Everything Beautiful

Everything Beautiful

by Simmone Howell

Hardcover(First Edition)

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Riley Rose, atheist and bad girl, has been tricked into attending Spirit Ranch, a Christian camp. There she meets Dylan Kier, alumni camper and recent paraplegic, who arrives with a chip on his shoulder and a determination to perfect all of his bad habits. United in their personal suffering and in their irritation at their fellow campers, they turn the camp inside out as they question the meaning of belief systems, test their faith in each other, and ultimately settle a debate of the heart.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781599900421
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 10/28/2008
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

SIMMONE HOWELL's short fiction has been published in journals and anthologies, and her short script, Pity 24, won the 2004 Australian Writer's Guild Award. The film has played festivals from Australia to the United States. Simmone has a BA in literature from Deakin University. She lives in Melbourne, Australia, with her husband and their young son, and reads pulp fiction, watches ex-rental videos, listens to hillbilly music, and writes. Notes from the Teenage Underground was her first novel.

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Everything Beautiful 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
EKAnderson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Tricked into attending a week-long Bible camp by her dad and kooky stepmother, Riley Rose feels doomed. For one, she¿s an atheist, and she certainly doesn¿t play by the rules. She¿s a big girl, but she flaunts her figure just to unnerve the people around her. She cuts and dyes her own hair. Her best friend is definitely a bad influence, but Riley likes it that way. She arrives at camp with a plan to go AWOL halfway through the week. But by the time that day comes, Riley¿s take-no-prisoners attitude has rubbed off on many of her bunkmates - and Riley herself has befriended a paraplegic ex-bully who just might have values that rub off on her as well. Howell¿s novel is about way more than spirituality - it¿s about growing out of selfishness long enough to understand someone else, about the universal suffering that is teenage awkwardness. Howell¿s writing is honest, cheeky, and fun, and her character, Riley Rose, is just the same. She¿s an angry kid with a chip on her shoulder, and yet she is completely accessible, hitting the heart of every teen girl that ever longed to love herself - and isn¿t that all of us? Everything Beautiful leaves a truly lasting impression worthy of acclaim.
elissajanine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is exactly the kind of book I aspire to write. A memorable main character, a snappy voice, a quiet lyricism that makes me want to copy whole paragraphs out and share them with people, and a clear and captivating plot, too. I like the way there is emotion but no sentimentality, and there is "edginess" without making it seem like edginess was the only goal in writing the book. I would like to immediately go out and buy the debut from this author, except I may want to reread Everything Beautiful first.
ericajsc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When I read a book, my goal is to see things through the main character¿s eyes as much as possible, even if the character seems vastly different than me; Riley is one of those characters. Despite that, though, I found her to be relatable and could easily empathize with her plight in the book. She¿s strong-willed and wants desperately to be impervious, hiding herself in defiance and sarcasm, but as she moves through the story, she gradually begins to tear at the wall she¿s built around herself.Most of the book moves along with Riley as she comes to realizations about herself and the other campers. At first she¿s convinced that everything and everyone is stereotypically churchy, just like she feared. But as she¿s stuck at Spirit Ranch, she begins to see that there¿s more to the other campers than she originally thought, and that maybe there¿s more to her, too. Don¿t get me wrong, it¿s not preachy, it¿s not about saving Riley¿s soul or getting her to church. This is about Riley realizing who she is, who she isn¿t, and who she¿s pretending to be.Some of the characters in the story are flat and stereotypical, but they¿re minor characters so they don¿t need to be fully developed. Sarita and Fleur, Riley¿s roommates, are accurate depictions of the different girls one may meet at church camp, though even they at some times veer into the dangerously stereotypical. The best part of the book for me was seeing how the different campers are revealed as Riley is able to look beyond her first impressions and see what is really there.Dylan Luck, though, he¿s one fantastically complicated boy. He¿s brooding and guarded, not in a I¿m-a-mysterious-bad-boy way, but in a I-lost-the-use-of-my-legs-and-I¿m-still-dealing-with-it way. Dylan and Riley together are fantastic, because it is with each other that they allow themselves to be vulnerable after keeping so much locked away for too long.This is a good read, though I wouldn¿t recommend it to anyone who is easily offended at a flippant view of Christianity or the appearance of alcohol, drugs, sex, or cussing. However, in my opinion none of these are gratuitous to the story and add realism and depth to Riley's story.
pybas18 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book had me at the beginning. When I first started reading I was amazed at the writing and the story Riley had to tell. The way it was very realistic and im sure some teenagers can relate to the characters stories. I really enjoyed how it didn¿t end in a cliché and it was very different. Another strength was the situations all the characters faced through the book. They are all understandable for life as a teenager. I do not have anything bad to say about this book because it was amazing in everyway.
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