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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

All You Never Wanted, by Adele Griffin

 With my eyes closed and Alex's core friends all around me, it was like I'd become my big sister, or something just as good. And so who cared if they were calling it Alex's party? One thing I knew: it would be remembered as mine. 

     Alex has it all—brains, beauty, popularity, and a dangerously hot boyfriend. Her little sister Thea wants it all, and she's stepped up her game to get it. Even if it means spinning the truth to win the attention she deserves. Even if it means uncovering a shocking secret her older sister never wanted to share. Even if it means crying wolf. 

Griffin has hit the nail on the head with a gritty and raw story. In another time, this would've been an after school special--only way to scary for mid-afternoon TV. And, more well written.

Alex has an ideal life. Idyllic, even. The perfect senior year internship, the perfect boyfriend, and a family who adores her.

So what happened? She's not talking. But she never leaves the house anymore.

Thea is...well....not Alex. And that's what hurts Thea the most. She'll do anything to be the center of everyone's attention, including Alex's long time boyfriend.

Like I said, after school special that's scary, because it deals not only with incredibly tough stuff (eating disorders, pathological lying, severe self-esteem disorders), but it's all rolled into one and is so very very dark. There's a sudden (very sudden) romance with an older guy for the already damaged Alex, that moves just too fast.

Griffin has an amazing talent at putting you deep into her characters minds. You get them at a core, and connect quickly. Even her voices for this book--Thea and Alex swap back and forth between the chapters as the narrators--are incredibly telling about the way the characters see themselves. Thea's chapters are all in first person, while Alex's are in third person.

This one would be a great YA book club selection. There's so much to discuss and delve in to. If I gave stars, this one would take 5 out of 5.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this ebook galley from Random House Children's Books/Alfred A.  Knopf BFYR through the netGalley publisher/reader connection program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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