ARC Review: Everything That Makes You by Moriah McStay + Interview + Giveaway!!!

Posted March 9, 2015 by Nori in Book Reviews, Giveaway, Interviews / 4 Comments

Everything That Makes You
Moriah McStay
Release Date: 03/17/2015
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Received From: Giveaway
Synopsis:

One girl. Two stories. Meet Fiona Doyle. The thick ridges of scar tissue on her face are from an accident twelve years ago. Fiona has notebooks full of songs she’s written about her frustrations, her dreams, and about her massive crush on beautiful uber-jock Trent McKinnon. If she can’t even find the courage to look Trent straight in his beautiful blue eyes, she sure isn’t brave enough to play or sing any of her songs in public. But something’s changing in Fiona. She can’t be defined by her scars anymore.

And what if there hadn’t been an accident? Meet Fi Doyle. Fi is the top-rated female high school lacrosse player in the state, heading straight to Northwestern on a full ride. She’s got more important things to deal with than her best friend Trent McKinnon, who’s been different ever since the kiss. When her luck goes south, even lacrosse can’t define her anymore. When you’ve always been the best at something, one dumb move can screw everything up. Can Fi fight back?

Hasn’t everyone wondered what if? In this daring debut novel, Moriah McStay gives us the rare opportunity to see what might have happened if things were different. Maybe luck determines our paths. But maybe it’s who we are that determines our luck.


Princess Sofia Regular
Everything That Makes You is unlike any other book that I’ve read, because there are two POV’s- yet it’s only about one person. Have you ever experienced a life-changing event? Have you ever wondered what would have happened if you never went through the life-changing event? That was the question that Moriah McStay poses. One POV was Fiona Doyle, a shy girl whose face was scarred due to an unfortunate accident. The other POV was Fi Doyle, an all-state lacrosse player who was the opposite of shy.

While Fi and Fiona’s lives were extremely different, they still shared some similarities- namely their family and dream school. I also loved how there were some minor characters that came into both stories, but were completely different. It was incredible reading both stories and learning more about the personalities of the characters. For example, one of the characters was rude and obnoxious in Fiona’s POV, but was charming and sweet in Fi’s POV. It really made me think about how one event can impact a person and their life.

There were a couple of plot twists that were completely unexpected to me, and while some broke my heart, they were written extremely well. Throughout the entire novel, it was very easy for me to relate to both Fi and Fiona. Something that was extremely unique about Everything That Makes You was how realistically it mimicked real life. This wasn’t a feel-good book where everyone was happy and singing in the rain! No, not at all. Sure, there were some moments of happiness, but there were also moments of depression, sadness, and despair. It wasn’t just black or just white- it was both. I have recently found it difficult to find books that showcase both sides, so I was very happy and impressed to see that Moriah had done such an amazing job with both sides.

I really enjoyed this book and give it 4.5/5stars.


Princess Sofia Regular

When you started writing Everything That Makes You, did you know that it was going to be a dual POV book, or did you start out with just Fiona?
It was always going to dual POV, since the crux of the story is how a single event changes you. I wanted to show Option A and Option B. That said, Fiona was a much stronger character at first. Fi took longer to get to know (though it was worth it. I quite like Fi.)

Who do you think that you are more like, Fi or Fiona?
This question’s tricky. I came at the book with some experience in the life-changing-event situation, so I empathize with Fiona at a vital level. I get it. Plus, like Fiona, I love words, music, introspection. However, I think my personality’s more like Fi’s. Fiona is quite shy and mature for her age. It’s unlikely anyone who knew me in high school (or now!) would describe me like that. Fi’s super competitive and a bit impulsive. I can identify with those traits!

How long have you known that you wanted to be a writer? Has it been a childhood dream?
I wrote a lot when I was younger (my parents still have an anniversary story I wrote them when I was twelve.) I did Wordsmith, won a competition or two. I started college with a declared Creative Writing major. Then…I kind of lost track. I’m not sure how it happened, but I graduated with a degree in Economics, and that changed my path for YEARS. (Sounds a bit like a certain book, no?) About six years ago, a lightbulb went off and instantly, I remembered. Oh yeah. I’m supposed to be a writer. So it took a while, there were a few twists and turns along the way, but I figured it out, eventually.

Are you a songwriter like Fiona?
No. I love music, but I can’t play guitar and have the barest knowledge of piano and reading music. I wrote a lot of poetry when I was younger, and that’s how I managed the lyrics.

Who would your dream cast include?
Wow. That’d be awesome, wouldn’t it? I think Gwyneth Paltrow would be a great Caroline Doyle, as an homage to her role in Sliding Doors, which has a similar story line to ETMY. I can’t even think who else. I’m sure my daughters would have opinions, if it came to that. I imagine Dylan O’Brien would have to be in there somewhere, just so we could invite him to dinner.

What’s your favorite food? Curious minds want to know… 😉
Stuffed spinach pizza-no mushrooms—from Bacino’s in Chicago.


Moriah has been generous enough to give away a swag pack filled with Everything That Makes You goodies! This giveaway will be US only.

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Click Here To Enter!

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4 responses to “ARC Review: Everything That Makes You by Moriah McStay + Interview + Giveaway!!!

  1. Kimberly V

    I love the idea of a dual POV, but from the same character. That sounds very interesting. I also loved Sliding Doors, so I definitely think I need to read this book. Thanks for the interview.

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