Reviews

Everything Beautiful Began After by Simon Van Booy

kaatesob's review against another edition

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emotional

4.0

abbeyhar103's review against another edition

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2.0

This book had some nice flashes of beautiful description or exquisitely written sentences but overall: barf. A totally schlocky story. Disappointing. Made me want to go to Athens though.

beckyrendon's review against another edition

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4.0

very well written. great book but depressing.

modern_analog's review against another edition

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3.0

I'd really like to give this book 3.5 stars, as I did enjoy it, it just took me awhile to get into it. Read it before you take a trip to Europe, or on the flight there. It has exotic locales, thoughtful language, love, and tragedy.

emvaughters's review against another edition

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2.0

This book had potential and it made me want to finish it to find out what happened, but it really fell flat.

teddien's review against another edition

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4.0

Beautifully written- I was surprised at the eventual direction the book took but it gave everything more heft and was much more powerful than I expected (especially with the shift in narration throughout).

ejbkimbler's review against another edition

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2.0

*I got this book as an ARC from Goodreads FirstReads*



This book took me a little while to get into. The writing style actually changes part way into the book, which is a little strange, but the portion after the change was much easier for me to read. The writing at the beginning is beautiful- full of images that are both beautiful and unique. However, those images actually took me out of the story and seemed to slow down the pace of the book. I could tell when Simon Van Booy really started to get into the lives of his characters because the plot suddenly seemed to matter more than the pretty images- finally the book was going somewhere!

And then Rebecca, the girl who seems to be the main character, dies. And that was only halfway through the novel. Talk about throwing the reader for a loop...

There are 4 "books" and an epilogue- which you don't discover until you reach the end of book one... halfway through the novel. And each "book" is shorter than the previous one. This wouldn't bug me so much except that I got used to book one, where Rebecca was the main character and everything was written in 3rd person narrative. Book two switches to 2nd person narrative as Henry, who is about as depressed as can be after he and George find Rebecca dead. There's even a chunk of book two that isn't narrative at all- it's images of letters Henry sends to George. Book three continues in 2nd person narrative. In book four, Henry has finally recovered, several years later, from his misery, which is a relief partly because being in Henry's head was exhausting and because we're finally back to 3rd person narration. I guess I just felt like the format wasn't consistent enough- every change reminded me that I was reading a book, not experiencing a story.

Overall, I thought the book was okay. Not a book I'm likely to pick up and read again though.

jenmcmaynes's review against another edition

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2.0

Meh. Overblown, pretentious language coupled with characters suffering from tragic pasts having trite insights into the nature of grief, life, and death. I was not impressed.

megatsunami's review against another edition

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3.0

Perhaps I ought to give this book more stars because of its literary quality, but the truth is that I just "liked" it, and didn't "really like it." The story had a lot of beautiful, haunting qualities and I found the characters believable and worthwhile. But the literary devices were a little too self-conscious for me and (along with the philosophical passages) at times jarred me out of the story in ways that didn't feel especially profound. Also, sometimes I just really didn't understand what was happening in the story because the writing was overly poetic. (I used to find that kind of thing really deep, but these days I don't have the patience.) P.S.
SpoilerI wanted this book to be bisexual but it wasn't. Bummer.

littlemisscass's review against another edition

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3.0

It wasn't the kind of book I usually read. And as much as there were parts I look back on as not really liking so much, it was very well written and I loved the overall message.