About the Book
Everything’s Not Fine
by Sarah J. Carlson
Publisher: Turner Publishing
Release Date: May 26, 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
I want her life. Not the acting part, but living far away and truly embracing your art. Traveling the world.Sarah J. Carlson
Seventeen-year-old Rose Hemmersbach aspires to break out of small town Sparta, Wisconsin and achieve her artistic dreams at Belwyn School for the Arts after she graduates. Painting is Rose’s escape from her annoying younger siblings and her family’s one rule: ignore the elephant in the room, because talking about it makes it real. That is, until the day Rose finds her mother dying on the kitchen floor of a heroin overdose. Kneeling beside her, Rose pleads with the universe to find a heartbeat. She does – but when her mother is taken to the hospital, the troubles are just beginning. Rose and her dad are left to pick up the pieces. Now all that matters are her siblings.
Focus on what you can control. Anger. Rage. That’s my shield.Sarah J. Carlson
Rose doesn’t have room to do her schoolwork, let alone pick up a paintbrush. Until Rose is forced to do the homecoming mural with Rafa, a new senior at Sparta High. Rose and Rafa don’t have an ounce of school spirit between them, but Rose discovers her brain still has room to paint.
The cat forcefully rubs its head on my arm, its purr vibrating through my skin. It’s Cleocatra.Sarah J. Carlson
As Rose fights to hold everything together, and her dreams of the future start to slip from her grasp, she must face the question of what happens when – if – her mom comes home again. And if, deep down, if Rose even wants her to.
The opioid crisis is something that hit really close to home with me when it swept through the small town I grew up in. Not only does it have devastating effects on individuals, but it can also have devastating effects on entire communities. So when I saw that this book covers addiction in a small town setting I knew that I had to read it.
It’s a new day. And today my brain is free and clear, and I can focus on what I can control.Sarah J. Carlson
This was such a gritty and raw and honest book. It takes a deep look into how addiction affects a person and their family. And this is a book about family. The story follows Rose and how she finds herself suddenly pushed into the position as the caretaker of her family. She can no longer be the high school student she used to, because high school no longer matters when she has to ensure that there’s money in the bank and food on the table.
It all leaves me aching and empty.Sarah J. Carlson
Even with all of the heavy content int his book, the writing is still so beautiful. I think that the honesty of the writing really helped to paint a vivid picture. And the descriptions of painting and artistic analogies in writing were just so wonderfully executed. But over anything, this is a story about real life and the ups and downs that comes with it.
About the Author
Sarah J. Carlson writes contemporary YA that delves into complex, real world problems. Professionally, she is a school psychologist who works primarily with a diverse, mostly low income population. Her professional focus is around supporting the success of children with behavioral and mental health needs and helping to promote resilience in children who have been exposed to trauma or toxic stress. Sarah lives outside Madison, Wisconsin with her husband, two young children, and two energetic terriers.
1 copy of EVERYTHING’S NOT FINE by Sarah Carlson
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*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review*