All the Pretty Things by Emily Arsenault Review

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Synopsis

For fans of Sadie and The Cheerleaders comes an all new thriller about a boy who turns up dead under suspicious circumstances and the one girl who may be the key to solving the mystery of his untimely death.

For Ivy, summer means roller-coaster season, spinning cotton candy at the Fabuland amusement park, and hanging out with her best friend, Morgan. But this summer is different.

One morning, Morgan finds a dead body. It’s their former classmate and coworker Ethan. To make matters worse, Morgan is taken to a hospital psych ward only days later, and she’s not saying much–not even to Ivy.

The police claim that Ethan simply took a bad fall, but Ivy isn’t convinced and realizes it’s up to her to get answers. What she finds is unsettling–it’s clear that some people aren’t being honest about Ethan’s last night at Fabuland. Including Morgan. And the more secrets Ivy uncovers, the closer she gets to unraveling dark truths that will change her life forever.

My Thoughts

There were some things about this book that I really enjoyed and some things that really rubbed me the wrong way.

The atmosphere of this story was on point! Almost every scene of the story takes place in the Fabuland Amusement park and the sights and sounds are described very vividly. Amusement park settings are always fun for me to read so I loved this aspect of the book.

The plot was okay…a boy is found dead at the bottom of a bridge and the amusement park owner’s daughter goes on a mission to find out what happened the night he died. The “do it yourself detective” work is a trope that I really don’t enjoy. It’s just very unrealistic and ridiculous to me.

The victim in the story had down syndrome but did not display the characteristics of anyone that I know or have known with down syndrome (he seemed to have more traits of someone on the autism spectrum). I work with many students with special needs in my job.

I was very concerned about a scene where a character chugged a beer, felt lightheaded, then got in their car and drove. For a YA book, this seems very irresponsible to include. I was waiting for there to be some sort of discussion on how this was not safe but it never came. (I understand that it’s not an author’s job to teach readers and in most cases I don’t want that, but this scene almost condoned underage drinking and driving.)

Overall, the atmosphere was the only strong point in my opinion.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and Delacorte Press to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

My Rating

2 stars

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