Life in Juniper has become tough for eleven-year-old Elodee Lively and her family. Over the past few months, it’s grown harder to talk to her family about small matters, and impossible to discuss the ones which really matter. Even her twin Naomi no longer gives her the reassurance she’s searching for. Nothing is the same, not her family, not the cooking she’s always loved, not her friends, not even her emotions. She’s glad to leave Juniper and move to Eventown, a place she remembers from a past vacation as full of sunshine and rosebushes, with delicious ice cream and cheerful neighbors.
And Eventown is much better, at first. Everyone’s happy and kind; their new house comes equipped with a beautiful kitchen and a box of delicious recipes just for Elodee. She’s glad to forget the heartbreak of the last few months. The silence which has enveloped her family lifts at last, and Elodee finds herself struggling to mirror her dad’s joy, her mom’s outgoingness, her sister’s satisfaction.
But somehow, she can’t.
Something’s strange about Eventown. Little things, which add up to big ones. The houses are all identical. Only one song is ever sung. There’s a library full of books, but all the pages are blank. And there aren’t any butterflies.
People keep telling Elodee that everything will make sense once she’s been Welcomed to Eventown. But it’s at the Welcoming Center that Elodee realizes just how wrong Eventown is. And that something has to change—something big. Because nothing can be perfect forever. And there’s power in remembering.
Eventown is a well-written and absorbing story. Even when I wasn’t sure where it was going, I kept reading, and I’m glad I did. Two elements of this book particularly stood out to me. First of all, Corey Ann Haydu did an excellent job of evoking Eventown’s strangeness—how it was perfect and unnerving at the same time. And the characters—particularly Elodee—were vividly characterized, realistic and distinct. I also love the feeling this book ends with! I recommend Eventown to readers ages eight and up.