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Author: Younge-Ullman, Danielle
Publisher: Razorbill
Year Published: 2017
ISBN: 9780670070138
Grades: Grades 9 to12

Everything Beautiful is not Ruined

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Then: Ingrid traveled all over Europe following her superstar opera singer mother. Living in the lap of luxury with tutors, music lessons, parties, and, of course, the opera, Ingrid had an enviable childhood.
Now: Ingrid is on a wilderness survival trek for at-risk teens and fighting to survive all the challenges that are being thrown at her, challenges that could break her. She instantly feels that she doesn’t belong there.
Then: When her mother’s opera career comes to a crashing end so does the bright and shiny life they have enjoyed. Now they are settled into a chafing, quiet, normal life with the daily grind of work and school. Ingrid has never gone to public school before and has much to learn to find social acceptance in her new world. She yearns for the music to soar again.
Now: Ingrid has no option to quit the trek and she needs to find a way to get through the summer. She’s trying to understand why she’s been sent into the wild, while the camp counsellors try to break down her mental and emotional barriers. To really reconcile herself with the changes in life, Ingrid needs to figure out why the music stopped.
The focus of the story is on resilience. Mom is terribly depressed. There’s bullying, but there’s friendship, romance, and learning to make deep connections with others through simply listening to their stories and finding empathy and compassion. Throughout the novel, Ingrid writes letters to her mother in a journal  that are caustic and highly entertaining, but also skims the surface of what Ingrid is feeling and what situations she has been facing. There are many tears to be shed while reading some of the heartfelt passages; however, there are also laugh-out-loud moments too.
There are some very mature topics that are brought up with the teens in the survival camp dealing with issues such as sexual assault, drug use, prison, and prostitution.
 
 

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