Everything, Everything: Oceans, Solar Systems, Deep Thoughts about Life


Madeline has never been outside. Never felt the salty, invigorating coolness of the ocean. Never tasted the crispness of the oncoming fall.

Never been to a high school. Never fallen in love.

Never had her heart broken.

But then a boy moves next door. And her life changes forever.


My Rating

Three and a half stars. *throws confetti but with a sad smile*

An entertaining one sentence summary

There’s this girl and she’s like allergic to the air and grass and well everything, everything but then this dude moves in next door and he only ever wears black and he climbs around on trees and roofs and walls like he’s a monkey and he’s totally flirting with her and she’s like yes please and then they run off to Hawaii to snorkel with humuhumu-whatawhata-something-something fish and that was a bad idea.


More Entertaining Short Summaries

Phonetic Scrabble (which is like the coolest idea ever)

Fun illustrations for the child within (like bundt cakes and time passing techniques and even little dictionary definitions and book reviews)



Outer space



Air locks

Almost dying (fun)



Initial Thoughts

Being up-and-up on the latest YA hits (that was sarcasm, btw), I really wanted to check out Everything, Everything. I saw a trailer for the upcoming movie randomly pop up on my Facebook page and it looked fairly decent.


Plus, when I saw the cover, I was like YES I WILL LOVE YOU FOREVER.

Note: I think we have learned that Amanda only ever reads/chooses books because of their pretty covers. While this is not always true . . . I do tend to choose books based on the covers.

Entering the book, I was in love. Maddy was absolutely darling: she was sweet and super super smart. She also didn’t cuss, was HOMESCHOOLED and had a great relationship with her mother.

This had the makings of SUCH A GREAT BOOK.


Then comes Olly. Olly cusses quite a bit, which isn’t surprising because his dad is an idiot and cusses even more.

AS I WAS READING THIS BOOK, I was reading another book. It’s Christian nonfiction and one of the parts was about how touching people of the opposite gender is dangerous. Once you start, you can’t stop. I kid you not, I had both of the books open and as I was reading Everything, Everything, Maddy said:


I was like DUDE!! So true!

And we see a dangerous progression.


Maddy and Olly are okay with just pantomiming to each other through a window.


They want to meet each other. So Maddy gets her nurse to arrange a meeting. They aren’t allowed to touch each other.


A few weeks later they meet and and Olly grabs Maddy’s hand to help her with a handstand. Oops, accident . . . won’t happen again right? WRONG THIS IS YA FICTION.


A few weeks later . . . Olly sits really close to Maddy.


A few weeks later . . . Olly kisses Maddy.


And then they run away together and there’s only one bed and . . . yeah. Not good.

This was definitely a God-thing for me to read this book in conjunction with the nonfiction one. It just proved to me that, yes. There is no end to desire. And there isn’t supposed to be within the bounds of marriage! That’s what the world doesn’t understand.


This book was full of beautiful imagery, deep characters, and amazing musings on the universebut I must part it with a gift of only three and a half stars because of the messages:

  • Follow your heart (as usual)
  • Teens drifting away from their parents is normal
  • All love relationships end in intimacy meant for marriage
  • It’s okay to do something that could possibly kill you if you’re going to be happy
  • Love relationships make you crazy and that’s okay; you’ll be obsessed, out of whack, but that’s normal and just go with it. Make that person YOUR ALL in life and don’t look back.

SO . . .

What I did like

  • Phonetic Scrabble (becuz y not)
  • Maddy and Olly’s conversations (they reminded me of convos I’ve had)
  • Maddy’s wanting to REALLY LIVE
  • Her obsession with books

What I didn’t like

  • Maddy comes to the conclusion that teens are supposed to fall in love and not like their parents anymore. Their love affairs replace their bond to their parents. SO SAD!!
  • There was a gay dude (they always have to throw those in there)
  • The PG-13 scene (I’d say it’s more like M or R; regardless, I skipped it)
  • The climax was kind of like WHOA WHOA WHOA waht

More fave quotable quotes



A few months ago, I jumped off a cliff into a lake. Maddy’s experience was so much like mine I wanted to share it. Read the book for another even more beautiful passage about the feeling.

