Read Everything I Was by Corinne Demas Online


Thirteen-year-old Irene helps in her grandfather's plant nursery, makes new friends, and begins to learn what she really wants and needs after her father, having lost his job as an investment banker, moves her and her mother to his father's farmhouse upstate....

Title : Everything I Was
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780761373032
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 209 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Everything I Was Reviews

  • Morgan F
    2019-04-24 21:27

    I think that the marketing of this book is extremely misleading. It looks like a young adult book, with the intense, older-looking model on the front cover, and the synopsis does not mention that Irene is only 13. Once you open up the book, however, it is clear that Irene is young. I would not have read this book if I knew Irene's intended age, because realistic middle-grade fiction does not interest me. This book is just another example of that. Everything I Was is about loneliness and figuring out that your parents are real people after all. When you are a kid, your parents are infallible. They are always right and do what is right. Then come the moments when your realize that they make mistakes and have faults, just like everyone else. Irene's father has just lost his job, and they are forced to live with her grandfather as they are no longer able to afford their Manhattan penthouse. Irene's mother can't seem to grasp that they aren't rich anymore, and continues to spend and spend, making excuses up as she goes. Irene sees what her mother is doing is hurting the family, causing tension between her mother and her father, and she hates her mother for it. Irene leaves her grandfather's country home as often as she can, making friends with a family with kids her age. She finds this family remarkable, the way they laugh together, play together, how they can own so little but have so much. With a crush on the oldest boy and friends with the older girl, Irene is sure this is where she wants to stay. But when Irene's mother tries to get them to move back into a stuffy Manhattan apartment, Irene must not only face her mother's faults, but challenge them head on. This book would have made a good YA book if all the kids had their ages bumped up and if the content was a bit edgier. I mean, if you are going to market it as a YA book, why not?Two stars, because it was not anything special, but it wasn't terrible either.

  • Sheila
    2019-04-28 04:16

    A family in crisis; a teen protagonist who’s real, normal, honest and interesting; a real-world drama with genuine characters, powerful emotions, and the sweet touch of hope—what more could a reader ask for? Privileged Irene moves out of town to stay at her grandfather’s farm while Dad tries to find a job and Mom tries to hold onto her way of life. But what about Irene’s way of life? Will she end up as a scholarship girl, a fish out of water amongst her friends? Or will she carve a new life for herself as she slowly learns to make new friends and trust new strangers?It’s easy to lay blame when crisis strikes a family, but events overtake Irene’s anger, and soon blame becomes irrelevant. You live the life you’ve been given, she learns, and the life she’s found has plenty to offer her. Soon the question’s not what will life throw at her next, but where will she make her stand.Beautiful descriptions bring the scenery of Yellowstone and New York to life. Convincing dialog backs up all the characters and their many relationships. Young love and old love bloom. Suspicions aren’t fact. And communication is as difficult for adults as for teens.Everything I Was follows Irene as she learns the new things she can be, and leads teen readers to recognize their complex lives aren’t really out of control, even when they fall apart. An honestly enjoyable, uplifting, fascinating tale of real-world people and real-world hope, this one's highly recommended.Disclosure: The library was selling off some books and I liked the blurb on this one. I’m glad I bought it.

  • Emily
    2019-05-21 01:25

    I'd give this book 3 and half stars if I could, but there were enough things I really liked about it to bump it up instead of down. Thirteen-year-old Irene lives in NYC but is about to have to leave. Her dad lost his job and they can no longer afford their penthouse apartment. She and her parents move in with her grandfather who raises plants in his nursery in upstate NY. Though it sounds like this could be a "poor little rich girl" story, it's much more about Irene figuring out what she wants and how to say so. Irene's frustrations are not about the sudden lack of luxury, they are about the uncertainly of what happens at the end of the summer and her parents making decisions for her without consulting her.The supporting characters are my favorites, and that's the main reason for the bump up. I love the Fox family down the street and how everyone is welcome in their home. The author has written the very family I hope to raise. The grandfather is wonderful, quiet and perceptive, and one of my favorite moments is when he shows Irene the loft in the barn that he has fixed up for her, because he both remembered that she always loved the barn and knew she would want her own place to just be.One thing I didn't like: the cover is kind of creepy and doesnt' have anything to do with the story.I was very pleasantly surprised to find a scene where the wonderful Fox family puts on a circus as a birthday present for their mother because I had been needed a clown for my reading scavenger hunt. Hooray for unexpected clowns!Reading Scavenger Hunt: Clown

  • Jamie
    2019-05-03 03:22

    When Irene's father is "downsized" the family has to move to the country with her paternal grandfather. Thus begins this gentle story about a girl figuring out her parents, what's important, and the confusion of life. Oh, and first love.

  • Cara
    2019-05-14 20:29

    This is the story of Irene, a girl who is forced to move to the country with her parents when her dad loses his job. They go to live with her grandfather, and that actually turns out pretty great. Nice coming-of-age story. It took me a little while to get attached to Irene, but as the book went on, I really liked her and enjoyed watching her grow as a person.

