Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Everything We Ever Wanted by Sara Shepard

Publisher: Harper
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 5/5
Source: Publisher

How do you choose between your family and your history?

Emotional and compelling storytelling from Sara Shepard, author of All the Things We Didn't Say.

A late-night phone call on a Sunday evening rarely brings good news. So when Sylvie, a recently-widowed mother of two, receives a call from the head teacher of the school she's on the board of, she knows it won't be something she wants to hear. The school was founded by her grandfather, and she's inherited everything he strived to build up - a reputation, a heritage, the school and the grand old family house. And with this inheritance comes responsibility. So when her son Scott is whispered to be involved in a scandal that led to the death of one of the boys he coaches at the school, it throws the family into chaos: Sylvie has to decide between her loyalty to the school that has been part of her family legacy for years and her son who she feels wants nothing to do with her. She starts spying on the dead boy's father, making an unlikely connection.Sara Shepard's compelling new novel tells how hard it can be to really, truly connect to people, how making quick, easy judgments can come back to haunt you, and how the life you always planned for - and always dreamed of - often doesn't always turn out the way you imagined at all...

I didn't know what to expect when I began reading this book. Was it going to be a good mystery? Was the ending going to be obvious? And most importantly, was this a good book? This was more than a good book; it was fantastic!

I haven't really been a Sara Shepard fan, but after this book, I was hooked. There was never a dull moment and all the characters were real. Joanna had grown up with the idea that the Bates-McAllisters were the perfect model. Her mom was obsessed with Sylvie and that obsession reached Joanna. She would collect pictures from magazines of the Bates-McAllisters, but she never thought she was going to be one of them, until she met Charles, Sylvie's son, and they got married.

By knowing just that description, you would think Joanna had the perfect life. It was like a rags to riches story and Cinderella. But Joanna wasn't happy. I wasn't happy while reading the book. I didn't want to have Joanna's life. It wasn't filled with excitment and joy. She didn't work because she now had a boat load of money, but she did nothing with her days. She just stayed home and wondered what she was going to do next, and often, she had nothing to do. Her neighbors were simply cold and Joanna had no friends and she didn't even feel close to Charles.

But then there's the problem with Scott, Charles adoptive brother, in which he is being accused of a death of a boy. I liked Scott's character more than Charles's. Charles seemed rude to me, but Scott seemed warmer. I really enjoyed the parts where Joanna was with Scott because I saw a connection between the two that Joanna was never going to feel with Charles.

EVERYTHING WE EVER WANTED is my favorite book so far. I couldn't wait to come home everyday and continue reading and when I was done with the book, I wanted more. I enjoyed Sara Shepard's fluent writing so much that I now want to read all of her books. Sara Shepard truly is a talented writer and she showed it with this book by taking a simple idea and turning it into a story that stays with you after the last page.

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