He nods. “I’ll go first. I won’t let you drown.” He jumps up and out and does a full somersault before arrowing into the water. A few seconds later he resurfaces and waves up to me. I wave back and then close my eyes to take stock of my situation, because jumping off a cliff seems like a pivotal moment when a little stock-taking should be done. Strangely, though, I felt like I don’t really want to think too much. Like Olly, I just want to jump. I teach out Olly’s face in the water and find him waiting for me. Considering what the future may hold, dumping off this cliff doesn’t seem so scary at all.


Have you read this book? Will you watch the movie?


The Girl From Everywhere: Sassy Thieves & Time Traveling Pirates YASSSSS

Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 10.21.10 AM

Nix’s father is a Navigator. That means that he, using real maps (the ones actually hand-drawn by cartographers) can TRAVEL THROUGH TIME. He can even travel to fantasy lands, if he so desires.

But he doesn’t.

The only thing he really wants is to go back to 1868 and find Nix’s mother. Even if going back could erase Nix’s existence . . .

My Rating

Three and a half stars.

An Entertaining One Sentence Summary

Nix’s dad is completely, brutally obsessed with going back in time and finding Nix’s mother even if that means plundering the Hawaiian Treasury with an army of Sima Qian’s terra cotta warriors come back to life and hey who cares his daughter might be obliterated in the fantastical impossibility of two of yourselves existing in one reality (whaaaaat) he gonna do it anyway.

*Go daddy, go daddy*

Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 10.41.57 AM.png

The art of this amazing Deviant artist book fan fiend

More Entertaining Short Summaries


Cute Persian dude who steals stuff for Nix.

Hawaiian folklore.


Pretty ships.

Magical birds that heal diseases.

A bag that never gets full (this would be helpful for my schoolbooks yes yes).

A cute little dragon named Swag (so whenever I read about him I just imagined the red dragon from Mulan because he so #swag).

Image result for gif of dragon from mulan

Initial thoughts

I walked into the library.

I wanted something pretty.

I saw this prettiness.

And I picked it up.


I am notorious for passionately hating the world of YA. AND YET I READ YA ANYWAY. Yes, I am a pathetic mushroom of indiscretion. But this book?? Wow. The language was so colorful, so deep. Nix made tons of references to mythology and other high-intellect things (instead of being typical fluffy YA in which you don’t have to consider ANY sentences whatsoever).

However . . .


Image result for confused gif

I still don’t even know what exactly happened (that may be because I crammed reading this thick novel into three days’ time and I was racing with myself to see how fast I could read it AND Spring Break is almost over HELLLLLP). Heilig often used too much explanation that didn’t actually explain anything so I was just sitting there, rereading a chunk of text that was absolutely critical to understanding how Navigating works.

So I gave up.

Maybe I’m just lazy.

I don’t understand what happened to Nix’s mom; who the heck Joss was; Bee’s background; and who in the world was Rotgut? Not much character development beyond Nix, Kashmir, Slate, and then the dashingly handsome Blake (because it’s YA . . . gotta throw in a handsome duuuuuuddddeeee)


Time travel is an incredibly mind-boggling genre to write and I applaud Heidi for her beautiful take on it. The book truly was enjoyable, even if it did have a few objectionable elements that just seemed to be THROWN IN (more on that in a moment).

So . . .

What I did like

  • The actual intelligence of this book.
  • The beautiful descriptions of Hawaii (book me a flight rn k thanks)
  • Kasmir 😉
  • The magical warrior dudes that left people trembling in fear

What I didn’t like

  • The time travel wasn’t explained very well. STILL confused about important details.
  • Okay so they were all making a big deal about how long it would take to rob the Hawaaiin treasury and make a map to get back to 1868 Hawaii but then it took Nix and her crew like a few weeks to get the plan for Hawaii destruction written and then Blake is like oh dude I can draw give me a few days and you’ll be on your way.
  • Like what.
  • What happened here.
  • I think Heidi got tired of writing (which I kinda don’t blame her IT’S EXHAUSTING)
  • There were some objectionable elements. Thrown in. For no reason. Why. Plus some cussing. And Bee had a wife?? And she was a girl?? And she used to be in a tribe and she bought her wife for cattle? #BackstoryConfusion

Quotable Quotes

In every myth, paradise was meant to be lost.

Jealousy is simply the fear of being abandoned.

Have you read this book? Do you LOOOOOVE the time traveling? The pirates? The sassy, attractive Persian thieves???



