For the official blurb of Everything Must Go look here: Everything Must Go: A Novel.
My blurb: Self proclaimed feminist, Flora, has her ideals challenged when she becomes slightly psychotic and follows a guy she is obsessed with to a commune charter school.
Okay this blurb makes our heroine- Flora- seem a little bit crazy. Let me reiterate- she is a lot crazy! Not in a clinical way, but in a way that is like- woah that takes boy-crazy to a whole new level! But if you haven’t yet- you should read this book. I don’t know if you should buy it because I have mixed feelings about the ending (no spoilers yet- but there will be in this review!) but it was an enjoyable read.
A lot of negative reviews about this book are about Flora, who people found annoying. I did find her annoying but more in a lovable way. I liked the layout of the book- in a conglomeration of emails and letters and magazine clippings. (“Let us never underestimate the power of a well written letter.” One of my favorite quotes from the movie The Jane Austen Book Club… which I also think is a book). And in fairness- Flora is well aware of her delusional love- and she does warn the reader about it!
I loved the supporting cast in this book. Dean (a girl actually), India, Cora, Lael! All very solid characters who give sound advice and are well rounded. Yay for friends in books! Flora’s parents were pretty realistic as far as crap parents go. It was portrayed perfectly that her parents were selfish. And in the end- I loved how her sister, Lael, and Flora both responded to it.
The best part about the book is the ideas of…are you true to yourself? Do you change based on who you are hanging out with at the time? Are you a true feminist? What is a true feminist? These are questions the book asked- and I appreciated that journey.
SPOILERS and CONS of the book below.
So if you’ve read the book- can we just talk about how Elijah was not remotely appealing? I think everyone BUT Flora realized this. So that was a problem for me- but as John Mayer says “You love, who you love, who you love…”
Next- I had a problem with the ending! Maybe a lot of you liked the open ending of… exploring her sexuality and not making any firm commitments in the boy/girl department. I did not. I did not like the Sam build up…just for her to be platonic friends who she is partly in love with but not attracted to. What. Is. That? You are super in love with someone but you find them ugly? I’m not sure what that was trying to convey- but as a reader- I liked Sam, and I didn’t appreciate being pulled along that journey only to be introduced to Agnes (a boy) who we have no bond with as readers! Are we supposed to be rooting for random Agnes? And THEN – just to really throw us off- Flora gets high as a kite and makes out with her roommate (a girl).
Also- can we talk about how in the end Flora’s whole support system is with her at Quare (the school) and she leaves all of them to search out Sam (who we’re supposed to have zero love connection with at this point). What the heck?! What kind of “friend” is Sam- if he’s not there already supporting Flora? And what kind of friend is Flora that she doesn’t interact with her friends who made the trip to her school because she needs to randomly go find Sam?! The whole Sam/Flora thing is a Frelationship (a friendship that is a placeholder for a relationship- where one party is for sure interested in the other but doesn’t realize it themselves) if I’ve ever seen one! And trust me- I could write a book on Frelationships!
So overall this isn’t a buy-able book for me- but it did leave a smile on my face and had me thinking about some solid feminist questions.
Read this if you consider yourself a feminist.