Monday, April 15, 2019

Review: Everything Here is Beautiful

Everything Here is Beautiful
by Mira T Lee

Publisher: Viking
Pages: 368
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Two Chinese-American sisters—Miranda, the older, responsible one, always her younger sister’s protector; Lucia, the headstrong, unpredictable one, whose impulses are huge and, often, life changing. When Lucia starts hearing voices, it is Miranda who must find a way to reach her sister. Lucia impetuously plows ahead, but the bitter constant is that she is, in fact, mentally ill. Lucia lives life on a grand scale, until, inevitably, she crashes to earth. 

Miranda leaves her own self-contained life in Switzerland to rescue her sister again—but only Lucia can decide whether she wants to be saved. The bonds of sisterly devotion stretch across oceans—but what does it take to break them?

Kritters Thoughts: Two sisters moved at a very young age from China to America with just their mother and through hard work and grit they found the American dream.  Miranda is the older sister and when their mother passed away she became the protector of her sister, Lucia.  Neither sister remembers their fathers death, but it greatly impacted their lives.  When Lucia starts battling mental illness, Miranda basically puts her life on hold to put her sister and their family first.

This book was completely about the sister relationship and how unique it is.  These sisters must really rely on each other without any extended family around; they must keep each other close in the good and bad times.  Yes, there was definitely some interesting cultural things because these women are Chinese-American, but that was just a minor compared to the major dissection of the sister relationship that this book did.  

The other big aspect of this book was mental illness.  I am not close to someone who battles mental illness, so I can't rate the honesty of the portrayal, but I really appreciated how it was written.  There would be a chapter from Lucia's perspective and you forget that maybe she isn't a reliable character and then a chapter would be from the perspective of her current love and the story was oh so different - it was so interesting to read.  It really put things into view for me that a mental illness can distort the view of reality.

I loved this book and the writing.  I was so impressed and excited to find out after finishing that this was a debut and I can't wait to read what Mira T Lee has next!

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Viking.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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