A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What 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?
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.
Talk to your kids 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?
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