  • Karen
    2019-05-01 02:26

    EVERYTHING I WAS by Corinne Demas has me perplexed. The book is publicized as a book for middle grade or young adults and yet THIS blogging grandmother was captivated from the beginning pages. EVERYTHING I WAS is an engrossing book centered around the main character, Irene, who is an appealing and sincere thirteen-year-old girl. Drawn from our current unpredictable economic times, Irene feels an unsettling loss of control over everything in her life as her father’s company has downsized and he has suddenly lost his job!This result is a major life change for Irene and her family as they are forced to sell their penthouse in the city and move to live with Irene’s grandfather in the country. No more posh prep school for Irene or fancy summer vacation. With the summer break starting, it is the one saving grace for Irene as she doesn’t have to admit to her friends what has happened as everyone scatters for their vacations; everyone except Irene who is off to the country to help Grandpa with his farm. With so much loss, her parents are forced to sell their belongings and only a few of Irene’s prized possessions are put in storage in hopes things will change soon as her father looks for a new job. However, Irene’s mother is the one who takes this the hardest. She is a superficial person whose excessiveness has only added to their woes. Her attitude to living with her father-in-law in the country is almost laughable if it wasn’t so selfishly sad.While Irene’s father spends time looking for work but also enjoying working with his hands as he helps his dad around the farm, her mom spends time in the city looking for an affordable apartment for them to get in by the time the school term begins after summer break. Irene, meanwhile, is supported by her grandfather and as good things oft can happen in this kind of situation, she draws closer to him. She enjoys working with him and his flowers and plants as well as getting to know each other better. Some of the loveliest writing for me is when Corinne describes their work with the flowers. I could smell and feel the dirt that they were working with and celebrated their pride in the end results. Thinking this is enough to help her get through the summer, the sometimes reticent Irene is surprised when she finds the Fox family of stair-step aged children, who turn out to be good friends. Irene even finds the older brother to be special as he becomes her first love interest. Who knew? Instead of merely existing, Irene finds herself thriving in this environment and as time passes, she realizes she hopes they don’t go back to the city. Irene is a likable character, and it’s easy to believe her story as she grows into a more self-sufficient young lady who finds that her major stumbling block now is her mother. She wants to get Irene back to her expensive prep school even if it means by scholarship but Irene doesn’t want to lie to her friends in the city because frankly, Irene wants to stay in the country and go to the public school. How can Irene do this when her parents think they have found a temporary home in the city and are ready to move back at the end of the summer? What about Irene’s new found friends and her grandfather? Feeling that her father sides with her mother and that means “who cares about Grandpa OR Irene?”, what can Irene do? It is the final part of EVERYTHING I WAS that is the one thing I didn’t care for because I didn't want the book to end. I wanted to read more about what happened to Irene! My hope is that Corinne Demas has a sequel planned. With the characters so well fleshed out by Corinne, the story moves quickly and smoothly with realism that keeps the reader entranced. As a former middle school reading teacher, I know only too well the self-centered personalities of that age group of students, and this book fits them so well. My former students would all love this book. As much as I taught them about setting and character development, and how a good, tight story line can make a book a hit, they would surely enjoy this one. With that said, the sensitivity with which Corinne Demas handles the characters and a very credible plot, will appeal to adults as well. While allowing her picturesque descriptions and pleasing narration to make you think and feel what is going on is very, very real, EVERYTHING I WAS by Corinne Demas will appeal to all ages, I’m sure, just as much as it did to me.

  • Rabiah
    2019-05-04 01:30

    Originally Posted at:**This Review is based on an ARC (Advanced Reader's Copy). The final text/cover may be different!**"Irene goodnight, Irene goodnightGoodnight Irene, goodnight Irene I'll see you in my dreams ""Goodnight Irene" by Steve EarleAfter this song was mentioned in the book, I got it stuck in my head throughout the rest of the story. Why? Well, I've a friend in my geo class called Irene (yes, like the character in this book) and then my geo teacher played this song one day. The country-ness of the song and the lyrics really got stuck in my head... especially after my teacher sang it...quite interestingly.Everything I Was wasn't what I was expecting. The cover looks creepy (really eye-catching though!), so I thought it would be about some mystery, something paranormal or something terrifying.Not.At.ALL.It was a sweet, slow book which took fiction to as realistic real life can get. It focuses on a lot of the problems today: Downsizing, Economy and such. But it's not about the serious stuff, but more on how a girl from the city moves down to the country with her grandpa and how life goes on there. Nothing really big happens, it's quite a cute coming-of-age story. I didn't know how old Irene was (judging from the cover, I thought she was around 15/16) and it turned out that she was 13! I really love this line. It's from the book and includes the title, "I let the task I was doing be everything I was" (Irene). I really love that line. It shows determination, trying to fit in, adapting to life in the country. It basically sums the entire book up! I couldn't have seen a better suited title for this books.The characters were pretty good! Irene was of course, the amazing one– she never really complains when she moves with her grandpa, she tries to adapt, and get used to it. She wants the best for everyone and always thinks of others before her self. She's so...genial. That's the word that so describes her :). I loved Jim as well, although their small "crush" thing isn't that big in the book (which can be a relief sometimes!) but I found him really outgoing, really friendly and looks out for all his brothers and sisters (and he's the one who mentions "Goodnigh Irene"!). Meg is one of his sisters and becomes Irene's friend. She's so nice! I wish I could have an amazingly sweet friend like her (not that I don't) but there's something about Meg that's an enviable quality, how she's soft and shy and not at all self absorbed. She likes reading too! YAY!Everything I Was is a book which can relax and make you smile with the simplicity of the story and the great characters. As you read on, you're instantly grabbed by the country-air and the sweet smell of grass and rain. I could totally imagine myself there, along the whole time with Irene. Corinne Demas' writing is descriptive and so alive, it's flawlessly enrapturing and will hold you until the end.

