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Review of Everything's Fine by Cecilia Rabess

Our story opens on the night of Obama's election. Our protagonist, Jess, is delighted with the result, yet our soon-to-be romantic interest, Josh, is thoroughly disappointed. Within the immediate pages, Rabess sets the scene for her fast-paced, exciting debut which explores how Josh and Jess' worlds collide as they both attempt to build their careers and make sense of their developing feelings for one another.

There is more to this story than meets the eye. It's not just a will-they won't-they romance novel. Everything's Fine explores living in New York in your early 20s, difficult family dynamics and money worries all while tackling the undercurrent of subtle racism that pervades modern society. Rabess makes an example of those who say they're 'not racist', yet whose actions and subtle biases betray them.

Rabess builds a novel that is pacy and enticing whilst still addressing fundamental societal issues. I winced at moments of this story - from one character asking 'can I touch your hair?' to Josh saying 'is Trump really that bad?', it reminded me that there is still so much work to be done. 

Rabess has written a page-turner with a serious underlying message. If you're buying a book this June, make it this one. 

Review by Helen.

Everything's Fine was published on 06/06/23 by Simon & Schuster.

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