Blog Tour, ARC Review & Extract: Everything Beautiful Is Not Ruined by Danielle Younge-Ullman10:00
Author: Danielle Younge-Ullman
Published April 6th 2017 by Scholastic
Ingrid has made a deal with her mother: she gets to go to the school of her choice as long as she completes a three-week wilderness programme. But when Ingrid arrives, she quickly realizes there has been a terrible mistake: there will be no marshmallows or cabins here. Instead, her group will embark on a torturous trek, with almost no guidance from the two counsellors and supplied with only the things they can carry. On top of this, the other teen participants are “at risk youth”, a motley crew of screw-ups, lunatics and delinquents. But as the laborious days go by, and as memories of her complicated past come flooding back, Ingrid must confront the question of whether she shares more in common with these troubled teens than she’s willing to admit.
I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher. This in no way impacted on my view.
When I first received this book in the post, I wasn't too sure about what to expect. I hadn't heard about it originally, but when I looked on GR for it, it seemed to be something I would enjoy, and that's exactly what happened.
In Everything Beautiful is Not Ruined, Ingrid is sent to a wilderness camp, for 3 weeks. She made an agreement with her mam to complete the course, and through the use of journal entries, letters, and prose, we learn more about Ingrid's life, and just why exactly she is at the camp. However, 'camp' is a loose term for what she actually faces. Rather than stay in chalet type buildings, on bunk beds and around a camp fire, it's hard, grueling work, making your own shelter, hiking/canoeing for days on end, in wet, smelly clothes. As we learn more about Ingrid, we discover why she won't quit and give up, even when so much is thrown at her.
I loved how the book was told, flicking from past to present, and back again, so we learnt about Ingrid's life in a way that added to the story, rather than took away from it. Because of these snippets, we understand Ingrid as a character more, and, in my opinion, we love her more too. She's such a relatable, and sarcastic MC, that even if the story wasn't that good - and it really was - she would have improved it.
The book has such a range of characters - from ones you love, to ones
you hate, both in Ingrid's past, and her present. Certain characters got my back up from the get go, and I was right to have those opinions of them. Even though the book seems on the outside to be quite cute and fluffy, once you actually get into it, it's a lot more hard hitting, and serious than I was expecting.
One thing I can say about this book, was that the 'revelations', weren't that hard to guess at, and the main thing we find out at the end, I'd guessed quite early on int he book. However, that didn't take away from the story, and I have to say my favourite part of the whole book was the 'present', while she was on the trip, though the past was enjoyable too.
If you like contemporary books to escape into a different experience, this is definitely one for you.
An extract from the book:
About Danielle Younge-Ullman:
Danielle Younge-Ullman is a Canadian novelist, playwright and freelance writer. This is her second YA novel, and would be her first published in the UK. She studied English and theatre at McGill University in Montreal, then returned to her hometown of Toronto to work as professional actor for ten years. This was character-building time during which she held a wild variety of acting and non-acting jobs–everything from working on the stage and in independent films, to dubbing English voices for Japanese TV, to temping, to teaching Pilates. LOLA CARLYLE’S 12 STEP ROMANCE (Entangled/Macmillan May 2015) is Danielle’s YA debut. Danielle also wrote the critically acclaimed adult novel, FALLING UNDER, (Penguin, 2008), published a short story called “Reconciliation” in MODERN MORSELS, a McGraw-Hill Anthology for young adults, in 2012, and her one-act play, 7 Acts of Intercourse, debuted at Toronto’s SummerWorks Festival in 2005. Danielle lives in an old house in Toronto that’s constantly being renovated, with her husband and two daughters.
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