Only Everything

 
(i)

 

Greek myths spark sweet, modern romance with heart.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Teens will get more familiar with characters from Greek mythology. If this sparks their interest, parents may wish to pick up a book such as D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths so they can learn more about the real deal.

Positive messages

The protagonists all gain important insights about life and love: Among other lessons, Katrina learns that friends -- and boyfriends -- who really love you will see you for who you really are and support you, not hurt you. Charlie learns to stand up for himself and his love for music. And Eros learns that, to succeed on Earth, the goddess needs to "treat these people as equals" and use the powers of observation to make a true love match.

Positive role models

The three protagonists don't always make the best choices, but they have good hearts. Charlie cheers Katrina with secret, supportive notes when she's (nervously) giving a speech in English class, and Katrina and Charlie both help out Eros/True when she's sick at school. And even Eros is working so hard to help her true love, Orion.

Violence

Artemis accidentally shoots and kills Orion, then sends him up to the sky; Orion is tortured by the genocides and other horrors he saw while trapped there. Eros/True is worried that Zeus is torturing Orion while she's trapped on Earth. Hephaestus is in a wheelchair after offending Zeus. Ty grabs Katrina's arm harshly, causing Eros/True to attack him. Later, Ty and Charlie get in a physical fight when he grabs Katrina again. Readers learn that Katrina's dad was killed in a car accident. 

Sex

Katrina kisses and makes out with her boyfriend Ty, who's three years older than she is. Later, she moves in with him. There are some other kisses between goddesses and mortals and some between plain-old high school mortals. Charlie and Katrina hold pinkie fingers and later share a "kiss of true love." 

Language

Some words such as "ass," "a--hole," "bitch," "God," "hell," and "slut." One use of "f--k."

Consumerism

A sprinkling of mentions: Fleet Feet, Starbucks, Converse, and Kmart.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Aphrodite spends her first days on Earth drinking wine and lying in bed. She tells Eros/True to drink wine to get over her headache, but the younger goddess gets hung over and ends up throwing up all over the girls' bathroom at school. Katrina's boyfriend Ty drinks, even when he drives, and she says it makes him mean. 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Only Everything is the story of the Greek goddess Eros sent from Mount Olympus to Earth, where she takes the name True and makes love matches among high school kids. Teens will get more familiar with characters from Greek mythology, and, like the protagonists, they'll learn important lessons about life and love: Most important, teen Katrina learns that friends -- and boyfriends -- who really love you will see you for who you really are and support you, not hurt you or try to control you. There's some violence, especially on Mount Olympus (Artemis accidentally shoots and kills Orion, for example). On the earthly plane, teen boy Ty gets physical with his girlfriend Katrina, causing both True and another character, Charlie, to fight him. Readers also learn that Katrina's dad was killed in a car accident. There’s some drinking and swearing, and some kisses between goddesses and mortals and between plain-old high school mortals. At school, Katrina makes out with Ty, who's three years older than she is. Later, she moves in with him.

What's the story?

Eros -- the Greek god of love, here portrayed as a girl goddess -- is in love with the mortal Orion. When Zeus finds out, he sends her to Earth without her powers, telling her she has to make three love matches if she wants to return to Mount Olympus -- and have him spare Orion's life. But on Earth, life's hard, and she has a hard time figuring out how to get dressed for school in an appropriate fashion, let alone reading anyone's true desires. Renaming herself "True Olympia," Eros forges on, determined to match up Charlie, a new, nice boy who loves to play drums. But the matches she makes for him don't last, probably because the girl he's really smitten with is Katrina, a smart but sad girl with a controlling boyfriend and harsh home life.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Told by three well-intentioned protagonists, ONLY EVERYTHING is both fun and heartfelt. Readers will fall for clever touches; for example, Eros/True reveals that on Mount Olympus calories did not count, and she could just think up whatever outfit she wanted to wear "and it would appear on my body, perfectly fitted and flattering." At the same time, Katrina eventually makes a powerful realization that she can leave her abusive boyfriend -- and she realizes what she actually deserves ("There were other ways to feel. Like proud. Like special. Like smart and appreciated and seen").

Author Kieran Scott is to be applauded for crafting a creative and cohesive story that manages to make readers laugh and teach them a thing or two about what good relationships are really all about without ever feeling instructional. Readers who enjoy Only Everything will be excited to learn that it's part of a planned series; part two of the True Love Trilogy will be published in September 2014. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Greek mythology. What other modern interpretations can you think of? Why do these stories stick with us?

  • What do the characters learn about love here? How do Katrina and Charlie's first relationships differ from the one they have together?

  • Only Everything is the first of a series. What do you think will happen in the next installment? Do you plan to read it?

Book details

Author:Kieran Scott
Genre:Romance
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Friendship, High school
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Simon & Schuster
Publication date:May 6, 2014
Number of pages:336
Publisher's recommended age(s):12 - 18
Available on:Paperback, Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle

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