All You Get Is Me

( 10 )

Overview

A summer of love, loss, and justice.

Things were complicated enough forRoar, even before her father decided toyank her out of the city and go organic.Suddenly, she’s a farm girl, albeit areluctant one, selling figs at the farmers’market and developing her photographsin a ramshackle shed. Caught betweena troublemaking sidekick named Storm, abrooding, easy-on-the-eyes L.A. boy,and a father on a human rights crusadethat challenges the fabric of the farmcommunity, Roar is going to ...

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All You Get Is Me

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Overview

A summer of love, loss, and justice.

Things were complicated enough forRoar, even before her father decided toyank her out of the city and go organic.Suddenly, she’s a farm girl, albeit areluctant one, selling figs at the farmers’market and developing her photographsin a ramshackle shed. Caught betweena troublemaking sidekick named Storm, abrooding, easy-on-the-eyes L.A. boy,and a father on a human rights crusadethat challenges the fabric of the farmcommunity, Roar is going to have to tackleit all—even with dirt under her fingernailsand her hair pulled back with a rubberband meant for asparagus.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Prinz (The Vinyl Princess) infuses romance into a heated battle for justice in this provocative novel starring Aurora, a resilient, displaced city girl who loves photography. After her troubled mother left home two years ago, Aurora's attorney father "up and bought a farm like he was running out for a quart of milk." Now, instead of roaming the streets of San Francisco's Mission district, Aurora's days are spent in rural California gathering eggs and selling her father's organic produce. Her life takes another unexpected turn after she and her father witness a deadly car accident. Aurora's enraged father wants to bring a lawsuit against the careless driver who took a Mexican worker's life, but others in town—both whites and Mexicans—would rather keep things quiet. While her father's actions create controversy and danger for the family, Aurora is falling in love with the son of the guilty driver. Internal and external conflicts are vividly expressed as tensions rise in the community, and Aurora's loyalties are tested. While resolutions feel a bit contrived, Aurora's introspective narration and Prinz's well-drawn characterizations sustain this judicious story. Ages 14–up. (Jan.)
VOYA - Sharon Blumberg
When sixteen-year-old protagonist, Aurora, and her father, a prominent attorney, suddenly transplant from the city of San Francisco to a farm, their lives seem to turn upside down. Aurora's father decides to move after the sudden disappearance of her mother, his wife, who vanished into thin air after suffering a number of personal setbacks as an artist. According to Aurora, also known as "Roar," this organic farm is out in the middle of nowhere—nothing is familiar to her. Initially her only companion, besides her camera, is her newly acquired family pet named Rufus. Rufus is inherited along with the house. Roar's mother is the one who taught Aurora how to take and develop photographs. Naturally, Aurora laments if she will ever see her mother alive again. Can Roar go on without her? A sudden automobile accident transforms their world into chaos and leads to Roar's father taking on a controversial lawsuit, in which some of his loyal, undocumented farm workers become entangled. While all this unfolds, Roar discovers unexpected romance. This realistic fiction novel delves wisely into controversial issues for high school students and beyond. Among these issues are immigrants' rights, development vs. vanishing farmland, and the passions of young love, including some sexual expression. Reviewer: Sharon Blumberg
Children's Literature - JoAn Watson Martin
Aurora's father has transplanted her from the city to a farm just two months before her sixteenth birthday. She has been fascinated with photography since she was six-years-old. He had to promise her a darkroom to develop her pictures. As the daughter of a lawyer, she insisted he sign a contract. She and her father have remained in the same place and have not stored her mother's paints, hoping she will eventually come home. After a year they give up their hopes and try to move on. When Aurora (called Roar) meets Storm at school, she enjoys watching Storm be wild and do things she would never dare do. Storm is such a memorable character, unforgettable, never boring. Storm insists that Forest likes Roar. She keeps running into Forest: at the supermarket, the hospital, swimming hole, and farmers market. Is that simply a coincidence? She wishes she had paid more attention to her looks and did not have her hair pulled back with a rubber band meant for the asparagus. Forest invites her to go for a drive with him. Roar hopes she doesn't smell like the farm. Early one morning Roar and her father take their produce to the farmers market. A car tailgates them, honking for them to move over on the narrow road. The woman in the car (Forest's mother) decides to pass on a blind curve and a horrible accident occurs. Sylvia is killed and Roar's father convinces her husband, Tomas to sue. The idea of an immigrant worker suing a white citizen sets the rural town in an uproar. Roar thinks she hates her life: feeding the chickens, hauling veggies to market, suffering with the heat. But when Forest comes over and she gives him the grand tour of the farm, she realizes she has pride in what they have achieved. Yvonne Prinz has written a better than average coming-of-age novel that teens will devour. Reviewer: JoAn Watson Martin
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Many issues are crammed into this coming-of-age novel—the politics of illegal immigration and the rights of migrant farmworkers; dealing with abandonment by a depressed, alcoholic mother; and adjusting to life on an organic farm after growing up in San Francisco—but the heart of this book is a love story. Aurora, 15, and her father witness a car accident in which a Mexican woman illegally in the United States is killed by a reckless driver. Roar's dad, a former human-rights lawyer turned farmer, urges the remaining family to press a civil suit. Fearing his reaction to her blossoming relationship with the son of the woman responsible for the accident, Aurora hides her growing feelings for Forest. A sweet first love unfolds over the course of the summer and culminates in Aurora's tenderly described first sexual experience. The writing is fluid and the plot moves quickly, but it is grounded by descriptions of summer on a vegetable farm. This book should appeal to fans of Sarah Dessen and contemporary romance.—Caroline Tesauro, Radford Public Library, VA
Kirkus Reviews

