Every Exquisite Thing

Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic.


What a novel! Matthew Quick's contemporary novel features Nanette's adolescence and the challenges of her high school career. Nanette becomes familiar with a novel introduced by her English teacher, The Bubblegum Reaper, and becomes entwined into a new literary world accompanied by new friends, shocking mysteries, and bright revelations of herself.

In tradition, here are my magic of threes:

1. Intriguing and Entertaining

Quick's novel offers an entertaining story with many unexpected twists and turns, amusing characters, and captivating character dynamics. The plot of the novel is fairly simple, although it contains many mysteries and surprising conclusions, which allows great focus and play on character developments. I enjoyed reading about the relationship between Nanette and her teachers, the conflicts between herself and her authority figures, and Nanette's self-reflections and thoughts. These dynamics, combined with an exciting plot, allow the story to bloom with great success.

2. Relatable and realistic

Nanette's character presents an amusing and fun protagonist to follow. The reader is introduced to her charisma, humility, and great attitude early on during the read, which allows the reader to invest and sympathise with Nanette's character during her conflicts and challenges. I found Nanette's story relatable as she deals with similar ideas and thoughts that are commonly found in young adult and new adult lives, such as contemplating future, idealising first romances and relationships, and showing scepticism towards the ordinary. For readers in the same age group as Nanette, I believe this read may offer many insights and a sense of familiarity. 

3. Dramatic

One major annoyance of my reading experience was Nanette's dramatic and angry mindset, which became apparent towards the end of the novel. When confronted by her old friends, Nanette's character adopts a critical and posh mindset, which takes away from her earlier self-discoveries and realisations. Although she seems to redeem herself by the resolution, a bitter after-taste of her character remains. However, with the whole of the novel, these few qualities seem insignificant as majority of the novel Nanette has been a likeable and fun character.