There is nothing better than a book that makes you fall in love with it from the very first pages. When the sentences flow so well together that you are instantly teleported to this new world. When the characters become so dear to your heart that you laugh, cry with them and for them until the very end of the book. When your heart is filled to the brim that after finishing the book you need some off time to nurse this feeling for a little longer.
That is exactly how this book made me feel and I might make it my mission to force people around me to experience it for themselves.
Twenty-one year old Beth is in prison. The thing she did is so bad she doesn’t deserve to ever feel good again.
But her counsellor, Erika, won’t give up on her. She asks Beth to make a list of all the good things in her life. So Beth starts to write down her story, from sharing silences with Foster Dad No. 1, to flirting in the Odeon on Orange Wednesdays, to the very first time she sniffed her baby’s head.
But at the end of her story, Beth must confront the bad thing.
What is the truth hiding behind her crime? And does anyone-even a 100% bad person-deserve a chance to be good?
We first meet Beth while she is serving her time in women’s prison. The story, told from her perspective, unravels more and more as she writes a list of good things by request of Erika, prisoners’ counsellor. We don’t know what happened to her before the prison and why is she even there, but that mystery and Beth herself are what keep you flipping the pages as if there is no tomorrow.
Writing a list of good things may seem pretty retarded – at least, that’s what I said when Erika brought it up.
We listen to the story of her life, the good and the bad, as Beth slowly fills in the list of good things. Bethany believes that she is a “100% bad person” and the constant question “do I deserve the good things?” is floating in the air.
A nice, normal place. A place where people looked at me and saw a lovely, fresh runner, not a woman who’d done a 100% ™ certified bad thing.
Usually, I am not a fan of character driven novels as I find them slow and boring, but not this one. At no point of the book I felt bored or the need for something more. There was already so much in Bethany, so much to her story that anything extra would ruin the whole experience.
I stayed up all night reading it. It made me cry. It made me shake. It filled me with feelings too big and terrifying to fit in my new room. So I stopped reading. It was easier. It was what I deserved.
You might have noticed that I’ve selected quite a lot of quotes from this book to share with you and that is because I adored the writing. The flow of the sentences. It was like each sentence was a separate wave but together they merged beautifully in this deep sea of feelings and emotions. And I still can’t get over the feeling of true happiness or profound sadness that the book made me feel.
‘You are smiling,’ was the first thing Erika said to me this week. ‘No, I’m not, ‘ I said, but lips kept jumping away from my chin.
Big thank you to NetGalley and Viking, Penguin UK for a free ARC of this book. This, as you know, in no way affected my opinion.
From now on I will be on a hunt for more Clare Fisher books and I’ve already added «All the Good Things» to my favourite shelf on GoodReads!
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ / 5
Highly recommend this book to anyone, YA or adult readers, everyone will find something special in it that will warm your heart.
Let me know in the comments down below if you are interested in reading this book. Or if you already did, what was your thoughts on it.