We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves: 2 out of 5 stars

Tone down the pretentious would you

I didn’t like this, so I’m going to keep this short.


Rosemary’s young, just at college, and she’s decided not to tell anyone a thing about her family. So we’re not going to tell you too much either: you’ll have to find out for yourselves, round about page 77, what it is that makes her unhappy family unlike any other.

Rosemary is now an only child, but she used to have a sister the same age as her, and an older brother. Both are now gone – vanished from her life. There’s something unique about Rosemary’s sister, Fern. And it was this decision, made by her parents, to give Rosemary a sister like no other, that began all of Rosemary’s trouble. So now she’s telling her story: full of hilarious asides and brilliantly spiky lines, it’s a looping narrative that begins towards the end, and then goes back to the beginning. Twice.


I wish I could unread this…that is not something I say very often. I ended up flicking between my kindle version and the audiobook because I really wanted to finish this because the writing in itself is really good but the narrator kept getting on my nerves.

Basically I felt that this book relied too much on unlikeable characters to carry this story and therefore no real plot was ever developed.

“When there is an invisible elephant in the room, one is from time to time bound to trip over a trunk.”

The twist in this surprised me and I was really intrigued by it – and thankfully it happens quite early on – but once the shock wore off, the story started to fall flat and unfortunately it never recovered.

The characters in this, particularly Rosemary, have no real depth and the whole thing felt like a woe is me tale. Rosemary’s relationship with Fern was really interesting in the beginning however the more we learnt about their relationship, the more condescending Rosemary became and in turn, the more frustrated I became.

I did love the animal rights underbelly to this story and really appreciated that they gave her mysterious brother such a large activist role but while I was waiting for their reunion, a resolution never really came and the one that did was completely underwhelming.

There are a lot of people that loved this book and it obviously made it on to some great lists so I do suggest checking out some other reviews or trying it for yourself if the premise is enticing – don’t let me put you off.

Has anyone else read this? I’d love to hear what you thought of this book.


Find more reviews on Goodreads.

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13 thoughts on “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves: 2 out of 5 stars

  1. Donna says:

    It is a relief to know I am not the only one who did not enjoy this book! I completely agree with everything you said. I wish I could get those few hours of reading back.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mrenee says:

      I’m glad I’m not alone! I think it’s hard with books like these that make so many lists because no one wants to say anything bad about. Not every book is going to be for everyone


    • mrenee says:

      I’m glad you liked it though! It is definitely an original concept and the twist did hook me for a little while there. It’s just one of those books that I think is different for everyone who reads it. You either love it or hate it – no fence sitting lol.


  2. Warisha Reads says:

    My! I remember this book being shortlisted for Man Booker. I have had this one in mind. Really disappointing to see that the characters lack depth and the book alone has no solid plot either. Good review by the way!


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