Everything That Makes You
by Moriah McStay
Published on March 17th 2015
by Katherine Tegen Books
Genres: Adolescence, Contemporary, Young Adult
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One girl. Two stories. Meet Fiona Doyle. The thick ridges of scar tissue on her face are from an accident twelve years ago. Fiona has notebooks full of songs she’s written about her frustrations, her dreams, and about her massive crush on beautiful uber-jock Trent McKinnon. If she can’t even find the courage to look Trent straight in his beautiful blue eyes, she sure isn’t brave enough to play or sing any of her songs in public. But something’s changing in Fiona. She can’t be defined by her scars anymore. And what if there hadn’t been an accident? Meet Fi Doyle. Fi is the top-rated female high school lacrosse player in the state, heading straight to Northwestern on a full ride. She’s got more important things to deal with than her best friend Trent McKinnon, who’s been different ever since the kiss. When her luck goes south, even lacrosse can’t define her anymore. When you’ve always been the best at something, one dumb move can screw everything up. Can Fi fight back?Hasn’t everyone wondered what if? In this daring debut novel, Moriah McStay gives us the rare opportunity to see what might have happened if things were different. Maybe luck determines our paths. But maybe it’s who we are that determines our luck.
This book has a very interesting concept. It’s a story about one girl, two very different lives. Fi the top-rated lacrosse player in the state, best friends with Trent McKinnon, and on her way to playing Lacrosse for Northwestern, who loses it all after an accident on the field leaves her unable to play for the year. Then there’s Fiona scarred from an accident when she was younger, who hides behind her music, that she shares with no one. This is a story about what ifs in life. What happens when the choices we make or the life we had planned completely changes in an instant. It was an interesting concept about two girls who because of circumstances end up in two very different places, but maybe that’s exactly where they are supposed to be. I really liked this concept. One of my favorite things to think about is the millions of different possibilities that can happen when you make a choice about something. I mean who hasn’t at one time or another thought about how different our lives would be if we had chosen differently? What path we would end up on if we had turned right or made different friends or chosen a different sport. And while I loved the concept I thought this could have been executed a bit better. I liked the story, it was very cute and I liked both Fi and Fiona. It just was a little hard for me to get in to. I just wanted to see how it ended.
This story is told in alternating perspectives between Fi and Fiona, and this is where it gets a bit confusing. A couple of times I had to turn back to see what month this was or what character I was reading, because it would jump so much. In the beginning Fi and Fiona start their junior year and then suddenly the next chapter, with no warning, they’re seniors. At times during this book I couldn’t remember who was who and which Fiona Doyle was friends with Lucy, and David and which one was friends with Trent and Ryan (Fiona’s brother). If you can get past the jumpyness of it all it’s actually a very cute book and after a couple chapters it really starts to pick up.
I did find that I wanted to know more about Fi and Trent, then I did about Fiona and Jackson. I just felt a deeper connection to Fi than I did with Fiona, and I felt Fiona was a bit whiny. She was always looking for an excuse to not do something. Fiona had a huge transformation though and towards the end of the book she wasn’t as bad. She lived her life thinking the scars on her face defined her and that nothing she did would get people to not notice them. As the book went on Fiona started to grow as a person. After having the scars removed, she realized that it wasn’t the scars holding her back it was her attitude and how she saw the world. She learned that maybe nothing was holding herself back but her. While I don’t agree with everything that Moriah did with this story, I still must say that it was a good story and that besides the jumpy parts it was a very good read.
I do like where this story went. That maybe you don’t always end up where you wanted to be, but maybe you end up where you should be. Both Fi and Fiona’s stories come full circle. And they ended up where they are supposed to be despite taking a few detours. Not to mention the fact that I thought both Jackson and Trent where the right boys for the story. I liked the way Moriah writes her characters and I would love to see more boys like this in her stories. Overall I thought this was a cute story. Not mind blowing or let me tell you about this great book I read, but more of a if you want a cute story read. I wouldn’t recommend this one and I would give it a 3 ½ star rating.
Jacklin reviews at thebibliophagist
Hey my name is Jacklin. Since I was a kid I have had a deep love of books. YA holds a special place in my heart. I created a book blog to share my love of these books and the authors who write them.