Cover Image: All the Things We Don't Talk About

All the Things We Don't Talk About

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Member Reviews

This novel alternates between the perspectives of Morgan, a gender non-binary high school student; Julian, Morgan’s dad who is neurodiverse; Zoe, Morgan’s mon who abandoned Morgan and Julian when Morgan was young and is an alcoholic; and occasionally Bridget, Zoe’s on again/off again partner.

There was a lot going on in this book, maybe a little too much - I think it maybe would have been stronger if it focused on just Morgan and Julian’s perspectives - especially because I thought their stories were more interesting. I enjoyed the representation of having a gender non-binary and neurodiverse father and child and thought both were thoughtfully and interestingly portrayed. The writing was also really good and I would definitely read another book by Amy Feltman.

Side note - the setting of this book felt odd as it was ostensibly set in NYC but I couldn’t tell at all where Julian and Morgan were supposed to live - was it far uptown Manhattan, another borough, a suburb? At times it seemed like any/all of these which confused me. Minor quibble but it really distracted me!

Anyway, overall while not perfect, it really kept me reading despite being a quiet book, and was a solid read which I would recommend to fans of dysfunctional family dramas.

3.75 stars
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Thank you for the opportunity to review this unique book. I appreciated that the MC was non- binary as that provided an interesting perspective. His father’s autism was also  presented well. However, I was unable to connect to the characters and for that reason, the story just couldn’t hold my interest.   I ended up DNF ing the book at the 50% mark, though I did skip ahead to read the final few pages (which didn’t offer much in the way of satisfactory resolution)
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The beginning of this book threw me off for awhile and made it hard to feel like I was in the right head space for it, but when I got past the school shooting scene, I fell in love with the characters navigating their differences in a cisnormative neurotypical world. As a nonbinary autistic myself, I loved seeing that representation handled with softness.
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All the Things We Don’t Talk about by @amyfeltmanwrites - 

Morgan Flowers is a typical teenager. That is, Morgan is a gender non-conforming teenager whose alcoholic, free-spirit mother, Zoe, left when they were just a baby, leaving Morgan to be raised by their neurodivergent dad, Julian, and up until her death, their grandmother.

Morgan and Julian had found balance in boundaries and repetition, and Morgan was experiencing their first love. Then Zoe comes crashing back into their lives after her breakup with Brigid, and Morgan is intrigued at the prospect of having their mom back in their life again. Brigid and Julian long ago became unlikely penpals after bonding over their shared heartbreak caused by Zoe’s drinking and her non-conforming lifestyle, and Brigid tries to help Julian navigate the fallout of Zoe’s return to Morgan and Julian’s lives, but Zoe’s problems prove to be a disaster for everyone involved.

There is clearly a lot going on in this story but the author did a great job of weaving a tale that portrays a tragically beautiful story of a modern family. 

Thanks to @netgalley for the ARC copy of #AllTheThingsWeDontTalkAbout by Amy Feltman. #lgtbq #lgbtq2ia #pride #neurodivergent #gendernonconfirming #nonbinary #yabooks #youngadultfiction #queer #queerbookclub #queerbookstagram
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Feltman’s narrative provides a multidimensional family portrait of a nonbinary teen’s coming-of-age and complicated family drama. The author  provides readers with a candid, deeply human look at navigating gender identity and a first romance through the eyes of adolescence. While the narrative is, at times verbose, the dynamic relationships and the mash up of things like honesty, kindness, and humor make for a exceptional tale. In the end, the story brings a testament to empathy and enduring love.
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(3.5 rounded up to a 4)

All the Things We Don't Talk About is a queer contemporary fiction novel by Amy Feltman. The ebook version is 320 pages. We follow our four main characters with third-person points-of-view.

Morgan is a nonbinary teen raised by their single autistic father, Julien. Their mother, Zoe, has been out of the picture since she fled to Europe on Morgan's first birthday. Zoe was just dumped by her on-again-off-again girlfriend Brigid, so she decides on a whim to return to the States. Over the years, Julian and Brigid became pen-pals and friends who commiserated over loving and losing Zoe multiple times.

This was a really cool premise, but it dragged for me at times. Zoe was a very unlikeable character for many reasons and I vastly preferred things when we were following either Julien or Morgan's perspective. I was pleased with all of the queer representation in this book, but I do struggle with trauma porn queer lit and really would love to see more happy stories with queer characters.

I noted this in the content warnings below, but this book starts off with an attempted school shooting so please be aware of this before you pick it up.

