Review: Here’s The Thing, Emily O’Beirne

What caught my eye in this story at first, was the plot. It seemed to hold everything I love in a good contemporary: some kind of messed up teenage love, trying to move on from the past, new environments, new friends, past and present colliding… I’m a sucker for these kind of things, really, and if you ask me, this kind of story calls for great character development, and can end up being such a hit. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as great as it seemed to be, for two things. First of all, the plot was close to non-existent: if you’re looking for a plot-driven story, this is not it, and I found this out after a couple of chapters, where the action was for sure moving, but it wasn’t this kind of heart-stopping action where the plot take the characters somewhere. It was more of a character-driven story, then, I thought. A story that, from the synopsis, you can already kind of guess. A story about moving on, about confronting the past. Fine, I thought. Now, this can be my kind of story.



Told in the first person, from the point of view of Zel, Here’s The Thing really took me by surprise right from the first page. The main character has such a particular teenage voice, if you ask me, it takes some getting used to, and you either enjoy it, or hate it. Zel is telling the story – sometimes a bit more than showing, maybe, which could be a bit disappointing – and she doesn’t handle things with kids’ gloves, at all. She’s telling you all she feels, how she thinks she can seem like a bitch, at times, how she judges some girl in the first few pages… Really, it’s both scary, and refreshing. Scary, because I thought I couldn’t love her, at all. But refreshing, because after a few pages, I started to enjoy this particular voice, that just told things as she felt them. Zel isn’t your usual teenager’s voice, which made the story different. Moreover, if she appears as a, well…as she says it herself, a bitch in the first few pages, she comes to evolve and we can see her grow from the first pages until the end. In that, I think we can say there was some interesting character development, compensating from the lack of plot.



As you can guess, what made the story here, were the relationships between the characters. Where Zel tries to deal with her past, and her first love, Prim, we get to know this girl through Zel’s eyes, which is really interesting, and where we can see feelings develop the most. With flashbacks, we’re told the story of Prim and Zel’s first meeting, their subway adventures, and Zel’s feelings slowly growing and changing for her best friend. Maybe it’s because we’re only seeing Prim through Zel’s eyes, but I had a hard time loving the character. She’s seen as this “perfect” girl, which can be understandable (we all tend to put first loves and people we love on a pedestal, up until the time they hurt us, especially when we are teenagers, I guess), but because of this, I had a hard time picturing Prim. She was this “perfect” girl in Zel’s mind, yet with her actions, she didn’t seem like a likeable character. Fortunately, by the end of the book, the author brought some more depth to Prim’s character, revealing some interesting things about her, which made me understand the whole story completely differently. For that, I was happy.



Here’s The Thing introduces us to a great crew of secondary characters, as well, unfortunately a bit unequal in their development. I absolutely fell in love with Stella’s character. She was this mysterious girl, and as we get to know her, her life, her thoughts and her struggles better, she came alive on page more than any other character in this story. Unfortunately, all characters weren’t given the same thoughts, I wish I’d got to know some of them more, especially Ashani, an interesting “know-it-all” character, but she wasn’t much more than that to the story.

I’d like to take a moment to appreciate the diversity of this story, and how the author dealt with it. Zel likes girls, but it’s not taken as a big deal. It’s completely part of the story, and there’s not a coming-out moment, or some kind of big struggles just because of this. There are still struggles about some characters sexuality in this book, but it didn’t feel forced, it didn’t feel like it was there just for the sake of it. It felt natural, and I loved it. If you ask me, that’s how all books should feel.


Here’s The Thing is a book that takes a bit of time to get into, if you ask me, but it’s worth to keep on going. Despite the slow plot, the character development and the flashbacks keep the story really interesting. If you’re into contemporary and are looking for a quick, sweet story that’ll end up leaving you with a smile on your face, then this is it.

Final rating:  3 drops!

Biggest thanks to NETGALLEY for providing me with a free digital copy of this book. This did not, in any way, influenced my opinion on this book.

Do you want to read Here’s The Thing? Why, or why not? Share your thoughts in comments!

Emily O’Beirne, Here’s The Thing,  Published by Ylva Publishing, October 19st 2016.


It’s only for a year. That’s what sixteen-year-old Zel keeps telling herself after moving to Sydney for her dad’s work. She’ll just wait it out until she gets back to New York and Prim, her epic crush/best friend, and the unfinished subway project. Even if Prim hasn’t spoken to her since that day on Coney Island.

But Zel soon finds life in Sydney won’t let her hide. There’s her art teacher, who keeps forcing her to dig deeper. There’s the band of sweet, strange misfits her cousin has forced her to join for a Drama project. And then there’s the curiosity that is the always-late Stella.

As she waits for Prim to explain her radio silence and she begins to forge new friendships, Zel feels strung between two worlds. Finally, she must figure out how to move on while leaving no one behind.

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16 thoughts on “Review: Here’s The Thing, Emily O’Beirne

    1. Ohh well I’m thrilled to hear you like the synopsis! I understand. I have to say, I didn’t find too much development to the side characters, but I guess that the main character’s development made me forget this a little bit. And if you love the diversity…well, I hope you’ll try and read it! 🙂 Thank you so much! 🙂

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  1. This book sounds like a hit or miss 🙂 It doesn’t sound like my kind of stories, but I understand why it’s a nice and easy story to try. Yay for diversity! Fab review Sweechie!

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  2. I love it when the MC’s voice is distinct! It was the same with Magonia actually and the only reason why I remained interested in the outcome of the story :). And there’s a lesbian love affair going on in this one; I’ve always wanted to try that! (read about it I mean 😉 ). Wonderful and honest review! If only I could get myself to try out some more contemporary books! 🙂

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    1. Thank you so, so much Anne, so happy you liked it! 🙂 I love the diversity of this story, and I have to admit I didn’t read much girl-girl romances book for now, but I really enjoyed reading that one, especially seeing it grow from friendship to more 🙂 I hope you’ll read it sometime! Contemporary is AWESOME 😀

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      1. I think it’s a lot more realistic to see things grow from friendship to more anyways. Or that’s how I imagine it would go, at least :D. Hahaha, I’ll try to read some more of them in 2017! 😉 I think you can probably learn a lot more from contemporary because the fiction is so much closer to our own little worlds :).

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  3. This sounds like an interesting book, though I guess it’s something that’s bound to have a few mixed reviews because it sounds like you either love it or don’t; there’s no real in between.
    I’ve read and loved character-driven stories before though just from reading your review I can see why you took a little while to warm up to Zel. Her character sounds unique in the world of YA and it sounds like she was well written as well, even if some of the secondary characters weren’t which is a little bit of a shame.
    Still, great review Marie! 😀

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  4. Great review AS ALWAYS! This book sounds like a book I’ll probably give a try, just because the plot sounds interesting but I’ll definitely be cautious on getting my expectations too high up! Its a shame you didn’t enjoy this book as much as you wanted to! The diversity sounds fantastic though and the way that the MC’s sexuality is dealt with sounds amazing because I agree! I think some books really don’t have to make it a big gigantic explosion and I too think that some books do that just for the sake of it. AMAZING review!

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    1. THANK YOU my forever crazy! ❤ I hope you'll try and love this book even more than I did. I guess given that I had a bit of a hard time loving the main character at first, I didn't love the book as much as I could have if I fell in love with her right at the beginning. Thank you!! ❤

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