[Everything you and I could have been if we weren’t you and I] Albert Espinosa


With a title like this, I was expecting a bittersweet story. That was not the case at all.

Marcos has lost everything that he loved, and he is looking for a way to escape the world. He needs the world to be different, so he decides to get an injection that stops him from sleeping. He doesn’t want to dream. He believes that he can cut it out. There are many different reasons that people decide to take Cetamine, the drug that takes away your sleep. It may be out of jealousy or curiosity–what are people doing in the hours that you have to sleep? It’s interesting enough, but then several things are thrown into the novel at nearly the same time. He sees a mysterious girl from across the plaza and is immediately drawn to her. Oh, and an extraterrestrial has landed on earth.

That is where Everything becomes about too many things. On his way to the alien, we learn that Marcos has also been blessed with a gift to see people’s good and bad parts of their lives. He helps the police with interviews, using his gift to see inside of the interviewee. If Everything had focused a bit more on that, I feel like it could have been interesting. Instead, the focus turns to the extraterrestrial and the science fiction genre. Also fine, but it’s still not really the focus of the short novel.

Everything has too many subplots that all bring down the actual plot; it’s similar to how when you multitask on too many things you don’t actually get anything done. That’s how I feel about this book. There were interesting things that were introduced, but then it was bogged down with another thing that was introduced moments later. Much like Marcos’ mind, the story can’t seem to focus on what it wants to be about and drops story lines and characters. He frequently goes back to his relationship with his mother. The more he goes back to it, the weirder it becomes until what I thought was an homage to his mother is actually an Oedipal complex. It was incredibly disturbing.

Marcos was not a very interesting character, even if he did have a gift. Everything was written in a light stream of consciousness style, where Marcos didn’t censor his thoughts and we were right there with him. I think that this story is supposed to transcend something and become more, but it never got there for me. I was too put-off by the writing style and of Marcos and his mannerisms. He starts and stops thoughts, which was very jarring while reading.

Occasionally some of the prose was nice, but you really had to dig for it. I think this may be the weirdest book that I’ve read so far this year. I wish that it had more of a focus, because I honestly can’t really say what we were supposed to take from this book as readers. It was just too all over for me to really get into it and like it. I’m sure some people will like it, but I am deeply unimpressed.

1 star. 

I received this title from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.




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