Tropes in this book include: dysfunctional family, nonbinary main character, bisexual main character, autistic main character

CW: absent parent, drug and alcohol abuse, addiction, driving under the influence, underage drinking, school shooting (mentioned)

Special thanks to Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley for providing an eARC of this book for me to review. All opinions contained herein are my own.
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I read All the Things We Don't Talk About as my book club's June pick, and I was very thankful to have a group to discuss this book with. The book dives into complex and at times heavy topics, so it made for a great discussion. This is the type of book we need more of, as it helps us reckon with the societal norms we have engrained and opens us up to changing how we view the world.

I loved Julian's character and felt he was wonderfully written.  I think the author also did a great job fleshing out the other characters in this novel, making it an enjoyable read.
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This book was really difficult for me, personally, to get through, due to Trauma, You Know, of being part of a really dysfunctional family. But it’s also a story of wild interpersonal relationships, of existing around charismatic but ultimately destructive people (Zoe is the Caroline Calloway of this book and also this family), of betrayal and grief and having something fundamentally missing and trying to fill that. And ultimately, it’s a queer story about family love and acceptance. Five stars.
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I really struggled to read this book as it opens with an attempted school shooting. The whole thing has Big Sad Energy too and "literary" queerness these days is also a hard sell for me. My queerness is under attack and I want joy in my fiction not trauma.

That said, I think Feltman is doing interesting character work here and I may try again when I’m in a different headspace. 

I received a digital copy of this book for review from the publisher.
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Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC of this book. I wanted to like this more than I did because the concept was fascinating and very queer. But it took me a while to get into the narrative and to feel enough for the characters to want to continue. Once I got into it, I enjoyed it and was happy for a sense of resolution at the end of the book. The world needs more nonbinary protagonists, and I was happy to read one here!
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I really wanted to love this family drama featuring a non-binary teen with a neurodivergent father and an alcoholic mother who abandoned her family and now lives with a woman in Europe but something about it fell flat for me. It was also rough listening to a story that revolves around an almost school shooting right after what happened in Uvalde. I cared about the characters but wish the book had gone deeper.

Thanks to Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley for the copy to review.
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All the Things We Don’t Talk About is a beautifully written and unique family drama. The novel centers around Morgan, a non-binary high school student and their autistic single father Julian. Morgan is exploring their first romantic relationship and trying to maintain their scholarship when Morgan’s alcoholic mother Zoe, who abandoned Morgan on their first birthday, comes crashing back into their life. The novel addresses the complexity of relationships - familial and otherwise - with sensitivity and honesty. I enjoyed it very much and look forward to more from this author. A solid four stars.
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I'm in the middle on All the Things We Don't Talk About. I loved the representation. It was fantastic to see a nonbinary lead and I don't think I've ever read about neurodivergent fatherhood in fiction before. While it was conceptually wonderful, the writing itself came off flat to me. I think it might have been better with a tighter scope, perhaps fewer POVs. It also feels a bit more like YA than adult fiction (that is not a negative thing, but helpful for readers to know going in). Overall I liked this, but didn't love it.
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I really enjoyed this family drama. Family dramas are one of my favorite kinds of books, and this one had an especially interesting group of characters. Each narrative voice was really distinct as well. I really liked Julian'(the dad)'s voice and I loved how his love and care for his kid emanated from the pages. The author portrayed his neurodivergence with a lot of sensitivity. I also appreciated the story of a non-binary kid, which is one that doesn't get featured in most family stories that I've seen. The story of the mom was interesting but not my favorite of the group. But overall, Amy Feltman did an amazing job of showing the perspectives of and relationships between these characters. A story I really enjoyed overall.
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All the Things We Don’t Talk About explores the world of a nonbinary teenagers coming-of-age with the background of intense family drama. Morgan has always felt the loss of their mom Zoe, who left when they had just turned 1, and it has followed them like a shadow all of their life. Morgan’s neurodivergent dad, Julian, has done the best that he can but there are certain holes that only Zoe can fill. Everything changes when Zoe suddenly comes crashing back into their lives, trailing chaos and glitter in her wake. 

This book covers a lot - it is steeped in feelings and experiences that feel so real they instantly connect the reader. It is a story of family trauma and betrayal, but also queer and family love and acceptance. 

I think this would make a particularly great book club book as there is a lot to discuss and extract here. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for the Arc in exchange for my honest review - All the Thing We Don’t Talk About is out now!
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Seventeen year-old Morgan Flowers feels like something in missing in their life.  Being raised by Julian, their neurodivergent father, they have always wondered what their mother, Zoe, is like and why she left when they were a baby.  As Morgan explores their nonbinary identity and tries to find footing in their life, they meet Sadie and they fall for Sadie fast and hard.  Morgan begins to feel the beginnings of bliss, only to have it come crashing down when their destructive mother shows up after being dumped by her long time girlfriend, Brigid.

