I believe in Chloe and chocolate.
I believe the best part is always before.
I believe that most girls are shifty and most guys are dumb.
I believe the more you spill, the less you are.
I don't believe in life after death or diuretics or happy endings.
I don't believe anything good can come from this.
Riley Rose doesn't want to be at Spirit Ranch Holiday Camp. Riley wants to be partying with her best friend Chloe at the beautiful Ben Sebatini's house. She has a plan to get away from the jumpsuit-wearing counsellors, the feel-good mantras, do-gooder campers and the monotonous schedule of team-building exercises and outdoor activities.
But is everything at the Spirit Ranch as it appears? What secrets are waiting for discovery in the abandoned Fraser house? And why doesn't anyone want to talk about the accident that landed the mysterious Dylan in a wheelchair last year?
Everything Beautiful – a love story about the broken and the broken-hearted.
About The Author
Simmone Howell is an award-winning short story-writer, and screenwriter. Her short film Pity24 won an AWGIE award and has screened at film festivals such as the London Australian Film Festival and Los Angeles Shorts Fest. Her first novel, Notes from the Teenage Underground won the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Young Adult Fiction in 2007 and the inaugural Golden Inky, and has been published around the world.
When overweight 16-year-old Riley Rose begins acting out after her mother's death by seeing how many boys she can bed, her born-again dad sends her to Spirit Ranch Holiday Camp for a dose of morality. There she meets wheelchair-bound Dylan, who shares her anger and outsider status. Soon they are sneaking smokes, racing around in a stolen dune buggy and falling in love. By the end of the week, Riley is open to the idea of spirituality, if not orthodoxy, and is able to forgive some of her more unenlightened bunkmates through the miracle of Dylan's acceptance. Most of the secondary characters are either underdeveloped or border on stereotype (pretty, mean girl, hot counselor cad, secretly gay camp director), and the multiple issues (weight, promiscuity, parental death, physical disability) threaten to overwhelm Riley's funny, irreverent voice, which is full of righteous indignation for the "Chubby Con Carnes" of the world. However, Riley's search for spiritual meaning is compelling and should appeal to fans of Robin Brande's Evolution, Me and Other Freaks of Nature (2007). (Fiction. 13 & up) (Kirkus Reviews)