All We Ever Wanted

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 27 Aug 2018

Member Reviews

All We Ever Wanted is the newest book by Emily Giffin. I typically look forward to Giffin's newest books each summer, as they're typically a nice light read while traveling or while sitting out getting some sun. This book, at first glance, had a lot more substance than her books typically do. That's good!

I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it! It was a fast read, told from multiple perspectives, that dealt with an important and timely topic for parents of teens.

My rating: 5 stars.

(to be posted 7/31/18)
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A poignant novel regarding the entitlement of teens and their parents in elite Nashville. When a picture of a female student passed out with her breast exposed and a racial slur is passed around, it sets off a chain events that impacts the whole society. Marriages, friendships are not what they seem and the college rape culture is addressed as well as sexism and racism. 

Copy provided by the Publisher and NetGalley
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This was a difficult book to read in some aspects. With the storyline of this book Emily weaves a compelling story told from 3 different points of view about an issue that unfortunately has become sort of commonplace in today's society. It is extremely well written and when you add in one of the viewpoints is a 16 year old girl, another her single parent father and the 3rd the mother of the boy accused of taking and distributing explicit photos of the girl, Emily has crafted an explosive story. My personal preferences generally veer to a "happier" story or a mystery, so while this won't go down as a favorite book for me, I did enjoy it. It did take me little longer to read because I had to take breaks from it but I am glad I stuck with it and finished.
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Unfortunately the subject matter of this book is not one we are comfortable with but Ms. Giffin handles it well. I liked the multiple viewing points that were presented but felt that it just skimmed past some things too quickly. I received a copy from NetGalley and the publisher and this is my honest opinion.
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3.5 out of 5. So this one was a bit of a let down for me. I really didn't like any of the main characters and the ending seemed a bit rushed to me. I really hope her next book will go back to being a bit more relaxed and the characters have a bit more romance adventures.
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A huge fan of Emily Giffin's work, I am certainly not surprised by the quality of her writing in this newest release, ALL WE EVER WANTED; the subject matter and story line were somewhat surprising, pleasantly, and I appreciate that Giffin has taken a step away from the territory of her previous novels and moved into a timely, relatable contribution that I think many, including new readers of her work, will enjoy. 

While I usually think of Giffin, now a hugely successful author, as part of the "elite" crowd, about which she writes in ALL WE EVER WANTED, I appreciate her ability to bring awareness to the difficult circumstances involved when a member of the non-elite crowd is forced to confront those who enjoy a different level of privilege after suffering a traumatic experience. Readers should note that the topics of sexual abuse and rape are included in this novel. 

There were some portions of the story line, and a few characters, that were challenging for me; I felt like the story was on point, but there was a little too much of the elite cattiness between parents and cheating spouses and I felt like it diminished the importance of the overall themes of the novel. If I'd known to expect more of a Real Housewives vibe, I might have been better prepared; nevertheless, I will always be an Emily Giffin fan and this is definitely a worthwhile read.
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Actual rating: 3.5 out of 5 

All We Ever Wanted is an emotional and powerful story. Middle-class Nina married Kirk Browning who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. But ever since Kirk sold his software company, Nina and Kirk went from comfortable to wealthy. The proud parents are ecstatic when their teenage son receives an acceptance letter to Princeton. But everything comes crashing down when Nina is told about a photo of a half naked girl, passed out at a party. A photo that had a racist caption. A photo that was taken by her son and shared with his friends. 
What would you do if your son committed a terrible crime? Would you lie or obstruct justice to protect him? Or have him confess and take responsibility for his actions?

Tom Volpe is a single dad, working multiple jobs just to get by. His daughter Lyla, earns a scholarship to Windsor Academy, Nashville’s most prestigious private school. Everything changes when he's called to pick up a drunken Lyla from a friend's house. It gets worse when he sees the damaging photo in question. He sets out for justice.

The story is told from three points of view: Nina, Tom, and Lyla. I had a hard time connecting with Lyla. Not victim blaming here but she wasn't as "pure" as made out to be. I liked the story but felt the ending was lacking.   

I will definitely read more from this author.

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine for a copy of Emily Giffin's "All We Ever Wanted" in exchange of an honest review.
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I’ve read all of Emily Giffin’s books since I was hooked on Somethig Borrowed, and I feel like All We Ever Wanted was one of her best. I really loved the different points of view, the “of the times” discussion on racial issues and sexual harassment particularly in the online world, and even social class among HS students. 

I’m really looking forward to reading more of Emily’s books. She’s keeps getting better! 

Thank you to Netgalley for an advanced reader copy.
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I really liked this book. The story told of rich and poor, people of color and people who are white, mixed up in a scandal that threatens to ruin more than the victim. Well written from the different character's point of view. The ending was a little too "happy" for my taste, but it was satisfactory. I would certainly recommend this book to anyone, but especially for book clubs. It has a lot of points to discuss.
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I'm giving All We Ever Wanted a 4/5 stars. I really didn't know what to expect going into this book, but I'm very glad that I read it. I loved reading the narrative of the story through the eyes of Lyla, Nina, and Tom. It was actually very interesting to see how each of them reacted differently to certain events. While I was reading this book, I was thinking about giving it a lower rating. The plot wasn't picking up much, and when it did, it seemed very obvious to me what was really going on. I don't want to spoil anything, so I will save you the details. But to me, it felt like the book was going against its overlying message for a while. But then it turned itself around. I am upset that justice was not properly served, and I felt like the ending wasn't enough to wrap this story up, which is why I deducted a star. Otherwise, this was a fantastic read. While it was not super powerful, it shows you good, honest, but still real people trying to navigate their way through a situation. I would recommend this book to everyone. Note that rape and suicide are mentioned, and I would probably place a trigger warning on the latter.
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I did not like this at all.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
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I have heard a lot of positive things about Emily Griffin novels but had never gotten around to reading one.  I was pleased to receive this ARC.  Nina Browning has it all; wealth, successful husband, popular son, Finch.  One poor decision at a teen party has her questioning her life and her choices and finds her on a divergent path from her husband.  