Aurora Audley, better known as Roar, loves SLR cameras, music from the 1970s and properly spelled-out e-mails, but the oddness of her tastes in a 21st-century heroine goes as unremarked in this bland, clumsy drama as her unfittingly fierce nickname. After her mother, an alcoholic, disappears, Roar and her do-gooder father move to the country to take up sustainable farming. One morning, the two witness an accident: Connie Gilwood, a rude, impatient white woman in an SUV, collides with an undocumented Mexican worker, who is killed in the crash. Wanting to champion the downtrodden, Roar's father pushes to file a civil suit despite many migrant workers' wishes—the dubious politics of which the author barely addresses. In the meantime, Roar begins a summer romance with Forest, Gilwood's son, who is largely unfazed when Roar testifies against his mother. Similarly anticlimactic resolutions of the lawsuit and Roar's eventual reconnection with her mother, as well as a host of stereotypical side characters, add little to the ineffectual story. (Fiction. 14 & up)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061715808
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/21/2010
  • Pages: 280
  • Sales rank: 1,162,772
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 860L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

YVONNE PRINZ is the author of several books, including the Clare series and The Vinyl Princess, which won the California Library Association’s John and Patricia Beatty Award, was shortlisted for an Arthur Ellis Award for Crime Fiction and was named to Resource Links’ Year’s Best of 2010 list. A Canadian living in San Francisco, she is the co-founder of Amoeba Music, the world’s largest independent music store.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

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(6)

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 27, 2011

    Disappointed - Courtesy of Readergirl Reviews a Teen Book

    Okay, this was one of those that I really wanted to like, and actually thought I would like. Aurora "Roar" is a 15 year girl who loves photography and carries her camera with her everywhere. Reminds me of my daughter. Yay! That's where my interest stopped, unfortunately.

    The premise was very interesting and had me buying the book... the idea of a girl falling for a boy who happens to be the son of the woman who just happened to be responsible for killing someone you know by reckless driving....loads of conflict, right? It just didn't go anywhere for me.

    The author could have done so much more with that conflict, but in many ways, I think she took the easy way out. For instance, Roar keeps it a secret from Forest that her dad is suing his mom. What happens when he finds out? He's not outraged at all on his mother's behalf. Even if you don't agree with something your relative has done, you're going to want to be defensive, at least a little bit. At the very least, go away angry and come back and give it one of the old, "I've had time to think about it and..." moves. I just didn't find his complete agreement and acceptance realistic.

    That is something I could overlook. The biggest problem to me was pacing and detail. There seemed to be a lot of random stuff in the book that had nothing to do with anything important. You could have left Storm out of the story entirely and you wouldn't have missed anything... not because she's not an interesting character but because her storyline with Roar was completely irrellevent. Nothing tied in together.

    I just had trouble maintaining interest in general. Will I keep this book? Probably not. Will I ever read another book by this author? Of course I will. I like the author... one book I didn't care for won't turn me off entirely. And there were elements I did enjoy. I liked her friendships with her coworkers, life on the farm, and her photography. I just wish the author had done more with this.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    from missprint DOT wordpress DOT com

    Fifteen-year-old Aurora "Roar" Audley is a city girl at heart. Especially after two years living on a farm with her father under protest. Roar can't wait for her big chance to get away from this farm girl life that she hates.

    At least until a tragic accident brings Roar and her father to the center of attention in town. And brings a mysterious boy to the center of Roar's attention.

    Suddenly everything seems different. Maybe the life Roar's been so desperate to leave behind is really the one she's meant to have in All You Get is Me (2010) by Yvonne Prinz.

    This was an interesting, quick read. Roar is likable enough but ultimately a lot of the plot elements felt superficial. Roar's best friend Storm comes off as a cartoon. The romance angle is simplified despite all of the potential pitfalls. There is a lot going on but Prinz brings in so many elements (Roar is a photographer, her mother disappeared, she's in young love, the lawsuit, the accident, the farm, a photography contest) that everything gets a very perfunctory treatment instead of going into more detail. At 288 pages All You Get is Me is a fairly short book and ultimately needed tighter pacing and plotting to be really compelling.

