Mattie shouldn’t be at the bonfire. She should be finding new maps for her collection, hanging out with Kris, and steering clear of almost everyone else, especially Jolene. After all, Mattie and Kris dropped off the social scene the summer after sophomore year for a reason.
But now Mattie is a senior, and she’s sick of missing things. So here she is.
And there’s Jolene: Beautiful. Captivating. Just like the stories she wove. Mattie would know; she used to star in them. She and Jolene were best friends. Mattie has the scar on her palm to prove it, and Jolene has everything else, including Hudson.
But when Mattie runs into Hudson and gets a glimpse of what could have been, she decides to take it all back: the boyfriend, the friends, the life she was supposed to live. Problem is, Mattie can’t figure out where Jolene ends and she begins.
Because there’s something Mattie hasn’t told anyone—she walked away from Jolene over a year ago, but she never really left.
Usually, books which feed the past slowly, allowing the reader to become absorbed in finding out what happened prior to the book are very well received by me. Underneath Everything did just that, but I never felt like I got any answers in this book, making it quite a slow read for me and one that simply didn't impress me at any point.
Maybe I missed the point - I didn't really see a point - because this book is supposed to be poignant and meaningful but I tell absolutely no lie when I say that for me it was... not. There were some scenes which made me feel something, but for the most part Underneath Everything did nothing to me. It's like we were just told we were meant to care but not giving anything to take it past a shallow point - we weren't shown why.
If I have one thing to praise this book for it's Beller Paul's writing. It was abstract and bleak most of the time but I did enjoy reading it. I don't think it fit quite with this type of novel - there is definitely work to be done in the storytelling area as well - but i can see myself really enjoying books by this author. Just not Underneath Everything.
Overall Rating: D
Book released 27th October 2015 by Balzer+Bray
Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review