  • Valerie
    2019-04-27 03:45

    Thanks to NetGalley for the early look at this book.Everything I Was by Corinne Demas2/5 starsSummary:Irene is 13 years old and her life is suddenly thrown into radical change. Her father loses his high paying job to downsizing and her mother has spent all of their money. They leave their penthouse apartment in New York to move in with her Grandpa in the country. Irene’s mother is miserable while her father is trying to make the best of things. Irene misses her friends but accepts the changes. She loves the flower farm her Grandpa lives on and loves to work with him in the greenhouse. She meets new friends and develops a crush on Jim. But when it comes time to move back to the city, she isn’t sure she wants to go. My thoughts:This is clearly a pre-teen book. I was captured by the cover, which is intriguing, and the cover summary didn’t make it clear that this was about a 13 year old. I was disappointed that it seemed to be about a high school student until you were 3 or 4 chapters in. I am a middle school teacher and I teach 13 and 14 year olds. Irene is like no 13 year old I have ever met. She lets life happen to her without a lot of comment. Her parents decide things for her, which she doesn’t like, but she doesn’t say anything about it. I find this incredible. Every student I have ever had is very vocal about things that affect them personally. I have seen them with their parents and with their friends. If they don’t like it, you know it. Irene wasn’t like that. Her whole personality seemed hollow. A lot of the characters in this book had hollow personalities. I thought the Fox family was very hollow, even the love interest Jim. Irene’s Grandpa was very genuine and I liked him. Her parents were real, even though I really didn’t understand why they were together.The plot was lacking. The conflict in the story was minimal with an obvious solution, which is how the book ended. There were so many great scenes that could have been but weren’t there. There was one time that there could have been a great conversation between Irene and Jim but we just heard about it after the fact. I was very disappointed by that. It happened a lot. Many chapters ended at a key point only to have the next chapter be the next day or even later with little or no understanding about how the last one ended. It’s too bad because they could have been great scenes. The ending was weird. It was all of a sudden there. A couple of months of time summarized after the resolution of the book. Again too many scenes were left out that could have made this book much better. Certainly, preteens will enjoy this book but it’s not for readers over the age of 13.

  • Jamie Kline
    2019-04-30 04:44

    My opinion: This book centers around 13 year old Irene. She lives in a nice penthouse, has friends, attends a private school. But then her father loses his job and they are forced to live in the country with her grandfather until they can get back on their feet. Even though she's devastated by the turn of events, she tries to make the best of her situation and although she misses her friends and her old life, she loves her grandfather and the farm. After awhile she meets the Fox family, who have 5 kids. Two are close to her age, Meg and Jim. Her and Meg immediately become best friends and she has a big crush on Jim. Now that she has made new friends and has adapted to this new life, will she ever want to return to the city?This book was pretty simplistic. Irene of course is upset that she has to move away from everything she knows, and I'm sure a lot of people (kids and adults alike) can relate to the problems she faced. She really took to life on the farm really well though. She never really complained and she loved working in the greenhouse with her grandfather. I think that's what I liked best about her, she made the best out of the situation and didn't complain and try to make everyone elses lives miserable. Her mom was insufferable; she loved having money and spending it. Even when Leland (Irene's dad) told them that he might possibly lose his job, she refused to hear it and insisted on buying more and more needless things (but maybe as Irene says at one point, her mom does need these things to make herself feel whole). Her attitude definitely makes Leland feel guilty and like less of a provider. The sad thing is that he really likes life on the farm and would probably be immensely happy if they could continue living there, but that was not the life that Irene's mom would want so it would never happen. It pretty much seemed through much of the book that all she cared about was herself, that what Irene and Leland wanted didn't matter at all. I felt bad for Irene because she didn't feel like she could talk to her parents; her mom was too busy mourning her old life and her dad was stressed about not finding a job. Luckily she had her grandfather, and eventually Meg, to confide in. I liked this book, but there wasn't a lot of suspense or conflict to keep me extremely entertained. The ending was nice, although pretty abrupt. This would definitely be a good read for preteens and kids in their early teens; I think a lot of people will be able to sympathize and identify with Irene.My rating: 3/5 stars

  • Madigan McGillicuddy
    2019-05-12 01:40

    Irene is thrown for a loop when her father loses his high-paying job and, unable to keep up with their fast-paced Manhattan lifestyle, her family is forced to sell their penthouse and move up north to stay with her paternal grandfather for the summer at his farm in up-state New York. I was surprised when I started reading this to find that the main character is only thirteen. The girl on the cover looks like she's seventeen, going on twenty-five. The fact that the protagonist is so young makes this a very different kind of story than what I had expected. Irene's not worried about how to pay for college, and while dropping out of her private school, and losing their Manhattan penthouse is upsetting, she's comforted by the opportunity to spend the summer on her beloved grandfather's farm, closer to nature. Irene has a schoolgirl crush on one of her teachers, but easily transfers her affections to Jim, one of the kids living down the street and the older brother of her new best friend, Meg. The real villain of the story, I thought, was Irene's mother Andie, whose idea of "economizing" means ordering daisy floral arrangements instead of more expensive blooms, cutting back on going to the hairdresser a little bit and only buying one new pair of shoes a week. I was horrified by the way Andie childishly breezes through her husband's money, even after he's been laid off. Unfortunately, the mother never really grows or changes, unlike her daughter, who finds this to be a very formative summer. Irene gets the opportunity to reconnect with her older half-sister Jenna in Wyoming, enjoys making friends with the relaxed and playful Fox family down the street from her grandfather, and is happy to see her grandfather get a new chance at happiness with Lucia, a widow who runs the local gardening shop. There are a few moments of tension: will Irene's grandfather sell his land in order to finance a grand return to New York for Irene's family? Is Lucia responsible for a hit-and-run car accident? Everything is satisfactorily resolved by the book's end, however. I had assumed the story was set in present day, but a reference to Bonwit Teller, a department store that closed in the late 80's, suggests that it might be historical fiction. This book is marketed as YA, but it has the feel and cadence of a middle-grade novel. I'll recommend this to readers aged 9-14.

