Iris – muddled family relations, a job she hates, depression she calls ‘the smog’, sex and drugs and alcohol and weekends all blurred into one. Then an offer appears. There is a new programme called Life on Nyx, a new planet but the snag is, you can never return.
I was so intrigued by the blurb of the book and almost bewitched reading the prose, which was very good. But it was in the telling of the story that something didn’t feel right. It is set in the present, including the interview process for Life on Nyx, and not much of the book feels as if it takes place on Nyx.
The people on Nyx are being broadcast. They are allowed to post positive only statuses, but they are not able to view comments or likes. Contact with Earth has been cut off. The people on Nyx have chosen to live a completely new life from those they once knew. I am not sure if Everything you ever Wanted is trying to say something about social media or popular culture. All this content we surround ourselves with.
Being cut off, eventually, is shit. On Nyx, being around the same people, with little to do other than read, and spend the day doing chores. This is where Iris describes the little things she has been missing, little but actually huge things we stop noticing and appreciating. It made my heart pound. I was thinking, yes, I would miss that. As insane as it sounds, at the start of book I was all for life on Nyx. One-way ticket to another planet? Book me in.
Iris and the other people on Nyx have been lied to. They were told more people would be joining them, bringing further supplies but no one else is coming and supplies are running out. In the 7 years of living on Nyx, Iris and the other people are wasting away, desperately missing things from their old lives and want to leave. I don’t know if this is a dying dreams or the grass ain’t greener metaphor, because Iris discovers on Earth people have stopped watching and so where does that leave the people of Nyx, who have carved out a new way of living? Trapped inside a goldfish bowl.
The end of Everything you ever Wanted is open to interpretation. It does not give you anything definite. I didn’t like that. Ultimately, I felt parts of Everything you ever Wanted kept reaching and they didn’t go anywhere. It was aimless, and disappointing.
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