All Dressed Up

All Dressed Up was a fascinating read. The character development and narrative of the novel was captivating to say the least. I found that following Calvin, the main character, through twenty one chapters wasn’t enough. I captivated by his words, and his thoughts. Calvin is sick of his home in Chicago and wants a fresh start, somewhere incredibly different from what he’s used to, which leads him to The Plains. The Plains is the type of place where, when you enter, you know you are never going to leave. He encounters a diverse group of people throughout the book, a few characters becoming important to the plot. All Dressed Up follows Calvin’s journey through numerous hardships and shows how he overcomes everyday obstacles.

Author Zack Reed has written a poignant and stirring book that can be cynical at times, but is nevertheless enthralling. My favorite character, and the one that made the narrative unique for me, was Eddy. He was the embodiment of the term, live free or die. He allowed himself to be his own person, with no outside factors tarnishing it. Calvin was not used to this type of personality. He then meets a woman named Alix, who changed his life completely. I enjoyed watching all the interactions between character, which is something I think the author does really well. Their relationship started at an event they were both invited to. Alix showed Calvin parts of himself that he didn’t know existed, and this allowed for incredible character development, and was one of the reasons I kept picking up this book. She stressed the importance of being you, something I think readers will be able to relate to. Calvin was more reserved, and clean-cut. Many times throughout the book I found that the characters, such as Nico, his other roommate, and Calvin were a little sardonic but this add a layer of social commentary that I think some readers will like. They talked about the world being nothing but money hungry, and essentially doomed. Calvin seeks out a flower shop where he meets a crazy man named Roger who I think represents the entirety of The Plains. He is free-spirited and quite chaotic, but it made the character fun to read.

The story explores themes of loneliness, freewill vs. fate, and most importantly, identity. Calvin struggles with who he wants to be throughout the novel, which readers will find relatable if not endearing. I liked the writing because it made the entire novel easy to read. I would have enjoyed a deeper exploration of his his relationship with Alix and the theme of love. It was interesting seeing Calvin’s development and the impact of certain characters. The hidden theme of loneliness in all of the characters was also quite engaging, as you felt like the character with a million friends was the loneliest out of them all.

All Dressed Up is a charming and heartfelt drama that will engage and entertain readers from start to finish.

Pages: 273 | ASIN : B0BLWC1MG2

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About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on January 7, 2023, in Book Reviews, Four Stars and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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