Be You, Be Every Exquisite Thing captures teen romance


Photo Credit: Afrah Momin

Book cover of Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick

Matthew Quick’s Every Exquisite Thing was released on May 10, 2016, and received a 4.5/5 rating from Barnes & Noble.

Every Exquisite Thing focuses on a girl named Nanette O’ Hare. Nanette is an extraordinary soccer player, and is academically smart in her school. But she gives up her “perfect” life after reading a book called The Bubblegum Reaper. This books changes all aspects of Nanette’s life, and also makes her question who she really is.

As a warning, Matthew Quick has written a couple of scenarios that include provocative language, explicit details of some situations, and in some instances, uses of profanity. This is a book generated to  attract young adult readers, and is suitable for fans of John Green, Rainbow Rowell, or even Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being A Wallflower. 

I don’t usually read books about teenagers struggling to find out who they are, I’m more of a cliche; I love romance. However, after reading Every Exquisite Thing, it related to me on so many levels. As I read more about Nanette, I started to see some parts of me in her; I’m still struggling to find out who I am. In one part of the book, as Nanette dives deeper into her phase of trying to find out who she is, she starts feeling more lonelier, and still struggles to find a passion in something she desires.

Quick’s book is full of metaphors. The book is so indirect, especially the poems (which are written by a character name Alex Redmer). The chapter titles are also very strange. For example, one of the chapters is called, “Living in a Regularly Updated Catalog.” On the bright side, the title goes into more depth and meaning after having read a few pages of it.

I think it’s pretty unique the way Quick titled his chapters.  I love the fact that Every Exquisite Thing relates to teenagers who are struggling to figure out who they are. The way Quick established the plot line, is truly entertaining. After reading this book,  I started to question about myself more.

One of my favorite quotes from the book is: “and then one day you will look for you in the mirror and you’ll no longer be able to identify yourself—you’ll only see everyone else. You’ll know that you did what they wanted you to do. You will have assimilated. And you will hate yourself for it, because it will be too late.” This quote stresses the fact of how often people try to do what everyone else does, and in the end the outcome is not very pleasant.

I also enjoyed the various characters she engaged with: Alex Redmer, Mr. Booker, Oliver, and June. These characters created some change in her as she went onto figure out her individualistic personality.  I absolutely loved how Quick created the transition of Nanette from being a “perfect” soccer player, to a girl who rebels against her parents, and her soccer teammates.

The book may have taught me something extremely important as well. It made me realize that it’s okay to take a break from life and drama, and just focus on yourself. It’s okay to not know who you are, or who you want to be because we all go through it. The good thing is, we all eventually find our place in society, and we find out our passions and desires in the end.  All that really matters is that you be your true self, and never become pressured into society’s norms.