Review: For Every One
Title: For Every One
Author: Jason Reynolds
Format: e-book, Overdrive
Memorable Quote: “Your dream is the mole
behind your ear,
that chip in your
It’s the thing that makes
but not the thing that makes
The courage in trying,
the passion in living,
and the acknowledgement
and appreciation of
the beauty happening around
you does that.”
Synopsis (from Goodreads): “For Every One is just that: for every one. For every one person. For every one dream. But especially for every one kid. The kids who dream of being better than they are. Kids who dream of doing more than they almost dare to dream. Kids who are like Jason Reynolds, a self-professed dreamer. Jason does not claim to know how to make dreams come true; he has, in fact, been fighting on the front line of his own battle to make his own dreams a reality. He expected to make it when he was sixteen. Then eighteen. Then twenty-five. Now, some of those expectations have been realized. But others, the most important ones, lay ahead, and a lot of them involve kids, how to inspire them. All the kids who are scared to dream, or don’t know how to dream, or don’t dare to dream because they’ve NEVER seen a dream come true. Jason wants kids to know that dreams take time. They involve countless struggles. But no matter how many times a dreamer gets beat down, the drive and the passion and the hope never fully extinguish—because just having the dream is the start you need, or you won’t get anywhere anyway, and that is when you have to take a leap of faith.”
Jason Reynolds can say a lot in such a short book, and what he has to say will plant itself in your soul.
I’ve always loved his writing. It is real, unapologetic, thoughtful, and powerful. I didn’t even realize how badly I needed For Every One until I was done. Reynolds doesn’t pretend to have all the answers. The book isn’t self-help, but rather, a reminder that we’ve all been there. That success can have lots of different meanings, and that not reaching a goal is not failure. He keeps it real without ever putting the reader down or talking down to them.
Here’s my opinion – instead of giving grads and new adults Oh, the Places You’ll Go, give them For Every One instead. It’s thoughtful and hopeful without being cheesy or over the top with sentiment. I think most people who read this book will feel a sense of being understood, of being seen, and knowing that they aren’t alone in feeling the way that they do.
While I read the e-book, I do hope to pick up the physical copy soon, because I love how Reynolds uses the white space of the page to write. Even with the e-book, you can see how he uses different font sizes and different formats of writing that help engage the reader.
As much of this book is a call to action for readers, it is also an honest look at what Reynolds has tried, failed, and learned.
Others might disagree, but I think this little book is full of depth and power. Reynolds proves that you don’t need to weigh a piece of paper down with words to make it big and powerful. His simple, straight-forward style is actually quite comforting. He doesn’t overwhelm the reader or make them feel like they aren’t enough. Rather, he reminds them that life takes time, and it is ok to need that time.
I think it’s important for people to learn that it is ok to not be perfect, to fail, to need time. For Every One serves as this gentle reminder.