  • Ivy
    2019-05-08 01:23

    From an extravagant living to a less extravagant living, Irene’s lifestyle was about to change. With her father’s high position job “downsized,” and her mother’s spending, her family had to leave their current life and move. Living in a penthouse, they downsized to moving back to her grandfather’s farm to figure things out. Irene loved her grandfather and her grandfather’s farm, but her mother, not so much. What could possibly change in Irene’s life?I thought this book was so-so good. I liked it, but I had second thoughts when reading this book. To me, it seems kind of like a typical book with a typical story, but at the same time, there were parts that were enjoyable.I like the story of why Irene had to move, but I would want to know a little more about her life living in Manhattan, so it could be compared to her living situation at her grandfather’s farm. Of course, for a child to move from a place that she has known all her life could be hard because that child would need to leave her life for a life that she hasn’t expected and a new environment where she may be a stranger in. And that was what happened to Irene.Starting a new life isn’t easy, when you have no friends. However, when she moved to the farm, she found kids her age around town. She befriended them and started to play with them. It was the beginning to a new friendship.In addition, there is also a little summer romance with Irene between a boy she has met when she moved to her grandfather’s farm. It’s not much described, but you can see there is a little thing going on.Irene’s life has always been filled by things her mother tells her to do and sign her up to do. However, this summer was going to change. She has just realized what she wanted for herself and it was a decision she wanted to make about her life. And she does make the decision in fact, which surprised her mother because her mother never liked the farm and only liked the city and the city-life.This book was so-so; it was somewhat slow for me. It wasn’t as interesting as I thought it would be, but it was an alright book to read.

  • Jennifer Wardrip
    2019-04-28 20:34

    Reviewed by Jaglvr for TeensReadToo.comIrene is thrust into reality when her father loses his high-paying city job. The family has to sell their posh penthouse apartment, and temporarily move to the country with Irene's paternal grandfather. Irene doesn't know what to tell her friends, so she says nothing as the family packs and quietly slips out of the city at the end of the school year.Irene finds herself settling in at her grandfather's. She always enjoys visiting him and helping him in his greenhouse. But Irene can hear her parents fighting. Her mother hates being in the country, and travels back to the city trying to locate an acceptable new place to live. Irene's mother does not plan on staying long-term in the country.Irene does what she can to make the best of her situation. Her grandfather gives her a beat-up bike that she uses to explore the surrounding area. It is while she is on one of her excursions that she encounters a group of kids having a grand time in their front yard. When she stops to tie her shoe, a ball comes her way. With a simple question, "Hey, do you play soccer?", life in the small town becomes brighter for Irene.She meets the oldest brother, Jim, and his quiet sister, Meg. Irene and Meg share similar interests, and Irene soon starts hanging out with Jim, Meg, and their younger siblings.It isn't until Irene's mom announces she's found a townhouse for them to live in for the year that Irene must fight for what she wants for herself. Throughout everything that has happened in the last few months, she never once had a say in what she wanted to do. With her grandfather's help, Irene learns to stand up for herself and what she wants.EVERYTHING I WAS may be a short novel, but it's a powerful one. Irene struggles through changes at a time when being a kid is hard enough. The chapters are short, but each one conveys its point nicely. This is the first novel I've read by Ms. Demas. The cover jumped out at me first, but that being said, I have to say that the cover didn't seem to fit the story once I had finished it. But don't let that prevent you from reading EVERYTHING I WAS. The story was worth the read.

  • Emma
    2019-04-28 22:29

    I picked up this book because the cover was so intriguing to me. An older girl, who looks like she is going to drown in her own sorrows, sigh. Sounds wonderful, right? I like covers, and this is one case where the cover betrayed me. Things I liked: There was very little in this that I enjoyed and I think it's being targeted for the wrong audience. I guess what I liked best was the whole concept of this book. As a kid who moved around alot, I can relate to the feelings of displacement and confusion that come along with moves. I was the shy kid, just like Irene, but I feel as though she was almost too passive. I also liked Meg and Jim's entire family. I thought that they were one of the bright shining points of the novel. They brought personality and spunk to an otherwise dreary plot. Things I didn't like: The entire plot was unmotivated and bland. Irene's parents were hardly explored at all. We get no real interaction between Irene and her parents, unless it's an argument. We know precious little about them - save that her mother is incredibly superficial and a social climber. Even at the end of the novel, there is no redemption for her. Irene's father learns to better understand his daughter, however it almost seems like her mother is happy to have another child out of her life. I was really disappointed by the lack of communication and resolution that the family reached. The story felt very stagnant, moving slowly from one idea to the next. Irene's voice was more like the voice of a 12 year old, as opposed to a teenager - very immature and childish. I was very disappointed. The romance between Jim and Irene also felt very underdeveloped and, to be honest, kind of unmoving. I think a good romance should make you want to move heaven and earth for the couple to end up together, or at least have some tension. There was none. No tension, no love triangle, nothing to make me root for the characters.My rating: 2 out of 5, I can't even express how much the cover let me down.

