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All You Never Wanted
by Adele Griffin
PUBL. RECOMMENDED AGE: 14 and up
PUBLISHER: Knopf Books for Young Readers
YEAR PUBLISHED: 2012
NO. PAGES: 240
GENRE{S}: Realistic Fiction
MAIN CHARACTER GENDER: Female
ISBN: 0375870822
READ & REVIEWED BY: Eden - StorySnoop


The Story
All You Never Wanted—Book Review

Seventeen-year-old Alex Parrott has always been beautiful, charming, and popular. And thanks to her ultra-rich step-dad, there's nothing she can't have. If only she wanted any of it. Her sixteen-year-old sister Thea pales in comparison socially, though she has always been "the smart sister." With their parents out of town for the weekend, the girls are planning the epic party of the year, where Thea is hoping the balance of power between her and her sister will finally shift. To Thea, no amount of lying, cheating or trash-talking is too much to get what she wants, which happens to be everything her sister has, including her boyfriend Joshua. If Thea gets what she wants, it may cost her the only thing that really matters to her.
The Scoop
All You Never Wanted—Book Review
{spoiler alert}

All You Never Wanted is a thoroughly engrossing cautionary tale about sisterhood, jealousy, class conflict, and family loyalty, told in the alternating points of view of both sisters. Alex is a socially adept popular girl, who has the boyfriend of sister Thea's dreams. Thea has made a conscious decision to ditch her smart, good girl image in favor of doing whatever it takes to not only be as popular as her sister, but also to steal the attention of Joshua. The irony of course is that Alex's life is not all that it seems. Her relationship is on the rocks and she suffers from paralyzing anxiety and a severe eating disorder as a result of a traumatic experience. Several friends assume anorexia or bulimia, but her failure to eat is based on her fear of losing control of bodily functions. Thea's cringe-worthy whopper lies and social neediness are hard to root for, but the reader will hope against hope for the survival of her conflicted relationship with her sister (jealousy on the one hand, but a sense of loyalty, safety, and security that only Alex can give her on the other). Alex is an imperfect character who does make positive strides towards healing herself, with the assistance of a co-worker who opens her eyes to healthy relationships. The party which is being planned over the course of the book is indeed huge and destructive and drinking and pot-dealing are referenced, though none are particularly emphasized. Language isn't overly frequent (b-tch, sh-t) and there are sexual references. This would be an excellent choice for a teen girls book club, as it is bursting with discussion material: classicism, sibling relationships, ethical behavior, loyalty, body image, self esteem and more. Though the plot line may sound fluffy, this is a meaty read that will draw readers in from the get-go.
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