Dani is a Book & Wine Pairing Blogger from the mountains of West Virginia. She loves to read anything she can get her hands on while sipping on a glass of wine and snuggling with her fur-babies.

Professional ReaderReviews Published
A 'Thank You ' Book Review

Everything I Never Told You

By Celeste Ng

 
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The other day I was thrilled when I found in my inbox an e-mail from Celeste Ng. The following is what said e-mail said:

Dear Dani, 
Thank you so much for putting Little Fires Everywhere on your to-read shelf! I know there are so many great books out there to read, so I'm honored that you're considering mine.
If you do read the book, I hope you enjoy it! And please consider writing a review to share your thoughts with other readers.
Very best wishes,
Celeste

Okay, so it was actually from goodreads.com, but it read like it was from Celeste Ng. In all reality, I'm sure it was just an automated e-mail that was sent out, but still it made me feel special!

Since Celeste took the time to write me this nice little e-mail - or at least okay for goodreads to send it in her name - I decided that I needed to take the time to read one of her books! I do plan on reading Little Fires Everywhere, however I do not currently have it sitting on my actual bookshelf, only on my virtual one. However, I do have Everything I Never Told You sitting on both, and so the following is my review on it. But first:

Dear Celeste Ng,

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to recognize me! Because you care about your readers - and potential readers-, I'd love to take the time to read your work! I'm sure I'm going to love it! (It came highly recommended by new author Rea Frey, who's first book Not Her Daughter comes out August 21st!)

Best Wishes,
—Dani

Some History:

Celeste Ng is the author of two novels, Everything I Never Told You and Little Fires Everywhere.
Her first novel, Everything I Never Told You (2014), was a New York Times bestseller, a New York Times Notable Book of 2014, Amazon’s #1 Best Book of 2014, and named a best book of the year by over a dozen publications. Everything I Never Told You was also the winner of the Massachusetts Book Award, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, the ALA’s Alex Award, and the Medici Book Club Prize, and was a finalist for numerous awards, including the Ohioana Award, the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger Award, and the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award. It has been translated into over two dozen languages.
Celeste's second novel, Little Fires Everywhere, was published by Penguin Press in September 2017, and is a New York Times bestseller, Amazon's #2 best book and best fiction book of 2017, and was named a best book of the year by over 25 publications. It was also the winner of the Goodreads Readers Choice Award 2017 in Fiction, and will soon be published abroad in more than 20 countries.
Celeste grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Shaker Heights, Ohio. She graduated from Harvard University and earned an MFA from the University of Michigan (now the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan), where she won the Hopwood Award.  Her fiction and essays have appeared in the New York Times, One Story, The Guardian, TriQuarterly, and elsewhere, and she is a recipient of the Pushcart Prize and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. (source)

The Synopsis:

"Lydia is dead. But they don't know this yet." So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, and her parents are determined that she will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. But when Lydia's body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos. A profoundly moving story of family, secrets, and longing, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another. (Penguin Books)

The Review & Wrap-Up:

I loved this book. There were so many people and events in Everything I never Told You that completely hit home for me, and Celeste Ng got all of the reactions, feelings, and responses 100% correct. At least for me she did. 

Everything is covered in this short novel: death, being different, infidelity, being the favorite, being forgotten, hate, love, depression, and learning how to deal with it all on your own and with those that you love.

. When I started Everything I never Told You I thought the title was telling me that the story was going to be told from the perspective of Lydia. Having read the summary on the back, I knew that she was dead, so that only made sense. But quickly I realized that the title was being said not only by Lydia herself, but by everyone in the book: Marilyn and James, Lydia's parents; Nath and Hannah, Lydia's siblings; even Jack, the neighbor boy, is saying it. And not just to Lydia, but to everyone else as well.

Everything I Never Told You is a powerfully gripping tale of what it's like to be different, trying to fit in, and the things it makes you do. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has ever felt out of place in the world, and even to those who feel they have always fit in.

 

From one bookaholic to another, I hope I’ve helped you find your next fix.
—Dani

Dani's Score out of 5: 📚📚📚📚📚


Love this book? Check out TH1RTEEN R3ASONS Why by Jay Asher

You can’t stop the future. 
You can’t rewind the past.
The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play.


Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker–his classmate and crush–who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why. 

Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah’s pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever. (source)


Pair it with: Remarquable 2016 Rhône Blend

Flavors of plump, ripe blackberry, plum and blueberry are buoyed by elevated levels of acidity that keep the wine fresh and vibrant despite its depth and concentration. It all culminates in a warm lingering finish, making this a perfect foil for rich, hearty dishes. Pair with game, grilled red meats or lamb dishes.

Start a conversation: They say that "hind sight is 20/20," looking back is there someone that you wish you would have told them everything? Why didn't you and what changed your mind?


Have a book you’d like to suggest or one you’d like me to review? Please feel free to leave your comments down below.



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