Everything Beautiful Is Not Ruined
EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL IS NOT RUINED by Danielle Younge-Ullman is about a troubled girl named Ingrid. Ingrid has been through what most of us will never experience before she even graduates from high school. While growing up, her mother, Margot-Sophia Lalonde, was a famous opera singer. Together, they traveled around Europe to different shows and gigs --- but one show went very wrong. Everything Margot-Sophia had worked for was suddenly gone.
"EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL IS NOT RUINED is book that will not leave your mind for a very long time. It is an incredible book and I believe that reading it could, in fact, change your life. Instead of going out on a crazy wilderness retreat, just read this phenomenal novel."
Ingrid and her mother moved to a permanent home in Toronto. The change was hard on both of them. Margot-Sophia stayed in bed all day for weeks on end. Ingrid was forced to care for herself and her mother and life was just extremely difficult. But one day, Margot-Sophia got up. She got up, got a job, and started taking care of her child. She even met a man. Ingrid never had a father figure in her life before Margot-Sophia’s new boyfriend comes around. Andreas is exactly what Ingrid needed in her life. He is loving and caring and most of all, willing to put up with Margot-Sophia’s craziness.
Ingrid wants to be a singer. She wants to be performing on stage. She wants to have everything her mother had, but more. Margot-Sophia wants none of this for her precious daughter. She doesn’t want Ingrid to feel the pain and humiliation that she felt --- and sometimes still feels. Ingrid tries to abide by her mother’s wishes, but the stage calls. She auditions for her school’s musical and then for a fancy music school in London. That’s when Peak Wilderness comes into play.
Margot-Sophia agrees to let Ingrid attend the top-notch music school, if and only if Ingrid promises to go to a camp during the summer to strengthen herself. Ingrid goes to the camp, but finds it is nothing like the brochure her mother gave her. There are no cabins and there are no bathrooms. Ingrid finds herself hiking for hours, eating bugs, sharing a tent with boys and wearing wet clothes --- but Ingrid powers through. She finds comfort in the other campers. She finds peace in the long hikes. She finds strength through every new challenge, and, in the end, Ingrid comes home feeling good as new and ready to take on a new adventure.
EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL IS NOT RUINED is an emotional rollercoaster. I laughed, I cried mascara-ruining tears, I gasped, and I got angry. Through every chapter you learn something new as the characters become more and more developed. From the first page, you are hooked. You will not put this book down. You will not be able to sleep at night until you read the last page and even then you will stay up for hours thinking about it. This book is beautiful and it opened my eyes to see new things. It made me really think about my life and whether or not I’m truly living it to the fullest.
I think anyone who has ever experienced depression or anxiety should read EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL IS NOT RUINED. I think anyone who has ever had to deal with an extremely difficult situation should read this book, and, to be honest, I think anyone and everyone should read this book. EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL IS NOT RUINED is book that will not leave your mind for a very long time. It can teach you things about yourself and other people. It is an incredible book and I believe that reading it could, in fact, change your life. Instead of going out on a crazy wilderness retreat, just read this phenomenal novel.
Reviewed by Ashley D., Teen Board Member on February 27, 2017