Title: EVERYTHING ALL AT ONCE
Author: Katrina Leno
Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Lottie Reeves has always struggled with anxiety, and when her beloved Aunt Helen dies, Lottie begins to fear that her own unexpected death might be waiting around every corner.
Aunt Helen wasn’t a typical aunt. She was the author of the best–selling Alvin Hatter series, about siblings who discover the elixir of immortality. Her writing inspired a generation of readers.
In her will, she leaves one last writing project—just for Lottie. It’s a series of letters, each containing mysterious instructions designed to push Lottie out of her comfort zone. Soon, Lottie’s trying some writing of her own, leaping off cliffs, and even falling for a boy she’s only just met. Then the letters reveal an extraordinary secret about the inspiration for the Alvin Hatter series. Lottie finds herself faced with an impossible choice, one that will force her to confront her greatest fear once and for all.
The awkward-o-meter just rose throughout the entire book that it went from cute to cringey to ‘aww sweet’ to I LOVE U All. It’s one of those heartwarming books that doesn’t hurt at all and fills up the black holes in your sad little soul.
So, I never went for the book, it came to me. A library glitch accidentally lent it to me instead of whoever had tried borrowing it, and boy, am I glad about the system glitch. It was like I was destined to read it.
The book is about Lottie, an anxious teen who has just lost her aunt to breast cancer. They were really close and the aunt, knowing Lottie can’t handle the death with her constant anxiety, leaves her 24 dares to help her cope. It depicts the struggles of anxiety and losing someone close in a realistic and heartbreaking manner.
Lottie’s entire journey through those 24 dares is supported by healthy ships – from strangers to families, best friends to the cute boy. Here’s spoiler: Every character is amazing and humorous and supportive and trustworthy throughout the entire book.
Now to Lottie’s character – she’s a high school senior with a very few select friends because of her anxiety. She is always afraid of death since her aunt died, and knows about almost every way to die, how long each of them take and how much they hurt. She starts off as a lovable sweet character whose arc doesn’t develop much throughout the book. She’s more of a follower kind, and she lets her aunt’s letters direct her towards solving her inner conflicts without ever questioning any of it. I believe there was so much room for her character to develop, and was a little sad about the character arc staying pretty much the same.
The magical realism twist was so so so predictable but it was so satisfying to see Lottie figure it out and the author tied up those ends just perfectly.
So, I guess don’t wait for an accident to stumble upon this warm and satisfying happy healthy book and help yourself heal from some heartbreak and sadness whatever the last book brought to you.