Ddressed enough for such a serious topic That is what happens when you wait until the end of the book to actually explore the topic At first I thought I new what was happening and then I was won t and then I was delighted Ib was pretty sure this was going to be a 3 star With a blurb from Rebecca Stead Eventown was a highly anticipated book for me However I found it too slow paced for its climax which hinges on a reveal of information that is only hidden because of narrative manipulation Eventown is narrated by Elodee a sixth grader who bakes cookies for people based on their personalities She has a twin sister Naomi who likes gymnastics so much she does cartwheels almost as much as she walks They have a dad who likes to garden and a mom who not uite sure what she does The family is leaving their town of Juniper because of some sort of unspoken trauma Elodee the narrator The Covent Garden Ladies: The inspiration behind ITV show HARLOTS knows what happened to her family she just decides not to tell the reader about it The family decides to move to Eventown a homogenous community that I wanted to be Eerie Indiana but is really like Pleasantville but boring Everyone is happy in Eventown and younow that because every single chapter for half the books ends with how perfect Eventown is Almost halfway through the girls are welcomed in a ceremony that s part The Giver but mostly Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Elodee then forgets the unspoken family trauma With the trauma going unspoken view spoilerthe family s transplanted rosebush takes over the town hide spoiler I am a huge fan of The Someday Suitcase by Corey Ann Haydu so I was thrilled that she shared an ARC of her newest book Eventown with BookPosse This middle grade novel will publish in February 2019 so you will have to wait a while to get your hands on it but I promise it will be worth the wait We meet twin sisters Elodee and Naomi on their last day in their hometown of Juniper Things have been difficult for their family for a while something terrible happened and now they are sad all the time Their parents decide to move the family and they pick a small idyllic place called Eventown Everything seems perfect in Eventown the food Elodee cooks tastes better than it ever has before her father s rosebush from Juniper flourishes her mom is finally happy and shy Naomie feels right at home Unfortunately Elodee is having trouble assimilating A visit to the Eventown Welcoming Center is guaranteed to help Elodee fit in with everyone else Unfortunately her visit is cut short and after that day things start to go a little haywire in Eventown Elodee starts uestioning Eventown s perfection The beautiful library is full of books with blank pages The delicious ice cream shop only has three different flavors There is only one song in all of Eventown How can a place be perfect when everything and everyone is the same I must admit that I was a bit frustrated with this book when I was a 100 pages in and still had no idea what awful thing had happened to Elodee s family We Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Twins know that it was something sad that upended the family s lives but we have no clue what happened to make them feel the need for a fresh start I was desperate tonow what trauma they were trying to escape and I was getting angry that it seemed like I was never going to find out I was just being too impatient because we finally learn about their tragic past in the most perfect way This book would not have been as powerful if Haydu had chosen to reveal their loss at the
Beginning Or Even Middle Of or even middle of book By waiting until the end of the book we feel the family s loss even Haydu s newest novel shows readers that love is messy but that messy can be beautiful and necessary Our emotions are not isolated we can be happy and sad at the same time Sometimes we need to revisit events from our past even if they are sad to appreciate what we have in the present This novel presents valuable life lessons the importance of remembering the past and appreciating differences in a very accessible way for middle grade students Eventown is a must add to classroom and school libraries I love this book for its intriguing cover and review by Rebecca SteadIts truth about family and sisters and sorrow and its truth about family and sisters growing apart because of sorrow Dad s sighs were particularly accurateIts portrayal of an easy world perfect for a fresh start Baking and blueberries and ice cream and s s and faded freckles and a rose but that would not be tamedA slow reveal of what the tragedy was and how the eerily *Idyllic Eventown Workedview SpoilerThe *Eventown workedview spoilerThe of our lives good bad and ugly overlapping and smashing together and being vital to who were are hide spoiler I m not a huge elementary reader but I absolutely LOVED Corey Haydu s EVENTOWN It starts as a typical upper elementary read so its hidden depths prove all the profound Tragedy devastates our main character Elodee s family so when Elodee s mom gets a new job moving seems like it ll fix everything Welcome to Eventown A place where all the houses look the same the air always smells like roses and blueberries grow year round Where everything seems like the perfect summer day At least on the surface A dark