints a compelling portrait of a sympathetic teenager going through the trial-and-error process of growing up."Publishers Weekly, starred review"
Quick's story will speak to teenage eccentrics: loners, rebels, and creative types; the kind to follow Booker's suggestions to read Bukowski and Neruda; those ripe for transformation."The Horn Book"
A strong, well-written female protagonist sets this coming-of-age novel apart."Kirkus Reviews"
Quick creates beautifully well-rounded characters, particularly Nanette, whose first-person narrative, rich with wry observations and a kaleidoscope of meaningful emotions, offers great insight into the mind of a teen on a sometimes sluggish, spiraling path toward sorting herself out."Booklist"
[Quick] will give readers lots to chew on as they join Nanette in sorting out angst from general privileged malaise."The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
The power of the written word is on full display as junior Nanette O’Hare upends her privileged, “normal” life after discovering an out-of-print cult classic. Countless rereads of The Bubblegum Reaper lead her to question her place in the world and everyone’s expectations of her. She rebels by quitting the soccer team and distancing herself from her classmates in favor of befriending Booker, the book’s elderly author, and Alex, another teenage Bubblegum Reaper fan. Alex is a talented poet but a troubled young man, and their ill-fated romance leaves Nanette struggling to move forward; halfway into the novel, she begins to speak and think of herself in the third person at the suggestion of her therapist, June, in an effort to “See self as someone else.” Quick (Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock) continues to excel at writing thought-provoking stories about nonconformity. As June says at one point, “Sometimes you just have to pick a direction and make mistakes.” Through Nanette’s eyes, Quick paints a compelling portrait of a sympathetic teenager going through the trial-and-error process of growing up. Ages 15–up. Agent: Douglas Stewart, Sterling Lord Literistic. (May)
Gr 10 Up—Quick's nuanced story of rebellion and its cost will appeal to fans of Stephen Chbosky and John Green. Nanette O'Hare is drifting through high school playing her role as good girl perfectly when she is given a copy of a cult classic novel called The Bubblegum Reaper. Realizing the path she's on is not of her own choosing, she seeks out the reclusive author and becomes romantically involved with the troubled Alex, another fan. Nanette acts out against her quiet suburban life, only to realize those choices also come with a price. Nanette's development, from the first spark of independence and the initial rush of her relationship with Alex to her subsequent concern and later dread and even her experiment with a return to conformity, rings very true, as does her selfish naïveté in believing rebellion is the one path to happiness. Filled with literary allusions to Greek tragedies and The Catcher in the Rye, this work will be a hit with fans of Natalie Standiford's How to Say Goodbye in Robot (Scholastic, 2009). VERDICT Like the many anticonformity books before it, this will find a dedicated audience among teen readers.—Elizabeth Saxton, Tiffin, OH
After a teacher gifts her a copy of a cult classic novel, student-athlete Nanette O'Hare rebels against her manufactured white, middle-class lifestyle. The fictional cult novel she receives echoes The Catcher in the Rye in reputation. Soon enough Nanette consumes the book, obsessed with its open-ended conclusion. When she befriends the author, a recluse named Nigel Booker, Nanette questions her tendency to conform to the demands of her parents and school life. "I knew I was privileged, but what good was that if I still didn't get to make my own choices?" Acting the matchmaker, Booker introduces Nanette to Alex, a like-minded young poet with a destructive streak to whom she finds herself drawn. "Suddenly, I wanted to be attractive, adored, desired." With a bracing, confrontational style, Quick exposes new angles to this angst-ridden teenage prototype, but the first half of the novel is spent developing a familiar narrative. Nanette's story truly begins to excel in the latter half. As Nanette's new relationships demand more from her, the author plumbs the depths of her isolation. Catharsis here equals a journey of self-sabotage and self-discovery: "You're at a time in your life when you need to feel and believe wildly—that's just the way it is," Booker tells her. Rare moments like these make Nanette's story soar. A strong, well-written female protagonist sets this coming-of-age novel apart. (Fiction. 15 & up)