Title: Everything I Never Told You
Author: Celeste Ng
2014 – Fiction – Realistic Fiction/Literary Mystery
The Story: The Lees seem like the perfect family. Except one night, Lydia disappears. Later in the week, she’s found dead at the bottom of the lake. Was it suicide or foul play? As her parents and siblings look for answers, they have to reexamine themselves and decide whether or not they want to fight for their family.
The Opening Line: Lydia is dead.
What I Loved: This was described as a literary mystery, and I really think I like the style. It was about a death, yes, and of course finding answers, but it was also about how the Lees coped with the tragedy. I loved that each character had to face hard realizations about their own lives and dreams. Seeing their struggles made the book’s impact so much more powerful and gut-wrenching in the end. Such good characters, such realistic problems, such emotion.
What I Didn’t Love: I would have loved to see more of Jack. There are small, tantalizing glimpses into his life, but other than those, we don’t end up knowing an awful lot about him. I think he could have been an even more compelling character had he been given more page time.
Final Thoughts: Everyone said that this was one of 2014’s best books. I read those reviews, saw it on a million lists, and came away saying “Hmm, maybe I’ll pick it up at some point”. Now that I have finally picked it up as part of YALSA’s 2015 Hub Challenge, I can say with all honesty that this book blew me away, and I would highly recommend it. Such a lovely book with a lot to say.