I’m on an


All by myself.

I call out to people I see

Floating by me

In boats of all different shapes and sizes.

But they can’t–


Hear me.

They’d rather live in their

Foolish opulence;

Drown in their

Pompous ideas.

I watch them,

One by one,

Jumping overboard.

I yell out to them,

Command them to


But they laugh

As they jump off the deck of the cruise ship.

They smile

As they jump off of the rickety rowboat.

They whoop

As they jump off the yacht.

They jump


Into the shark-infested waters

Beneath them.

They don’t even scream as they’re torn

To bits and pieces.

They don’t seem to know.

And the worst part is

I have to watch.

It’s my duty.

I can’t turn my back on them;

I’m supposed to save them.

One passenger hears me.

I gasp,


And throw out a life preserver.

He catches it in his

Capable hands,

A bit afraid

For the first time in his life.

He’s unsure

For the first time in his life.

But he comes


Everyone screams for him to

Come back

But he ignores them,

Just like they ignore me

Day in and day out.

I pull him ashore.

The twinkle in his eye

Is so beautifully familiar.

I want to cry.

I’m not



He takes my hand

And we stroll across the beach.

We can rest for a little while.

But tomorrow

When the sun serves breakfast

I’ll be back at it again.

But this time I have a friend.

And together we’ll throw life preservers

Out to those

Who don’t want a life to preserve.


Lies Young Women Believe: GET THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW

Have you ever believed a lie?

You’re thinking to yourself OF COURSE NOT I’m the epitome of sense and sensibility.

Okay then. When you were little, did you really believe that Santa Claus existed? *glares at chimney* Were you convinced Pluto was a planet? Did you agree that the tooth fairy really existed?

I don’t recall this personally, but my mimi loves relating the story of when she asked me when I was much younger if I believed in Santa Claus. I puffed out my chest and sassily answered, “I don’t believe in Santa—I believe in Jesus!”

My sister Rachel, maybe four or five at the time, glanced at me and hesitated, torn between her loyalty to me and her love for the old man with the white beard that brought her gifts every Christmas. Finally, she said,

“Well I believe in Santa Claus!”

Now we know Santa Claus doesn’t exist (and maybe we even think he’s kinda creepy), that Pluto is not a planet (#PLUTOPOWER), and that it was your mom sticking dollar bills underneath your pillow when you lost a toofer.

But we all still believe lies. The root of sin is believing a lie. If your best friend is the most important thing in your life, you’ve told yourself she’s more important than the God who made you. If you constantly fight with your parents, you don’t believe the Bible verse that says that our parents are our authority.

Lies Young Women Believe is an amazing nonfiction book written by Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Dannah Gresh that tackles all these lies that cause us to sin. You might think you’re a pretty good person (I know I’m caught in that trap many times), but LYWB discusses so many different types of lies, I know you’ll end up finding at least one you believe. Perhaps you believe that you’re a Christian because . . . um . . . well, you go to church. And your parents are saved. And you raised your hand in Sunday School the other day to answer a really theological question. Perhaps you believe that girls who are pretty are worth more, or that you’re all alone in your decision to save your first kiss for your wedding day.

This ends now!

LYWB is amazing because it says all those cliché things like:

  • You are saved “by grace”
  • You are “perfect the way you are”
  • “You aren’t alone”
  • It’ll be “worth it”

These truths, while Biblically accurate, have – okay, let’s admit it – GOTTEN OLD. I’ve been told one too many times that I’m perfect the way I am, that God made me beautiful, that He makes no mistakes, that I’m not alone, and that it’s all worth it.

But what’s different about this book is that it admits these truths are old. And then it refurbishes them with new truths and applicable verses!

This book doesn’t confront every issue facing teen girls today. That would be impossible! But it does give special attention to 25 of THE MOST BELIEVED LIES of teen girls in the 21st century. Because, the truth is . . .


You’re not the only one who looks in the mirror and doesn’t like what she sees. You’re not the only one who has less friends than she wishes. You’re not the only girl who stands up for what’s right and gets verbally beaten up.

We’re all in this together.

So, purchase this book at your local bookstore and take some time to read it. Get one of those notebooks you have lying around your room and take notes and answer the end-of-chapter questions LYWB provides.

Have you ever read this book before? What lies do you believe?