All We Ever Wanted
In the riveting new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of First Comes Love and Something Borrowed, three very different people must choose between their family and their values.Nina Browning is living the good life after marrying into Nashville’s elite. More recently, her husband made a fortune selling his tech business, and their adored son has been accepted to Princeton. Yet sometimes the middle-class small-town girl in Nina wonders if she’s strayed from the person she once was.Tom Volpe is a single dad working multiple jobs while struggling to raise his headstrong daughter, Lyla. His road has been lonely, long, and hard, but he finally starts to relax after Lyla earns a scholarship to Windsor Academy, Nashville’s most prestigious private school.Amid so much wealth and privilege, Lyla doesn’t always fit in—and her overprotective father doesn’t help—but in most ways, she’s a typical teenage girl, happy and thriving.Then, one photograph, snapped in a drunken moment at a party, changes everything. As the image spreads like wildfire, the Windsor community is instantly polarized, buzzing with controversy and assigning blame.At the heart of the lies and scandal, Tom, Nina, and Lyla are forced together—all questioning their closest relationships, asking themselves who they really are, and searching for the courage to live a life of true meaning.

All We Ever Wanted Details

TitleAll We Ever Wanted
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 26th, 2018
PublisherBallantine Books
Rating
GenreFiction, Womens Fiction, Chick Lit, Contemporary, Adult Fiction

All We Ever Wanted Review

  • Deanna
    January 1, 1970
    My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr... “All We Ever Wanted” was my first read from Emily Giffin and I loved it!Life is good for the Browning family. Nina Browning’s husband Kirk sold his software company at the right time and they went from comfortable to very wealthy in a very short period of time. Nina doesn’t like to flaunt how wealthy they are, but her husband is a different story. Nina is trying to keep their eighteen-year-old son, Finch from becoming enti My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr... “All We Ever Wanted” was my first read from Emily Giffin and I loved it!Life is good for the Browning family. Nina Browning’s husband Kirk sold his software company at the right time and they went from comfortable to very wealthy in a very short period of time. Nina doesn’t like to flaunt how wealthy they are, but her husband is a different story. Nina is trying to keep their eighteen-year-old son, Finch from becoming entitled though she admits they don’t say no to him often enough.They just found out that Finch has been accepted to Princeton and the family is thrilled.The book opens on a typical Saturday night…well typical for the Browning family. They are attending their fifth gala of the year. This gala is about suicide awareness and prevention and they are being honoured for their contributions.Lately Nina has been feeling like something is off in her marriage. She wonders if it’s money coming between them or something else. As she listens to her husband giving a speech about the horrors of losing someone to suicide, Nina thinks about Finch and all of the opportunities he has ahead of him. Time has gone by so fast. He used to tell her everything and now she’s lucky if she gets a few words out of him. She really can’t believe that he will be off to college in the fall.What Nina doesn’t know is that right at that moment their son is across town making the worst decision of his life.Tom Volpe is a single father who works multiple jobs in order to support his daughter, Lyla. Tom is extremely proud of his daughter. She is very smart which is how she ended up at Windsor Academy. The school is intense academically as well as socially. But so far Lyla seems to have adjusted well. As she heads out Saturday evening, she promises her father that she won’t be out late – he tries not to worry. However, later that evening Tom senses that something is wrong with Lyla. Sure enough, a few minutes later his phone rings…The story is told from the perspectives of Nina, Tom, and Lyla which really helped the story flow nicely. I liked hearing from both parents as well as Lyla.As parents, our first instinct is to protect our children from everything. But are there times where we can’t (and maybe shouldn’t) step in and fix everything? What is the difference between privilege and entitlement? It’s hard when your child makes a mistake….to know when to help them and when to step back. It can be so difficult to let our children suffer the consequences of their actions.Emily Giffin sure knows how to tell an engrossing and entertaining story with relatable and perfectly imperfect characters. I thought this was a well-written and thought-provoking novel that deals with important and relevant issues. I liked how everything came together and especially loved the epilogue.“ All We Ever Wanted ” was a very powerful and touching read that I’ll be thinking about for quite some time. I’m really looking forward to reading more from this very talented author.I'd like to thank Ballantine Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    *3.5 stars*With her ninth novel, Emily Giffin takes an ambitious step away from her traditional love story narratives and attempts to tackle relevant topics surrounding social media, privilege, racism and self-worth. Things that feel all too timely with the dominance of social media and the #metoo movement. I’m just not so sure it all worked.Despite the staggering number of issues Giffin sets out to address with this plot, there’s a lack of emotionality, leaving the reader to flail in the shallo *3.5 stars*With her ninth novel, Emily Giffin takes an ambitious step away from her traditional love story narratives and attempts to tackle relevant topics surrounding social media, privilege, racism and self-worth. Things that feel all too timely with the dominance of social media and the #metoo movement. I’m just not so sure it all worked.Despite the staggering number of issues Giffin sets out to address with this plot, there’s a lack of emotionality, leaving the reader to flail in the shallow end of the pool. Entertaining for sure, yet all too forgettable, in the grand scheme of things. I think by now we’ve all read some version of this story or at least seen a Dateline special (have I mentioned, I’m a junkie?)—a sexually explicit photo of a drunken scholarship girl, taken by the uber-popular rich guy, and captioned with a racist “joke", goes viral. The question becomes, what really happened that night and who’s responsible?It takes the rumor mill—gossip perpetuated by one of her biggest rivals—to snap Nina Browning into reality. Maybe buying her son, Finch, a brand new G-Wagon, allowing him to drink without repercussion and footing the bill for everything his heart has ever desired has made him feel entitled? Untouchable. Privileged. You think? Compounding her regret is her husband’s own pompous attitude.In stereotypical fashion, Nina’s husband and Finch’s father is convinced throwing money at the problem will simply make things disappear. They have plenty of it, being one of Nashville’s elite, so what’s the harm? Why hold your son accountable when it might jeopardize his acceptance to Princeton or tarnish your own standing in the community? Gag.The major obstacle to just moving on—Lyla’s dad. The typical overprotective father, with a host of his own issues and insecurities surrounding money, is adamant. He’s taking a stance (although, he wavers at the most unexpected times)—his daughter’s self-worth is too important to just let the incident fade into the ether.Lyla earns the spotlight here, being the naive teenage girl, too in love with her crush to do anything other than brush away his major error in judgement. With time and wisdom, she'll learn.There are a host of other issues packed within these pages—relationship baggage, infidelity, dishonesty, date rape, divorce . . . it’s a bit much. While the ending is a little unexpected, it still feels deflating somehow. I can’t help but to think, if Giffin would have honed in on a few key issues, instead of trying to color with every crayon in the box, the big picture might have been more impactful. While I would consider this an enjoyable experience—for the most part—it’s not one I’m earmarking as a favorite of Emily Giffin’s.**Thank you to Ballantine Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.**
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  • Theresa Alan
    January 1, 1970
    This is a truly powerful, wonderful novel. It’s been many years since I’ve read an Emily Giffin novel, but I enjoyed those books and was excited to read this one. My previous experience with her work did not prepare me for the complex, layered, serious manner of this excellent book. For most of the first chapter, I thought this was going to be a book about a couple that went from well-off to obscenely wealthy having marital woes. Boo hoo. But when I learned what it was really about, it took a da This is a truly powerful, wonderful novel. It’s been many years since I’ve read an Emily Giffin novel, but I enjoyed those books and was excited to read this one. My previous experience with her work did not prepare me for the complex, layered, serious manner of this excellent book. For most of the first chapter, I thought this was going to be a book about a couple that went from well-off to obscenely wealthy having marital woes. Boo hoo. But when I learned what it was really about, it took a dark turn.It was important that the story was told from multiple points of view of the mother of the boy accused of taking the comprising photograph of a passed-out girl at a party, the father of the girl, and Lyla herself because you can’t quite figure out who is telling the truth about that night. Also, it’s about the way teenagers don’t want to disappoint their parents, and parents want to do their best for their kids.There were pleasing twists in the story, and I cried my guts out at the end. Highly recommend.Thanks so much to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for the opportunity to review this book, which RELEASES JUNE 26, 2018.For more of my reviews, please visit http://www.theresaalan.net/blog