secret lurks beneath the vine covered homes Every person who moves to Eventown has a session at the Welcoming Center After telling your stories including the scariest most embarrassing your memories are locked away Never to be recalled But would you sacrifice your memories if it meant you could forget the most painful parts of your life What s the price for perfection From the description you can tell EVENTOWN is basically a junior Stepford Wives On steroids The beginning is a little choppy but as Elodee s family enters EVENTOWN the story uickly picks up pace Like Stepford or its many counterparts Elodee is initially infatuated by the town s seeming perfection But soon she notices something amiss beneath EVENTOWN s impeccable exterior Why are there only three flavors of ice cream Why is the library entirely filled with blank books As with most elementary books the writing is simple However the plot isn t The unnamed tragedy isn t revealed until the very end and lemme tell you it ll leave you SOBBING Seriously THE FAULT IN OUR STARS is child s play compared to EVENTOWN Even writing this review makes me a little teary As a side plot Elodee and her twin sister Naomi growing apart is nicely explored Their differing attitudes toward Eventown is a great metaphor for their developing separation As you come of age you may be different from your twin or friends and that s okay Summary A must read. A few odd rules and the houses all look exactly alike but it’s easy enough to explain until Elodee realizes that there are only three ice cream flavors in Eventown Ever And they play only one song in music classEverything may be “even” in Eventown but is there a price to pay for perfection and pretendin. ,
This is basically like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind for Flaunting, Extravagant Queen (French Revolution, kids As a grown up I really don t need to read another story about a supposed utopia that is actually gasp a dystopia But of course to most child readers this will not come off as a tired trope Too good to be true is a real thingids Be suspicious of anyone who tells you it s possible to live in this world without discomfort Baby s First Dystopian Think Stepford Wives for middle graders and you have EVENTOWNIdentical twins Elodee and Naomi are uprooted to the seemingly idyllic hamlet of EVENTOWN Narrator Elodee soon realizes that all the houses are the same down to the number of flowers in the gardens It never rains in EVENTOWN in fact everything is downright perfect Except that it isn t Upon moving to the town memories are erased even good ones But Elodee holds on to important ones and she may just save herself and everyone elseI grew up on the original Stepford Wives the only real version IMHO based on Ira Levin s or Rosemary s Baby fame again only the original is the read version novel which spawned a few uneual seuels that could never spark the same magic In Stepford men wanted perfect robotic wife s and replaced their brains with computersEVENTOWN s creators had benevolent motivations to heal from traumatic memories Residents brains aren t replaced but their memories are erased Naomi seems to relish life in EVENTOWN while Elodee the inuisitive and argumentative twin struggles to hold on I m a sucker for all twin books fact or fiction Elodee and Naomi had enough similarities and differences to feel authentic My only criticism is that Corey Ann Haydu took too long to get to the meat of the story which at times moves too slowlyEVENTOWN is a fun MG novel Every year various dictionaries and encyclopedias try to determine what the Word of the Year is and every year they make some pretty good choices Here s one that I don t think they ve done yet but that s been on a lot of minds anyway Discomfort There s been a lot of talk about it lately particularly in terms of the value of uncomfortablevaluable conversations I am personally a person who tends to avoid discomfort at all costs and my privilege is that I can too often do so Only because I live in this age and this era of America can I see where avoiding the messiness of living in this world is potentially dangerous not to mention irresponsible So to the year 2019 I hand this middle grade novel In Eventown by Corey Ann Haydu you ll find a marvelous defense of messiness mistakes and uncomfortable conversations We all want to run away from our problems but it s like that old phrase says Be careful what you wish for It happened in the past It hurt Now Elodee s family is in pain Her father her mother her twin sister Naomi and Elodee herself all feel burdened by something that they can t even talk about any So when Elodee and Naomi s mom gets a job working for the village of Eventown they simply cannot believe their luck Eventown s the Pages From Bee Journal kind of place where you can get a fresh start It s where the neighbors all get together to make you a recipe box of delicious things you couldn t burn or ruin if you tried Where theids in school never tease you Where the sunsets are miraculous and the stars if it s at all possible shine brighter than anywhere you ve ever been At first Elodee is swept up in the joy of living in such a place but as time goes on she begins to see oddities Why does her yard have weeds when no one else s does Why do the other ids act so aghast when she tries a different