A funny and honest coming-of age-story about first love and finding yourself, Here, There, Everywhere is perfect for fans of Andrew Smith and Becky Albertalli. Zeus would rather be anywhere than here—Buffalo Falls, the tiny town his family moved to at the end of the school year. Having left all his friends back in Chicago, and with nothing to look forward to except helping out at his mother’s café and biking around town with his weird little brother, Zeus is pretty sure this is destined to be the worst summer of his life. But then he meets Rose. Rose is funny, beautiful, smart, and an incredible musician; Zeus can hardly believe that someone like her exists, let alone seems interested in being with him. However, while Zeus is counting down the minutes until he can see her next, Rose is counting down the days until she finds out whether she will be able to leave their small town to pursue her dreams. As the afternoons spent going on local adventures pass into nights discussing their deepest hopes, Zeus knows that he doesn’t have long to convince Rose that what they have is more than a summer fling...if only he’s brave enough to seize the chance.
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Zeus' relationship with Rose grows in a somewhat quick way, but it is done just as believably. They find themselves spending more and more time together, both at Hilltop Nursing Home and on outside dates. He soon finds out that she intends to move away at the end of the summer to spend her senior year at a music conservatory in New York. Having just met her, but at the same time having become completely enamored of her, he cannot imagine her not being around. As their relationship blossoms, conflicts occur that make them unsure how to move forward. These include issues related to Rose's school pursuits, Zeus' uneasiness about making friends, despite not really having trouble doing so, his little brother Grub's fascination with and admiration of an Alzheimer's patient at the nursing home, and the tables somewhat turning on what might happen next for all involved.
The story moves along very smoothly and with just enough going on in each chapter and scene that it doesn't feel over- or under-loaded. Zeus is basically the epitome of what a teenage boy should be - unsure of himself but trying to project confidence, at least when in front of a girl, as well as kind and good to his brother, yet with an underlying air of self-involvement that any normal teenager feels from time to time. His little brother Grub along with their mom, while secondary characters, shine through as important forces in Zeus' life, especially noted when Zeus realizes how disconnected he has been from them after trying to find himself as the summer progresses. The residents of Hilltop Nursing Home are well-drawn as well, and readers will feel for these older folks whom Zeus and Rose find solace with during their time spent there. And Rose is a friendly and talented girl who desperately wants to find herself, but gets caught up in her relationship with Zeus, causing friction that otherwise wouldn't have occurred. However, without friction and conflict, the end result does not seem quite as earned and deserved, and this is something Durango and Terrones did very well throughout the story.
The ending of 'Here, There, Everywhere' will bring smiles and tears, truly showing how the story reveled in beauty, not just of the physical variety, but even more so of the emotional type. Definitely recommended for lovers of contemporary young adult romances with a flavor of family dynamics and even more extended relationships.
The ending of 'Here, There, Everywhere' will bring smiles and tears, truly showing how the story reveled in beauty, not just of the physical variety, but even more so of the emotional type.