Friday, August 16, 2019

Eventown, by Corey Ann Haydu

Eventown is a perfect place.  In it, the most beautiful roses grow, food is delicious, everyone is perfect, and every house looks the same.  The people are happy and content, but all extreme emotions have been banished.  Everyone is even.  Everyone is the same.

Elodee and her twin sister Naomi are turning twelve and drifting apart.  The easy bond that they once had has frayed by a family trauma.  So when Mom gets a job offer in Eventown, moving and starting a new life sounds like a great idea.  And while Elodee has reservations about some of the strange things about their new home, she likes how nice everyone is and how easy the life is.  But over time, Elodee's reservations grow stronger and she finds herself rebelling against the "even" way of life.  This proves to have severe consequences for Elodee, her family, and the town as a whole.

A peculiar and fascinating tale that explores the costs and benefits of sacrificing risk and chance for the security of an unchanging world. While written for middle graders, the subject matter (which is ultimately about enduring tragic loss) seems a bit heavy for the target audience.  The metaphor of the utopia also seems likely to be lost on them.  Adults however will find that the book has a lot to say in the end about love, community, memory, and the value of embracing differences.  It's a beautiful and haunting story.

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