All Things Different
Author: Shawn Underhill
Release Date: June 26th 2012
Rating: 4 Birds
"I know that the night is not that same as the day: that all things are different, that the things of the night cannot be explained in the day, because they do not then exist."
~ Ernest Hemingway
Late in the summer of 2005, starkly independent Jake Thornton was on the verge of turning 16, expecting little more than his driver’s license in the fall, and the continuance of the quiet life shared with his father. So when 14-almost-15 year old Sara moved in next door and began vying for his father’s attention, Jake wasn’t exactly thrilled, and couldn’t quite understand his father’s motives for allowing it. But certainly he never anticipated the dramatic shift their lives would take as a result.
As the summer fades and autumn takes over, friendship between the two teenagers begins blossoming into a bond, until fate steps in once more, threatening to tear them apart as quickly as they’ve come together. The decisions that follow, and the emotive tale that results, opens Jake’s eyes to the simple yet life altering truth, a truth that Sara has understood all along: that love—not the feeling but the action—is the most powerful force in the world.
I didn’t know what to expect when I first agreed to review ALL THINGS DIFFERENT by Shawn Underhill. I am very picky when it comes to agreeing to review books that I haven’t already heard about simply because I want to know what the book is about going in. I mean I don’t want the entire story or major spoiler but I want to know what to expect. Makes sense, right? So yeah, I’m selective. Even more so when it comes to indie books because I’m the type of person that those little errors/typos/missing comas/missing periods bother. I can take a few here and there but if there are a lot I get distracted. I debated taking this review but in the end I thought the summary sounded interesting so I took a chance. And I’m happy to say that I am glad I did.
ALL THINGS DIFFERENT was different from what I was expecting. Like I said I wasn’t sure what to expect but what I got definitely wasn’t it. It was a heartbreaking story that had me completely captivated. There was hurt and sadness but there was also healing and love. ALL THINGS DIFFERENT is a story about loving someone that isn’t perfect, someone that isn’t whole, someone that’s hurting and completely lost and loving them enough to help heal them. It truly was a beautiful story.
ALL THINGS DIFFERENT evoked some strong emotions in me. It broke my heart, healed it, and then crushed it all over again. I loved the characters and wanted them desperately to get their happy ending.
This novel deals with some very tough issues. However, it isn’t written in a graphic way. The events that take place aren’t described in detail. In a way they are kind of glossed over. In some ways I liked this. I’m not really into graphic details but I did feel like some of the story was lost. I was glad that all of the details about what happened to Sara weren’t given. There was just enough details to get the terribleness that happened to her without being TMI. However, a lot of Jake and Sara’s relationship was left out. It is only mentioned that they kissed a few times which made me unsure if they were really in love or if they just had a friendship love. This could just be because Jake is the narrator and guys don’t give as many details about things like that.
I loved Jake, Sara, and Jake’s father’s relationship. It’s obvious that they all care very deeply for each other. Jake and his father immediately fall in love with Sara and want to help her. I loved how Jake’s father is described as a big animal like man but he seems to have a heart of gold. He is always there for Jake and Sara.
One thing I wasn’t crazy about was all the descriptions in the beginning. I felt like they just went on and on and I ended up skimming over some of it. It happened a couple of other times later on but it was mostly in the beginning. I read where someone else complained about the lack of description following the dialogue because it made it difficult to follow. While I didn’t find it overly difficult, I do have to agree that if there had been more description after the dialogue it would have been easier to read.
I wasn’t crazy about one part of the ending. I thought it was kind of thrown in there to pull our heartstrings one more time but that it didn’t really fit with the story. To me, it seemed like the author wasn’t entirely sure how to end the story and that was the only way he came up with.
That being said, the ending wasn’t enough to change my opinion of ALL THINGS DIFFERENT. Days after finishing the book, I found myself thinking about the story and the characters. And in my opinion that is what makes a book great!
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