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  • Lola
    January 1, 1970
    This is not literature for birds (chick lit) or women’s fiction.This is everyone’s fiction. Because this kind of story should be directed towards every adult, regardless of gender, color, class, etc.This is not a love story. It is both heart-breaking and heart-mending. You will be frustrated half of the time, cry at unexpected moments, and smile rarely.This is not a happy tale, but it is an important and empowering one. Although there have been stories about abuse (of power, physical and emotion This is not literature for birds (chick lit) or women’s fiction.This is everyone’s fiction. Because this kind of story should be directed towards every adult, regardless of gender, color, class, etc.This is not a love story. It is both heart-breaking and heart-mending. You will be frustrated half of the time, cry at unexpected moments, and smile rarely.This is not a happy tale, but it is an important and empowering one. Although there have been stories about abuse (of power, physical and emotional…) published in the past, the way this life-altering scandal is dealt with is different.It’s told from three distinct points of view, all in the first person singular. A mother, a father, and a daughter. Only the father and daughter are related, the mother being the parent of the boy who caused the scandal, but they connect to one another in various ways.It’s filled with manipulatory behaviour – so much that it will mess with your head and what you believe is true – and characters behaving atrociously. There is lying, cheating, neglecting, and such bad role models. Definitely not an easy book to read. Unfortunately, I predict many will pick this up expecting it to yes deal with serious issues, but also be dramatic in an entertaining way – because of this author’s previously published books. I assure you that will not happen. It’s a compelling story, because you’ll want – no, need – to know the fate of the characters, but rarely was I able to crack a smile. Did I even?I hope this will truly empower people to speak out about abuse and help others grow into decent citizens of the world. Blog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | Bloglovin’
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  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    January 1, 1970
    4 timely stars to All We Ever Wanted! ⭐⭐⭐⭐When Emily Giffin releases a new book, it’s a big deal, and I think All We Ever Wanted is her best book yet! That said, All We Ever Wanted gets off to a rocky start. The first chapter is narrated by Nina who escaped her middle class roots to live amongst Nashville’s wealthiest. I was worried over-the-top grandeur would take center stage in this book, but it did not. Nina’s son, Finch (no offense to any Finches of the world, but that name made me giggle a 4 timely stars to All We Ever Wanted! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️When Emily Giffin releases a new book, it’s a big deal, and I think All We Ever Wanted is her best book yet! That said, All We Ever Wanted gets off to a rocky start. The first chapter is narrated by Nina who escaped her middle class roots to live amongst Nashville’s wealthiest. I was worried over-the-top grandeur would take center stage in this book, but it did not. Nina’s son, Finch (no offense to any Finches of the world, but that name made me giggle a few times!), has been accepted to Princeton. The next chapter is narrated by Tom, a single dad working multiple jobs to raise his willful daughter, Lyla, who earns a scholarship to Windsor Academy, where she rubs elbows with the most privileged kids in town, including Finch, of course. We also hear from Lyla as a narrator. Everything is going well until a photo goes viral. Amid all this scandal, Tom, Nina, and Lyla are left holding the bag. How will they move past what happened? What is the right thing to do? All We Ever Wanted is timely because we hear most every day a story where a teen, or even adult, has made a mistake on social media, one that could have a lasting impact on that person and their family, and even their community. I enjoyed hearing from the different points of view, and where the truth actually lies is anyone’s guess. Additionally, Giffin addressed race and class biases, and there were unexpected twists to the story. All in all, All We Ever Wanted was a powerful and emotional journey. I highly recommend if you are looking for a summer read with plenty of substance and much to think about. Thank you to Random House/Ballantine for an advance copy. All We Ever Wanted will be published on June 26, 2018. My reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com
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  • Berit☀️✨Traveling Sister✨
    January 1, 1970
    5 Thought Provoking Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟This book is a MUST read! Not only was it absolutely brilliant it also touched on so many of today’s issues... it was a book that really made you think... what would I do in that situation? And as a single mother of two boys and a girl I could see so many sides of this story... and this book really made you realize that with social media a teenager’s reputation can be trashed in a matter of minutes.... makes you long for the good old days when you needed to make a 5 Thought Provoking Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟This book is a MUST read! Not only was it absolutely brilliant it also touched on so many of today’s issues... it was a book that really made you think... what would I do in that situation? And as a single mother of two boys and a girl I could see so many sides of this story... and this book really made you realize that with social media a teenager’s reputation can be trashed in a matter of minutes.... makes you long for the good old days when you needed to make a trip to the local drugstore to get your pictures developed and your rash words were only ever read/heard by a handful of people...One night, one thoughtless moment, and lives are changed forever... what do you do when your daughter has had her picture taken in a compromising position at a party and it is plastered all over social media? What do you do if it was your son that took this picture? Meet Tom single father of Lila the girl in the infamous picture and Nina the mother of Finch the photographer.... both parents instant reaction was to defend their children, as all of ours would be, but what is the right thing to do? Wow, this is tough! If I were Tom I’d want blood my heart would break for my daughter in that situation... but what would I do if I were Nina? What If it were one of my boys that took this picture? This was something that nagged at me throughout this entire book.... i’d like to think I do the right thing, I’d like to think my boys would never do something like this.... but how hard would it be to let your son ruin his life over one indiscretion?Ugh still have no idea what I would do, and fingers crossed I never need to figure it out!This book was told from the perspectives of Nina, Tom, and Lila and I thought this was super effective.... all three characters were likable, relatable, and reel.... Nina was probably the most relatable character to me, because she was a mother... my heart broke for her what a horrible position to be in! But to Nina’s credit she handled the situation with intelligence, grace, and an open mind.... actually all three of these characters handled the situation in a very commendable manner... unfortunately not every character in this book did... it is always amazing that controversy can show people’s true colors....Loved this book from first page to last and the ending was perfection... strongly encourage everyone to pick up this book and make sure you have a box of tissues nearby when you read it!*** many thanks to Valentine Books for my copy of this wonderful book ***
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  • Cheri
    January 1, 1970
    !! NOW AVAILABLE !!3.5 Stars”When the sharpest words wanna cut me downI'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown them outI am brave, I am bruisedI am who I'm meant to be, this is meLook out 'cause here I comeAnd I'm marching on to the beat I drumI'm not scared to be seenI make no apologies, this is meOh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh, ohThis is me” -- This is Me, Keala Settle, The Greatest Showman Ensemble, Songwriters: Justin Paul / Benj Pasek Nina Browning was raised in Bristol, a small city on the T !! NOW AVAILABLE !!3.5 Stars”When the sharpest words wanna cut me downI'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown them outI am brave, I am bruisedI am who I'm meant to be, this is meLook out 'cause here I comeAnd I'm marching on to the beat I drumI'm not scared to be seenI make no apologies, this is meOh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh, ohThis is me” -- This is Me, Keala Settle, The Greatest Showman Ensemble, Songwriters: Justin Paul / Benj Pasek Nina Browning was raised in Bristol, a small city on the Tennessee-Virginia border, where race cars, football, and Country Music abound - in fact it calls itself the birthplace of Country Music. Her father was a writer for the Bristol Herald Courier and her mother was, formerly, a fourth grade teacher. A happy, middle class family. Nina’s husband, Kirk, came from old money, a ”fourth-generation silver-spoon Nashvillian” who grew up ”ensconced in a private-school, country-club world.” Snobbery was in his blood.Nina and Kirk’s son, Finch, had just received his acceptance letter for Princeton the day before, and they spent the evening at a charity fund-raising dinner, for suicide awareness and prevention. They imbibe booze, they schmooze, and on the other side of town, their son was risking everything he had, his