All We Ever Wanted

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 27 Aug 2018

Member Reviews

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

It took me a long time to get to this one, as I read the blurb and winced at the subject matter, imagining a pretty stressful read. I wasn't all wrong; it wasn't a particularly pleasurable read since I could only too well imagine some version of the broad outlines of the story happening in real life, and the result wouldn't exactly be pretty. But at the same time, I appreciated that the author tried to take a slightly different angle on a story that feels a bit "ripped from the headlines." If you like Jodi Picault, then you'll probably really like this book - and I know many people absolutely derive a lot of reading pleasure from those type of novels. 

I guess my main objection to this one wasn't anything to do with the writing style (which is fine if nothing special) or even the plot itself. It's the underlying assumption, running through the book, that these sort of things happening are kind of just an inevitable part of life. I won't say which things, as I don't want to spoil the plot, but that assumption - that what happens here is some sort of common feature of being young, of gender relations, or of racial clashes (for want of a better term) - well that just seems like lunacy to me, and not at all real.
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I really liked this book. I liked the item that there were discussions about consequences of actions. I loved the connection between Nina and Lyla. I would highly recommend it, especially in the age of social media!
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All I Ever Wanted follows two families from different sides of town after their children are involved in a scandalous social media moment. Although the topic was relevant, I had a hard time getting through the dialog at times, but I really enjoyed the family dynamics. Nina and Lyla’s perspectives were some of my favorite and I think Emily Giffin did a great job of balancing respectability politics with a person’s inner conflict and you can tell she put a lot of thought into it.
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This novel is definitely a different turn for Emily Giffin. It's one of those novels that makes one imagine how one would handle things as a parent. I found it compulsively readable. There was a point in the middle where I said wait, "no way" could I ever imagine reacting as any of the characters in this novel. Fortunately, I found the ending very satisfying despite that.
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I don't even know where to start with my review of this book.  The writing was good, the characters were well developed, but the story line was very emotionally upsetting.  It's not the author's just was a little too real and made me angry that people would treat others in this way.  I won't get into the details because i don't rehash the story line of books in my reviews or ruin the review with spoilers.

Essentially, the relationships with the characters; the manipulations, racism, sense of entitlement, abuse of wealth, etc., and the lack of certain characters' responsibility for their actions was difficult to swallow.  I know it exists in today's society, but I struggled with the emotional and physical pain that were experienced.

Emily Giffin does a great job of drawing you into the lives of the characters.  She has you thinking things are one way, but then twists it around so that you think they are going to end up another way, but then...are you right?  I love when an author keeps me guessing.

Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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This book dealt with very current topics in a thoughtful and real way showing many different perspectives that made you empathize with each character’s choices. As a longtime Emily Giffin reader, it was interesting to see her take on a more serious topic thar still maintains that “need to know what happens next” quality that always has me finishing her books in one day.
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Fantastic book! On my short list for my next b&n purchase. Emily giffin was one of the two authors that got me back into reading after a hiatus that lasted a few years. Because of this I always look forward to her books knowing how she imbues important themes into an overall light read.
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While I enjoyed this novel, I must say it was not the usual novel by Emily Giffin.  If you are expecting a romance, skip this one.

This novel tells the story of Nina, a mom in an elite social circle, Tom, a single dad, his daughter, Lyla, and a photo gone viral.  Throughout the novel, themes of the #metoo movement are present and the bonds between parent and child are tested in both families.  Overall, I found Tom to be the only character that grew and the ending left something to be desired.
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I read every new Emily Giffin novel I can get my hands on. All We Ever Wanted was no exception.  Although I feel the story is relevant and important in our times and with so many movements, it didn't quite hit the mark for me. However, I still give it 4 stars and would recommend it to a variety of readers.
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I tore through this, as I have with most of Emily Giffin's books. This one felt a little deeper... the moral dilemma was more ripped from the headlines than I think she typically writes and very topical. You could really feel your position on the situation at hand shifting as the narration shifted to each character who gave you their take on the story as the plot went on. 