  • -k The Lady Critic
    2019-05-09 20:42

    I was more than happy to have the opportunity to read this via netGalley. I think that I have found a new love with that website.I went into this book not quite knowing what to expect. The cover suggests something more dangerous and haunting than a realistic story about a thirteen year old girl, but the summary offered stated something different than was visually represented. So, since I thought that the cover was beyond gorgeous, I took a chance on it.This was a lovely book about the reality that so many people could easily face. It’s also a story that could be related to by so many people for one specific part or for the whole. It’s a very realistic telling of life.Irene was a character who you could easily pass on the street she was so well formed on the page. At thirteen she comes off as exactly her age, which is nice to read in a novel. And her emotions were true to form; you experience her first real crush on someone her own age, thoughts over her parents and how they’re coping with their loss of status, her father losing his job, and living with her grandfather. You also get to see the inner workings of a girl who’s unsure of how to make new friends when she’s without her old ones. I really disliked Irene’s mother. I’m sure that some would feel sorry for her, but I just wanted to slap her and then shake some sense into her pea-brain. I think it’s because I just cannot fathom characters like hers both on the page and in real life. Reading this book I just wanted to yell “get over yourself and move on”. But that just goes to show how spectacular the writing is when it comes to these characters. Corinne Demas sure knows how to write people.In all, though I enjoyed this novel and I appreciate the opportunity to read it early, it’s only ranking a 6/10 for me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fantastically written book but it just didn’t push through an unseen barrier. Had it of done that it would have been incredible.

  • Magan (Rather Be Reading)
    2019-04-29 03:20

    Overall, this book was really sweet and innocent. Irene is a thirteen year old girl, whose whole life changes when her dad loses his Vice-President job for a large company. Because of her parents poor financial decisions, they lose their NY penthouse and many of their belongings. They leave the city at the end of Irene's school year and move in with her grandfather in the country. As this was something many people in our country were faced with trough the recession, I was anxious to see the scenario from a teenager's perspective. I do agree with many of the other reviewers that I didn't know this focused on a 13 year old girl; I typically like YA books that are targeted to older teenagers. (It is true that it isn't until page 50 that you finally find out Irene's true age). Not knowing her age made her seem pretty immature in the beginning. The girl on the cover looks like a much older girl to me, so I assumed she was incredibly immature based on some of the questions she asked her parents or grandparents. As soon as her age was confirmed, I took the book more at face value and understood the immaturity. I began to enjoy Irene's character a lot more as well. The friendship she formed with Meg was one of my favorite parts of the book. Meg was sweet, kind, quiet, but also incredibly wise beyond her years and so understanding. Meg was one of the main reasons I wanted Irene to end up staying in the small town instead of moving back to NYC. There aren't enough books that so strongly portray such a wonderful grandparent. He was my other favorite character. He listened, guided, and taught Irene in a gentle way that her parents didn't know how. He was for her what her parents couldn't be because they were so focused on getting their old life back. A great story about selflessness and the coming of age of a thirteen year old.

  • Jim From YAYeahYeah
    2019-05-17 01:42

    Note: I read this via NetGalley - thanks to the publishers for making it available to me for free in exchange for a fair and honest review.Irene's family have always been well off. Living in an Upper West Side Penthouse, she's used to attending an all-girls prep school and taking lavish family vacations. So when her father suddenly loses her job and they have to move to the countryside to live with her grandfather, how will she cope?I spent most of the time when I was reading Everything I Was waiting for something big to happen and being slightly surprised when nothing incredibly major did. Eventually, I realised I was approaching it the wrong way. It's a slice of life, a rather charming coming of age novel, which reads much more like something that would have been published 20 or 30 years ago than the majority of today's books do. Irene is a sweet main character, her new friends Meg and Jim and her grandfather are lovely, and there's just enough conflict with her parents to keep things interesting without even getting away from the realistic feel. There's a little bit of sweet, gentle romance, some beautiful scenes between Meg and her grandfather as she gets to know him better, and I love the book's setting in the countryside and the descriptions of the area. One small criticism - the cover REALLY doesn't fit in with the rest of the book, the girl looks far older and more mature than thirteen year old Irene and it was partly responsible for me expecting more to be happening in the book than I actually got.It's a leisurely, peaceful read which is a nice change in pace from some of the action-filled stuff I've been reading recently and I'm definitely interested in tracking down more stuff by Corinne Demas. It won't be for everyone, but I'd recommend it to tweens and younger teens, especially fans of authors like Paula Danziger and Ann M Martin.