    The jacket copy makes comparisons to Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. Which, surprisingly, does actually work. The slice of life treatment, though not as well done as Lee's classic, does bring to mind To Kill a Mockingbird. All You Get is Me could be an interesting modern companion to that title even if it may not be quite as memorable.

    Possible Pairings: To Kills a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, The Miles Between by Mary E. Pearson, Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan

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  • Posted June 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Too Much in Too Little

    The author clearly read a pamphlet on how to write an interesting teenage audience novel. The pamphlet probably mentioned adding a wild best friend, having some parental issues, getting a good love interest that comes from a different background, including divorcing parents, a forbidden romance perhaps, the main character having to change their entire lifestyle and/or having some drama in the plot that includes a problem they need to fix by the end of the book.
    The problem is that the author included all of these.
    Roar is a 15 year old girl whose mother ran off somewhere down the line after having alcohol issues. Her father randomly decides to move on by hauling the two of them out to a farm and away from the city. Roar (the narrator) makes a big deal of all the changes and adjusting but really the move was a couple years ago so by now she should be used to it. One day they were driving down the road when a cliche city woman gets some road rage and flips the car of an illegal immigrant killing the mother of a young child. Roar's father immediately sets about suing the woman who happens to be the mother of Forest. Forest and Roar begin to fall in love and share each others secrets. Forest lets Roar in on his mother's life until it is hard to hate the woman any more. All the while Roar is snapping her camera away and pretending her own mom was still with her and working on her dad's organic farm.
    I could go on and point out other terribly predictable and/or overwhelming things that happen but I'll not spoil the book in case you still decide to read it. Overall there is just too too much going on in this tiny 180 page novel that takes place over one summer.

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  • Posted December 17, 2010

    Achingly beautiful

    "Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still," the American documentary photographer Dorothea Lange once said. Yvonne Prinz's All You Get Is Me may start with a car crash, but the book really begins with a picture that the camera-wielding protagonist Roar takes of the wreckage. Roar's photo sets a legal battle of social justice in motion-the driver was an American and the victim an illegal immigrant from Mexico-but her snapshot not only holds that moment still forever it is the also the impetus for what ends up being one of the most moving summer romances in recent YA fiction.

    Transported from the city to the country, Roar's new life on a farm with her dad might as well literally be a different country, but instead of cowering at the cows or wincing at the chickens, Roar acclimates reluctantly, but quickly to farm life and in no time she's cleaning out the barn, helping plant the fruits and vegetables and selling the yield of those crops at the local farmer's market. Her inculcation into an agronomic existence has not only freckled her skin in the sun and cut her hands up here and there-"who knew there was so much blood in a knuckle," she wisely observes-it's given her a comprehensive, almost preternatural understanding of her new life: "The other thing about farm life that they don't tell you is that the work is never done. A person could go insane, running around fixing things and doing chores only to start all over again every morning."

    It is Roar's chameleon-like skills at adapting that make her such an endearing character-forgive the pun, but she knows how to roar along, how to survive. She has big opinions (she threatens to throw a CD she doesn't like out the window of a moving car) and is rife with cynicism, but she's not judgmental and at sixteen she has the rare ability to rock when life tries to roll her over.

    And try it does. The victim of a broken family-her alcoholic mother disappears one day and never comes back-it's no wonder that Roar likes to take pictures. The ability to have a device that freezes things in time, that holds them still so one can have them forever, seems a natural thing for her to gravitate to. At one point when Roar finds a box of old sepia-tinged photos buried in the farmhouse, she pores over them then secrets them away in her dresser. Alone in her dark room, Roar understands the beauty and the sadness of a photo-the beauty is that you have those moments forever, but the sadness is that what you really have is just a record of time and a record of time is vastly different than having time itself.

    Like many girls her age, Roar has a crush and this one's a big one. When Forest, the notebook-scribbling boy she's in love with turns out to be the son of the driver from the aforementioned accident, one wonders if this budding romance has a chance. Writers are in many ways like photographers, so Roar and Forest are a natural fit. They know how to talk to each other, aren't afraid of unabashed sentimentality and crave to be in each other's presence. In other words, exactly the kind of first love we all not only hope for but hope will last forever. These two are not quite star-crossed lovers, but there are conspiring forces trying to keep them apart. This is a beautiful, mature and intuitively written rendering of young love.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2010

    Brilliant!

    Yvonne Prinz's All You Get Is Me is the most deftly written YA novel about summer love in recent memory. Prinz's protagonist, the camera wielding Roar, falls for the new boy in town who walks around writing in his journal and nursing a hidden darkness. Set against the backdrop of farm life in the wake of a terrible accident, All You Get Is Me is plotted brilliantly, bringing in social justice, sustainable farming and a teen romance that is at its core both believable and deeply moving. These are two characters who actually love each other! Prinz's supporting players feature one of the best sidekicks ever, a gentle, poetic cast of Mexican farm workers and a father who wants the world to be a better place. Readers will devour this novel--it's romance done right.

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    Posted June 28, 2011

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