Book Reviews of The Center of Everything

The Center of Everything
The Center of Everything
Author: Laura Moriarty
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ISBN-13: 9780786888450
ISBN-10: 0786888458
Publication Date: 7/14/2004
Pages: 352
Rating:
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 179

3.7 stars, based on 179 ratings
Publisher: Hyperion
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

39 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Center of Everything on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 11
A delicious read. A touching, and compelling story told through the eyes of Evelyn Bucknow, starting at the age of 10. It shows that unquestioning love a kid has for their parent, and then the day a child realizes that parent is human, and in this case, a disappointment.
reviewed The Center of Everything on + 38 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
Though there are several anachronisms in the early eighties section, this is a decent, quick read. The foreshadowing is a bit heavy-handed and the protagonist is sort of humorless (despite the reader being told otherwise), this book is worth a look when you have nothing better to do.
reviewed The Center of Everything on + 72 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
An engrossing novel. I enjoyed this immensely, but was sorely disappointed by the ending. It just sort of - ends. No resolutions or answers.
reviewed The Center of Everything on + 161 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
I flew through this book. I really enjoyed it and it was engrossing. The main character is 10 in 1982, just as I was, and the author hit the nail on the head about growing up in that time period. I was amazed at the little things I forgot about that were oh-so-true back then! I related to the character, even though my circumstances were different. I didn't find this book depressing at all -- it is a bit predictable -- but the symbolism in it really stands out. I would recommend this one to a friend. :)
reviewed The Center of Everything on + 58 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Evelyn Bucknow is the main character who is a young teenage girl. This book shows us her way through her adolescence. This is a wonderful story that anyone can read. Don't think because it's centered around an adolescent that adults shouldn't read it. It's a terrific book!
reviewed The Center of Everything on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This is one of those novels you don't want to end.
reviewed The Center of Everything on + 45 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
one of the best books I've read in a while. very easy to get into. didn't want it to end
reviewed The Center of Everything on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This is the story of a young Kansas girl who lives in the middle of nowhere, but also in the center of the United States (hence the title) in the Reagan years. She and her single, immature mother live in poverty, and their situation only gets worse as the book progresses. In spite of these grim details, this is an uplifting coming of age tale, with a smart and unforgettable heroine, Evelyn, telling her story. One of the best books I ever read.
reviewed The Center of Everything on + 80 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Another "coming of age" novel but this is one of the more memorable ones. i really liked the main character and felt a lot of sympathy for her being stuck with the family she was, although as you read they do have redeeming qualities, like most people in the world I guess.
reviewed The Center of Everything on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I haven't enjoyed a book as much as this in a long time. A smart budding teenager surviving & struggling along with her strong loving but unconventional mother. Despite all odds they fight on each day. You find yourself cheering and crying and laughing along with Moriarty's beautiful writing. A winner- don't pass this one by.
reviewed The Center of Everything on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Srong characters in this book. Evelyn goes through big changes as she deals with her mothers irresponsible ways.
reviewed The Center of Everything on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A great first novel and coming-of-age story. Set in Kansas during the 1980's.
reviewed The Center of Everything on + 55 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book is a delight. The characters stay with you long after you have finished reading it.
reviewed The Center of Everything on + 33 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This was a great audio book, and the reader was excellent. It held my attention and was very moving. It was like being wrapped in a blanket and someone was reading to you. I was on a long road trip and never was I tempted to pop the tape and listen to something else.
reviewed The Center of Everything on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This was a surprise for me, as I liked it very much even though it was told from a child's point of view, is about several touchy subjects and could have been a real drag you down book. Like the Glass Castle, this book is about a child who is the parent to a parent instead of the other way around. Yet, how the unmarried mother truly cares for her handicapped child and her own mother even though her father has made it clear he is insulted by her very presense is remarkable. Both tell stories of tragic childhoods where the heroines should have drowned in depression, but triumphed. I was left wondering what made the character's mother so afraid of her father--it hints at molestation.
reviewed The Center of Everything on + 71 more book reviews
I enjoyed this one. It was a quick read and would be good for someone around high-school age.
reviewed The Center of Everything on + 12 more book reviews
Well written , told well from the kids view. The ending was a bit abrupt, actually very abrupt. Points are well made without judgement and preaching.It is a very balanced book, my only complaint is too short and too much of a hanging ending.
reviewed The Center of Everything on + 44 more book reviews
Evelyn Bucknow, 10 years old, living with a single mother in kansas. Life is hard and full of bad luck, bad decisions, precarious at best.
We follow Evelyn through her rocky adolesence, fueled by politics, food stamps, right wing religion, the birth of a severly handicapped
brother, and an unrequited love, and emerge on the other side much wiser and more forgiving. Sometimes what seems to be clearly right, is not, and we see that everyone has their own reasons for the choices they make. An inspiring coming of age story that goes right to the center of teen age angst, then comes out the other side with a firmly established sense of self. Who cannot remember how difficult this time in life is? An intelligent young girl growing up under very difficult circumstances learns to make the right choices for herself.
reviewed The Center of Everything on + 28 more book reviews
I enjoyed this book, but it was nothing earthshattering. Having lived through the period in the book as a child a bit older than the protagonist, I found some minute plot details and vernacular in the dialogue to be a bit anachronistic--a policeman handing out bottled water in the late 1970s, for example.
reviewed The Center of Everything on + 52 more book reviews
A great debut story of a young girl's adolescence.
reviewed The Center of Everything on
Enjoyed it quite a bit.
reviewed The Center of Everything on + 22 more book reviews
I enjoyed reading it from cover to cover. I hated to read those last pages knowing that the book was coming to the end.
reviewed The Center of Everything on + 222 more book reviews
Very good story, about a young girl and her mom and the teen years with all its troubles
reviewed The Center of Everything on
In The Center of Everything, Laura Moriarty's stunning debut novel, a young girl tries to make sense of the unruly world around her. Ten-year-old Evelyn Brucknow has never really had much of a childhood, having been forced to pretty much take care of herself for most of her life. She lives with her single mother, Tina, in a small apartment in Kansas and just can't help dreaming of more for herself.

