Friday, November 16, 2012

All You Never Wanted by Adele Griffin - A Review

All You Never Wanted is a realistic fiction novel about two sisters who find themselves suddenly rich after their mom marries a very wealthy man.  Arthur is a very sweet guy who tries to be a good dad to the sisters but really doesn’t know what he’s doing.  He buys the eldest sister, Alex, an internship with a fashion company because she mentions it one day at dinner.  It ends up being a nightmare for Alex.  The people there do not like her because they think she’s a little rich girl who had her way bought into the internship when someone much more deserving could have gotten it.  In some ways they are right, but Alex didn’t ask for it.  She is treated very badly and has a mental breakdown because of it.   She stops eating and barely leaves the house.  She gets ‘stuck’ in places and has to have either her sister or boyfriend come and help her get out of them.  She believes all the venom that the person in charge of the internship threw at her and feels that she is worthless and undeserving of what she has.  Alex is a senior in high school and was doing extremely well in school until this happened.  Her little sister, Thea is a junior in high school and after getting the money, has reinvented herself.  She has become someone she really isn’t so that she can fit into the ‘in’ crowd.  She changes everything about herself so much that she has an alter-ego named Gia that she pretends to be, asking herself in certain situations what Gia would do.  She makes up vicious lies about anyone and anything she thinks will raise her status at school.  Parts of the book are confusing because the reader will be reading along and then realize that Thea is actually making up a story in her mind.  This does help with the plot; however it also disrupts the flow of the novel.  Thea is trying to become the old Alex, she tries to steal Alex’s best friends, and boyfriend by trying to step into Alex’s place in their lives while Alex is not there or is sick.  This causes even more problems for both sisters.

All You Never Wanted was very sad to me.  Both sisters had so much going for them before the marriage to their step-dad.  Their mother wasn’t around very much after the marriage so that could be part of the problem, she seemed to be drifting away from the girls and they really needed someone to talk to.  I also did not like the ending.  I felt like Alex abandoned Thea, although in some ways it needed to happen so that Thea would see her mistakes.  Thea really needed someone to talk to and since Alex left her, there is no one. The characters were very well thought out and that made it even sadder when things went belly up for the sisters.    All You Never Wanted was well written and a good read for those who like drama and realistic life stories.  I’m not really one of those people.  I have friends who would adore this book though so it really depends on what you like.  I can’t give it more than 3 stars myself.   I will be ordering it for my library for those who do like this kind of story.

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