This story was a real page turner for me.  Told from four perspectives (Morgan, Julian, Zoe, and Brigid), I got a good sense of where each character was coming from.  Each of them were complicated in their own way and each of them had reasons why they made the decisions they did.  The story was deeply engrossing because I needed to know how it would play out.  I had a sense of foreboding from the beginning and I knew that the mother was going to come in and cause some problems for Morgan and their father.  I could never have imagined the level of destruction she would bring.  

As a child of an alcoholic, I sometimes have a difficult time swallowing stories that hit too close to home, but I didn't feel that way with this book.  I found myself getting angry at Zoe while also feeling heartbroken that she was so damaged.  The dynamics between Zoe and the other characters were intricate and somewhat unhealthy but that's what it made feel real.        

I really enjoyed Amy Feltman's writing style in this novel.  It was the kind of writing that made me feel everything that was between the lines in the deepest sense.  The dialogue in this story was honest, raw, and helped develop each character in my mind.  

This is an absorbing coming-of-age story with lots of family drama that I really enjoyed.  I'm going to be processing this one for a while, I know it.

⚠️: mention of cancer & fatal car accident, death of a loved one, abandonment, alcoholism, doxing
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Thank you to Netgalley and Grand Central Publishing for the free ARC in exchange for my honest review! 

*This review may contain slight spoilers* 

I saw a fellow bookstagrammer raving about this one so I instantly went and requested it. Overall, it was a good story. However, I found it to be a little superficial. I wish we would have gotten more detail about the relationships between Morgan and Sadie and Morgan and Julian. I wish we saw more depth of the struggles that come with having an autistic father and being non-binary. 

The book did pick up around the 80% mark but I just didn’t find the ending to be redeeming. 

I enjoyed the premise of the book and the story was good but I just didn’t find it to go deep enough for my liking. 
I would recommend this book to those looking for LGBTQIA+ representation and for fans of family drama
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So, I think I’m learning I personally enjoy plot-driven stories will well-written characters, rather than more character alone driven stories. I think that’s why Sally Rooney’s books haven’t really worked for me either, though they are massively popular. The people in this book were certainly interesting but I just kept waiting for something to happen! That doesn’t really happen until about 80% in. I did enjoy Feltman’s writing, and the characters were interesting. I liked this one, but didn’t love it, and I think that’s more about me than the book. 

Read this one if you really love: 
- character driven stories
- coming-of-age tales
- queer love stories 
- family drama 

One important note, I was thankful to read this book because of the non-binary representation. One of the main characters uses they pronouns. I’m someone who wants everyone to live a life most authentic to themselves and am happy to do my small part to make that happen. I don’t have many non-binary people in my life and haven’t practiced using they pronouns much. This book was like moving to a foreign country to immerse yourself in a new language, and helped me get used to they pronouns. 

Amy Feltman’s writing really is beautiful, but the story just did not move me. This book was a ‘not for me’ book— but I do think there is an audience for it out there somewhere!
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This was such a wonderful and intriguing book! It starts dramatically with a student who brings a gun to Morgan and Sadie’s high school. Luckily, the weapon is confiscated, but the students are shaken up after having been evacuated. It’s during their evacuation that Morgan and Sadie strike up a friendship – both on financial aid. Morgan identifies as nonbinary and lives with her neurodivergent father, Julian, after their alcoholic mother, Zoe, left them and headed to Europe when Morgan was only one. Soon, Sadie and Morgan develop feelings for one another, disrupted by Zoe’s sudden return to the states and Morgan and Julien’s home. What Morgan doesn’t know is that their father has developed an epistolary relationship with Brigid, Zoe’s ex. Having their mother back in Morgan’s life is beguiling, dangerous and confusing. This is a unique book about family and relationships and navigating messy truths about life. Thank you to Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley for the advanced review copy.
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“The shadowy flatness that usually accompanied them everywhere had receded like a pincushion punctured.  The sudden emergence of happiness-a happiness that fely wiggly, an eel that couldn't be grasped within fingers…”

I loved these characters and had a hard time saying goodbye to them.  This story follows Morgan, Julian, Zoe, Brigid, and Sadie through the ups and downs of the mundane to the dramatic.  Told in alternating first-person chapters, you get to see struggles with identity, self-actualization, and what it means to love and be loved.  I loved the vulnerability and warmth Feltman uses to portray this very relatable family saga.  Definitely one of my favorites of the year so far!

4.5 stars

Thank you @netgalley and @grancentralpublising for the early advanced copy.
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