I think that the title of The World Breaks Everyone by Laura McNeill comes from this quote from Ernest Hemingway.
“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.”
The World Breaks Everyone is set in New Orleans. Have you ever been there? It’s not like most places. I think it’s an interesting mix of rich and poor, music and history. I haven’t been there since 1997 so I cannot say how it’s different since Katrina. Hopefully, there will be a trip to New Orleans in the future.
Olivia Jacobs is 16 years old. Her mother passed away so her father is raising her alone. She seemed like a spoiled brat. Add some depression mixed anger and she is a downright unpleasant person. I should be more understanding but I struggled to get past disliking Olivia.
Olivia’s father has a new girlfriend, Kate. Theo and Kate have kept their relationship under wraps because they didn’t want to upset Olivia. Kate seems like a decent person with secrets of her own. When Olivia meets Kate, she is downright rude to Kate.
Someone attacks and kidnaps Olivia’s dad, Theo. Olivia manages to escape but the bad guy finds her. She eludes capture but has to stay hidden until she can figure out what to do. At some point, she reaches out to Kate. Kate is a good person so she helps Olivia. Most people would not be so forgiving but Kate just wants to do what is best for this lost teenager.
Some things in the book were repeated quite often.
* Olivia’s mother was extremely beautiful and generous. She was a saint.
* Olivia was fair like her mother, who was white. Her father is African-American.
* Her grandparents did not approve of the choices her mother made. She has a non-profit organization to help those less fortunate. They also did not like Theo. They are constantly trying to drag his name through the mud.
If you are looking for a book to read in between long or difficult books, then this could be a good choice.
If you are a literary snob, then you may or may not enjoy this book.