It’s 1965, Los Angeles. All twelve-year-old Sophie wants to do is write her book, star in the community play, and hang out with her friend Jennifer. But she’s the new black kid in a nearly all-white neighborhood; her beloved sister, Lily, is going away to college soon; and her parents’ marriage is rocky. There’s also her family’s new, disapproving housekeeper to deal with. When riots erupt in nearby Watts and a friend is unfairly arrested, Sophie learns that life—and her own place in it—is even more complicated than she’d once thought.

Leavened with gentle humour, this story is perfect for fans of Rita Williams-Garcia.

Sourced from Goodreads 



My rating:


(4.25 stars)

I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Hey, everyone! Can’t believe I’ve already finished Karen English’s It All Comes Down to This! But it was so easy, since I was really engrossed in it. I could barely bear to put it down! There was just something about it that made it easy to read, even if it was an MG novel, an age group I haven’t read in a while.

First things first, I loved Sophie! She was a breath of fresh air, with her youthful idealism, her insights on everything, from her familial situation to her friends and peers. She had this fanciful way of imagining her life and the lives of others (like her sister or aunt) as stories with a certain structure meant to be played out. It makes me think that Anne from Anne of Green Gables might have been an inspiration behind that, especially when the book appears several times throughout the novel. I love how determined she was in her goals to be a writer/actress. Although the book only documents the summer before she goes to high school, I have a feeling that she would stick to writing; that’s just how passionate she was about it. Readers will definitely love this real depiction of a girl trying to understand the world she’s living in.

As for the plot as a whole, the sad thing is that even though this book is set in the sixties, moments would remind me exactly of 2017, with what’s going on in the world in terms of police brutality and systemic racism. At moments, I would choke up at the unfairness of it all, even as I expected it. And while I probably should expect it for a book set in the sixties, I wish I didn’t have to expect it today. Books like It All Comes Down to This are reminders that while it isn’t as bad as before, we need to do better.

Well, that’s all I have to say about It All Comes Down to This for now. If you have any thoughts about this book, let me know in the Comments Section below. For those of you who are interested, It All Comes Down to This comes out on July 11th, 2017. Thank you for reading.

– Sumaya