Every Little Thing in the World by Nina de Gramont
A teenager. A pregnancy. A familiar story. NOTWhen sixteen-year-old Sydney Biggs’s pregnancy test shows the tell tale plus sign, she confides in only her best friend Natalia, and Natalia promptly “borrows” her mother’s car so Sydney can confront the baby’s father. But after the car is reported stolen and police bring the girls home, their parents send them away to wilderness camp as punishment. With six weeks to spend in the wilds of Canada, time is ticking for Sydney, who isn’t sure what she wants to do about the pregnancy. As she befriends her fellow adventure mates and contends with Natalia’s adamant opinions on the choices available, Sydney realizes that making the right choice can mean very different things.
Every Little Thing in the World was a highly original and enthralling novel by Nina de Gramont. Teen pregnancy is considered a clichéd topic in YA by some, but to me each novel about it sheds some new light on the subject and every character experiences things differently. Every Little Thing in the World was not strictly about teen pregnancy either. It encompassed a wide array of subjects from murder to exploration to acne to homosexuality. If you are looking for a novel different from most everything else on the market, look no further than this book.
16 year old Sydney was a wonderful main character. Mainly because she was just so real. I could understand her reactions and thoughts and I felt for her from page one. After being sent away to wilderness camp in Canada for being too rebellious, Sydney will have the experience of a lifetime. While most girls will be worried about sleeping on the ground and getting bitten by mosquitos, Sydney Biggs has something even bigger on her mind- she's pregnant.
Sydney's story was very different from any other teen pregnancy novel that I've read. Mainly because she was unsure about what she wanted to do about the baby. Have it and give it up for adoption? Or have an abortion? She was faced with many difficult decisions over the course of the story and it made things even harder that she was stuck in the woods; trying to pretend she wasn't really expecting. While her pregnancy was a key part of Every Little Thing in the World, there were still a variety of other plot points that were just as important.
I loved reading about the canoe trip. With the beautiful scenery, wildlife, and nature it sounded like an amazing experience. Best of all, Sydney's fellow adventurers were all unique and well developed characters. Her best friend, Natalia, also tagged along on the trip and readers really got to know her and her opinions on Sydney's situation. Natalia had a lot she was dealing with as well and sometimes that made her react negatively to Sydney on the trip. Their friendship was sometimes tested, but they also made lifelong friends together in Canada. Each person who was introduced on the canoeing trip made some impact on me and each of them had something more to them than met the eye.
The setting and characters really made the book that much better and the plot added to it. While the beginning was a tad slow for me, I soon fell into Sydney's world and got attached to the different characters (especially Bucket Head!).
All in all, this was a fantastic new novel by Nina de Gramont and I'm looking forward to seeing what's next for her, as well as checking out some of her previous releases. If you're looking for a novel that tackles a variety of "taboo" subjects in a fresh and intriguing way, I highly recommend Every Little Thing in the World.
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars
March 23, 2010/Atheneum/288 Pages/Young Adult
Source: Author (signed paperback)
Other books by this author: Gossip of the Starlings