Sunday, June 30, 2024

All This and More

All This and More by Peng Shepherd
7/9/24; 512 pages
William Morrow

All This and More by Peng Shepherd is a very highly recommended unique version of a Choose Your Own Adventure story, only this time it is to choose, or rather revise, your life.

Marsh has just turned forty-five and feels as if she has missed her chance at fulfillment in every area of her life. She can't believe it when she is selected to be a contestant on season 3 of the show All This and More. The show uses quantum technology, a time bubble, to allow contestants the chance to revise their pasts and change their present lives. This is Marsh's chance to seize her chance to get it all right and have the life she always wanted. As she tries on being successful in different occupations Marsh begins to realize that something is not quite right with All This and More.

This is a very creative, imaginative novel and the writing is incredible, characteristics I expect from any novel Peng Shepherd writes. I enjoyed it quite a bit. I am good with the reality TV show plot mixed with science fiction. My only hesitation is the Choose Your Own Adventure aspect. My kids were fans of these kind of novels years ago, however I never grew up with them so the idea has no nostalgia for me. The plot had to stand on what I choose.

The different realities Marsh encounters were well done and the glitches she begins to notice are seamlessly incorporated into the various narrative choices. I liked the science fiction aspect to the narrative, the idea of jumps to different realities is clever, but maybe not so much the choose what to do next while reading. 

Admittedly, I did choose what I sincerely wanted to see next, so my experience was a mix of the two options. It might be interesting to read it straight through without choices to see if it changes my feelings. 4.5 rounded up. Thanks to William Morrow for providing me with an advance reader's copy via NetGalley. My review is voluntary and expresses my honest opinion.

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