future, in a moment of lapsed judgement, acts on an idea involving a party with lots of alcohol, an unconscious girl, and a cell phone. Of course, social media and cell phones are busy sharing this latest “shaming” and what might have remained quiet, or at least quieter, becomes a roaring conflagration. Tom, Lyla’s father, is a carpenter raising his daughter alone, proud that Lyla was able to get a scholarship for the prestigious Windsor Academy, where Finch also attends. He could never afford to send her there otherwise. Having had a similar incident in her early college years, Nina’s heart breaks for this girl, despite the fact that it is her son who supposedly is behind this. She reaches out to help. If he did this thing he is accused of, she wants him to confess, repent and take responsibility for his actions. Through the alternating thoughts of Nina, Tom, and Lyla, we are able to see the flaws become cracks and then everything erupts. The accusations that flow when Tom approaches the Academy in search of justice for his daughter. As Nina sees her husband push money at the “problem” to make it go away, she also sees how unconcerned he and their son seem to be about Lyla’s well-being, and she struggles with her memories of Finch as her little boy while trying to face the possibility of him being guilty of what he is accused. A woman examining what she believes in, what she wants from her life, a town that thrives on gossip and unkind remarks, a husband who has no moral compass, and a young girl desperately in need of someone to listen, and believe in her, too. I’ve only read one other book by Emily Giffin, First Comes Love which I read around a year and a half ago. While that also dealt, somewhat, with the complexity of family relationships, there was “romance,” which I believe is what she is best known for. But that is not to say this is not a love story, only that it is not your soft, happy, tears-on-my-pillow kind of love story. Pub Date: 26 JUN 2018Many thanks for the ARC provided by Random House / Ballantine Books
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  • Reading.Between.Wines
    January 1, 1970
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ / 5All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin completely blew me away, and it evoked many of the same feelings I had reading Beartown by Fredrik Backman. What would you do if your son is accused of sharing a picture with his buddies that contains a half naked girl with a racist "joke" as the caption? Well that is exactly what Nina has to find out when her son Finch is accused of doing just that. Told in alternating viewpoints, this book is a heavy hitter that touches on a lot of pertinent issues i ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin completely blew me away, and it evoked many of the same feelings I had reading Beartown by Fredrik Backman. What would you do if your son is accused of sharing a picture with his buddies that contains a half naked girl with a racist "joke" as the caption? Well that is exactly what Nina has to find out when her son Finch is accused of doing just that. Told in alternating viewpoints, this book is a heavy hitter that touches on a lot of pertinent issues in today's society. Chapters alternate between Nina, Finch, Lyla who is the girl in the picture, Lyla's dad Tom, plus a bit of Nina's husband Kirk sprinkled in. I loved the way Giffin did this because not only did it keep the story interesting, it also made figuring out who was telling the truth much harder. Each character had a very strong, unique voice so you can tell this isn't Giffin's first rodeo, and the characterization was perfect for me. While the main storyline has to do with the photo, there is also a touch of romance, marital woes, keeping up with the Joneses, and relationships between parents and their children. There are so many topics touched upon and I found the book to be quite emotional. Not only is the cover of All We Ever Wanted beautiful, but the inside is as well. There is struggle and sadness, but also a good dose of happiness and hope as well. I LOVED Nina and Lyla, and I think a lot of women will be able to relate to them (even though Lyla is high school age). They are very strong female characters and they weren't doormats which was refreshing to say the least. Final Thought: I have heard that All We Ever Wanted is nothing like Giffin's other books (which mainly seem to be romantic in nature), but it was such an amazing book that it makes me want to read her other novels right away. Her writing is superb and she is such an amazing storyteller. I will definitely be thinking of this book for months, and maybe even years, to come. All We Ever Wanted in 3-ish words: Beautiful, Must-Read, Ponderous
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  • Jordana Landsman
    January 1, 1970
    All We Ever Wanted is all we’ve come to expect from bestselling author Emily Giffin: an engaging, effortless, readable story that is deceptively likeable and painfully shallow. Giffin asks nothing from readers but a few moments of their time, and in exchange delivers high-gloss low-payoff novels that showcase entitlement and moral ambivalence disguised as depth. By now, her pattern is set, but this time, the stakes are higher.--It could happen anywhere--All We Ever Wanted is a domestic drama abo All We Ever Wanted is all we’ve come to expect from bestselling author Emily Giffin: an engaging, effortless, readable story that is deceptively likeable and painfully shallow. Giffin asks nothing from readers but a few moments of their time, and in exchange delivers high-gloss low-payoff novels that showcase entitlement and moral ambivalence disguised as depth. By now, her pattern is set, but this time, the stakes are higher.--It could happen anywhere--All We Ever Wanted is a domestic drama about the upheaval that occurs when the 18-year-old son of a wealthy and prominent Nashville couple posts a questionable photo of an underage girl, launching reverberations that upend the family’s smug existence and that of friends and relations as well. The premise is compelling. The execution leaves Giffin’s position unclear.--Like us, only better--Giffin’s bread and butter characters are what you might call beautiful people with first world problems. The first world is my address, so I’m game for domestic drama of the white privileged set. Heck, some of my best friends are wealthy Caucasians with country club memberships….The problem is that Giffin wants to write her characters two ways, and it leads her nowhere. She seeks to explore the pitfalls of privilege, yet she absolves her heroines of mistakes and casts them as well-intended victims who are really good people, honest, if you just look behind the Chanel handbag and Mercedes SUV.--Meet the mom--When we meet her, the main character, Nina, has ridden high for two decades on the wealth and cache of her husband’s success. She is a walking fashion plate whose fondest expressions come not for her husband or son, but for the custom-made furnishings and designer clothes that her lifestyle affords her.And good for her. That’s all fine. Three cheers for Nina, no one is judging. She married a wealthy guy, kept herself thin and pretty, it’s her life to enjoy fabric swatches and poached salmon lunches if she so pleases. But when Nina awakens from her comfortable reverie, she notices that her spoiled son and rich husband have bloomed into arrogant snobs. She spends the rest of the book castigating, criticizing, and rejecting them.What she does not do is mother her son. She never misses a Starbucks, but in the time it takes her to vilify her boy and drift out of his maternal reach, she never once grabs the scruff of his obnoxious neck to launch the tush-kicking that his behavior demands. Indeed, her son is facing dire consequences, either with severe punishment or life as an asshole. Moms step in; Nina steps out.--Holding out for a hero--The unsettling part is that, in Giffin world, Nina is the hero. Nina is the character with the moral authority. This woman whose choices have contributed to, if not created, the family crisis, bails on them and casts herself as an innocent victimized bystander. She benefitted from every lazy parenting moment that led here, but neither she nor the book ever say, “Hey, lady, you know this happened on your watch, right?” Instead, her self-involved shirking is supposed to signal some sort of heroic feministic coming of age.It does no such thing, and this is Giffin’s authorial failing. She is a powerful storyteller with a weak moral compass for her characters. Her stories build a compelling, if cliched, setup, but she is neither honest nor complete when it comes time to dole out denouement and judgment. Perhaps Giffin loves her characters too much to make them fully flawed people; perhaps she is writing too much of her own personal conflicts between success and the desire to be perceived as good. Whatever drives her pen, it should demand more of stories and her characters. Hold them accountable, don’t make them so innocent. Let them come to it honestly.--Right neighborhood, wrong book--Giffin is right on one score: there are stories to tell here. The vulnerability of privileged suburban American life to sudden and shocking fragmentation is fertile ground for writers with the guts to write authentic characters and ambiguous conflicts. Two staggering, must-read novels, This Beautiful Life by Helen Schulman, and The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian, delve similarly into the split-second missteps and external forces that can disrupt and forever alter a modern family’s domestic tranquility.In contrast, All We Ever Wanted is a minor entry in the genre. For Giffin fans, who appreciate the escapism of her breezy, readable style, this is another easy sell and quick read. For readers looking below the glossy surface, seeking the painful yet redemptive truths that quality fiction can offer, this one will leave you wanting.I received an advanced review copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.www.jordanalandsman.com