Though she is warm and loving, and values her daughter more than anything else in the world, Tina is nevertheless young, immature, and prone to making rash financial decisions. This personality type often leaves Evelyn feeling as if she is the rational adult in their troubled relationship. Growing up with a chronically out of work mother, whose most recent romance with her married boss has failed and left her jobless and desperate, Evelyn feels more and more anxious about their increasingly precarious financial situation. She resolves to distance herself from her mother's irresponsibility as much as she can.

However, Evelyn just can not escape the claustrophobic feeling of being stuck where she is - somewhere in the middle of Kansas - between her best friends, and in the midst of her mother's love...right in the center of everything. The Center of Everything by Laura Moriarty is an extraordinary and affecting portrayal of a troubled mother/daughter relationship, as well as an eye-opening look at life in a small midwestern town. All this is experienced and seen through the eyes of a teenage girl; who also must come to terms with the heartbreaking lesson of first love - that not all loves are meant to be - and determine who she is and who she wants to be.

I absolutely loved this book and found myself completely immersed in the story right away. This book held my attention from beginning to end, and was one of those books that I never wanted to end. Although the plot wasn't all that action-packed - it was basically about living life in a small town, and the various trials and tribulations faced by the struggling residents - it still moved along at a leisurely pace and was a thoroughly enjoyable read for me. I give this book a definite A+!

I think that Ms. Moriarty is a terrific writer and I am eagerly awaiting her next book - what ever it might be.
reviewed The Center of Everything on + 64 more book reviews
Disappointed by this book. It seemed anticlimactic and didn't go anywhere in the end. It was an easy read though, so I gave it 2 stars.
reviewed The Center of Everything on + 222 more book reviews
Well...I enjoyed listening to this book. The narrator was great. I'm not sure if I had tried to read it that I would have finished it. It just sort of plodded along, going nowhere, but then again, I am not a person that delves deeply into the hidden meaning of things. I will say that when the tape ended, to me, it seemed liked she had forgotten to write the last chapter. I think I'll stick to mysteries, but at least now if anyone discusses the book I can throw in my two cents.

Unabridged 8 cassettes
reviewed The Center of Everything on + 5 more book reviews
THIS WAS A GREAT BOOK FROM START TO FINISH.I REALLY ENJOYED READING IT.
reviewed The Center of Everything on
A great book - reads like a diary in some ways, but has Forrest Gump-like quality in how the story is told. I found myself rooting for the protagonist and hoping she would find her way through her story.
reviewed The Center of Everything on + 2 more book reviews
A very satisfying novel set in Kansas in the 80s.
reviewed The Center of Everything on + 2 more book reviews
Laura Moriarty's books focus on a life dilemma that any one of us could face. This is a quick read that is both thought provoking and beautiful.
reviewed The Center of Everything on + 17 more book reviews
Had a hard time getting into this book but enjoyed it once I got past my initial block.
reviewed The Center of Everything on + 15 more book reviews
This is my 4th LM novel. Loved them all; have to say this is my favorite.
reviewed The Center of Everything on + 141 more book reviews
About a teenage girl and life with her single mom.
reviewed The Center of Everything on + 11 more book reviews
quick read good book
reviewed The Center of Everything on + 102 more book reviews
Enjoyed this a lot - read it in 2 days
reviewed The Center of Everything on + 36 more book reviews
Great read with engaging, interesting characters.
reviewed The Center of Everything on + 227 more book reviews
I enjoyed this book, but I sort of expected more from the ending. I guess that's where the readers imagination kicks in.
reviewed The Center of Everything on + 66 more book reviews
It's a coming of age story set in Kansas.
reviewed The Center of Everything on + 15 more book reviews
An extremely depressing book about relationships with friends and boys gone awry.