Thanks to NetGalley and Delacorte Press for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: March 17th, 2020
Synopsis: For Ivy, summer means roller-coaster season, spinning cotton candy at the Fabuland amusement park, and hanging out with her best friend, Morgan. But this summer is different.
One morning, Morgan finds a dead body. It’s their former classmate and coworker Ethan. To make matters worse, Morgan is taken to a hospital psych ward only days later, and she’s not saying much—not even to Ivy.
The police claim that Ethan simply took a bad fall, but Ivy isn’t convinced and realizes it’s up to her to get answers. What she finds is unsettling—it’s clear that some people aren’t being honest about Ethan’s last night at Fabuland. Including Morgan. And the more secrets Ivy uncovers, the closer she gets to unraveling dark truths that will change her life forever.
From the premise I was expecting All the Pretty Things to be a fun mystery in the same vein as Nancy Drew. Instead, I wound up actively disliking most of the characters including Ivy, and the mystery was easily solved before the halfway point. The rather cavalier and outdated manner in which Morgan’s mental health was treated, also made me cringe. The only reason why I’m giving this two stars is because I loved the seedy, somewhat menacing setting of Fabuland (although it left me with unwanted cravings for cotton candy and fried dough), and I was appreciative of Ivy’s devotion to Morgan. Otherwise, I had to force myself through scene after scene of Ivy wandering around intrusively questioning other characters who insisted on giving annoyingly vague and coded answers. And this, while all the time the person who obviously had something to do with not only Ethan’s death but also other tawdry goings on, was right there in front of her with a neon sign flashing above his head stating “I am loathsome scum!” Every scene this character was in had me wanting to take a shower after. While I can’t bring myself to recommend All the Pretty Things, there are some readers who enjoyed it, so as always I encourage you to check out other reviews. I also want to warn you that there are some themes that could be triggers including: suicidal thoughts, overdose, domestic abuse, sexual harassment and assault, mental health.