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  • Meredith B. (readingwithmere)
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 Stars rounded up!I love Emily Giffin and I get so excited when I hear the annoucement that a new book of her's is coming out. She seems to take really relevant experiences and apply them to a fictional story so that we can all somehow relate.Nina and Kirk are a wealthy couple. They drive nice cars, they have a 4 million dollar house and they have a housekeeper who does all the work for them. They also have a son, Finch, who just got into Princeton and is not only a great student but an all a 4.5 Stars rounded up!I love Emily Giffin and I get so excited when I hear the annoucement that a new book of her's is coming out. She seems to take really relevant experiences and apply them to a fictional story so that we can all somehow relate.Nina and Kirk are a wealthy couple. They drive nice cars, they have a 4 million dollar house and they have a housekeeper who does all the work for them. They also have a son, Finch, who just got into Princeton and is not only a great student but an all around great kid. Lyla comes from a single father home, her mom is an alcoholic but her dad wanted better for her. She is an incredibly smart girl and therefore was given financial aid to go to the town's top school..Windsor. Her Dad is a carpenter for the town and does his best for him and his daughter. One night Lyla and Finn end up at the same party after lying to her dad about "studying" (but really what teen doesn't??). Lyla gets sick, her friend Grace brings her home and we just think it was a night of some teens drinking and being stupid. The next day however a photo spreads around town and turns into chaos. Lyla just can't seem to remember anything that happened. Thus starts the conflict, the questions and we start to find out the moral of each of the characters.What happens when your husband and you disagree on a parenting decision? What if your morals suddenly don't add up? Do our experiences when we were younger always shape who we are today? Can you always protect your daughter from 'bad' people? Some choices you make will forever be held against you...I flew through this book. It caused me to stop and think so many times what I would do in Nina, Tom and Lyla's shoes. I love how they all come from different places but try to work together to resolve conflict. It was also a very relatable story in the sense that this probably happens to a lot of youth in today's age. No, it's not a YA book but it has a strong parent/child relationship presence.Also, can we talk about this cover. GORGEOUS! This book comes out June 26th and I highly recommend you pick it up!
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  • Carrie
    January 1, 1970
    All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin is an emotional tale that is very fitting in today’s social media obsessed age. One drunken night leads to a risque photo being passed around of a young teenage girl leading to the characters all dealing with the situation from their own points of views.Nina Browning is the mother of the boy accused of taking the photograph and is appalled at his behavior. Nina came from a middle class family and while happy her family doesn’t want for anything she’s also somew All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin is an emotional tale that is very fitting in today’s social media obsessed age. One drunken night leads to a risque photo being passed around of a young teenage girl leading to the characters all dealing with the situation from their own points of views.Nina Browning is the mother of the boy accused of taking the photograph and is appalled at his behavior. Nina came from a middle class family and while happy her family doesn’t want for anything she’s also somewhat ashamed of their wealth at times. She desperately wants her son to see that what he did was not right and not hide behind his father or their money. Tom Volpe is the single working class father of the teenager Lyla who was the subject of the photo. Tom is furious that the incident happened but Lyla is only concerned with fitting into the rich crowd at her school and doesn’t want her father to make a scene and embarrass her further. The book follows Nina, Tom and Lyla and changes the point of view between them as the incident unfolds to see how they all cope with what had happened. The author did a wonderful job conveying just how each person was feeling and their prospective on what was going on making it feel as if we were there witnessing the events with them and the effect it was having on each family throughout. It was wonderful to watch each grow and learn from their own mistakes and those of others in the story. Definitely a book I’d recommend checking out.I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.For more review please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    As a parent of a 12 year old son that seems to be growing quicker than I'd like him to be I found this book to be quite terrifying. We all want to believe our children are thoughtful, empathetic, and responsible beings but that's not always the case and sometimes our children are going to disappoint us. The entire time I was reading this novel I couldn't help but think "What would I do?" My emotions really went through the ringer with this one. I was angry, I was frustrated, I was sad, yet I was As a parent of a 12 year old son that seems to be growing quicker than I'd like him to be I found this book to be quite terrifying. We all want to believe our children are thoughtful, empathetic, and responsible beings but that's not always the case and sometimes our children are going to disappoint us. The entire time I was reading this novel I couldn't help but think "What would I do?" My emotions really went through the ringer with this one. I was angry, I was frustrated, I was sad, yet I was hopeful throughout. Nina & Kirk have it all including an 18 year old son, Finch, who has recently been accepted to Princeton. They are beaming with pride for their son when the horrific happens. Their son is accused of taking a picture of a girl, exposed, while passed out at a party captioned with a racist comment. He then sends it to a couple of buddies who then send it to a couple of buddies until guess what? It's everywhere. Lyla is the girl in the picture. She is the bi-racial daughter of single dad Tom. Tom is understandably furious while Lyla just wants it all to go away. She is embarrassed and doesn't want her entire education at Windsor Academy put at risk. From here we follow along with alternating chapters between Nina, Lyla, and Tom and I have to say I was absolutely enthralled to see how this all played out. This book is not only topical but important. A must read, indeed! Thank you to NetGalley & BookishFirst (giveaway win) for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Marialyce
    January 1, 1970
    My reviews can be found at : https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres...The teenage years! Can you ever forget them? No matter how old you are you can flashback to those years with trepidation and the thought that god I am glad those are over. It is a time of so much that is unsure, the feelings, the emotions, the constant knowing that it always seemed as if your life was spiraling out of control. The arguments, the searching for control....yes, the teenage years were often hell, but they were also My reviews can be found at : https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres...The teenage years! Can you ever forget them? No matter how old you are you can flashback to those years with trepidation and the thought that god I am glad those are over. It is a time of so much that is unsure, the feelings, the emotions, the constant knowing that it always seemed as if your life was spiraling out of control. The arguments, the searching for control....yes, the teenage years were often hell, but they were also exciting as you discovered yourself, your needs, and of course the people who you loved, your first crush, the dates, the hanging out, the proms, the joy of being alive where every emotion was tingling always and life stretched out in infinite minutes.Nina Browing has it all. She is married to a very wealthy man, has oodles of money, a fabulous house, and a son she adores. Her husband is ever so successful, a bit of a snob (well maybe more than a bit) but it is her son, Finch, where her love and adoration lies. He has been accepted to Princeton and life look very sweet for this golden boy but then....Lyla Volpe lives with her dad. They are not even close to being in the socioeconomic stratosphere which the Brownings and others of their ilk exists and yet, Lyla attends on scholarship the prestigious academy where Finch is a senior to her sophomore status. They attend a party, unsupervised by adults and drink and then a picture is taken of Lyla that will eventually open up all the prejudices, some of them racially motivated and a series of lies that lead Nina in search of who she is married to and what her son is becoming. This was a well developed story that pointed ever so well to what can and does happen when teenagers drink and think nothing of the consequences of their actions. It is a story of how privilege often gets in the way of what is right and how the brains and actions of teens can often prove a major downfall to themselves, their families and those who surround them. It is a story of young attractions, of social media and its sometimes harrowing effect on our teens, and how is it possible to be responsible parents when life surrounds our teens with all its allure and it very many pitfalls."I think the hardest part about being a teenager is dealing with other teenagers - the criticism and the ridicule, the gossip and rumors." (Beverley Mitchell) Who among us has not had to deal with this? Welcome to the teenage years. You get seven. Use them wisely.Thank you to Emily Griffin, Ballantine Books, and NetGalley for an advanced copy of this important book.
