“Everything All At Once is, in every way, a bit of a BLAST! The author so knows her readers, offering them ’easy to get along with protagonist, an array of teenager-related dilemmas they can relate to, and a musical backdrop that’s not gimmicky but adds to the story.
So, what’s it all about? In a nutshell, the story follows Kila and the ups and downs of teenage life. There’s lots of what you would expect in a book in this genre; there’s the ‘intensity’ of first love, the first kiss, wanting what you can’t have and having what you don’t want. Is it predictable? No, it’s not. The author’s simply giving the teenager what they want.
In terms of writing style, it’s also very good. It’s light, not overly descriptive, and the pacing is excellent. This is not a plot-driven story; it’s character-driven. In this book, the characters are the jam which holds everything together. Thankfully, the author knows her characters very, very well; this shows in the consistent and very individual way they act.
There is a lot of self-discovery going on in this story, particularly for Kila. And, I must say, it is very well-written. It’s insightful too, and very much helps the reader to not only understand Kila, but also start to care about what happens to her. The author also understands how important ‘speech’ is to not only develop the characters, but also the plot.
So, who’s this book for? I’m tempted to say teenage girls will enjoy it the most. Say, 13 – 15 year olds. I think, if you enjoyed books such as Twilight – although you won’t find a vampire in this book – then this is for you. Also, if you love music, this book is a bit of a gem. I loved the idea of listening to a specific song as you enjoy a specific part of a chapter. I had a go and, honestly, it adds mood/atmosphere to the story. How fab is that!? Enjoy!”
–Five stars, A ‘Wishing Shelf’ Book Review
“Kila has everything a girl could want: A happy family, more than one best friend, a boy who adores her, and a killer playlist. Her only problem is that the boy she likes isn’t the one who wants her. There is also someone else who sparks her interest. How was she to know who is a contender for her heart? Maybe, just maybe, she really doesn’t know what her heart really wants or needs. As Kila struggles with indecision and unfair choices, she realizes that high school relationships are often made up of false charm and undetermined shifts in personality. It’s not all good and can be dangerous “dressed up in” vocals, making music the universal catalyst of life.
Everything All at Once by Ivy Cayden is aptly titled in this unique teen story of first love, first kisses, and appropriately manufactured musical interludes. Cayden presents a unique way to enjoy an already fun story. Throughout the text are highlighted song titles that, when downloaded, the reader is encouraged to activate for an interesting addition to the reading experience. Well-developed realistic characters share their musical interests to make this almost a dual plot, filled with age relatable symbolism and common teenage situations. As a great addition to a classroom or personal library, young adult readers will become enraptured with Everything All At Once while anxiously awaiting (as am I) the next in the series. ”
–Five stars, Lisa McCombs for Readers’ Favorite
“I loved this book and the hidden lessons seen throughout. The characters were so easy to love and relate to. Ivy Cayden does a wonderful job bringing detail into every scene, so it makes you feel like you’re part of the story.
This book’s unique aspect is the focus on music, and the playlist created specifically for this book is amazing. The songs chosen fit their specific sections wonderfully. I love the use of music in the book and how it portrays emotion when words cannot.
Everything All At Once took me on a wonderful journey and drew me in from the first chapter. The ending left me wanting more, and I cannot wait to read book two. I cannot recommend this book enough and believe it is perfect for anyone who loves romances and coming of age stories.”
–Five stars, Kaitlyn Lane, Heart of Lane
“The cast of characters is nearing the end of their junior year of high school, poised for partings and ready to party. Ethan, Brixton and Angus are the boys in a band who have ambitions to participate in a competition that could win them a contract. Ethan’s sister Kila wants what her ex-friend Reese has: Angus. Anna is longing for Brixton, Maya wants Ethan, and Reese is the girl who can have what she wants, just making her classmates jealous and wary. When the group decides to spend a weekend together – no adults present – nature will begin to take its course. Maybe. There will be food, music, and a scary psycho killer movie. And someone has written a song about – someone.
Cayden, a nature lover and supporter of small business efforts, writes smoothly, showing a particular gift for dialog, which is essential in any book about teenagers who customarily speak in secret languages and culture-swathed nuance. They often express intellect and sensitivity, more than one might expect; yet if you think about it, adolescents are constantly on the brink of discovery, and able use their minds to positive effect when they choose to. But there is also confusion – who really likes who? It takes a lot of intuition and a lot of false starts to eventually sort that out, with Kila as a central player, always, it seems, fascinated by the wrong partner.
Everything All At Once has several dominant themes, with music having a special role, since the book includes a playlist that can be accessed on Spotify to “sing along” with the action. Song titles appear in bold in the text to cue the reader, though the book flows easily without the aural accompaniment. The aspirations of the band members are a constant underpinning to the well-constructed, multi-layered plot. Teen hormones are another factor, and Cayden has orchestrated passionate temperaments mixing and matching without a loss of decorum. A couple pulsing the rhythm of a song with held hands, and Kila delicately wiping from a boy’s lips her extra thick lip-gloss provide credibly steamy, but not salacious, touches. Too, the ability to move so many through so much in such a short period of time, making a long engaging read, is further proof of the author’s crafting skills.
Teens will especially enjoy Cayden’s vibrant book, and it might be sneaked away by some parents, too, who will see in it a glimpse of their own youthful hopes, fantasies, and romances.”
–Five stars, Barbara Bamberger Scott, A Woman’s Write
★ Gold Award Recipient, Mom’s Choice Awards®
★ Readers’ Favorite® 5-star seal
★ Winner, 2021 Independent Press Award, Teen
★ Gold Medal Winner, 2021 Readers’ Favorite®, Young Adult – Coming of Age
★ First Place, 2021 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards, Arts/Music
★ First Place, 2021 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards, Young Adult Fiction
★ 1st Place Blue Ribbon, DANTE ROSSETTI Awards for YA Fiction, 2020 Chanticleer International Book Awards
★ Gold Medal Winner, 2020 Wishing Shelf Book Awards, Books for Teenagers
★ First Place, 2020 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards, Young Adult Fiction
★ First Place, 2020 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards, Performing Arts
★ First Place, 2020 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards, New Author: Fiction
★ First Place, The 2020 Incipere Awards, YA Romance – CLEAN
★ Second Place, The 2020 Incipere Awards, YA Literary Fiction – CLEAN
★ 2020 Story Monsters Approved! Winner, Young Adult Novels (13+)
★ 2020 Story Monsters Approved! Winner, School Life
★ 2020 Story Monsters Approved! Winner, First-Time Author
★ 2020 International Book Awards Finalist, Best New Fiction
★ 2020 American Fiction Awards Finalist, Coming of Age
★ 2020 New York Book Festival Honorable Mention, Young Adult
★ 2020 Paris Book Festival Honorable Mention, Young Adult
★ 2019 Best Book Awards Finalist, Fiction: Young Adult