Book Notes: Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You
I knew this was going to be a silly little book from the start because the cover said the author had done an MFA. Nothing but pompous airheads come from those programs. But Klara is teething, I’m exhausted, my brain can’t process anything complex, and I still need to read something. So a cutesy debut by an earnest little MFA graduate would be just the ticket.
Even with these low expectations, Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You stunned me with its extraordinary vapidity. There is no platitude, truism or cliche that this author doesn’t love. Every sentence leaves one wondering whether Ng has really written something this predictable. This is a novel that truly keeps you up at night with its total absence of surprises and its incapacity to meet even the lowest expectations. The depiction of Chinese Americans is beyond stereotypical, which, I’m sure, is largely responsible for the novel’s success. Because in case you are unaware, this is a huge bestseller.
And now let me go and try to get the cloyingly sweet taste of the novel’s utterly predictable happy ending out of my mouth.