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  • Jill Croce-McGill
    January 1, 1970
    Emily Griffin did not disappoint with All We Ever Wanted. She takes us on a powerful journey through marriage, motherhood, friendship, teen life, racism, and the negative effect of social media. This book definitely deals with some heavy topics that are going on in today's world right now.The story is told from three points of view: Nina, Tom, and Lyla (Tom's daughter). I have to say, I loved all three of these characters! First, we have Nina, she is living the dream. She has a wealthy handsome Emily Griffin did not disappoint with All We Ever Wanted. She takes us on a powerful journey through marriage, motherhood, friendship, teen life, racism, and the negative effect of social media. This book definitely deals with some heavy topics that are going on in today's world right now.The story is told from three points of view: Nina, Tom, and Lyla (Tom's daughter). I have to say, I loved all three of these characters! First, we have Nina, she is living the dream. She has a wealthy handsome husband, and a son who is going off to Princeton in the Fall. She has it all! Then, we have Tom, he's a lonely single father raising Lyla and working several jobs to pay the bills. Lastly, we have Lyla, she is a stunning teenager who earned a scholarship to Windsor Academy, Nashville’s most prestigious private school. But unfortunately, she doesn't always fit in. Then, one photo, that was shared on social media, changes their lives forever. In the end, they have to choose between their family and their values.This was a very powerful and moving read for me. Highly RecommendMany thanks to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for providing me with an ARC.
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  • Debbie Oliphant
    January 1, 1970
    WOW!!!!!I could not put this book down. It was so intense and relevant today. The story details the life of the privileged families who are held to a different set of rules nor held accountable for their actions. A mistake is revealed that is life changing, for a young girl who comes from a blue collar family and a young man who is entitled and comes from an affluent family, both attending a prestigious, expensive school.The event is revealed early in the story but through multiple points of vie WOW!!!!!I could not put this book down. It was so intense and relevant today. The story details the life of the privileged families who are held to a different set of rules nor held accountable for their actions. A mistake is revealed that is life changing, for a young girl who comes from a blue collar family and a young man who is entitled and comes from an affluent family, both attending a prestigious, expensive school.The event is revealed early in the story but through multiple points of view, the true story is revealed by the disparity of classes and how wealth provides access that can alter an outcome where actions have consequences. This story was paced perfectly and the story grabbed and engaged you immediately. Intense, emotional and so climatic in the end. The is my first book from this author and look forward to more.
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  • Kristy
    January 1, 1970
    Nina and Kirk Browning and their teenage son, Finch, live a good life, especially since Kirk sold his company and the family has experienced a great deal of wealth. Nina and Kirk are attending a fundraiser when they hear whispering that Finch has been involved in an incident with another student at his school, Windsor Academy. It soon comes out that Finch has taken an inappropriate sexy picture of Lyla at a party and sent it to friends, accompanied by a racist comment. The photo spreads around t Nina and Kirk Browning and their teenage son, Finch, live a good life, especially since Kirk sold his company and the family has experienced a great deal of wealth. Nina and Kirk are attending a fundraiser when they hear whispering that Finch has been involved in an incident with another student at his school, Windsor Academy. It soon comes out that Finch has taken an inappropriate sexy picture of Lyla at a party and sent it to friends, accompanied by a racist comment. The photo spreads around the community quickly, causing both the kids and parents to take sides. Lyla's father, Tom, who has been raising Lyla since she was small, is appalled--he cannot believe his daughter is involved in such a mess, and he wants justice for her. Lyla's at Windsor on a scholarship, and she just wants to fit in. Now, Nina, Finch, Lyla, and Tom must grapple with the aftermath of the photo and what exactly happened the night of the party. This is a timely novel that certainly has a place in the #MeToo moment. It's a topic being covered more and more lately, and the idea of teens and sexting is just as horrifying as always. It draws you in from the beginning, and I found it to be a very fascinating read that kept my interest throughout. By alternating the point of view between Nina, Tom, and Lyla, we get to the story told from a range of characters, including the victim herself. The biggest issue I had with this one--and even Lyla herself admits it--is that the characters sometimes come across as cliche: the spoiled rich boy hurts the poor, intelligent girl on scholarship. The only light of resistance is Nina, our wealthy wife with the obnoxious, rich husband. Even Nina's friends appear to be clueless (or worse) jerks brainwashed by their picture perfect Nashville lives. Still, Lyla is a great kid and reading her sections is lovely. Her father is a flawed individual, but you can't help but empathize with him as well. Nina is more complicated, and I would have liked to see her take on a little more responsibility for her son and the events that unfold around her. Yes, Nina had a conscience, but she didn't seem to do a lot with it, if that makes any sense, besides apologize. In the end, I enjoyed this one because it wasn't totally predictable and because I really liked the characters of Lyla and Tom. I found it to be an easy and quick read. Still, it seemed like something was missing as I read, whether it was because some of the book felt like it was populated by stock characters or what, I don't know. While it's not exactly the same story, I would recommend the amazing Girl Made of Stars from Ashley Herring Blake if you're looking for a timely book on this topic. That powerful book blows this one out of the water, and maybe it's that power and emotion that I felt was lacking here. 3.5 stars. I received a copy of this book from the publisher and Netgalley in return for an unbiased review (thank you!). Blog ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Google+ ~ Instagram
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  • Jonetta
    January 1, 1970
