Everything is Fine by Ann Dee Ellis

Young Mazzy is living with her mother while her dad is on a week long business trip. Everything is fine... except that Dad left about a month ago and Mom never gets out of bed. Mazzy thinks she can handle it. She takes care of her mom and people bring them food too, but when the government gets involved, Mazzy is forced to talk to her dad. Mazzy knows everything is fine, but when the government disagrees, everything is not fine. 

Mazzy, as a character, is very human and believable. Her denial of her family's problem is completely normal and human nature. What makes this book intriguing is watching the story of her family unravel. At first, the reader only knows that Mom is sick and Dad's never home. The reader has no idea why or how things got this way. Throughout the book, flashbacks as well as Mazzy's thoughts and encounters slowly enlighten the reader to the truly dark and dismal family past. Since this revelation encompasses most of the book, it is exciting to slowly, but surely, figure out what led to such a dreadful situation.
Another interesting thing about this book is that it is written in what I like to call "mini chapter things." They are usually Mazzy's thoughts, a conversation between Mazzy and someone else, or a flashback. They can be as short as a single sentence and as long as two or more pages in length. These "mini chapter things" make the book especially easy to pick up and read. You can pick it up and easily read a whole "mini chapter thing" in between all the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Another attractive aspect of this book includes the way conversations are written. When Mazzy talks to someone, Ann Dee Ellis exposes the reader to not only the words coming out of Mazzy's mouth, but also the thoughts in her head. This creates an entertaining discord between what Mazzy says and what she thinks. Unfortunately, it also makes conversations choppy and slightly awkward because Mazzy's thoughts interrupt the conversation's rhythm. This setback is completely worth it though because Mazzy tends to say either nothing at all, or the actual word, "nothing" when she responds to simple everyday questions. 

I give Everything is Fine by Ann Dee Ellis a slightly less than deadly 3.5 daggers out of 5.

All in all, the book is entertaining and pretty unique in the way it was written but, it's really short and the ending is rather unsatisfying.

Yours truly (but only in mini chapter things),
Gabriel Gethin

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