I received an advanced ebook copy of this from NetGalley.
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In All We Ever Wanted, Giffin veers from her usual heart-string tugging turf into more controversial territory. Current events. Teenagers. The question of consent. What makes one a predator - or not. 
While the subject matter was explosive, I found the writing to be a tad dry compared to Giffin's usual fare. That is not to say this book was not captivating - I was beholden to read it from cover to cover in less than one day. I prefer, however, to leave these things to others - Jodi Picoult, say - and to allow Giffin to return to her roots, to tugging above mentioned heart strings once again. 
But then, I'm not one to take change easily. She might surprise me with this change of heart - stranger things have happened...
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Emily Giffin's All We Ever Wanted is a must read. As with her other novels, she creates such compelling character depth. The story centers around Nina Browning, a wealthy mother who's son has just been accepted to Princeton. Everything in her life is picture perfect until her son gets sucked into a scandal that rocks their small town. Layla is the daughter of Tom Volpe, a single dad struggling to make ends meet. A racy photo of Layla taken a party begins to circulate around their school and blame thrown around a group of popular privileged boys at the school, including Nina's son. This thought provoking book makes you question family bonds, social issues, and the extent at which you are willing to go to protect your children. You will not be able to put this down!
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This thrilling book brings light to wealth, privilege, and what it means to truly be happy. A time comes when three people from three different walks of life have to make a decision. Will they go their closely held beliefs or will they bend there will and side with family. Highly recommended for anyone participating in a book discussion or looking for a page turner
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Again gave my review here and all the other sites too! I also gave publisher direct links! Just so you know this was a great book!
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LOVED THIS BOOK! As a mother to a young son I could definitely connect to the story on a more personal level. This is by far my favorite book out of all Emily’s books so far
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I very much liked this book and the different narrators.  Each of theor stories and perspectives had appeal and made sense.  I was not a fan of Finch, but I suppose that was the point.  This was my first Emily Griffin book and I am looking forwards to reading more of her books.
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All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin is a book based on current headlines. White privilege. Racial discrimination. Economic Disparity. Immigration. The #metoo movement Some of this book goes in the expected direction; characters and actions stay true to the stereotypes being drawn. However, what I appreciate the most is that the book does not end in a neat package. The ending adds more depth to the point being made by the entire story. It leaves me with a lot to think about. 

Read my complete review at 

Reviewed for NetGalley.
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Nina, the main character in All We Ever Wanted, hails from Bristol, TN.  How I enjoyed reading about familiar places in both Bristol and Nashville.  That always makes me happy!  It also lent an air of authenticity and realism to the story.

The story switches between three characters.  Nina, Tom, and Lyla all give their viewpoints of the heated situation, which involves a sticky blend of underage drinking, prejudice, affluenza, and sexual victimization.  Although I definitely felt sorry for Lyla, I didn’t think she was completely without blame.  No matter what, though, I couldn’t help thinking, “What if that were my daughter?  What if that were my son?  What if that were my husband?”  There’s a huge message about parenting and living the life you teach/teaching the life you live.

It took me a long time to finish this book.  I enjoyed it very much, but it wasn’t a page-turner that made me want to stay up all night.  I did want to find out what happened to the characters.  There was so much back-and-forth gossip between parents, kids, and everyone in between.  I would have been okay with skipping to the final chapters just to find out how it ended.  Though I would definitely read another Emily Giffin novel, I prefer the lighthearted kind that doesn’t seem so much like a problem I’d see in real life.  Sometimes I’m okay with living in a fairy tale world.
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I freaking love Emily Giffin. I follow her on Instagram and every day watch her stories and posts about her daily life with her 3 hilarious kids (Harriett is my spirit animal), her dog Dolly (she and my puppy Bowser would be best friends) and her GORGEOUS house that I aspire mine to look like during the holidays (her Christmas decorations are everything). I’ve loved her books since I was in high school – one Christmas I had three different people give me a copy of Something Blue since I talked about the prequel basically 24/7.

So when I got the email from NetGalley that I was approved for an ARC of All We Ever Wanted, I had a major fangirl moment. I danced around the house singing to my husband and dog, I called my mom and grandma and I even talked about it during a meeting at work.

And now that I’m finished reading, was it worth the hype and anticipation I built up? Absolutely.

The chapters switched between Nina, Tom and Lyla’s point of view, helping me so fully identify and sympathize with all three characters. I always love first person point-of-view – and in this case, multiple people’s POV is even better.

Nina married rich and is beautiful, classy and elegant. Her beloved only son just got into Princeton, her husband made millions (if not more) selling his tech company. So this should be the happiest time of her life. Nina was definitely my favorite character – she is strong-willed and truly believes in justice.

Tom is a single dad working two jobs to make ends meet – he’s a carpenter and an Uber driver. He’s so different from all the other parents at the school who live in mansions and drive fancy cars. All he wants it to do well by his daughter Lyla.

Lyla. Oh, Lyla. The fact that she’s half Brazilian made me love her immediately (I’m full Brazilian). AND her mom is from Rio (HELLO so am I). She, like her dad, is different from everyone at the school. She doesn’t have the trust fund, and her dad is super strict.

I love that I had no idea where the book was going – I was so hopelessly gullible that I believed in every character and every accusation. I didn’t see any twist or turn coming, which is often rare in chick lit. And when I finished, my heart was so full from the story and so empty from knowing it’s over.

I’m pretty sure Emily Giffin is going on a book tour soon. Even though I already own a digital version, I am totally going to buy the hard cover to get her autograph when I meet her – THAT’S how much I loved this book.

Thank you to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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First, my apologies as I should have sent this a lot sooner and just realized that a number of titles I had marked as not reading were not also cleared off of my NetGalley page.

In this case, I was not able to connect with the storyline or the characters.  I was surprised by this, as Something Borrowed is one of my all time favorite books, so I thought this would be another one I loved.

As always, I appreciate the opportunity to read and review and I look forward to the next title.

Thank you,
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