The Theory of Everything

Just because everyone else thinks you should be over it, doesn’t mean you are.
  • Price:
  • ISBN: 9781561456239
  • Publication date: 10/01/2012
  • Page Count: 336
  • Size: 5-1/4" x 8"
  • Age Range: 12-16
  • Price:
  • ISBN: 9781561458899
  • Publication date: 10/01/2015
  • Page Count: 320
  • Size: 5-1/4" x 8"
  • Age Range: 12-16
  • Price:
  • Age Range: 12-16
  • Price:
  • ISBN: 9781561459322
  • Publication date: 12/03/2015
  • Page Count: N/A
  • Age Range: 12-16
  • Price:
  • Age Range: 12-16
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Just because everyone else thinks you should be over it, doesn’t mean you are.

Last year, Sarah’s best friend Jamie died in a freak accident. Back then, everyone was sad; now they’re ready for Sarah to get over it and move on. But Sarah’s not ready to move on. She can’t stop reliving what happened, struggling with guilt, questioning the meaning of life, and missing her best friend. Life just seems random: no pattern, no meaning, no rules—and no reason to bother.

In a last-ditch effort to pull it together, Sarah befriends Jamie’s twin brother Emmett, who may be the only other person who understands what she’s lost. And when she gets a job working for the local eccentric who owns a Christmas tree farm, she finally begins to understand the threads that connect us all, the benefit of giving people a chance, and the power of love.

Critically-acclaimed author J.J. Johnson gives readers a powerful look at the later stages of grief when the rest of the world has seemingly moved on.



J.J. Johnson


J.J. Johnson graduated from Binghamton University and worked an internship coordinator for programs such as The Learning Web and Youth Advocacy. She earned a Master of Education from Harvard University, with a concentration in Adolescent Risk and Prevention. Johnson lives in North Carolina.


“Readers will easily relate to Sarah’s use of cynicism as a defense mechanism―her sharp-witted voice sets the tone for a story that’s truly tragicomic.” ―Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“Sarah’s snappy yet pithy observations will appeal to teens working on their own theories about life.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“The doodle-illustrated pages with Sarah’s theories about everything…along with Sarah’s nearly constant snarkiness, make this a story with which most teens can identify, even if they have not lost a close friend.” ―School Library Journal


Best Children’s Books of the Year ―Bank Street College of Education, 2013

CCBC Choices (Fiction for Young Adults) ―Cooperative Children’s Book Center, 2013

Cybil Award (Finalist, Young Adult Fiction) ―Cybils, 2012

Society of School Librarians International Book Awards (Honor Book, Language Arts Grades 7-12) ―Society of School Librarians International, 2013

Core Collections Star Title, A (Middle and Junior High, Senior High) ―EBSCO Publishing, 2013

Kansas State Reading Circle Recommended Reading List (Starred, Senior High) ―Kansas National Education Association, 2013

North Carolina Author Awards (Nominee, AAUW Award for Juvenile Literature) –North Carolina Literary & Historical Association, 2013

Joan F. Kaywell Award (Finalist) ―Florida Council of Teachers of English, 2014

More Details

AR Level: 3.9
Lexile: HL560L
Themes: Connections, Friendship, Grief, Recovery
BISAC 1: YAF058050  YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Social Themes / Death & Dying
BISAC 2: YAF058110  YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Social Themes / Emotions & Feelings
BISAC 3: YAF011000  YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Coming of Age