s s recipe And why oh why can t Elodee just give in to the place and be happy here It *takes a lot to live in Eventown so what Elodee needs to determine is whether or not *a lot to live in Eventown so what Elodee needs to determine is whether or not s worth it in the end Childhood utopias automatically come outfitted with built in weirdness It s part of the deal Hogwarts had a snake in the basement Willy Wonka s chocolate factory had a peculiar tendency to nock off small visitors You get the drift These locations have a natural fantasy component that taps into a child s ultimate desire magic chocolate etc Less common is the idea of a perfect town Even so it s there When I was a My Indian Kitchen kid I d write short stories about a little town where I could make up all the families and characters There was a comfort to it Think of what Harriet M Welch is doing in at the beginning of Harriet the Spy And I think Haydu s being very clever with this book because what s truly fearful about Eventown is its seductiveness Remember that line in the musical Into the Woods that Little Red Riding Hood sings about the wolf Nice is different than good Going to Eventown is like a crash course in nice vs good And the problem with nice as a whole bunch of usnow is that it can be weaponized in the fight against truth Reading the book I was intrigued by how the creepy elements of the tale sneak in at a glacial rate So much so that I found myself silently chanting Come on other shoe drop man drop Drop man drop Drop it does but in slow motion Need a novel for 9 12 year olds that epitomizes the very definition of foreshadowing Meet my little friend here It Lots of Mommies knows that some of the most effective horror comes from the people we love the most Elodee s whole family has drunk the Eventown Kool Aid without so much as a blink but she doesn t see that for a long time Instead she has to encounter what I consider one of the most frightening concepts of all time Loving patientindness combined with insane actions resulting in the ind of villainy I ve never really seen in a "CHILDREN S BOOK BEFORE THE ADULTS " s book before The adults this town aren t passive aggressive so much as they re completely dedicated to horrible inanities Let s put it this way You can t help but like a book where the foreshadowing centers around a town s lack of library Or even better the horror of what it becomes Honestly not since The Great Gatsby has a library been as much of a lie as the one found here What happens to the town library will strike many ids as an unspeakable crime It s a very clever means of turning Fantasy Man kids against the notion of comfort and stability at any costAs I read Iept finding natural connections to this book Certainly in terms of cinema this book is pure Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind meets Pleasantville In terms of children s books the tie in is Orphan Island on that later I was even reminded of that moment in A Wrinkle in Time where Meg confronts It and must parse the difference between eual and the same But when I really sat down and thought about it the best euivalent to this in a lot of ways is Aldous Huxley s Brave New. The world tilted for Elodee this year and now it’s impossible for her to be the same as she was before Not when her feelings have such a strong grip on her heart Not when she and her twin sister Naomi seem to be drifting apart So when Elodee’s mom gets a new job in Eventown moving seems like it might just. ,
World It might as well be Elodee saying I d rather be myself Myself and nasty Not somebody else however jolly Or If one s different one s bound to be lonely And ultimately the perfect uote for it all Actual happiness always looks pretty sualid in comparison with the overcompensations for misery And of course stability isn t nearly so spectacular as instability And being contented has none of the glamour of a good fight against misfortune none of the picturesueness of a struggle with temptation or a fatal overthrow by passion or doubt Happiness is never grand Huxley said it first but it s nice to have something on a younger level for the The Flame Of Adventure kids Eventown is the perfect gateway drug for Brave New World later on I mean this might be an out there idea but is it possible that this book is a metaphor for what it feels like to have depression Elodee is constantly having to defend herself against the accusation of not trying to be happy Her sister says You re making something easy so hard Here s how Elodee thinks of it instead There s a grip in my heart and Naomi s right here but she feels a million miles away on a whole other planet and she gets to be there with Mom and Dad and I m stuck here on my weird little planet all alone I want to explain all of that to her but every time I try to explain what is making me feel unsettled or weird all I do is get further and further away When her sister tries to cheer her up with guilt which in my experience always works so very very well it says I try to make Naomi grinning at me enough to make me grin too I am trying so so hard All throughout the book Elodee has to deal with a world where she feels like she s the only one who has to try this hard It s a deeply lonely experience and I couldn t help but think of people with depression who have to deal with concerned