winged reviews
Review, Young Adult / March 30, 2015
Everything That Makes You by Moriah McStayEverything That Makes You
Author: Moriah McStay
Publisher: HarperCollins, Katherine Tegen Books
Date: March 2015
352 pages
Source: Review copy from publisher
Genres: Contemporary
Buy the BookGoodreads

One girl. Two stories. Meet Fiona Doyle. The thick ridges of scar tissue on her face are from an accident twelve years ago. Fiona has notebooks full of songs she’s written about her frustrations, her dreams, and about her massive crush on beautiful uber-jock Trent McKinnon. If she can’t even find the courage to look Trent straight in his beautiful blue eyes, she sure isn’t brave enough to play or sing any of her songs in public. But something’s changing in Fiona. She can’t be defined by her scars anymore.

And what if there hadn't been an accident? Meet Fi Doyle. Fi is the top-rated female high school lacrosse player in the state, heading straight to Northwestern on a full ride. She’s got more important things to deal with than her best friend Trent McKinnon, who’s been different ever since the kiss. When her luck goes south, even lacrosse can’t define her anymore. When you’ve always been the best at something, one dumb move can screw everything up. Can Fi fight back?

Hasn't everyone wondered what if? In this daring debut novel, Moriah McStay gives us the rare opportunity to see what might have happened if things were different. Maybe luck determines our paths. But maybe it’s who we are that determines our luck.

Everything That Makes You started out as solid 4 wing rating until my curiousness wore off and I became bored and uninterested in the story. I had very high hopes for this book as I do enjoy the “What If?” stories. What if Fiona never had her accident and grew up as a normal teenager? The thought behind how one event can change your life entirely is a great premise for a book. It makes the reader start to wonder how their life might be different if certain events hadn’t taken place. Sadly, once the intriguing factor wore off, this book started to become boring and you find yourself not interested in the characters or what happens to them.

This novel is told in alternating points of view. One character is Fiona, the character who becomes horribly scarred at the age of 5 in an accident at the zoo, while the other POV is Fi and how her life might have been unscarred. Fiona started out as a likable character. Reading about how Fiona adapted and adjusted to living with such terrible scars made you want to connect with her. You wanted to protect her from the judgments and snickers other people gave her. Yet Fiona has learned to cope with how people see her and tries her best to hid her self-esteem issues and insecurities. On the other side of the story, Fi has grown up to live a pretty normal teenager-type life, other than being a very unlikable character. Fi comes across as a spoiled, whiny snot that you don’t want to cheer for. Fi has one hope and dream and that is to play lacrosse, until an injury shatters her chance at a full college scholarship. Fi does not have an insecurities or self-esteem issues, she’s just a jerk that gives up because things aren’t going her way.

There was very little romance in this book. Well, if there was I didn’t connect with it. Both characters, Fiona and Fi, talk about the high school hottie, Trent. Trent is supposed to be the “dream guy” but he doesn’t come across that way. He really comes across as a jerk who knows how much the girls want him and that’s not a good characteristic for me. Fiona seems deeply in love with him, though this is all one-sided. Fi has Trent as a best friend, he wants more, she doesn’t and things seem to fizzle out. Whoopie. I just never got the attraction both characters had to Trent. It all started to become directionless and I wasn’t sure who’s perspective I was reading anymore. I had a hard time keeping the perspectives straight because the story lines started to become the same.

Throughout the entire book I was expecting there to be some big “OOOHHHH!” moment, something that was really thought-provoking or a meaningful realization but that never happened. Instead you get to read about two fairly average teenagers that end up being not interesting at all. Also, the book seemed really predictable. I saw the endings coming about a third of the way through. I only finished the book to prove to myself I predicted it correctly. There were no surprises and I truly didn’t care how the characters ended up. This book did not hit my feelings like I had hoped it would. I was not the biggest fan of this book when it was over. It really was a great idea for a novel but the execution was lacking.

2 Stars

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