I’ve been thinking about one of my all-time favourites (Everything Beautiful by Simmone Howell) a lot recently, I don’t know why. Probably because I’ve been reading her blog a bit recently… Anyway, most of my thinkings have centred around why I love Everything Beautiful so much. It isn’t particularly ground-breaking, I’ve only read it once, and I really wasn’t much of a fan of the lead – but I love it so much that when I had a signed copy to give away on Boomerang last year, I seriously considered keeping it for myself and claiming it got lost in the post between the publisher’s office and my house.
I thought back to the first day I held my copy, and then I remembered:
It was the blurb.
Yes, I loved her debut, Notes From the Teenage Underground, but that was just one novel, I hadn’t exactly invested in a career. I could’ve ignored Everything Beautiful and everything else Simmone ever wrote and not feel too bad. But, then I read the blurb.
Calling a novel Everything Beautiful sets the expectations pretty high (says the author working on his novel, titled Magnum Opus – sigh), and the blurb sold me not only on the book’s beauty, but on Simmone as an artist who I’d invest in beyond her debut.
I believe in Chloe and chocolate.
I believe the best part is always before.
I believe that most girls are shifty and most guys are dumb.
I believe the more you spill, the less you are.
I don’t believe in life after death or diuretics or happy endings.
I don’t believe anything good will come of this.
I challenge you to tell me that ain’t some fine writing. Those six sentences shaped my entire reading of the novel, their simple beauty took my breath away. And I’m saying this as a male reading a book with a big love heart on the front cover. Whenever I think about Everything Beautiful, my mind instantly goes to those six hauntingly resonant lines, some of the best YA I’ve read in my lifetime.