“Who was the person you trusted enough to be your most transparent self with, in both good times and bad?”
Welcome back my loves! Today’s review is going to be about one of the most interesting books I’ve read so far this year, All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin.
So I actually ordered this book whilst sitting at an outside table at the Port Orleans French Quarter this summer, beignet in hand, trying to decide which three (yes, three) books to order from Indigo. It was the worst decision I’ve ever had to make because a) I’m already indecisive enough and b) the five or so books I wanted were all so so interesting and I couldn’t bear to part with even one. But this one really stuck out at me. Like, something told me I needed to read this book straight away after reading the synopsis. So I immediately placed my order and had my books sent to Mississauga, where my boyfriend’s parents (the god sends that they are) held them for me until I came home from the summer.
All We Ever Wanted is split into four narratives: Lyla, her father Tom, Finch, and his mother Nina. The two pairs couldn’t be more opposite. Lyla and Tom come from the “other side of the tracks”, a poor area of Nashville where Tom works multiple jobs; Nina and Finch come from Nashville’s elite, where Nina’s husband has recently sold his tech business and the family is living luxuriously. The only thing these families have in common is the private high school Lyla and Finch attend. Until a party one night results in a provocative photo of Lyla being leaked which links the two families forever.
This book was wild from start to finish y’all. I really had a hard time putting it down. It’s intense, but not in a suspenseful, action-packed way. I think that most importantly, it really speaks to my generation. With social media so prominent in our current society, things can get really messy which I’ve witnessed firsthand being in high school just a few years ago, when social media was really reaching it’s peak. Social media is great in that it links our world together and creates a real opportunity for mass communication and social change, imo. But it can also be a total nightmare if it’s used for the wrong thing. I think that this book really shows the dangerous side of social media, sort of as a cautionary tale to parents and even teens (are teens reading Emily Giffin? I was in high school, but idk).
I thought that the characters of Lyla and Finch were really well-represented as modern teenagers. Every time I read novels by authors long out of high school, I really keep an eye out for how the teenagers are portrayed because I think that sometimes authors are out of touch with modern teenagers. In All We Ever Wanted, this wasn’t the case at all. I could definitely see Lyla and Finch being teenagers at my old high school. Having authentic characters really enhances the reading experience for me. Idk if it bothers anyone else having unrealistic teen characters?? Is it just a me problem? Who knows.
Honestly, just read this book. You won’t regret it. It was so gripping and it also dealt with a ton of intense problems outside of just the social media issue that I think make the novel that much more important of a read (but I won’t say them here bc spoilers!). Definitely pick this up at your bookstore. Like, now. Go now :)
Have you read All We Ever Wanted yet? If you have, did you like it?
Goodreads Challenge: 29 out of 50