Member Reviews

I did not have time to download and read this book before it was archived, so I'm unable to leave a review.

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I found this book very stressful. All of the characters were carrying burdens that were at times, overwhelming. The author did a great job showing the emotional toll it took on everyone. friends, family and even romantic relationships.
I liked how the author wove Guatemalan history into the story as well as linking it back to other characters. I always enjoy learning something while reading.
It sort of fell apart for me at the end. I didn't feel like anything was really resolved and I felt like the priorities were disjointed.
While the book fell a little short for me, I do appreciate what the author wrote.

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a very timely novel for my specific situation

Thank you to the author, publisher, and netgalley for this review copy.

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Wow, this book was heavy, but so well-written. Sarah was so mature and went through so much hardship, but she still remained mostly positive through it all. She had to take care of her father and her little brother while also leaving her high school to do so. I’m so glad I read this and I’ll definitely be picking up more from this author in the future.

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I'm not sure that this one really worked for me. There's no nuance in the narrative. It's too predictable and the characters are inconsistent.

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I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I think maybe I misunderstood the synopsis when I requested this book, because I was under the impression there was some sort of mystery or big discovery to be made, and there wasn't. What there was, though, was a beautifully written coming of age story. Unfortunately, I didn't connect with the book or characters, so I only rated it two stars, but I hope this book finds its intended audience and makes an impact.

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Sarah’s mom died six months ago. Sarah has to leave the fine arts school she was attending three months ago. She needs to take care of her dad and little brother. Sarah will attend public school. When her dad’s spending gets out of control and his drinking, she must find a way to make money to make sure that her little brother is fed and safe. When a boy at school is interested in her, she thinks there is no way she can a relationship as she has no time. When a school project is assigned, Sarah’s decision is to base an art project on her family’s personal connection to her mother’s favorite Diego Rivera painting. I don’t want to tell more about the story as I don’t want to spoil it for you.

The author has written a thoughtful story about loss, cultural diversity and first love. The story shows the pivotal role the older children can take. It is an excellent book to read and discuss with children.

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"The Weight of Everything" by Marcia Argueta Mickelson is a coming of age young adult novel that is part fish-out-of-water (she leaves boarding school to enroll in public high school), part grief, part romance. It tackles complex issues at an age-appropriate level while acknowledging the deep and powerful emotions of teenagers.

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This book was relatable and genuine. I felt what she felt and was pulling for the protag. The protesting actions at school felt a little forced but I understand this was the crux of the book. That portion just didn't seem as organic.

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3.5/5 🌟💖

The Weight of Everything is a short YA novel about healing, friendship, and finding empowerment in your heritage. I recieved a free E-ARC from Net Gallery in exchange for my full, honest review, and wow, I am so grateful.

Sarah is such an honest main character. She is honest with herself and knows when it is safe to be honest with others. I loved reading about her journey in her own grief from her mother’s death to becoming a responsible role model in her home. Steven was so funny and enjoyable in each scene he was represented!

I love a good romance subplot and when this one was VERY rushed, it was well done for the overall plot of the story to come about. I can see how David and Sarah were good friends before they even had initiated any romanctic feelings between themselves. I appreciated that!

I think it’s quite obvious (even in regard to what happens in the story) that the typical American has never heard about the events that took place between the US Administration and Guatemala, but now that I was well-informed, if only briefly, I am interested to look more into this!

Pinterest Board for ✨inspiration✨

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In "The Weight of Everything" by Marcia Argueta Mickelson, I read about Sarah, a teenage girl who is trying to cope with her mom's death while taking care of her little brother and her father who is struggling with his own grief. Sarah left her fine arts boarding school to attend the local public high school and be there for her family.

I felt for Sarah as she tried to juggle her responsibilities and hold everything together while still dealing with her own grief. Her dad's drinking and spending put them in financial trouble, making it harder for her to make ends meet. She barely had time for her passion of art, and she definitely didn't have time to explore her feelings for her classmate David Garza.

As she worked on a school project exploring her mom's Mexican and Guatemalan roots, Sarah discovered a side of her heritage that helped her better understand her mom and face her own grief. When she uncovered a piece of history that was deeply meaningful to her mom, Sarah realized that she couldn't keep her pain bottled up anymore.

The story is heartwarming, and I loved how Sarah discovered that even when her mom couldn't be there for her, there were still signs of her love and dedication to help her daughter's dreams come true. This book is a lovely read and beautifully depicts the dedication and commitment of a family.

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The Weight of Everything by Marcia Argueta Mickelson is a touching and poignant novel that explores the complexities of grief, family, and cultural identity. Sarah, the protagonist, has had to put her own dreams on hold to take care of her family after her mother's death and her father's subsequent breakdown. As she struggles to keep her family afloat, Sarah discovers her mother's Mexican and Guatemalan roots and begins to understand her own cultural identity better.

The author does an excellent job of portraying the weight of grief and how it can consume a person's life. Mickelson shows how Sarah's grief affects every aspect of her life, from her relationships with her family and friends to her ability to pursue her passion for art. The way she weaves in the histories of Guatemala and the US, as well as the lives of artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, adds depth and richness to the story.

