All the Things You Are by Courtney Sheinmel

Summary/Cover Image from Publisher's Website:
Carly Wheeler lives a charmed life. Her motheris a stylist for the soap opera Lovelock Falls, she lives in a nice house, and goes to an excellent private school. But when her mom is arrested and charged with embezzlement, everything starts to unravel. There are shocking stories about her mother's crimes in the local newspaper. Carly's friends start avoiding her. And her stepfather starts worrying about money. How can Carly put her life back together when it feels like she's missing all the pieces?

After Courtney Sheinmel’s Positively, Courtney and her books officially landed on my book radar, because she has such a knack for writing memorable and poignant middle-grade fiction. Thankfully, her newest release, All the Things You Are, did not disappoint.

In Carly Wheeler’s life, everything is nearly perfect. She has a best friend named Annie whose funny and one of a kind. She attends a diverse private school filled with lots of interesting and nice people. Best of all, her mom works on Lovelock Falls, one of the top soap operas, and because of it Carly and her friends are constantly meeting celebrities and wearing fancy clothes. However, everything changes when her mother is accused of embezzlement. Suddenly, everything is different. She’s dodging questions, her mom, who has always been there for Carly, seems to be drawing back into her own cocoon, and her best friend has betrayed her in the worst way possible. Worst of all, Carly still does not know what exactly happened with her mom…Did she really commit embezzlement? Will she go to jail? Will Carly ever be able to forgive her for turning everything upside down? Only time and more pages can tell in this one of a kind contemporary read.

One of the things I always love about Courtney’s books is that she always introduces likable and charismatic characters, Carly being one of them of course. Carly and her story managed to take a hold of my heart from the very first pages, because not only did I relate to Carly in some basic ways, as will any tween or teen girl, but also her story is one that is so innocent yet heartbreaking. I especially loved reading about the relationship between Carly and her mother. It was strong yet the impact of the drama and deceit weighed heavily on it, causing lots of drama that constantly managed to test it.

The premise of this story is also nearly one of a kind. I do not think I have ever read a book about embezzlement; much less, what happens after to the family of the accused after everything is said and done. It caused for lots of twists and turns as more info was brought into the story, and it allowed Carly and other characters to go from being sometime selfish and materialistic to being stronger people who realized that money is not everything. A coming of age that was unique and memorable to say the least.

Courtney’s writing was also fabulous. I loved what she did with the characters, and how will she brought their emotions and feelings across the page. Better yet, I loved how this story did not exactly have a happy ending; instead, it was realistic but hopeful.

Sweet and heartwarming, Courtney Sheinmel’s All the Things You Are is yet another fantastic addition to middle grade, one that will be sure to satisfy previous fans and bring new ones to the mix.

Grade: A+

All the Things You Are will be released June 14, 2011.

Source: Galley Grab


  1. I loved Positively and can't wait to check this one out. I didn't realize it was about embezzlement- so unique! Great review :)

  2. Wow. This one sounds great. I'll look for it!

  3. I need to check out this author for my middle school library. I'm unfamiliar with these books, but this one sounds like it would be well-received. Thanks!

  4. Glad you loved this one and that it had a one of a kind plot! I definitely need that right now. I am definitely going to read this book soon!

  5. I've never read any of Courtney's books, but I want to. She sounds like a fantastic writer.


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