  • Jodi Papazian
    2019-05-18 00:36

    *Sigh* I am still not sure what to make of Everything I Was. I will say this - it was nothing what I was expecting. Based on the brief description of the story, Irene (our main character) must give up her life of NYC luxury after her father loses her job. Her and her family pack it up to live on her grandfather's farm in upstate NY. Based on that synopsis, I was expecting a light, humorous read about how a teen girl goes from stilettos to Crocs. Based on the cover (I know, I know, don't judge a book by its cover), I assumed that Irene was about 16 years-old. It actually took a few chapters before they even referenced Irene's age (13), although at that point I figured she was either younger than I expected or just very childlike. There really wasn't any humor in this story. I'm not even sure how I could sum it up, to be honest with you. There were some family relations, scenes on making new friends, and a whole lot of gardening. ??? Speaking as someone who once had to pick up and move to a rural area when I was in high school, I was surprised how Demas wrote the character of Irene. There was barely any awkward adjustment to her new life, nor much animosity. The only thing that Irene really missed about her old life were some possessions that were currently bundled up in a storage facility. I just didn't think that spoke very true to a typical teenager. It was also surprising to see how little she had to adjust from living a life of absolute luxury to one where her parents are flat broke.I think that this story had potential, but that too many areas weren't explored. I also think that some scenes were awkward and needless (the trip to Yosemite, anyone?) and took away from the story. Although Everything I Was was a bit disappointing for me, I think that it will be a solid recommendation to the tweens.

  • Bookworm1858
    2019-04-27 03:29

    Everything I Was by Corinne DemasCarolrhoda LAB, 2011209 pagesMG; Contemporary3.5/5 starsSource: Received a free egalley via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.Based on the cover, I thought this was a horror novel about some teenage sexpot terrorizing a town. That is NOT correct at all. First the main character is 13, making this an appropriate middle-grade novel. Second the novel is more about family, friendship, and first love in a pretty sweet way.Irene leads a very privileged life with a beautiful apartment and attendance at a private girls' school in New York City. Until her dad loses his job and her parents decide to spend the summer with her grandfather in the country because they have little to no money. Her mom is not at all pleased, having been accustomed to a certain way of life that is no longer available to her. Irene is confused by the changes and feels hurt that her parents are making decisions without talking to her about them. However once there, Irene's worldview shifts. She meets new people like the boisterous loving family including a girl her age Meg and a cute boy Jim. And she begins to enjoy gardening and a more simple life than she had lived previously.Content: There was one page where Irene swears twice, which is my only hesitation in recommending this to a younger audience.Overall: A sweet novel that is mostly appropriate for a MG audience. I didn't hate this book but I didn't love it either. There were some cute parts but nothing grabbed me. I appreciated the diversion of a few hours and it was pleasant but nothing to shout about.Cover: I've already shared what the cover made me think of the story; does anyone else get that impression?

  • Mona
    2019-05-22 20:17

    Growing up is a difficult process sometimes made more so by adults. Our teenage protagonist, Irene, led a charmed life of privilege – private school, limitless money, the latest clothes – until real life intruded and her father lost his job. Like some spoiled women are prone to do, Irene’s mother ignored reality and continued to live life as usual. At least until the bills came due and there was no money to pay them. Forced to move in with Irene’s paternal grandfather in upstate New York, her mother does little more than gripe and complain about everything. Little attention is paid to Irene, who is confused by the adult problems that ripped away her life and friends and deposited her on a farm outside a small town. She struggles to come to terms with the situation on her own, but the accidental meeting of a warm, wonderful family gives her new friends and begins the healing process. Irene learns there is more to life than a penthouse, fancy clothes, and lots of money. She discovers first love can be a great healer and true friends don’t care if you wear the latest fashions. She makes some hard decisions that affect not only her life, but also those of her parents, and oddly force her mother to grow up as well. As adults, we tend to get so caught up in the routine of making a living that we sometimes forget children are also affected by our choices and other things over which they have no control. Their voices are seldom heard and they are expected to adjust, “get used to it.” Sometimes they do, sometimes they just hide the pain and act out in other ways. Everything I Was is a wonderful book – one that should be read by teens and parents alike. It might even open the lines of communication between them.

  • Page (One Book At A Time)
    2019-04-25 23:18

    This wasn't what I was expecting. The cover and description are misleading. I was thinking an older lead character with the typical teenager drama. Instead, I got a 13 year-old girl on the brink of that drama.I instantly liked Irene. For most of the book she's feels older than her age. She's got her typical young teenage behavior. She's worried about leaving her friends and the stigma she's afraid will come with people finding out they have no money. She's nervous about spending a summer in the middle of nowhere instead of glamorous New York City. She's basically had her life turned upside down with little forewarning. Her dad seems a bit of a pushover, giving in to her mother's every whim. But ties very hard to keep the family together and goes the extra mile to put there life on track. I disliked her mother the most in the story. She's seems like such a snob. Even in the end, I felt like she didn't care for anything but the families image. I was willing to bet she made Irene's father take that apartment!Throughout the summer Irene realizes that friendship comes in different forms and having money doesn't matter to everyone. She realizes the mistake her parents made along the way. She does act irrationally at times, but nothing that felt out of character both for her and a typical teenager. I think she found a place that felt more comfortable than a stuffy apartment and private school in the city. A place were she could be who she truly was without judgement. In the end, I liked the book quite a bit. It was just a little bit younger than what I normally read. I think younger teens will really like it, especially those who have to move, etc during an already hard enough period in their lives.

  • Donura
    2019-05-01 02:34

    Irene is very much like a lot of kids I know or know of these days. Maybe her parents were a little more well-to-do than some kids I know but they were really just a middle class family with a job and living a very nice life, maybe too nice a life. When Irene’s father loses his job as a part of a corporate downsize, Everything she was, changes. And it changes rather quickly. Corinne Demas has captured the delicate balance bubble that most kids seem to be living in today in her soon-to-be released YA novel, Everything I Was. They place a lot of face value on the materialistic side of life, the school they attend, what they wear, where they go on vacation, and many times they seem unaware of the important basic family values that are far more important and count for more when times get tough.Irene’s world seems to have been turned upside down, as she is being uprooted from their beloved New York Manhattan apartment, her private all girls school, and are moving in with her grandfather outside of New York in a small town in the countryside. For kids in high school, any change can seem like the world is working against you and you alone, but this was beginning to feel like the end of the world to Irene.This is the kind of book that I would recommend to not only my own high schoolers but also to middle schoolers who may be having great concerns as they get ready to make that transition to high school. One of the reasons I continue to read new YA fiction is to keep a perspective of how our young people approach new trials. Any time I able to place the right book in the right hands, and that book speaks to a child in a language they understand and relate to, it is a good thing.

