Dazzling and wholly original . . . [written] with such mordant wit, insight, and specificity, it feels like watching a new literary star being born in real time
Beautifully written, lusciously felt, and marvellously envisioned. Resplendent with intelligence, wit, and feeling
A wholly original exploration of queer friendship and the demanding, incredible realities of communal living, Sarah Thankam Mathews convinces the reader that yes, maybe all this could be different after all
Sarah Thankam Mathews' prose is undeniable and hyper attuned to the terrible privacy of the mind. In All This Could Be Different, she captures the sneaky, unsayable parts of longing and writes sharply about the long shadow of family
All This Could Be Different is an extraordinary novel, spiny and delicate, scathingly funny and wildly moving. Sarah Thankam Mathews is a brilliant writer, one whose every ringing sentence holds both bite and heart.
One of the buzziest, most human novels of the year . . . breathless, dizzying, and completely beautiful
[A] dazzling debut . . . There is so much here to chew on: economic and food insecurity, tenants' rights, coming into one's own, queer romance, immigration, and the vitality of friendship. All This Could Be Different is an epic and beautiful first novel from a writer to watch
Engrossing . . . a moving immigrant's story and a heartfelt queer love story that tackles socioeconomic issues with nuance . . . its themes are universally relatable at any age
A beautiful, authentic rendition of the brown queer experience and immigrant dynamics, All This Could Be Different is a love letter to these communities.
[A] novel so good I was torn by the incompatible desires to never set it down and never finish it . . . [Mathews'] skillful alternating between lush imagery and straightforward, plain language makes All This Could Be Different pulsate . . . it is perhaps the greatest depiction of what chosen family really means without ever explicitly using those words
Mathews has a big heart and a sharp tongue . . . [and] a wonderful eye for the things that make friendship and community just as valuable as romance
Sarah Thankam Mathews' All This Could Be Different is an exquisite debut. Mathews' is a completely original voice that is, by turns, fierce, witty, musical, poignant, and, yes, deeply sexy. Simultaneously a tender portrait of chosen family, a stunningly rendered queer romance, and a keen reflection on work in a monstrous economy, this novel also thrums with a persistent, private hope for another, better world. It is the kind of book one should read not only to be entertained or impressed, but also to feel less alone
Some books are merely luminous-this one is iridescent: with joy and pain, isolation and communion, solemnity and irreverent humour. Even the title has twin meanings. All This Could Be Different is a sorrowing observation of our contemporary precarity, but 'All this could be different' is equally - and ultimately - a declaration, an electrifying act of resistance
Battle cry and love song both, All This Could Be Different is an ode - tender, sexy, and smart - to coming of age in turbulent times. As Sneha navigates the hilarious and deadly serious work of being a good friend, lover, daughter, immigrant, adult, queer woman, and worker under late stage capitalism, what emerges is a portrait of a woman determined to live her life to its brim - no matter what. Sarah Thankam Mathews writes like a blaze, and this book will remind you what it is to be young and powerfully alive
A story of dreaming against the odds. The novel thrums with a hope for a better world, free of capitalism, racism, sexism and homophobia. The book perfectly illustrates the many ways life tears us down, and our friends build us back up. Delicate, moving, hilariously realistic
Radiant . . . Mathews' writing is daring, sharp, and authoritative. She's a master in building rich characters that are imperfect and complicated, charismatic and lovable. At times, the prose felt luxurious and welcoming in the way that the scent of your favourite candle might slowly fill up an ever-expanding room
Sneha's equally vulnerable and cutting narration of new friendships, new romances, and generally figuring it out captures the queer, immigrant experience unlike any other.
Sharply observed and deeply empathetic, All This Could Be Different is a gorgeous story of dreaming and daring against the odds. I loved these flawed, funny friends and I rooted for them, and as I raced toward the end I felt an ache in my chest, missing them already
What fuels All This Could Be Different is love, a force Mathews portrays not as a panacea . . . but as an instrument of change
A darkly witty and finely wrought exploration of the struggle to embrace one's identity, this debut also illuminates the hardships of immigrant life, the elusiveness of lasting romantic love - and ultimately the joy and belonging that can come from a 'family' of friends