    Nina Browning lives a very comfortable life being married to Kirk, one of Nashville’s elite. Their son, Finch is on his way to Princeton having done exceptionally well at Windsor Academy, the city’s prestigious private school. Tom Volpe is a single father and a skilled carpenter. He lives modestly on the east side of town and his daughter, Lyla has excelled scholastically, earning a scholarship to Windsor. The Browning’s and Volpe’s worlds intersect following an unfortunate night at a party wher Nina Browning lives a very comfortable life being married to Kirk, one of Nashville’s elite. Their son, Finch is on his way to Princeton having done exceptionally well at Windsor Academy, the city’s prestigious private school. Tom Volpe is a single father and a skilled carpenter. He lives modestly on the east side of town and his daughter, Lyla has excelled scholastically, earning a scholarship to Windsor. The Browning’s and Volpe’s worlds intersect following an unfortunate night at a party where both their children attended. This was an extremely troubling but compelling story told through the eyes of Nina, Tom and Lyla. Contemporary issues involving sexting, teenage drinking, social bullying and traditional tensions between those that have and others that have less. Nina is a bridge to both worlds as she comes from more humble beginnings and can empathize with Lyla’s circumstances. It puts her at odds with her husband whose only goal is to help his son evade the consequences of his behavior, furthering instilling his sense of entitlement. Tom struggles with Lyla, who doesn’t think what happened was a big deal, to get her to understand how she’s been harmed and how her view will ultimately imperil her self value. I loved how this story unfolded, made even more powerful by having Lyla’s point of view. All of the characters were changed by what happened, Nina most profoundly as it forced her to take an unfiltered look at her life. It felt real though some of the people in her world seemed a bit caricature, but it illustrated the salient points effectively. Everyone was trying to do the best for their children but not all actions were in their best interests. I found all three narrators’ performances outstanding. It felt as though they were inhabiting the skin of their characters. This is an important story I literally couldn’t put down, essentially finishing it in one day. I wavered on whether to listen to this one and I’m so glad my instincts pushed me in the right direction. And that thought provoking ending was truly the best final touch. (I received an advance copy from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review)
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  • Susan Kennedy
    January 1, 1970
    This was a great book! I started to read it and I didn't want to put it down. The story is told by three characters points of view. I usually don't like when books are written this way, one chapter for each character. I really enjoyed it in this story and feel is was so well written.The three characters are Nina, Tom and Lyla. All three of these characters are endearing. Nina is a strong woman and by far my favorite character. I love that she sticks to her beliefs no matter what. Tom, the single This was a great book! I started to read it and I didn't want to put it down. The story is told by three characters points of view. I usually don't like when books are written this way, one chapter for each character. I really enjoyed it in this story and feel is was so well written.The three characters are Nina, Tom and Lyla. All three of these characters are endearing. Nina is a strong woman and by far my favorite character. I love that she sticks to her beliefs no matter what. Tom, the single father, is also a great character who is looking out for his daughter. He was a great dad. Lyla is the teenage daughter who goes through so much, but is so strong and amazing.I wanted to scream at Lyla so much through this book. She frustrated me like my own 16 year old daughter! :) But you rooted for her and she was amazing and strong. I was so happy how it ended up for her. And Nina, I'm not even sure what to say about her. I absolutely loved this character. She was amazing. She took a stand and I was so proud!The characters were fantastic and the story was enthralling. I was angry and I cried. I really enjoyed it and I told my daughter she should read it next. It's sitting on her bed now. She came downstairs as I was headed up with tears running down my face. LOL!
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  • katwiththehat
    January 1, 1970
    This was for large parts of it, a pretty decent read that asked compelling, relevant questions. There are no bright parts in this book, no happy moments, so don’t go into it expecting a beach read. This is a book that asks hard questions from start to finish about privilege and whether the luxuries we allow ourselves to enjoy can become an infection that poison our children if we’re not careful. Some of the characters I literally wanted to strangle every time they appeared on the page. No redeem This was for large parts of it, a pretty decent read that asked compelling, relevant questions. There are no bright parts in this book, no happy moments, so don’t go into it expecting a beach read. This is a book that asks hard questions from start to finish about privilege and whether the luxuries we allow ourselves to enjoy can become an infection that poison our children if we’re not careful. Some of the characters I literally wanted to strangle every time they appeared on the page. No redeeming characteristics, which was unusual. You either are going to hate a character or love them. No in between. No nuance. Essentially, there is a party, and a rich boy takes a semi-nude photo of a girl from the other side of town, then posts it to social media. How far would a parent go to protect their child is the question the book asks.(view spoiler)[ I really disliked the way this ended. It was like a guillotine dropped ten pages from the end, and destroyed any point the book might have been leading up to. For it to be revealed that Finch not only DID take the photo, but took WORSE ones, and had photos and videos of many girls, then for him to cause Polly to attempt suicide, then for him to get off with zero consequences felt like a very unsatisfying way to conclude the narrative. Finch sat there like a little turd in the final chapters in high school time with zero remorse, never admitted what he did to the girls, which made it really unsatisfying and unrealistic for him (after being portrayed the entire book as this master manipulator and misogynist who always got his way, lied, lied lied, and treated girls like objects--literally, a young man with zero good qualities) to be portrayed in the epilogue in some sort of magical fairy-tale “and then everything was sprinkled with fairy dust and Finch became a nice guy with no plausible explanations!” ending. It was like that Finch and the Finch from the rest of the book had only the same name in common, and that plus the book failing to deliver on its message of consequences for bad actions lowered the rating for me. If the author was hoping to write a book about the harm of sexting naked pictures of girls and respect for women, why have the perpetrator get off scot-free after hurting multiple girls, calling them sluts, and then give him a happy Prince Charming ending with no consequences? What sort of message is that sending? (hide spoiler)]Trigger Warnings: (view spoiler)[ sexual assault, attempted suicide (hide spoiler)]Please excuse typos/name misspellings. Entered on screen reader.
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  • Myrna
    January 1, 1970
    What a book! Could not put it down. This book was a quick and easy read but dealt with thought provoking and timely topics. Loved the alternating points of view telling the story from the perspectives of parents and teenager. The end seemed a bit rushed and I wanted more that’s why I gave it 4 stars and not 5. This would make a good book to discuss with a friend or book club. Will Giffin write another dark story? We will have to wait an see.