  • Kate
    2019-04-21 22:35

    This was a really good read. It was fairly short (I plowed through it in a few hours) and written in a way that made it really flow off the page. Like many YA books, this is a coming of age story mixed with a little bit of fish-out of water drama. What I really liked was that it dealt with real issues. At its heart is Irene a young girl whose family lost everything when her father lost his job. With nowhere else to turn they head to her grandfather’s farm upstate. I kind of love this family. Especially Grandpa- he wants what's best for his son and especially what's best for Irene. He's willing to give them a place in his home despite the fact that he's not so enamored with Irene's mother. Not only is Irene adjusting to this new life, which is supposed to only last the summer, but we also see her whole family trying to get their bearings. Her father seems pretty content to be back on the farm, but her mother is still living in a world of denial, and she's pretty sure life will be right back to normal in no time, and until then she's operating in "fake it til' you make it mode". It makes for some uncomfortable, but totally realistic moments. I also really love that Irene meets up with the neighborhood kids and finds herself fitting in better then she could have imagined. Soccer in the yard, bike rides, canoeing in the lake- it was a nice introduction for Irene into small town living. In the end Irene has to decide what she really wants and how to get it. I really enjoyed seeing her go from city girl to small town gal over the course of the book. You turn the last page knowing that everyone is going to be all right!

  • Jodie
    2019-05-03 20:38

    Looking at my rating it looks like l hated this book, l didn't quite hate it, at the beginning l even enjoyed it and l liked how this book was written. But in the end, even with how short this book is, l just found myself a bit bored and thinking that anyone could write a simple plot line like this about their life. I think Corinne has potential to be a good writer, her writing style is good and interacts with the reader and makes the characters real. Maybe with a good story line her books could be really good.At the beginning of the book some questions are put into your mind, where is she going and why? This are the sort of things in a story which keep you wanting to read more but this soon faded out. Things were repeated, the story line was predictable and it honestly felt like the book could be about any ordinary person. Through the whole book l wondered when a twist was going to come up in the book, when something was going to happen but even when it did it wasn't a big shocker. Half way through the book l sort of felt 'cheated', looking at the front cover you get the idea she is a lot older than she actually is. The author doesn't make this clear, sometimes she sounds really young and other times she does things older children would do. Being honest, if l knew how young she was l probably wouldn't have bothered. Over-all l wouldn't want to pay for this book, its a quick, simple read with no real main story line to it. Maybe for young people to read ... 13/14. I probably would of gave up on it if it was any longer but because it's so short it wasn't that bad. I said l didn't hate it and l didn't but l didn't enjoy it either.

  • Karla Nellenbach
    2019-05-13 20:23

    After reading EVERYTHING I WAS in one sitting, I am left pondering how I felt about this book. Corinne Demas' talent as a writer is unquestionable. She has a way of reeling the reader in from the very first sentence, and with the economic straits that many families are facing today, this premise is one that I think many young readers can relate to. But, I find that I must emphasize the "young reader" part of that sentence, as this is more middle grade than young adult. By the book cover, I walked into this story expecting a much older character (sixteen or seventeen). This misconception was only perpetuated by the fact that Irene's age is not spelled out until about fifty pages into the book. Since Demas wrote Irene quite convincingly as a thirteen-year-old (until I realized my mistake, I thought she was a little on the childish side for 16), obviously the mistake was mine in sticking with my ill-formed preconceived notions.That little mix-up was really the only problem I had with this book.A simply told story of how a kid feels when her whole world is turned around, decisions made without any thought as to her feelings on the matter, is something I think any pre-teen would empathize with. I've read other reviews where the reviewer laments the lack of more complex layers to the story, but I think this singular focus on how a family goes from gluttonous spending to begging shelter from relatives works well. And, Irene's journey from silently accepting everything shoveled her way to standing up for herself and shouting out what she wants is an enlightening one for the middle grade set.

  • Nina
    2019-05-09 03:20

    I thought that the narrator of this story would be a young Blair Waldorf who couldn’t live without her blackberry, designer clothes and rich lifestyle. Then meeting this wonderful family everything changes and she would be happy with the little she has. I kind of was true about the last part, but the first not so much.Irene is a 13 year old girl and I could tell by the way she acted that she was indeed very young. She is very quiet and doesn’t talk much. She’s very shy. The author says in her story that she loves to talk, but there wasn’t a lot of conversations in the book. It’s more about her thoughts. I believe that I would have liked the main character better, if she was a little bit older. The other characters where great. I liked the new friends Irene made. They where sweet and just so homey. I also liked Irene’s grandfather. Such a honest and hardworking men. Her mother was just all posh and her dad could have used a backbone. I would have loved to seen more drama in the story. Just to spice it up a little. I liked the part where there was a little bit of mystery involved about the accident, but it was too short. I think that it would have been more entertaining if a lot more would happen in the story. The author does a fantastic job creating the setting of the story. I could imagine me next to Irene working on the fields. Everything I was is a story about a young girl who has to grow up and find out who she without the luxury she’s used too. Everything I Was is out now!

