I didn’t read the synopsis for this book. I have to admit I chose to read this based solely on the cover. NOW IS EVERYTHING is such an amazing story. It took me by surprise how much I grew to love and root for Hadley.
Hadley is just a normal 17 year old girl on the outside. She excels at sports and academics and she has some really great friends. Hadley is in love with a boy named Charlie. Hadley is hiding a big secret, though. She and her mother are being abused by Hadley’s father. Told between then and now chapters showing how life was before and the plane crasj, we learn the truth of what life was really like for Hadley. For good and for bad.
The then parts of this story are about abuse and domestic violence, but it is also about hope and how love really can overcome many things. Hadley is fiercely protective of her little sister who is just turning the age that Hadley was when the abuse started. Not wanting to see her sister go down the same path, she chooses to stay close to home. Her reasons for not telling anyone become crystal clear as the story progresses. She is really trapped in this life with a monster.
In the now portions of the story Hadley is the sole survivor of a plane crash. We don’t know who else was on the plane or what happened to make it crash because Hadley isn’t talking to anyone. This part of the story has people close to Hadley being interviewed about what state of mind Hadley might have been in. The minute Hadley woke up she attempted to kill herself after the crash. This part of the story, once it does catch up to Hadley, is more about daily survival than even her old life was. She is going through the motions without trying to think too much about how she got here.
The pacing for this book was so smooth it felt effortless switching between timelines. I can honestly say that the author didn’t pull any cheap tricks to make me want to rush the story to get to the “good part”. This whole story was the good part. Hadley is easy to love and understand even though she is going through this awful time in her life. Part of her experience unfortunately, felt familiar to things I have faced in my own life. It was refreshing to see an author take this on without apologizing.
This story also contains a beautiful love story between Hadley and a boy named Charlie. This romance kept the story from being too depressing and gave Hadley so much too look forward to in this bleak time of her life. I loved Hadley and Charlie together. Where they end up is a question that kept me turning pages even as other characters’ fates were revealed. I so wanted a happy ending for Hadley.
There really wasn’t anything about this book I didn’t like. I would highly recommend this book without a “trigger warning” because beneath it all there is a serious message of hope and a resources list from the author at the ending. This book is meant to create a dialogue or extend a lifeline, and I hope it does. I really hope it does.
Now Is Everything by Amy Giles
Published by HarperTeen on November 7th 2017
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Social Themes, Physical & Emotional Abuse, Family, Siblings, Romance, Contemporary
eARC provided by HarperCollins
Read the book New York Times bestselling author Amber Smith calls “powerful and haunting,” and acclaimed author Peter Brown Hoffmeister calls “beautiful and sad.”
Now Is Everything is a stirring debut novel told in alternating THEN and NOW chapters, perfect for Sarah Dessen and Jennifer Niven fans, about what one girl is willing to do to protect her past, present, and future.
The McCauleys look perfect on the outside. But nothing is ever as it seems, and this family is hiding a dark secret.
Hadley McCauley will do anything to keep her sister safe from their father. But when Hadley’s forbidden relationship with Charlie Simmons deepens, the violence at home escalates, culminating in an explosive accident that will leave everyone changed.
When Hadley attempts to take her own life at the hospital post-accident, her friends, doctors, family, and the investigator on the case want to know why. Only Hadley knows what really happened that day, and she’s not talking.