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Cher-y-lynne {sher-uhl-lin} –noun 1. One who formerly sold and recommended children’s books at a bookstore; a specialist in young adult, middle grade, and picture books. 2. A para-educator at a middle school. 3. A struggling young adult writer. 4. A lover of chocolate and popcorn. Archaic: An Audiology and Speech Language Pathology major at Brigham Young University. Questions? Suggestions? Books you'd like me to review? E-mail me at cherylynne1 (at) gmail (dot) com.
This is a blog for my ranting, raving, and occasionally brilliant opinions. You have been warned. Enter at your own risk.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Book Review: Everything is Fine by Ann Dee Ellis

Ellis, Ann Dee. Everything is Fine. New York: Little, Brown, and Company, 2009.

“How’s your mother?”
“Really okay?”
That’s when I looked at Norma’s face again and she had a gigantic mole that I hadn’t really had time to look at closely before. There was a hair in it.
“Does she need anything?”
The hair was long. But not that long because I hadn’t noticed it before. And it was blackish brown like Norma’s hair-ball head.
“Can I come and see her?”
No, you cannot see my mom. No, you can’t, you fat fat lady with a red car and no cats.
“I don’t think so,” I said.

Mazzy's fine. Her mother, even though she's been practically catatonic since a family tragedy, is fine. And her father is fine, wherever he might be. Everything is fine. As long as no one outside the family asks too many questions, that is. And as long as Mazzy can figure out a way to bring the light back into her mother's eyes, and bring her father home.

Absolutely outstanding. Every character, even minor characters, were perfectly fleshed out. Everything Mazzy said and did was believeable, and her voice was so incredibly real I could almost imagine her jumping out and talking to me. Even though the story is dark, dealing with death and mental disorders, Mazzy was so bright and quirky that she made it bearable. Which also made the fact that she was able to deal with everything herself believeable.

Also, although it's told from the point of view of a child, there are enough clues that we can see what's really happening. We can see how people are just trying to help her, we can see how she's turning to art to express her emotions. We can see the real story, even with a (somewhat) unreliable narrator. It's a perfect balance.

Even though it's rather short, I don't recommend this for some younger readers. There are a few parts that are a little dark. For anyone else though, a great choice. This would make a wonderful book club book as well.


  1. I just finished reading this one too and loved it. Review to come soon! :) I agree that it seems to be for younger kids, yet the subject may be a bit harsh.

  2. Her other novel, This is What I Did, was even more like that. Again, great writing, but I wasn't totally sure who to recommend it to. Mostly I aim for older teens that like Robert Cormier.

  3. This one is fabulous. I think I enjoyed This is What I Did more. But both are great.

  4. Really? I think I liked this one more than This is What I Did. I thought Mazzy was so quirky and fun...well, considering the circumstances, that is. Interesting.