Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 13 to 18
- Grade: 8 to 12
Can you want something—or someone—so badly that it changes your destiny?
Elyse Schmidt never would have thought so, until it happened to her. When Elyse and her not-so-secret crush, Josh Harris, are the sole survivors of a plane crash, tragedy binds them together. It’s as if their love story is meant to be. Everything is perfect, as perfect as it can be when you’ve literally fallen out of the sky and landed hard on the side of a mountain—until suddenly it isn’t.
When the pieces of Elyse’s life stop fitting together, what’s left?
You Are the Everything is a story about the fates we yearn for, the fates we choose, and the fates that are chosen for us.
About the author
Karen Rivers is the author of numerous novels, mostly for young adults. Her books have been nominated for a number of awards, including the Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize and the Silver Birch Award. Karen has a BA in International Relations, which makes her an asset on any trivia team that emphasizes global politics in the late 1980s or early 1990s. As a lifelong hypochondriac, she once thought she'd be a doctor but realizes now that writing is a much more sensible career choice as it allows enough time to research symptoms on Google without having to actually go to medical school. Karen lives, reads and writes in a yellow house near the beach in Victoria, British Columbia, and can almost always be found online at www.karenrivers.com.
“Karen Rivers uses the [second person] perspective to brilliant effect. Grounded firmly in the fragile consciousness of its teenage main character, Elyse Schmidt, the haunting, enigmatic narrative works so well that the only circumstance under which you will want to avoid reading it is if you are actually in flight . . . You take this harrowing yet beautiful journey with her. You see the pieces fall into place. Together, you figure it out.”
—The Chicago Tribune
“It’s the powerful, moving, and thought provoking YA read you need this fall.”
“This is good choice for those who enjoyed E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars or books with pieces that only fit together after a surprising ending. Fans of unreliable narrators and twist endings will clamor for this story of romance and survival.”
—School Library Journal, starred review
“Philosophical readers will find much to love here; Rivers picks apart the nuances of friendship and romance, with their attendant loyalties and conflicts . . . You Are the Everything is an unusual and compelling novel that skillfully plays with narrative perspective.”
—Booklist, starred review
“In a novel that challenges concepts of time and reality, Rivers examines wish fulfillment and subconscious defenses . . . [and] evokes the surreal quality of the world that Elyse sees.”
“Well-written and emotionally resonant, this is an unusual and poignant story . . . that explores unfulfilled dreams and ideas of what might have been.”
“You Are the Everything is such a powerful tale of emotional and physical loss, as well as mental health and relationships. Readers who enjoyed Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner, We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, or Everything All at Once by Katrina Leno will love the tragic and twisting tale of Elyse in You Are the Everything.”
"If you're looking for a contemporary romance that's different from any other book you've ever read, this one is for you.”
—Young Adult Books Central