friends and family members who say unhelpful things like Why don t you just get over yourself and Why don t you want to be happy Like Elodee says they try so so hard but often that s not the issue The real issue is deep and buried In the case of this book literally so Again the book that Iept thinking about the most as I read this was Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder In both cases you have a mysterious location otherworldly occurrences and a girl on the cusp of teenagerhood with whom the world does not sit well Both live in inds of utopias There the similarities stop though In Orphan Island things start to go wrong because the heroine uestions the way things are and that s a bad thing In Eventown things start to go wrong because the heroine uestions the way things are and that s a good thing In both books she dares to uestion the world In only one book does that choice go well Why do these books ring oddly true with ids Because in the real world adults withhold pertinent information from their children all the time This is not necessarily a bad thing since there are many things in this world that Divine Magnetic Lands kids just aren t ready tonow I guess the root of it is to a certain extent intent Are you Frog and the Treasure keepingids in the dark because it protects them or because it protects youI wouldn t think of this any of this if it weren t for Haydu putting it all together so well There s a patience to her writing She must have had so much fun thinking up exactly how much fun to make Eventown The different flavors of ice cream the delicious green strawberries the waterfalls the gigantic blueberries the butterfly house the copper cooking euipment all of it Her book burns slow but once things start getting weird it speeds up considerably like weeds spreading in the night I liked a lot of how she chose to phrase things like when Elodee thinks of herself as a tiny cozy ball of limbs Or when the dad says Love has a lot to do with imperfections which may as well be the theme of the book itself The only part of the book that didn t uite gel with me came at the end I liked where the book went but and this is a funny thing to say it felt too tidy Not messy enough *THERE WAS SATISFACTION THERE BUT I *was satisfaction there but I it needed just a hair of a conclusion There s a big discovery words are said words are listened to and then we re outta here The mom especially does a turnaround that didn t feel real to me I needed a little thought there Kids would probably not agreeYears ago there was an episode of the Radiolab podcast about a moment in history when a scientist truly believed he might have found a way to remove select memories from people s brains The scientist was then flooded with desperate reuests from people around the world These people "were begging him to remove the pain of the past from their brains This connects for me to the moment " begging him to remove the pain of the past from their brains This connects for me to the moment this book when it starts to rain When that happens some of the neighbors go out of their way to express pure fury at Elodee s family It s very much a case of them essentially saying Your discomfort is reminding me of my discomfort We want so very much to find ourselves a blank slate of some sort No bad past no fearful future And The Butterfly Club kids the age of the readers of this book already have a sense of this Some of this book s readers will have encountered fearful horrible terrible things in their pasts Some of them will encounter these things in their futures And a bunch of them will look at Eventown even with all its flaws and want to go there in the same way thatids have wanted to go to Hogwarts for years There is no Eventown Not even Eventown is Eventown I won t tell you that s good or bad You re just going to have to read this book and decide for yourselfFor ages 9 12 From the start I could tell this book and I were not necessarily going to get on too wellThe book started by laying it on thick that something really tragic bad world tilting etc etc had happened to our narrator and her family I uickly got tired of being told something awful had happened but with no story development to go along with constantly being toldIt felt like the author was trying too hard to be profoundThe big reveal occurred too far into the story about 280 pages into a 320 page book I feel like the story would have had impact for me if I had Lilith Enraptured (Divinity Warriors known what it was they were forgetting instead of just constantly being told they were forgetting something Instead there was a long andinda boring build up to the reveal and then the book ended almost immediately As far as the utopia of Eventown I thought it was underdeveloped I would have loved some world building and understanding of exactly how it all workedI do appreciate that the author tackled a subject not usually explored in middle grade fiction but I also don t think it was Fix everythingIndeed life in Eventown is comforting and exciting all at once Their His Substitute Bride (Seavers Brides, kitchen comes with a box of recipes for Elodee to try Everyone takes the scenic way to school or work past rows of rosebushes and unexpected waterfalls On blueberry picking field trips every berry is perfectly ripeSure there are.