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  • Kendall
    January 1, 1970
    All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin reminded me a little bit of Rochelle Weinstein's Somebody's Daughter. I feel like the same type of storyline was presented here... between teenagers and serious issues that are presented in our society.Nina one of our main characters finds out that her son Finch took a sexual photo of a girl named Lyla while she was passed out with a racist remark and sent it to basically the entire school. Lyla's father is furious (as anyone would imagine) and he refuses to ta All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin reminded me a little bit of Rochelle Weinstein's Somebody's Daughter. I feel like the same type of storyline was presented here... between teenagers and serious issues that are presented in our society.Nina one of our main characters finds out that her son Finch took a sexual photo of a girl named Lyla while she was passed out with a racist remark and sent it to basically the entire school. Lyla's father is furious (as anyone would imagine) and he refuses to take money from Finch's father Kirk. A battle between the underprivileged and privileged emerges between the two families in this horrible series of events.I feel like Emily Giffin did a wonderful job exploring challenging issues of social media, bullying, sexting, and pressure of alcohol that teens face today in society. What I felt the story was lacking was depth and emotion to her characters. As you can see this dealt with serious issues in this story and I felt like the characters were base surface level. I want to FEEL when the characters are sad, angry, depressed etc. And.. honestly there wasn't emotion behind any of the characterization... just feel extremely flat and I was disappointed. I really didn't like any of the characters. This was not an original storyline and like I had mentioned above... I've seen almost this same story in the novel by Rochelle Weinstein (which isn't a bad thing at all.....). But, I get tired of seeing the same plot etc etc. This was my first read by Emily Giffin and I've heard such positive things about her writing. But, I was left disappointed and wanting more from this novel. 3 stars.Thank you to Netgalley and Random House Ballantine Publishing Group for the advanced arc in exchange for an honest review.Published to GR: 6/2/18Publication date: 6/26/18
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  • Carlene Inspired
    January 1, 1970
    Find this and other reviews at Carlene Inspired.Nina Browning sometimes can't believe the life she is leading. From the wrong side of town, Nina has married into money and found herself among the elite; she's friends with the wives and is raising a son expected to go on to Princeton. It's almost a dream come true, except she can't help but feel like she's strayed from the girl she once was, especially when her approach to an incident is very different from her husband and their friends. Tom Volp Find this and other reviews at Carlene Inspired.Nina Browning sometimes can't believe the life she is leading. From the wrong side of town, Nina has married into money and found herself among the elite; she's friends with the wives and is raising a son expected to go on to Princeton. It's almost a dream come true, except she can't help but feel like she's strayed from the girl she once was, especially when her approach to an incident is very different from her husband and their friends. Tom Volpe does everything he can to give his daughter, Lyla, the life she deserves. A scholarship to the prestigious Windsor Academy makes him relax, but Lyla still doesn't feel like she fits in and one drunken night proves that even further. A photo from a party is spread around, with Nina's son the account the photo originated from and Windsor Academy becomes the hotspot for controversy and blame.Nina, Tom, and Lyla are thrown together, each trying to discover the right way to handle the incident and questioning if the path they're going down is the correct one. Nina sees herself in Lyla, an innocence she wants to preserve even if it goes against everything her husband is telling she and her son to do. Tom want his daughter to be equal, but even he has to question if he's doing the right thing for his daughter. All We Ever Wanted is Emily Giffin's latest release and her third book, in my opinion, that tackles present day scandal. It's classic Women's Fiction with a deeper meaning, delving into one's believes, the difference between right and wrong, and the strength it takes to go down the path least travelled. The story of a girl having her photo shared around school is not new to us, we hear about it in the news more often than we'd like to admit, but the story of her parents and the accused parents, that is new. All We Ever Wanted introduces us to Lyla and Nina's son, we know who they are and we have a general idea of how this is impacting their lives, but we get to spend the most time with Nina and Tom. Nina doesn't agree with her husband's methods for "handling it" and Tom doesn't either. They forge an unlikely friendship, their meetings leaving each introspective and aware that a change must be made, that how they handle this is a lesson for their children going forward. I really liked Nina, I liked how aware she was of her wealth, that it hung on her more like a chain to drag than a necklace. She's previously been passive, accepting that she must be someone new and leave her old self behind, but the photo incident brings her back to college and the strength she wished she would have had then. She channels her energy into Tom and Lyla, befriending them, offering her company, and ultimately turning her back on her husband and son. While she wants the best for her son, that much is obvious, she's also aware that idly letting her husband control the outcome will teach him nothing. She wants better for herself, better for Lyla, and better for her son. Tom is difficult, he's gruff, unexpectedly soft in some ways, and too aware of the class and racial differences he and his daughter have with the other students and parents at Windsor Academy. I say too aware, because he allows them to be different, to be divided based on Lyla's skintone, unaware that he is making her school situation more difficult. The class and racial bias is also a major part of the plot with the photo and leads to lessons for some and shows us the ignorance of others. Lyla just wants someone to hear her, to fit in for a moment, to believe in her. How these two parents decide what is right or wrong is an excellent story and how Nina brings Lyla out of her shell is fantastic. We see two women who care, who are lovers, and who have a desperate want for humanity and Tom, well in him we see a protective single father who wants more for boys and girls, specifically for his daughter. I really enjoyed this book, Emily Giffin has given us something that is so timely it's hard to believe it's a fiction novel and not another true story in the paper. The characters are realistic and the plot painfully so as well. It's a book that I'd call "unputdownable," not because it's an easy book to escape into, but rather because it is written so well and is so very relevant. I loved the focus on growth, right and wrong, and the lessons that come from mistakes. It's not a light read, it is rather heavy and deals with many difficult topics, but it is an important read and I'm grateful it's written by Emily Giffin, an author I consider one of my favorite and an author I know cares about society and humanity.ARC provided.
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    I am a bit of an outlier in my opinion when it comes to Emily Giffin and her books. They really are just "okay" reads. However, I will say that All We Ever Wanted is much more meatier than the chick lit than she is usually known to write. When Nina 's teenage son makes a devastating choice, it forces her to take a more critical look at her marriage and family. Also drawing her closer to Tom Volpe and his daughter, Lyla while also confronting a long buried secret. I did find there was a lot of a I am a bit of an outlier in my opinion when it comes to Emily Giffin and her books. They really are just "okay" reads. However, I will say that All We Ever Wanted is much more meatier than the chick lit than she is usually known to write. When Nina 's teenage son makes a devastating choice, it forces her to take a more critical look at her marriage and family. Also drawing her closer to Tom Volpe and his daughter, Lyla while also confronting a long buried secret. I did find there was a lot of attention to relevant issues, but the ending was a bit quick and light to match the dark tone that begins the story.
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  • Lindsey Gandhi
    January 1, 1970
    Excellent book!! Five Amazing Stars!!!!!!!!! First I'd like to start off by saying I love Emily Giffin's books. This in no way shapes my review, I take each book individually. Having said that, she not only nails it with this book, she knocks it way out of the park!!!!As parents, all we ever want is the best for our children. We hope our parenting will influence, mold and shape them to be the best versions of their self they can be. We aspire to provide a good life for them while still teaching Excellent book!! Five Amazing Stars!!!!!!!!! First I'd like to start off by saying I love Emily Giffin's books. This in no way shapes my review, I take each book individually. Having said that, she not only nails it with this book, she knocks it way out of the park!!!!As parents, all we ever want is the best for our children. We hope our parenting will influence, mold and shape them to be the best versions of their self they can be. We aspire to provide a good life for them while still teaching morals and integrity. And as a parent you want to protect your child from the evils lurking behind every corner (or in the case of this book, every camera phone). But what if all that backfires? What if you try your best but your children don't grow up to be the men or women you envisioned? As a parent, how do you handle that? Do you keep shielding your kids from the evils or force them to face justice? These are just a few of the issues at the center of this extremely relevant and thought provoking book. Emily Griffins beautifully weaves the challenges kids are faced with today with peer pressure, teenage drinking, sexual activity, suicide and the added layer of social media with how parents deal with this bundle to help their kids safely navigate that deadly minefield. This isn't just a masterful storyline. Emily Griffin has taken very real problems our youth are facing today and written a book we can all learn from, or at least start having some genuine conversations with our kids.As a young adult, read this book. You will probably be able to relate to it more than you realize. As a parent, read this book. This is the world we live in today with smart phones and social media. It's time we change the context of how we teach our kids to view someone's self worth and the world and consequences for their actions. As someone looking for a good book to read, pick this one up. You will not be disappointed!!!My thanks to Emily Giffin and Ballentine Books at Random House Publishing for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Judy
    January 1, 1970
    Hard to put this one down! Sometimes our children are not what we had hoped and are leading different lives than the ones presented to their parents. This book deals with some tough topics: privacy in the new world of social media and how families are affected, standing by your belief in what is right regardless of the negative ramifications, teenagers ('nuf said - always drama and turmoil). Griffin handles the intricate relationships in this book with empathy and compassion. The writing is beau Hard to put this one down! Sometimes our children are not what we had hoped and are leading different lives than the ones presented to their parents. This book deals with some tough topics: privacy in the new world of social media and how families are affected, standing by your belief in what is right regardless of the negative ramifications, teenagers ('nuf said - always drama and turmoil). Griffin handles the intricate relationships in this book with empathy and compassion. The writing is beautiful and absorbing. The characters are believable. Great job Emily Griffin - I really liked it!
