Teen Fiction Pick: All You Never Wanted
Here's a review of a great upcoming YA book recommended by a member of Agincourt Branch's Youth Advisory Group:
by Adele Griffin. Reviewed by YAG member Danah:
Based on the front cover, the description, and the title of the book, I anticipated this novel to be a fairly typical story mainly suited for teenage girls, and to be similar from many books I've read before, yet I half expected a thrilling story with memorable characters, despite its cookie-cutter appearance. In both senses, I was correct.
The main outline of this story is what you would expect to see most teenagers reading- a tale that involves many issues regarding both romance and jealousy, as well as family issues and chasing dreams of popularity. It fulfilled all those main teenage-drama components, but surprised me with much more originality that kept me hooked!
There were different personal obstacles between both main characters -2 sisters- that I didn't expect to encounter while reading the story, including sickness and betrayal. The two sisters not only deal with their basic high school troubles, but you find out right away that there's some issues that are much more complex, despite all their family's money. While the younger sibling, Thea, strives towards a life much like her sister's filled with popularity and hot boyfriends; her older sister, Alex, must deal with feelings of torn love, and her own mental sickness that has made an impact on her physical well-being. Much is revealed at the beginning, but some parts of the story are written with hints of foreshadowing that always keeps you on your toes.
The ending was by far my favourite part of the whole novel. I was once again caught by surprise when I first expected a very lame happy ending, but only to discover a shocking and memorable closure to the book.
The novel is narrated by alternating the roles of the 2 sisters, which makes it much more interesting as you really get to travel deep into their own individual lives and minds in a shockingly short amount of the time. Both sisters play very relatable roles, as they battle through a highly anticipated weekend where Thea is sure to make her big popularity debut with a house party that put a huge dent in the sister's relationship. They both learn to rely and learn from each other, but continue to hide secrets from those they love.
Adele Griffin does a great job of making sure the readers don't miss a single thing in the story, as she describes so much in just the 3 days of the sister's lives.
Thanks for the awesome review, Danah!