Hello everyone!

I am back today with another book review, Underneath Everything by Marcy Beller Paul.

This is one of those books where I can't remember why I decided I wanted to read it, I just knew I did at some point because I bought a copy.

The story follows Mattie, a girl who is in high school. Mattie and her friend Kris haven't associated with the other half of their friend group in a year and a half because of some event that happened. I can't really tell you too much more about the plot because there isn't really a lot more plot. That's pretty much it.

I had a few problems with this book, so I guess, based on the reviews, I am on the side of the fence that wasn't a huge fan.

My first issue was that I couldn't really get into this book. It took a good 100 pages (a little too much in a <300-page book) for me to actually want to continue reading. I almost DNF'd this book multiple times in the first little bit because I wasn't enjoying it. Now, there are a few reasons for this: I'm fighting off a slump, so that doesn't help matters and because this book is fairly split when it comes to people loving it or not being a fan, I tend to stay on the pessimistic side of things. I'm not sure if it was the book itself, the writing, story, etc. or if it was me, but I had a difficult time getting into this book.

Once I did get into it, I felt like there wasn't a lot going on. Like I said before, there isn't really much going on in terms of plot. It's just kind of Mattie's life these days and a couple flashbacks to the event that ruined it all. I almost preferred reading the flashback memories and I wish that was more of the book. There were a couple of times where I felt like I just walked into the middle of a story - references made to the event but no one was telling me what had happened. I understand the effect it was supposed to have, but I just didn't enjoy it.

I did really enjoy the interactions with Jolene and Mattie - they were creepy and showed an interesting toxic friendship dynamic. I just wish there was more of that. When we see their present-day interactions, most of those interactions are gone, both girls have become different people.

I feel like I would have preferred the original story, not the recap, 2 years later situation. It almost felt unnecessary to have this secondary telling of that story and I think I am missing the purpose as to why that was done.

Overall, I can see why people like this book and I can see why people aren't huge fans. I do think, however, if you can power through the first bit, the story picks up and you'll have a better chance at enjoying it.