Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!
This is one of the few gems I’ve found that Goodreads didn’t recommend to me. In fact, though I forget what book the recommendation came from, this one came from the library. I inhaled this one over Thanksgiving break (I’m so glad I had that much time to read…), and I must say, an absolute gem among this year’s releases! A criminally underrated, 90’s LGBTQ+ novel about growing up and discovering yourself.
Enjoy this week’s review!
1993. Eleanor Fromme, newly 15, has just started high school, and is already faced with more emotional challenges than she could ever anticipate. After her longtime bully, James, unexpectedly commits suicide, she’s shocked, and unsure how to cope. Her solution? Chopping off and dyeing all of her hair, and writing letters to him for an English assignments.
All the while, Eleanor has begun to struggle with her sexuality, after she realizes that she’s a lesbian. As her old friendships crumble and new ones begin to blossom, Eleanor must find her way in a word that seems to frown upon her.
I’ve hardly heard anyone talk about Everything Grows, probably due to the fact that it’s from a more indie publisher. But man, am I glad that this one was recommended to me…
Aimee Herman deftly captures what it is to be 15, to be struggling with your identity, transitioning into a new school and a new way of life, and coping with things that none should have to. Eleanor’s character had such a poignant and relatable journey, which, combined with stellar writing and explorations of several facets of the LGBTQ+ community (besides Eleanor, there are also more lesbian, bisexual, and transgender characters), made for an unforgettable book. If you haven’t already read Everything Grows, please do so–and recommend it to your friends. More people should know about this book. A solid 4.5 stars from me. 💗🏳️🌈
Everything Grows is a standalone, but Aimee Herman has several collections of poetry, published prior to it. I’m debating whether or not I should delve deeper into her works, but I’m sure I’d enjoy it.
Have a lovely rest of your day, and stay tuned for more content later this week!