review by Aminda Zou, age 14

Now Is Everything by Amy Giles

    Now Is Everything by Amy Giles is an emotional and compelling novel. The story of Hadley McCauley’s senior year is told in alternating then and now chapters. The protagonist of this story, Hadley, comes from a wealthy and seemingly-perfect family, and yet her friends, Meaghan Maki and Noah Berger, know that her family struggles to maintain a healthy relationship. She lives with her little sister Lila, her alcoholic mother, and her extraordinarily overbearing and abusive father, who forces her to play lacrosse, take piloting lessons, and forbids her from getting a boyfriend. During this year, she falls in love with Charlie Simmons and goes against her father’s wishes. She struggles to protect Lila from her father’s abuse and fights for her freedom.
    Giles’ words are impactful and haunting. She addresses the issues of physical abuse, self-protection, and depression. Although the language is simple and the plot is not exactly unique, this book is inspiring and so hard to put down. I love how the book is told in alternating chapters from then and now. This allows the reader to form a bond with both the Hadley before and after the incident. The book also includes inserts of the investigation of the event. It includes interviews with characters in the novel and conclusions made by the officer. This helps the reader piece together the truth of what happened.
    A lot of this book is up to interpretation, as the majority is comprised of sections of dialogue between the characters. This clearly shows the relationship Hadley has with this person. As I was reading this book, I was dying to find out about the ending of the story and how the then connects with the now. Giles did not disappoint. There is a significant plot point at the end of the novel in regards to what caused the incident that I am confident many readers will enjoy.
    Overall, I loved the book Now Is Everything by Amy Giles. I strongly recommend this novel. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Find this book in our catalog: Now Is Everything

Catalog Number: On Call

362 pages