All You Never Wanted
Publisher: Random House Books
Publication date: October 9, 2012
Genre: YA Fiction
Purchase*:Barnes and Noble/Amazon/Book Depository
With my eyes closed and Alex's core friends all around me,
it was like I'd become my big sister, or something just as good. And so who
cared if they were calling it Alex's party? One thing I knew: it would be
remembered as mine.~Thea
Alex has it all-brains, beauty, popularity, and
a dangerously hot boyfriend. Her little sister Thea wants it all, and she's
stepped up her game to get it. Even if it means spinning the truth to win the
attention she deserves. Even if it means uncovering a shocking secret her older
sister never wanted to share. Even if it means crying wolf. Told in the
alternating voices of Alex and Thea, Adele Griffin's mesmerizing new novel is
the story of a sibling rivalry on speed
All You Never Wanted takes you on a dark journey into sibling
jealous, a dysfunctional family. Griffin delivered
a unique disturbing contemporary unlike anything I have ever read. This tale takes you
on a journey dealing with the effects of instantly having money and emotional issues. It gives you a dark and sinister look at sibling rivalry. While I certainly became entangled in the tale,
it left me wanted more.
The tale takes place over the course of a few days and is
told from the perspectives of each sister. Thea is the youngest sibling and
parts of her personality could have been conceived by Stephen King himself. She
is a pathological liar and determined to finally outshine the shadow her older
sibling, Alex. Alex has had a melt down
and feels as if her life is spiraling out of control. She is living in a state
of severe anxiety. Thea is planning a party, spreading lies and secretly
coveting Jason who is Alex’s boyfriend. The tale that unfolds gives us unique insight into each sister and I found myself swept up in their tales.
Thea immediately captured my intention. She has this dual
personality, is a compulsive liar and you never knew what she was capable of
from one moment to the next. I began to question whether or not she was psychotic.
Let’s just say I would never turn my back on her. Alex on the other hand, I
felt sorry for. She definitely needs help and her absentee Mom and new
stepfather certainly didn’t win any of my love. We often see this theme of
absentee parents in YA to develop the story line. Here it’s quickly obvious
that this family is seriously dysfunctional. During the time period this takes
place Daddy Warbucks is at a big meeting out of town and Mom accompanies him
leaving Alex in charge. Alex!! Who sometimes is so anxiety ridden that she
cannot leave her room for days on end. GRR!
The world building was both engaging and frustrating for me. I was captivated by both sister’s and certainly could not stop reading. However things didn’t fit or fell flat for me. I certainly question the parents, and
school where Alex was concerned. While her problems were psychological they
manifested themselves in very physical ways. Thea seemed to waiver between being concerned
for Alex and being angry at her. The reasons for Alex’s breakdown when revealed
left me feeling like I missed something. Perhaps there were underlying problem but it wasn’t adequately revealed. Thea's perspective stole the show as far as
keeping me enthralled, I felt like I was in the mind of a future serial killer. An unexpected insta-love threw me for a loop as it seemed to come out of left field. While, the ending seemed to offer an escape
and a ray of hope for one sibling it left things open for the other. When I closed
the book, I was left feeling like I wanted more.
Do I recommend All She Never Wanted? Absolutely because despite all of the issues I
noted, this dark, disturbing tale engaged me and was so unique I think it’s
worth the read.
I want to thank Random House for providing this ARC in
exchange for my unbiased review. *Purchases made through buy links result in a
small commission which funds our giveaways.
I gave this novel 3 dark coffee cups out of 5.
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can receive a copy of All She Never Wanted.
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Labels: Adele Griffin, eBook Challenge 2012, Random House Children's, siblings, Things that Go bump in the Night, Young-adult fiction