I really enjoyed this mash up of Greek Gods and a high school here on earth. While we see Cupid as a cherubic fat baby boy with a quiver full of arrows, she really is a goddess that I in love with Orion but has been put on earth to inspire love between three couples, without any of her gifts. So down she comes, banished with her mother, and takes on the name True, to remind her of her mission.
What was most curious about this story, for me, is the utter believability of all of True’s behaviors: she is so utterly a teenager in all of her dramatics, her reactions to everything that is happening, and even in her inability to understand HOW things work, even though she has been “observing’ for millennia. Yes, she whines a bit more than should be normal, and her absolute lack of pop culture and fashion knowledge, as well as conventional understanding of personal property and space are missing, but seeing and ‘observing’ are far different than actually experiencing, and I truly believe True is one who needs to fall flat on her face to really learn a lesson.
Told from the perspective of three narrators, True, Charlie and Kat, the story manages to incorporate enough teen angst, humor, insight and perspective to get a solid feel of the characters and the high school world without ever losing a beat.
Charlie is the other ‘new kid’ who starts school with True. She instantly decides that he needs her help. A bit of an outsider, Charlie is musical and not-at-all athletic, unlike his father and brothers. Here in the New Jersey high school he finds himself incorporated into the ‘cool kids’ crowd, where his interest in impressing them hasn’t changed, but their reaction to him has. A bit of a familiar storyline, but Charlie is far deeper and genuinely cares about the people he befriends, so it works a treat.
Kat is the darkest of the three characters: her father was killed in a car crash, her home life is falling apart, and she had lost all interest in school without having her father’s constant encouragement and excitement. Her self-esteem and mood are at an all-time low, and she is hanging with a crowd that is going nowhere fast, with a boyfriend that is dismissive at best and borderline abusive at worst.
Eventually with time, struggles and a few bits of input that felt rather contrived to push characters to a certain decision or choice, when they really hadn’t hit the point of no return. While I enjoyed him, his input did seem to rush the story to conclusion, and it rather diminished True’s triumph in actually making matches. True is constantly there, adding her two cents, unfortunately her ‘woe is me’ self-pitying moments were almost too much, she wasn’t quite unlikable, but by 60% into the story I was preferring Kat and Charlie and their stories far more. I will say that if it sounds like True is just an annoyance, I haven’t mentioned her bone-deep and near child-like belief in the redemptive power of love as a cure for all that ails. That and her actual desire to provide love and happiness to the world, quest or no quest, that keep her out of the ‘toss away’ pile.
Narration in this story is provided by Rebekkah Ross and she did a lovely job in her performance of the story. Her True felt very ‘teen’ with the appropriate puzzled, wondering and self-pitying tones that were called for that hit every note. Her Charlie and Kat also were done with flair, a touch of tone and pitch modulation with subtle speed and enunciation changes that differentiate each character with a subtle yet appropriate performance.
Kieran Scott has written a fun and clever story with unique and familiar elements blending together to give readers familiar and not so familiar characters to follow.
Stars: Overall: 4 Narration: 4 Story: 4
Title: Only Everything
Author: Kieran Scott
Genre: Teen Reads
Narrator: Rebekkah Ross
Published by: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, SimonandSchuster.com/Audio
Source: Simon and Schuster Audio
Audio Length: 9 Hours: 10 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ AllRomance ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦Audible
Sometimes the gods can be so unreasonable.
Like Zeus, the king, who thinks the proper reaction to finding me kissing a mortal is to threaten my boyfriend Orion's life, banish me to Earth, and force me to inspire true love between three couples without my powers. I know! Elders! I'm Eros, a.k.a. Cupid. The Goddess of Love. Until this morning, anyway.
Now I'm stuck on Earth with no clue how to function as a human, and I can't even conjure up my magical bow and arrows to help me do my job. I've already met this amazing guy—Charlie, a new kid in school like me—but matching him up isn't as easy as I thought. Turns out opposites don't attract, nearly identicals don't attract, and giving a guy what he seems to want is just one big disaster. My sweet new friend Katrina might work, but she's got more complications than Medusa's hair, and a live-in boyfriend with a serious mean streak. Probably not the best idea to go there.
If I don't make a match, I may never see Orion again. I have so much to lose, and only everything to gain.
A copy of this title was provided via Simon and Schuster Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.