About the Book

Title: Everything Leads to You
Published: 2014
Swoonworthy Scale: 6

Cover Story: So Close
BFF Charm: Big Sister
Talky Talk: Script Notes
Bonus Factors: Dream Jobs, LGTBQ, Diversity
Relationship Status: Kawaii Eyes

Cover Story: So Close

I really wanted to love this cover. The handwritten type treatment is fantastic, and I love the cityscape and the colors. The girl, however, looks like she’s about to jump off the edge of a building, and that doesn’t fit the feel of the book AT ALL. (Nor does—spoiler alert—the girl look anything like the main character is supposed to.)

The Deal:

Before Emi’s brother Toby leaves the country for three months, he says that she and her BFF Charlotte can stay in his apartment—as long as they do something epic with the place while he’s gone. Neither Emi nor Charlotte know quite what that means, or what they’ll do during the summer to fulfill Toby’s request, but when they find a mysterious letter at a Hollywood estate sale—a letter that leads them to a girl named Ava—they might have found a place to start.

BFF Charm: Big Sister

BFF Charm Big Sister with Clarissa from Clarissa Explains It All's face

Were I a bit younger, I would have given Emi a “Heck Yes!” charm in a hot second. She’s a smart, creative and loving girl. She can get a bit caught up in her job at times, but I could forgive that. She’s very young, though, and I therefore felt more of a sisterly affection toward her than a real desire to hang out as peers. Give her a few more years to grow up a little and my Big Sister charm would certainly grow up too.

Swoonworthy Scale: 6

At the start of Everything Leads to You, Emi’s struggling to get over Morgan, who’s broken up with her five times previously. Morgan is Emi’s first love, and so it’s been really hard for Emi to move on; the fact that she and Morgan work together doesn’t help. But after Emi and Charlotte begin the quest that begins with the mysterious letter, Emi finds a way to finally get over Morgan … and it’s so much better than pining after a girl who has trouble giving her heart freely.

Talky Talk: Script Notes

Emi loves movies and works in movies, so it’s no surprise that Nina LaCour uses a lot of movie terminology and imagery throughout Everything Leads to You. Many of these moments come as Emi is thinking about a situation or examining a location, which one might think would remove the reader from the story, but actually gives the novel a lovely dreamlike quality. I’d love to view the world like Emi does.

Bonus Factor: Dream Job

Jenna (Jennifer Garner) presents her idea for the magazine (13 Going on 30)

Emi is a set designer for Hollywood movies, which means that she gets to plan and execute designs for rooms that will be used in movies, from concept to completion. She not only gets to think up the ideas, but also she gets to shop for props and furniture and then put everything together. I don’t think I knew that this was a job prior to reading Everything Leads to You, but I now need to go back to college and get a new degree a.s.a.p.

Bonus Factor: LGTBQ

Pride flag being waved in a parade

Emi is a lesbian, and therefore has relationships with women. But never is the fact that she’s a lesbian forced down the reader’s throat, nor is a big deal made out of her sexual orientation. Emi isn’t discovering this truth about herself for the first time in the book, nor is she revealing it to her friends and loved ones. Everyone knows, and it’s not a big deal. This isn’t an issues book; it’s a romantic story about a girl who happens to be attracted to other girls.

Bonus Factor: Diversity

Faces of all different races, ethnicities and genders.

The makeup of the characters in Everything Leads to You echos the diversity that actually exists in Los Angeles. Emi is a quarter African-American, Ava is a freckled redhead, another character is latino. Much like Emi being a lesbian, however, the diversity is not a focus point of the story, it merely adds to the realism of the plot.

Relationship Status: Kawaii Eyes

Basically, this GIF sums up how I feel about you, Book:

You made me smile, you made me swoon, you made me wish our time together could go on for so much longer than it did. I’m so glad you came into my life.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a free review copy from Dutton Books. I received neither a private dance performance from Tom Hiddleston nor money for this review. Everything Leads to You is available now.

Mandy (she/her) is a manager at a tech company who lives in Austin, TX, with her husband, son, and dogs. She loves superheroes and pretty much any show or movie with “Star” in the name.