The victim of her son's poor decision is Lyla, a young girl being raised by her single father, Tom.  Lyla is probably my favorite character in this book.  She is fierce and strong, yet an incredibly vulnerable teen who crushes on the undeserving Finch.  

The story has some good twists which I enjoyed.  SPOILER:  My one criticism was the lack of consequences Finch faced and how unscathed he was in the epilogue.  His character as a teen, especially without any repercussions,  would not pave the way for the adult we get a glimpse of later.
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Even after reading the synopsis, this book was not the Emily Giffin I expected.... It was so much more. The subject matter is so relavent to what is, and has been, happening to far too many women, for far too long. Nina & Lyla are so strong & perfect together. I loved the connection they had, without even knowing everything about the other person. Kudos to Giffin for taking on such a topic & doing it gracefully.
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**3.5 Stars**

My feelings are pretty mixed on this book. Generally, I enjoyed it, but I feel like it was missing emotional heft and depth. The incident the story centers around is very serious and topical, and while I think Giffin does a decent job exploring the feelings of those involved, it just feels very superficial. Another reviewer described it as "high gloss, low payoff" and that's how I feel about it. It's a quick, effortless read that doesn't really say much about the people or topic it centers around.
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All We Ever Wanted is nothing like Emily Giffin's previous novels that I have read. It is raw and real and relateable for what teens today go through. It highlights the misuse of cell phones and texting and everything in between.  It shows how far many have come from knowing what is completely disrespectful and wrong to playing the blame game.  It speaks of bullying, suicide, lying and more.  Although this is not the novel I was expecting from Ms. Giffin, I was not disappointed. Nina puts up with so much as she tries to see the best in both Kirk (her husband) and Fince (her son).  Ultimately, she she knows deep in her heart that she needs to give the girl who got taken advantage of (Lyla) her support to make things right.  This book really brights to light the awareness of a situation gone so wrong, that presents evidence, but do it positions of power and flat out not wanting to deal with stuff, there are no consequences.  At the end, Finch gets away with everything he did to Lyla. Throughout the book, I wanted to believe that it was Polly who did the horrible things to Lyla and that maybe, since Nina was, or was trying to be, a good person, maybe her son really was too. After Polly's suicide attempt, that is when I knew for sure that Finch was at the bottom of everything. This book may trigger individuals who have experienced rape, suicide, texting/sexting scandals or more, just be aware. There is nothing overly graphic, but for some, just the topic can raise bad feelings.
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I received this book in exchange for a review, but all opinions are my own.
OK, so I am 9% through this book and I am already gasping and as it is the day before July 4th, I am already plotting how many times I can sneak away from my guests to read this book without getting caught. Otherwise, I am gonna be super tired because I will stay up all night reading. So this book has so much going on, so many twists and turns. It begins with parents going to a charity event, then the story unfolds with unforeseen things.. So many issues are addressed in this book, entitlement, middle class trying to stay afloat, minorities, and more. After reading this book, I am not sure I am going to be able to make it through the teen years with my kids. There are so many more things to consider today with social media and how things can be seen. The plot is based on a drunken underage photo that was taken and distributed of a private school girl on scholarship. Meetings are held and moves are made to protect those involved. There is just so much that happens in this book that I found myself frantically turning the pages. This is a great book for the beach, vacation or even just to read in your downtime, but be prepared not to be able to put it down.
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Giffin usually turns out decent "chick lit." Not this time. Melodramatic, loose ends, throw away characters. Disappointed.
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Debbie Krenzer
Debbie Krenzer's Reviews > All We Ever Wanted
All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin
All We Ever Wanted 
by Emily Giffin (Goodreads Author)  
Debbie Krenzer's review Jul 16, 2018  ·  edit
really liked it
bookshelves: ebooks, net-galley-books 


I wish I could say that I sped through this book. However, all I can say is that I wanted to speed through this book. I didn't want to put it down.

I was mesmerized with this story. And it was driving me crazy trying to decide who was telling the truth.

I went back and forth on what was the real truth so much in this book, that my mind probably looked like it was following a tennis match.

This was the second book that I've read lately that dealt with teenagers, alcohol at a party and pictures being taken and displayed on social media. I am still not sure what I would do in this case. I am really glad that I didn't have to deal with this issue!

I really enjoyed this book, however, and was certainly glad that I got a chance to read and review.

Thanks to Random House Ballantine and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
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Emily Giffin novels are among my favorites and I was really excited to read this one! I was quickly reminded why I love her books with the story jumping right in and the writing flowing so effortlessly. I was slightly surprised by the controversial topic but thought it was very relevant in today’s climate and loved the thought provoking perspectives with strong female characters. I would highly recommend this book! When does her next one come out!!!!
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I absolutely adore Emily Giffin’s books, and All We Ever Wanted was no different. This is definitely my new favorite of hers! While this book could easily fall into the Chick Lit category like her other books, I think All We Ever Wanted could easily touch more people. The message is clear and important, and the characters are complex, making it that much more vital to be able to see inside their heads. While at first I wasn’t a huge fan of Nina, I grew to connect with her and wished to know more of what she encountered after the book’s ending. As always, Giffin’s book left me wanting a sequel or a movie adaptation. I couldn’t put it down! Thank you, NetGalley, for the ARC!
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