  • Colleen
    2019-05-13 23:29

    Everything I was is a quiet novel, but a very appropriate one for young teens coming of age today in an economic climate that is very uncertain. Everything I Was centers on Irene, who at the beginning of the novel is forced to leave her posh New York City apartment at the end of her school year. Her father has lost his job, and as a result Irene and her parents will be staying with her grandfather for the summer until the family can get back on their feet and her father can try to find another job. At 13 years old, Irene is told very little about the situation and is given even less input in the decisions that are being made for her.Irene’s grandfather lives in a farmhouse in upstate New York. Irene makes the best of her situation by spending time with her grandfather, working in his greenhouse, and riding her back around town. It isn’t long before Irene befriends a neighborhood family with a few kids her age, and becomes truly happy in her new life at the farmhouse. However, as the summer winds down the question of whether Irene and her family will go back to NYC becomes more of an issue. She doesn’t want to pick up and move again, and yet how does she tell her parents this?Everything I Was tells the dual stories of the effects of money troubles on a family and the coming of age of a young girl. It is also lovely story about the relationship between a grandfather and granddaughter, first love, and friendship. A simple novel, it is also a quick read at only 209 pages, but it is a story that will stay with you long after you’ve read it.

  • Carol
    2019-05-02 21:25

    This is a great little book; my only complaint is that there should have been more of it. But to be honest with you, I need to read slim volumes once in a while to get a rest from reading books that are 400 or more pages. This book fit the bill.The writing is simple and straight forward and you could easily figure out what all the characters were thinking. The story was very easy to follow and even though this book may be considered YA but I am a baby boomer and I enjoyed it.Irene is pre-teen whose father was a corporate VP making a great salary but had just lost his job due to a merger. She lived in a penthouse in New York and went to a private school. Her mother was enjoying the life of luxury and didn't understand what the job loss really meant to her easy go spending habits. There is quite a bit of tension going on because of people not expressing their true wishes. They are forced to move out into the country in her Irene's grandfather's house. Irene was going through a lot of changes that don't just involve growing up. She has to decide what is most important to her. Her grandfather is a gem. He makes her feel so at home at the farm, fixing up great places for her to escape her parent's constant arguing. You will want him for your own grandfather.This is a page turner that you will definitely not like to lay down.I recommend it to people who love to read books about families dealing with change.

  • Chrissy
    2019-05-18 22:28

    (I read EVERYTHING I WAS via NetGalley)EVERYTHING I WAS is the story of Irene, a young teenage girl accustomed to a lavish Upper West Side penthouse kind of life who is suddenly relocated to a small town farm to live with her grandfather after her father loses his job. In her new home, Irene meets a sweet family (with lots of kids) and falls in love with a new lifestyle revolving around togetherness and friendship rather than material items.The narrator's voice feels very young and very innocent... much like that in books I read when I was younger, like The Baby Sitters Club or Sweet Valley Twins, for example. This is one of those stories where everything (pretty much) works out and nothing (terribly) tragic seems to happen. I'd recommend this for younger teen readers around the 13-15 age, I think... it'd be a nice, refreshing change for them.I'm really not sure how the cover relates to this story, though. The girl on the cover looks much older than the main character and it seems to imply a situation much more emotionally ominous than anything she encounters. I think this would be best with a sweet, wholesome farm-girl type cover, like perhaps a modern day "Little House on the Prairie" appeal.

  • Alicia
    2019-05-01 20:36

    Honestly, this book wasn't what I was expecting. When reading the synopsis from Goodreads, I expected to be reading about a spoiled rich girl turned average teen. This wasn't the case at all. I expected Irene to be upset about not being able to shop and have the best of everything. Nope. She was upset about losing her things from her room (which were put into storage), but that seemed to be more because they belonged to her and felt like home. When it was suggested that she return to her expensive private school on scholarship, she refused. It wasn't because she thought poorly of those on charity, but because she knew how others would think of her. This was a quick read for me. The writing was simple and easy to understand. I found the voice fit what I would expect from a 13 year old. I liked that the author included other teenage struggles in the story, like making friends, crushes, and feeling disconnected from the parents. Irene was easy to like, and it was hard to not root for her. Even though the family in this story is wealthy, I could see this story being easy to relate to for any young person whose parent(s) have lost their job. Making Irene easy to relate to instead of being a spoiled rich kid made this possible.

  • SarahD
    2019-05-16 04:27

    *THANKS TO NETGALLEY Everthing I Was, I sincerely like more than I expected. I identify a lot with Irene, I think it is the fact that I did.One of the things I love about this book is that makes you realize about the things you have, and the questions in the book you end up making them yourselfCorinne tells the story of a particular way, does not tell you every detail, so that reading is not boring or heavy. I like Irene, is not as mature as expected, but it is normal for a teenager, I understand perfectly. And I understand their reactions and the way she deal with her problems.The only bad thing that I see the book, is that eventually left me with some questions, and for me it was a bit abrupt the end of the book, but overall I loved the book.I can not wait to read more about this author, plus! I love the name of the book is so .... Adequate.Everthing i was, it's a really nice and touching story, makes you touch heartstrings and makes you think about what you have and you would do in case of loss. Totally recommend it, I hope you are given the opportunity in this book, I did not regretted it.