Every Exquisite Thing (Hardcover)
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316379595, 272pp.
Publication Date: May 31, 2016
As she befriends the reclusive author, falls in love with a young but troubled poet, and attempts to insert her true self into the world with wild abandon, Nanette learns the hard way that rebellion sometimes comes at a high price.
A celebration of the self and the formidable power of story, Every Exquisite Thing is Matthew Quick at his finest.
About the Author
Praise For Every Exquisite Thing…
* "The author's beautifully written first-person narrative captures the thoughts and feelings of a sensitive eighteen-year-old girl struggling against the shallowness she sees around her....All of the elements of this novel work together to make this an outstanding coming-of-age story."—VOYA, starred review
* "Quick continues to excel at writing thought-provoking stories about nonconformity.... [and] paints a compelling portrait of a sympathetic teenager going through the trial-and-error process of growing up."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
* "Like the many anticonformity books before it, this will find a dedicated audience among teen readers."—School Library Journal, starred review
"Quick's story will speak to teenage eccentrics: loners, rebels, and creative types; the kind to follow Booker's suggestions to read Bukowski and Neruda; those ripe for transformation."—Horn Book
"A strong, well-written female protagonist sets this coming-of-age novel apart."—Kirkus Reviews
"Quick creates beautifully well-rounded characters, particularly Nanette, whose first-person narrative, rich with wry observations and a kaleidoscope of meaningful emotions, offers great insight into the mind of a teen on a sometimes sluggish, spiraling path toward sorting herself out."—Booklist
"[Quick] will give readers lots to chew on as they join Nanette in sorting out angst from general privileged malaise."—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com
1. Do you consider yourself an extrovert or an introvert? How does the way you interact with the world color your opinion of Nanette?
2. Reading The Bubblegum Reaper quite literally changes Nanette’s life. Have you ever had a similar reading experience? What books have forced you to reexamine your belief system?
3. What are the major themes of The Bubblegum Reaper?
4. In therapy, June asks Nanette with which Bubblegum Reaper character she most identifies. With which Bubblegum Reaper character do you most identify? Why?
5. With which Every Exquisite Thing character do you most identify? Why?
6. Nanette has intense relationships with two adult men—her teacher, Mr. Graves and author, Nigel Booker. Are these relationships healthy? Why or why not?
7. From firsthand experience, Mr. Graves knows how profoundly The Bubblegum Reaper can challenge young people. Why does he give his copy to Nanette?
8. Compare and contrast The Bubblegum Reaper’s effects on Alex and Nanette.
9. Discuss Alex’s poetry. What’s intriguing about his words? What’s alarming? What’s frustrating?
10. Does Nanette have good parents? In which ways do her parents succeed? In which ways do they fail?
11. Since Booker has “quit” publishing, it’s tempting to label him a reclusive author, and yet he seems eager to befriend young people, even opening up his home to them. He also seems quite eager to talk about literature. Booker no longer wants to publish. What does he want?
12. When Nanette begins to speak in third person and attempts to be the young woman she thinks her community wants, she is able to deceive many of her classmates, including Ned, who falls in love with a “fake version” of her. Think about Ned and Nanette’s relationship. Who is in the right and who is in the wrong? Provide examples.
13. Is it important for every single member of a class to attend proms and graduation ceremonies regardless of whether each individual enjoys such group activities? Why or why not? What percentage of students needs to benefit from participation in order to justify perpetuating those traditions?
14. Have you ever met anyone like Nanette? What was your opinion of that person?
15. Does success stem from following or breaking societal rules?
16. What do you think will happen to Nanette in the future?