Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
We've all read That Book, the one that is recommended by someone who knows us well enough to say, "This book will change your life" and, well, it has. The Bubblegum Reaper is That Book for many, including Nanette and Alex, who actually meet because they've befriended the author (and are then set up on a date). Their voices and interactions are, for the most part, very "real teen" and thus sweet and painful and funny all at the same time. The denials Booker, the author, gives over their interpretations of the who and how of the book reminded me somewhat of Roth's comments about The Human Stain and the Anatole Broyard interpretation - and reminded me that sometimes, getting the answers from the horse's mouth isn't always the the answer we need, or predict.
So, why not five stars? Maybe I'm being overly picky, but doesn't anyone notice or care about Nanette's involvement with her teacher (before it's too late)? and then doesn't anyone notice or care about her and Booker? There are a few choices she makes that felt false to me, particularly when she's actively being "Nanette". But other than that, great book that will be a joy sharing with students.
ARC provided by publisher.