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Everything's Not Fine: Book summary and reviews of Everything's Not Fine by Sarah Carlson

Everything's Not Fine

by Sarah Carlson

Everything's Not Fine by Sarah Carlson X
Everything's Not Fine by Sarah Carlson
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  • Published in USA  May 2020
    304 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

Seventeen-year-old Rose Hemmersbach aspires to break out of small town Sparta, Wisconsin and achieve her artistic dreams, just like her aunt Colleen.

Rose's love of Frida Kahlo fuels her paint brush and her dreams to attend a prestigious art school. Painting is Rose's escape from her annoying younger siblings and her family's one rule: ignore the elephant in the room, because talking about it makes it real. That is, until the day Rose finds her mother dying on the kitchen floor of a heroin overdose. Kneeling beside her, Rose pleads with the universe to find a heartbeat. She does – but when her mother is taken to hospital, the troubles are just beginning. Rose and her dad are left to pick up the pieces: traumatized siblings, a Child Protective Services investigation, eviction.

As Rose fights to hold everything together, and her dreams of the future start to slip from her grasp, she must face the question of what happens when – if – her mom comes home again. And if, deep down, Rose even wants her to.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Rose's first-person narration is a roller coaster of believable emotions and inner conflict...Alive with vibrant, raw emotion." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Along with the relatively uncommon theme of living with an addicted parent, this emotionally intense tale offers middle school and older readers an engaging picture of two teens circling and closing as they discover common ground." - School Library Journal

"A gripping story about the bonds of family and addiction, Everything's Not Fine showcases the power of love and resiliency. Rose's story will take readers on an emotional journey that is, at times, gut-wrenching but ultimately hopeful." - Kimberly Gabriel, author of Every Stolen Breath

"A real and readable look at the impact of addiction and the secrets we carry. While shying away from easy answers, Carlson paints a gritty but beautiful portrait of the ties of both love and pain that bind a family." - Erin Stewart, author of Scars Like Wings

"Timely and important, this devastating depiction of parental addiction shows Rose's struggles between love and anger. Carlson has infused a difficult topic with hope and grace." - Laura Sibson, author of The Art of Breaking Things

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Author Information

Sarah Carlson

Sarah Carlson is an author focused on exploring contemporary issues facing youth today through young adult fiction. She is a member of SCBWI and author of All the Walls of Belfast. She lives near Madison, Wisconsin with her husband and two small children. She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, a Masters of Science in Education, and an Education Specialist degree in School Psychology.

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