Every Shiny Thing — Review

Thought for the Day:

“There’s no such thing as a potential writer. There’s only somebody who is doing the thing. It’s like saying you’re a potential boat builder. No, you’re a boat builder when you’re building a boat.”
~ Clive Barker ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:

I have been hoping to find a post that would tell me to sleep more to be a better writer. HERE, at last, is that post.

I was reading a post by an agent about what to do at conferences, and she mentioned having a “one sheet” with you to hand out. I had never heard the term, but I did a little poking around and found a great post HERE at Book Launch Mentors all about how to create a one sheet with excellent examples.

My critique partners have told me one of my problems is that my main character is too nice, too perfect. He needs more flaws. Bonnie Randall writes on Fiction University about ways to create character flaws. Find those good tips HERE.

I may have mentioned here before that I am a hockey fan, a really, really big hockey fan. This time of year I am pretty distracted by the playoffs, and this year my beloved San Jose Sharks are in the thick of it. So I need to get this done early today and leave myself time to see another exciting game. I did see the most exciting five minutes of hockey I have ever seen last week, and if you missed game seven of the Sharks/Knights game, you might want to check it out on YouTube or some such place.

Last week I offered a gently-used copy of Because of the Rabbit by Cynthia Lord to one of you. The winner of this giveaway is Nancy. Congratulations, Nancy! I will get your book out to you this week. For the rest of you, sorry, no giveaway this week, but a review of a terrific book, so please keep reading.

Every Shiny ThingI won a book on a blog a loooooooong time ago. I’m not even sure anymore which blog it was. Sometimes I just don’t get to books in a timely manner. It’s not that I don’t mean to or that I don’t want to, but time just gets away from me with all the reading I have to do for the book review folk. This is one of those books. Every Shiny Thing by Cordelia Jensen and Laurie Morrison intrigued me because of a couple things: It is written by two authors in two voices, one voice is written in prose and one in verse, and it is about very real family issues. It just came out in paperback, so I don’t feel quite as guilty as I should about waiting so long. And it’s never too late to recommend a really good book, and this is a really good one.

Cordelia Jensen

Lauren is a good sister. Her older brother Ryan is autistic and commands a good deal of attention from their parents and from Lauren to avoid difficult situations, but she doesn’t resent him. Now that her parents have decided Ryan needs to go to a boarding school a long way from home, Lauren misses him terribly and struggles with whether it can possibly be a good decision. Sierra is a good daughter and does everything a daughter possibly could to try to keep her mother sober while her father is in jail. But the drinking gets out of hand again and being placed in foster care seems like it will be a nightmare for Sierra, even though the older couple who takes her seem nice, if a little weird. Sierra’s new home is right next door to Lauren, in a very affluent neighborhood, and the girls will be in the same school, a private Quaker school.

Laurie Morrison

Lauren’s best friend, Audrey, doesn’t seem to care about how Lauren is feeling about Ryan being sent away, and they soon drift apart. Ryan being gone has a tremendous negative affect on Lauren and losing her friendship with Audrey does as well, and Lauren starts stealing things, telling herself it’s to raise money for a good cause, but it’s really a coping mechanism that soon gets out of hand. It’s easy for her to move into a strong friendship with Sierra. This friendship is really important to Sierra, so she helps Lauren hide what she’s doing, although Sierra is never comfortable with it and tries to get Lauren to stop. Add to all this competitive issues at school, a crush for Lauren, Sierra’s parents communications with her and the hope she can be back with her mother. It’s a complex, complicated story, but very rich. The writing is gorgeous, the characters well-drawn and well-rounded, the situations are very believable and ones that a lot of kids face. I particularly love the parallels drawn between Lauren’s kleptomania and Sierra’s parents addictions. If this book hasn’t found itself into every middle-grade library and classroom, it deserves to. If you haven’t read it yet, give yourself a treat and find this book. The new paperback is very affordable.

No giveaway this week. I will be donating my hardbound copy to my granddaughter’s school library. If you are reading this in your email, please click HERE to get to my blog, then click on the title of the post, and leave a comment. And don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at the Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.

22 thoughts on “Every Shiny Thing — Review”

  1. Thank you so much for reading and reviewing EVERY SHINY THING, Rosi! It’s lovely to read such a thoughtful review of our book! And you’re right that with the less expensive paperback out, this is a great time for new readers to discover the book. Thank you for helping spread the word!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This one sure is packed with drama. I’ll be looking for it as the family dynamics have me intrigued. I’d never heard of the one sheet idea but it sounds like a good thing to have ready at conferences. Oh, and do I dare say GO AVS,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, you can dare to say it, but I don’t have to like it! 😎 Actually, I think the teams are well matched and it should be a great series whoever wins. Thanks for the comment. The book is filled with drama, but good drama.


    1. Which is your team? Living in upstate NY, you could be showing the Bruins some love. The playoffs are just so exciting. Yes, you need to put this book high on your Gotta Read list. It’s a good one. Thanks for the comment.


  3. I always appreciate your gleanings for your writing friends and as it happens, the advice on a One Sheet is very timely for me just now as I’m trying to put a better (okay…an actual at all) press kit together to aid in promoting my adult books–written as Lily Black. Anyway, many thanks for that! ❤

    This book sounds absolutely heart-wrenching but in a good way, and I'm super intrigued by the duel stories. Thanks for sharing, and happy MMGM!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad you found a link that is useful to you. I think the One Sheet is a great thing for all of us writers. You will like this book when you get to it. Thanks for the comment.


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