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    I’m a huge fan of Emily Giffin, when she has a new book out I don’t hesitate to add to my TBR without reading the description, I always know I’ll like whatever she releases. While Something Borrowed and Something Blue will always be my firm favorites, AWEW has now landed itself a spot next to them, this was insanely good you guys!This is told from several perspectives; Nina mother of Finch who is accused of snapping a wildly inappropriate picture of another narrator, Lyla and then you also hear I’m a huge fan of Emily Giffin, when she has a new book out I don’t hesitate to add to my TBR without reading the description, I always know I’ll like whatever she releases. While Something Borrowed and Something Blue will always be my firm favorites, AWEW has now landed itself a spot next to them, this was insanely good you guys!This is told from several perspectives; Nina mother of Finch who is accused of snapping a wildly inappropriate picture of another narrator, Lyla and then you also hear from her father, Tom. I always admire an author who can not only write about timely, important issues in a relatable manner, but when they can give each character a strong and distinct voice, I’m seriously impressed. In a culture where sexual assault/harassment victims are banding together to be heard, the plot of this one could not be more relevant. I related the most to Nina, a mother who is just doing her best each and every single day who finds out that her best still may have not been enough to teach her son how to be the type of man she can be proud of.Book clubs should go right ahead and make this your next choice, the discussion topics are endless and I would venture to guess that anyone could find at least one aspect they could relate to. Giffin explores parenthood, marriage, moral choices and how said choices can impact your life in extreme ways and so, so much more. This had a slightly darker edge than her previous work, but for me it made it all the better.All We Ever Wanted in three words: Relevant, Thoughtful and Absorbing.
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  • Jenny
    January 1, 1970
    James E. Faust once said, “All parents hope and pray that their children will make wise decisions. Children who are obedient and responsible bring to their parents unending pride and satisfaction.”The underlying message of that quote sums up the content of Emily Griffin’s book, “all we ever wanted.”Griffin’s book takes on themes of affluence, sexual assault, social media, harassment, racism and elitism in a story that will leave the reader asking, “what would I do in that situation?”One bad deci James E. Faust once said, “All parents hope and pray that their children will make wise decisions. Children who are obedient and responsible bring to their parents unending pride and satisfaction.”The underlying message of that quote sums up the content of Emily Griffin’s book, “all we ever wanted.”Griffin’s book takes on themes of affluence, sexual assault, social media, harassment, racism and elitism in a story that will leave the reader asking, “what would I do in that situation?”One bad decision will ultimately change the lives of two families forever and lead to collateral damage to others.Griffin gives the reader a chance to see the point of view from all the main characters in real time giving us a chance to feel the highs and lows of every person involved.I find myself still thinking about this book a week later and discussing it with friends and family. A definite must read and should be on everyones book club list.I received a copy of this book via Netgalley. It did effect my review of this book.#netgalley #allweeverwanted #emilygriffin
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  • Elle's Book Blog
    January 1, 1970
    Release Date: June 26, 2018 Genre: Women's Fiction Actual Rating: 5+ stars Highly Recommended All We Ever Wanted is an exquisite read that deals with real world social issues that can affect anyone. Giffin weaves an unforgettable tale about a picture sent viral.. One that could very well ruin the lives of all involved, even those who weren't a direct part of it. Told in alternating point of views, this book will get to the heart of a touchy subject and leave readers questioning what they wou Release Date: June 26, 2018 Genre: Women's Fiction Actual Rating: 5+ stars Highly Recommended All We Ever Wanted is an exquisite read that deals with real world social issues that can affect anyone. Giffin weaves an unforgettable tale about a picture sent viral.. One that could very well ruin the lives of all involved, even those who weren't a direct part of it. Told in alternating point of views, this book will get to the heart of a touchy subject and leave readers questioning what they would do if put in this type of situation. Many will have different opinions of the matter, but Giffin stays totally neutral on the topic. I absolutely loved this book and would recommend it to all mothers, women, and even mature teens. For those who want a more in depth description of the book, I'll do so here. First and foremost, this is a story about a picture taken at a party where high school students are drinking. When one gets drunk and goes to an upstairs bedroom, someone snaps a picture of her with a racist comment and sends it to a friend. Said friend then forwards it to others and soon after, everyone has seen it. This book deals with the repercussions of what happens next. Who is hurt by the photo, what the parents do for justice for their children, and how to handle a child who thought they were only having a little bit of fun despite the consequences. In alternating points of views, readers will hear from Lyla- the teenager whose picture was taken and spread throughout her school, Tom- the father of Lyla (the victim), and Nina- the mother of the boy who allegedly took the photo. Once again, Giffin has penned an unforgettable tale of how one mistake can have repercussions that affect many. She slightly tackles racism and social class as well, making it a dynamic and important book in today's day and age. Having not read a book by her in quite some time, I wasn't sure if this one would be up to snuff with her previous books, but it was and so much more. I think this is actually my favorite book by the author and I would certainly purchase a copy for myself and even friends and family. So make sure you grab a copy. This is THE book that should be in everyone's beach bag this summer.
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  • Leslie Ann
    January 1, 1970
    My second favorite book of 2018. If you read one book this summer, let it be this one. I’ll be thinking about this one for a while. Such an important topic that is written in a way that makes for a quick read. You will have so many thoughts and feels after finishing this one. So so so good.
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  • Kate Olson
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to BookSparks for this free review copy!*Giffin absolutely NAILED IT with this absolutely made-for-book-clubs story! ALL WE EVER WANTED is set in the world of Nashville's elite, and it is a riveting story of class, race, rape culture, social media, parenting and marriage. I had to slow myself down to keep myself from finishing it too fast, and won't be able to stop thinking about this story for a long, long time. As a parent of both daughters and a son, this book paints a stark picture of Thanks to BookSparks for this free review copy!*Giffin absolutely NAILED IT with this absolutely made-for-book-clubs story! ALL WE EVER WANTED is set in the world of Nashville's elite, and it is a riveting story of class, race, rape culture, social media, parenting and marriage. I had to slow myself down to keep myself from finishing it too fast, and won't be able to stop thinking about this story for a long, long time. As a parent of both daughters and a son, this book paints a stark picture of my worst fears of parenting when my kids reach their young adult years. Easily on my list of Best of 2018 ~ intensely readable, wide appeal, so many hot issues. Go put it on hold at the library immediately, or buy from a local store!
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