Everything All At Once by Ivy Cayden – Book Review

Everything All At Once by Ivy Cayden – Book Review

Everything All At Once by Ivy Cayden

Everything All At Once

Author – Ivy Cayden
Publisher – The Hidden Meridian, LLC
Pages – 496
Released – 20th February 2019
ISBN-13 – 978-1949293005
Format – ebook, paperback
Rating – 5 Stars
I received a free copy of this book.
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Teenage life (with a playlist).

Nearly sixteen, Kila Lorens showers herself in music, lives in plush corduroys, and always applies a double layer of lip gloss. She longs for the answers to this irritating trio of questions: When will she have her first kiss? Will Angus Lyr ever stop obsessi-texting Reese Seratine? And why did her former best friend, Brixton Kading, silently bow out of her life six months ago? The particulars of these unknowns—along with her mission to convince Maya Malta to share some sizeable news with a certain seventeen-year-old before he finds out from someone else—keep Kila’s eyes open at night.

But one late hour delivers something worth hiding: a private Nektir message from Timothy Cardiff, the tall, inky-haired enigma who rarely speaks in school, yet somehow morphs into Salt for Swordsmen’s frontman on the weekends. Amidst tandem listening and dizzying revelations, the two form an unlikely attachment. When their covert communication spills into the halls of Cypress High, they both wonder if this will be a short-lived or long-lasting entanglement.

Ethan Lorens—Kila’s cautious but optimistic older brother—mostly focuses on his new drums and his indie band’s potential. An after-school visit to Casper’s Music Underground presents some unexpected industry intel. Following years of hiatus, Emerald Rock plans to host another EmOpen. Casper encourages the boys to prepare for the contest, but Ethan, Brixton, and Angus wrestle with the group’s shortcomings. Could the young French chef they meet at The Hidden Meridian be the band’s missing link?

Sometimes dreams come out to play. Mixing Kila and Ethan’s friends together on a parentless weekend induces irreversible crushes, late-night courtship, and stinging heartache. With an elaborate, 67-song playlist to embed you in every magnetic moment and missed connection, you’ll experience the rush of Everything All At Once, the first book in the CHORDUROYS AND TOO MANY BOYS™ series.

Review by Lynsey

Kila dreams of being kissed under a canopy of stars and she knows that “The Way I Do” by Bishops Briggs will be playing when the moment finally happens. But finally seems a bit like never since her crush, Angus sees her more as Ethan’s little sister than the girl of his dreams. Plus, he may, or may not, have a girlfriend. And then there’s Brixton – her friend who’s a boy and absolutely not her boyfriend – who has mysteriously been absent from her life for the past six months; Timothy who is far more flirtatious online than his classroom persona suggests; and this is all before Jacques, the hot French chef, comes along.

Sounds complicated? Chorduroys and Too Many Boys is a perfect teen romance that portrays the longing and angst of first love in a real page-turner that has you rooting for Kila to find her perfect match. She may be Ethan’s little sister but she’s ready to prove she’s not a little girl anymore, especially where his band-mate Angus is concerned. But, is it just Angus that Kila could find true love with?

There’s intensity and drama and as it unfolds, to tie into the band theme, the story is accompanied by a carefully curated Spotify playlist where you listen to the chosen tracks alongside reading. So just as Kila paces her floor to “Dreams” by the Cranberries fantasising about Angus, you are also carried away by the sweet scent of the lyrics. For me, any playlist that includes the haunting power of Delores O’Riordan is an absolute winner but the soundtrack really does add something extra to highlight the roller coaster of emotions Kila experiences. Plus, I’ve been introduced to some artists I’ve never heard before taking me on a musical as well as literary journey.

This is teen fiction at its finest. You laugh, you cringe, you sigh as you just know it’s all headed in the wrong direction as you hope, as Kila does, that love will prevail. The writing is at times poetically beautiful, almost lyrical, and beautifully complemented by the chosen tunes. But there’s also powerful sassy dialogue and drawn-out introspection that really does create the gut-wrench of teenage crushes in a way that keeps you hooked to the very end. Be warned – this is just Book 1 – so although there’s a conclusion there is clearly plenty more to come and I can’t wait.

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Author Info

Ivy Cayden Everything All At Once

Ivy Cayden lives on the rugged, pinetree-lined Central Coast of California. Years ago, on her first visit to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, she fell in love with the tall trees in Felton and returns whenever she gets the chance.

A vegan for over a decade, Ivy is passionate about supporting small businesses and all things indie–especially music. In addition to writing the CHORDUROYS AND TOO MANY BOYS™ series, she founded and manages the indie music blog My Multi-Track Mind, where she interviews rising musicians, covers new releases, and posts moody playlists.

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4 Responses

  1. DJ Sakata says:

    Sounds like a fun read but I wouldn’t go back to redo teen years for a billion smackers!

  2. Jo Linsdell says:

    This sounds like a great teen read. I love the idea of a playlist to go with the story. What a fun idea!

  3. Thank you DJ. I know what you mean. I had some amazing teen years and a great body too. But not sure I would like to go back there.

  4. Thank you Jo. It really is a fab read and I think either the second of third we have reviewed with a playlist.