Monday, April 27, 2009
Everything Beautiful in the World-- Lisa Levchuk
Set in the 1980s and told from the unreliable perspective of Edna, Everything Beautiful in the World is a story about finding love in the midst of pain. Edna's mother is hospitalized with cancer, and every time she tries to visit her mother, Edna's body totally shuts down and she becomes terribly ill. Once a highly intelligent girl, she can now barely piece together logical sentences and is basically flunking out of school. The one class she excels in in ceramics... taught by Mr. Howland.
Edna and Mr. Howland have a secret place in the woods the like to visit. The also have a secret place in the back of his office, and even in his house. When friendships fail her, and her father no longer speaks to her, Mr. Howland is the only light in Edna's life. Until he isn't.
To be frank, I had a really hard time with this book. This is Levchuk's first book and honestly, it shows. The metaphors were cloyingly heavy-handed, the characters more like caricatures, and the plot never delivers any strong points. Also, thought the book was set in the 1980s, this had zero importance to the plot and almost seemed arbitrary. If you have a request for a teacher-student romance then I guess this would fill that need, but it pales in comparison to Barry Lyga's Boy Toy.