Mar 23, 2015

Review: All That Makes You by Moriah McStay

Title: Everything That Makes You
Author: Moriah McStay
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: 3.17.2015
Pages: 352
Genre: Young Adult, Multiverse, Contemporary
Series: N/A
Source: ARC from publisher

Rating: 3 ½ Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
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. 

This is a strange and wholly original debut from Moriah McStay. EVERYTHING THAT MAKES YOU tackles that question: Does one moment define you? Can a singular moment in time set you on an irreversible path? What happens if you miss that moment?

Fiona/Fi live out two different lives because one was involved in a tragic accident as a child and the other wasn’t. Fiona deals with horrific scars because of a freak accident involving hot oil at the zoo when she was a kid. Because of the scars, Fiona is introverted and quiet and extremely, painfully self-conscious. Fi was never involved in the accident – she’s the star lacrosse player, popular, and has no problem being the center of attention.

I love the idea of this book, and McStay has a beautiful way of writing. Her descriptions are powerful and drew me in with every page.

The problem was I didn’t like either incarnation of Fiona/Fi. Fiona I found to be too quiet and awkward. Fi was brash and irritating. Maybe I would’ve liked a mixture of the two, but these two were polar opposites and polarizing as main characters. I never cared about the outcome for either girl.

Again, I can’t stress enough that McStay has a great voice that I think will really resonate with readers. She is going to have a bright future. Unfortunately, the characters in this one weren’t to my liking, but I will definitely be picking up her next book!
Buy: Everything That Makes You


  1. I have a hard time with books like this, mostly because I find it hard to get invested in both aspects of the characters. (Like that movie, Sliding Doors...just didn't like it.) But it's good to know that the voice is there, 'cause that's so hard to nail.

  2. I've read mixed reviews about this book and I admit I find it intriguing. I'll just have to risk it with the characters. Nice review, Hannah! :)

    Julie @ Books and Insomnia


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