Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Books I've Loved: Everything Beautiful Is Not Ruined

I really enjoyed this book.  And once again, I wasn't sure I would when I started.  Ingrid seemed whiny and spoiled at the beginning of the book, complaining about everything and blaming her mother for it.  But as the backstory started emerging, and time went on, she grew on me, and by the end, I was 100% on her side.

The book is about Ingrid, the daughter of a famous opera dial who loses her voice in the middle of a performance and never gets it back.  Having lost the thing she loves most, Ingrid's mother sinks into a deep depression that Ingrid can't drag her out of.  When she finally does pull out of it, Ingrid is so afraid of losing her mother again, she walks on eggshells, never wanting to break the fragile balance that there is in the house.

She's so afraid, she doesn't allow herself to do war she loves most - sing.

When Ingrid is accepted into a prestigious music school in London, her mother refuses to even consider it, but finally comes around and agrees she can go, but only if Ingrid first completes a wilderness camp that's known for being notoriously tough.

The book begins with Ingrid arriving at camp and her horror in discovering there is no actual camp.  The campers are expected to hike, carry all their food and gear, camp, canoe and survive.  And to make matters worse, the other campers are at-risk teens - criminals, social misfits, addicts and worse.  Ingrid doesn't believe she belongs there.

Interweaving the indignities of camp life with the story of how she came to be there, Everything Beautiful Is Not Ruined is a powerful read and constantly surprised me, right up to the very last pages.

Definitely recommended.  But don't just believe me.  Here's the blurb:

Wild meets The Breakfast Club in this story of a girl who must survive an extreme wilderness experience to prove to her mother that she has the strength to pursue her dreams.

Ingrid traveled all over Europe with her opera star mother, Margot-Sophia. Life was beautiful and bright, and every day soared with music.

Ingrid is on a summertime wilderness survival trek for at-risk teens: addicts, runaways, and her. She’s fighting to survive crushing humiliations, physical challenges that push her to her limits, and mind games that threaten to break her.

When the curtain fell on Margot-Sophia’s singing career, they buried the past and settled into a small, painfully normal life. But Ingrid longed to let the music soar again. She wanted it so much that, for a while, nothing else mattered.

Ingrid is never going to make it through this summer if she can’t figure out why she’s here . . . and why the music really stopped.

1 comment:

  1. I do like the idea of alternating between past and present to tell a story. And I'd be blaming my mother also if I had to go to a camp like that.