The Key to Everything Review

Hey Guys!

The bluebells have stormed on the park and taken no prisoners. The daffodils, as well, are growing in bunches along the driveway. You know what that means: spring, it’s here.

During the winter, we all get in the mood for darker books. I picked up some Sylvia Plath and a philosophy hobby. Nothing better than pondering the nature of existence during a winter blackout, for sure.

But, it’s spring now! That means happy books and Maya Angelou and YA. Today, we’re talking about just the book to start off springtime reading. It is the perfect mix of adorable characters, heartache, and uplifting endings. I cried. It is not an easy feat for a midgrade book to make me cry.

The Key to Everything is hard to explain. The plot is simple and you simply cannot understand how good it is without reading it. Schmatz has made such beautiful characters and tackled the tough concept of mental illness in children with elegance and sensitivity. You know me, I only like books that tackle the big stuff.

Here’s the Key to Everything.


Tash, the night after throwing a rager at her favorite neighbor, flies off to camp in New Zealand. She comes back to realize Capt’n Jackie, who cares for her during the day while her uncle works, is in the hospital. Jackie refuses to speak and Tash is beginning to lose the only constant thing in her life.

She searches for Jackie’s magic key, the one that was supposed to always make her happy. She braves the bus alone, even though her autophobia makes the world seem scary and monstrous, to visit Jackie at the hospital.

I can’t believe that a book about hospital visits and agoraphobic caretakers would be something that made me cry happy tears. I just could not help but root for these characters, who really, truly mean the best for each other. I recommend this book 5 out of 5 for the beauty of the story and how much I want to meet the characters. In conclusion, please go read this book. I cannot rave enough about it.

Wishing you all a gorgeous, flowery spring,

Happy Reading!

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