The characters are well-developed, and the relationships between them are the strongest aspect of the book. Mickelson effectively portrays the complexity of sibling relationships and the struggles that come with caring for a parent with addiction issues. The parallel perspectives of Sarah and her younger brother add another layer of depth to the story.

Overall, The Weight of Everything is a powerful and uplifting novel that tackles heavy topics with sensitivity and grace. The author captures the stress and depression that can accompany grief, but also shows how finding a connection to one's heritage can help with healing. The ending is a beautiful new beginning for everyone involved, and readers will find themselves rooting for Sarah and her family throughout the novel.

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I thought this was a very well written book from the understanding of a high school student who's just trying to hold it all together. Sarah knows enough to know that her father is sick and struggling, but not enough to force him to get help. There's also a romance subplot that's absolutely adorable and I loved it.

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Honestly, at the risk of sounding corny, this book had me feeling the weight of everything.

The book was written in such a raw, emotional way that the reader is instantly connected emotionally to the characters and the story.

I could not put this book down until I finished it and I honestly haven't recovered emotionally since finishing it. Such a powerful story.

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Thank you so much to NetGalley and the publisher for granting me a copy of this book in return for my honest opinions.

This book was absolutely amazing. It is an emotional book that will have you crying ugly tears. I was so deeply invested in the characters Sarah and Steven. Poor Sarah had the weight of the world in her shoulders trying to manage everything behind her father succumbed to his grief. I wanted to strangle that father. His is supposed to be the adult. All he did was drink, sleep and wallow in his grief and left his children to take care of themselves

I felt no compassion for him. What would poor Steven have done without big sister Sarah. Am so pleased with the ending, but I still dislike that father!


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In "The Weight of Everything," Marcia Argueta Mickelson showcases the substantial changes in family dynamic after the sudden loss of a parent. Sarah, the eldest child, is forced to leave her private fine arts school to attend a public school closer to home and take care of both her father and brother, as her father mourns the loss of his wife with alcohol. Forced to grow up too fast, she takes care of the house - cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, and her brother ensuring he goes to school and takes care of himself, all while trying to juggle school and side art projects for money. Through her love of art, she is able to reconnect with her late mother and her Guatemalan history.

This is an emotional read - Mickelson captures the stress, the depression, the anxiety of Sarah so well as she goes through his hard time in life. Her brother is a great foil to her, always upbeat, not afraid to talk about what's considered taboo. Their different perspectives of their dad following the accident creates an interesting parallel. I loved seeing Sarah embrace her grief through her art and ultimately uses it to grow through her struggles.

As a lover of stories of struggle and growth, this was a five star read for me.

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The Weight of Everything by Marcia Argueta Mickelson is a poignant and heart-wrenching novel about grief, family, and identity. Sarah, the main character, is a teenager who is struggling to keep her family together after her mother's death and her father's downward spiral. She has to balance school, taking care of her younger brother, and making sure that her father doesn't completely fall apart.

Mickelson’s writing is raw and emotional, making it easy to feel the weight of Sarah's pain and struggles. Sarah's journey of self-discovery, as she delves into her mother’s cultural heritage and confronts her own grief, is beautifully written and adds depth to the story. The author's exploration of cultural identity and the importance of family history is especially poignant in today's world.

One of the strongest aspects of the novel is the relationships between the characters. The bond between Sarah and her brother is heartwarming, and the way Sarah interacts with her classmates, especially David Garza, feels authentic and genuine. The author also does an excellent job of portraying the complex relationship between Sarah and her father, and the effects of grief on a family.

Overall, The Weight of Everything is a beautiful and powerful novel that tackles heavy topics with grace and sensitivity. It is a must-read for anyone who has experienced loss, and for anyone who is interested in exploring cultural identity and the importance of family history. Mickelson's writing is both heart-wrenching and hopeful, making this novel a truly unforgettable read.

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This one really shows how heavy the weight of carrying grief can be.
Sarah is carrying the weight of her mother's death and having to carry the weight of the family too.
It's a hard time for the family. Their dad has checked out and everything falls on Sarah.
It's hard for her to try to do everything and becomes harder as she falls in love for the first time.
I thought this was a good book showcasing family and friendships and grief.

A good YA read.

Thanks NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC.

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In The Weight of Everything by Marcia Argueta Mickelson we meet our protagonist, Sarah, and her little brother, Steven, six months after their mother passes away in a car accident. Their father is so deep in his grief that he cannot care for himself and most certainly cannot care for his children. Sarah steps up into a parental role she shouldn't have to navigate. She's trying to figure out how to hold on to her dreams of being an artist while also ensuring her brother's safety and well-being.

There's a romance that develops between her and her friend David and she worries that if she lets herself fall for him she'll regret it. Sarah's Dad spends most of his time either sleeping or drinking and avoiding his children so as not to think about how much emotional pain he's in. He has a best friend whose role is crucial to his eventually starting to heal.

Art is Sarah's passion and when her art teacher assigns an end of semester project she decides to make some sketches based on old photos of her great grandfather who left Guatemala in 1954 during the CIA coup against the Guatemalan president. She uses her art project to honor her mother's memory in a special way. David is by her side through it all which is the most romantic part of the story.

It takes another accident that places Steven at risk to get Dad to finally accept the help he needs. The ending of the story is also a beautiful new beginning for everyone.

Thank you to the author and publisher for the e-arc copy!

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