Published by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc on January 5 2009
Genres: Contemporary, Friendship, Romance, Young Adult
Source: I Bought It
When Riley's Dad gets a new girlfriend, life turns upside down for Riley. She doesn't like Norma and Norma doesn't like her. But it is not until Riley finds herself shipped off to 'camp' that she realises just how bad things have become.
Determined to continue on her path of bad behaviour and general obnoxiousness, Riley Rose is sure that she can turn this 'spiritual camp' upside down. And when she meets Dylan Luck, recent paraplegic, she thinks she has found a fellow troublemaker.
What follows is a very surprising week for Riley. Truths are told and secrets revealed, and sex, cigarettes and booze prove to be a potent cocktail, but in the end Riley has learnt quite a lot about herself, Dylan and exactly why she appeared hell-bent on self-destruction.
Everything Beautiful is the story of a girl called Riley Rose. Riley is a girl who does not care what people think. She smokes, she drinks, she has sex with boys. Riley is a refreshing change in a protagonist as she is also overweight and really could not give a crap about it. Riley lost her mother at a young age and ever since she has rebelled against authority.
After a bout of drinking gets her in trouble, her dad and his new girlfriend decide that Riley needs ‘saved’ and pack her off to Spirit Ranch, a Christian camp for teenagers, while they go on holiday. Riley initially cannot wait to escape from this place, being an atheist she is sure that she does not belong there. There are also the other kids to contend with. Some of them make fun of her because of her weight and others just seem a bit too different for her to relate to. However, when Riley meets Dylan, another outcast, everything changes.
Dylan Luck is an enigma. Once a very popular member of the camp, he has returned this summer a paraplegic, with an attitude to boot. Riley feels a connection with Dylan but he seems to still be hung up on her bitchy roommate Fleur whom he dated the previous summer and who is now getting off with his former best friend. Riley sees Dylan as somewhat of a kindred spirit and their burgeoning romance is sweet but never cloyingly so.
If I have any criticisms it is that the book ends rather abruptly and things are left hanging with regards to Riley and Dylan’s relationship. However it was still a very entertaining story and I really loved the main characters.