All You Never Wanted

All You Never Wanted

3.0 2
by Adele Griffin
     
 

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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

Overview

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.

Told in the alternating voices of Alex and Thea, Adele Griffin's mesmerizing new novel is the story of a sibling rivalry on speed.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2012:
“A sumptuously written examination of sibling rivalry and socioeconomic class.”

Starred Review, Booklist, September 1, 2012:
“The book is so raw that at times it’s difficult to read—yet it’s impossible to put down.”

Starred Review, School Library Journal, October 2012:
"Loss of bodily control, anorexia, social phobia, sibling rivalry, and compulsive lying are all explored as each girl’s story unfolds. An excellent choice for teen girls’ discussion groups."

Publishers Weekly, September 17, 2012:
"Griffin shows her customary skill at honing in on her protagonists’ perceptions, internal conflicts, and uncomfortable relationships."

Publishers Weekly
Money is no object for sisters Alex and Thea Parrott after their divorced mother marries Arthur, “the McDaddy of Sugar Daddies.” However, where they end up isn’t where they want to be. The internship at a fashion magazine that Arthur finagles for high school senior Alex ends up being a disaster. When she returns home humiliated and too anxious to eat, socialize, or leave the house, Thea, a junior, thinks it may be her turn to steal the spotlight, as well as Alex’s pot-dealing boyfriend, Joshua. Thea discovers too late that making up stories isn’t the best way to win friends. Spanning one frantic, life-changing weekend as the sisters prepare to throw a party, Griffin’s (Tighter) hard-edged novel offers an in-depth examination of two teens coming to painful terms with what they need, as well as what they’ve lost by having extreme wealth dumped in their laps. If the “poor little rich girl” theme is somewhat well-worn, Griffin shows her customary skill at honing in on her protagonists’ perceptions, internal conflicts, and uncomfortable relationships. Ages 14–up. Agent: Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Things were not great when their parents divorced, but at least Alex and Thea had each other. Then their mother met Arthur, and now they are even losing the strong sisterly bond they once shared. Sudden, extreme wealth has changed everything, including their self-perceptions. Beautiful, socially at ease, and effortlessly popular Alex is now starving herself and has developed a stifling phobia of going out in public. Meanwhile, Thea, once a determined academic, is doggedly pursuing the social status formerly enjoyed by her older sister. She is transforming her gift for creative writing into orally spun lies about her family and classmates to win the attention of her sister's friends and boyfriend. Both girls are aware of how their lives are spinning out of control, but they are too absorbed in their own problems to help each other. With their mother and stepdad away for the weekend, Thea plans the party of the year, hoping to finally capture her place in the spotlight, but the event ultimately winds up pitting the sisters against each other. Telling the story through their alternating voices, Griffin drives her plot through the intricate development of her two main characters. While the negative side of wealth is a primary theme, it is by no means the only issue. Loss of bodily control, anorexia, social phobia, sibling rivalry, and compulsive lying are all explored as each girl's story unfolds. An excellent choice for teen girls' discussion groups.—Cary Frostick, Mary Riley Styles Public Library, Falls Church, VA
Kirkus Reviews
Two sisters painfully discover that money can't buy happiness in this provocative family drama. When Alex and Thea's struggling single mom marries a Greenwich, Conn., millionaire, the girls' responses to their elevated lifestyle demonstrate the differences in their personalities. Older sister Alex tries to ignore the new wealth by restricting her enjoyment of it, including the food she allows in her body. Thea, though, sees the money as an opportunity to reinvent herself, even if it means telling elaborate lies to gain entrance to the in crowd. Both girls miss the bond they shared with their mother during the lean times, but that doesn't keep them from throwing a party at the mansion they call Camelot while the 'rents are away. Their self-destructive behaviors come to a head during the bash, and one finds unexpected redemption, while the other discovers just how low she will sink to get her sister's attention. National Book Award finalist Griffin repeatedly nails the details of this tony community and its 1-percent residents with perfectly turned phrases that are just right. A high-end handbag is "plopped like an overfed tabby cat on the seat," while a financially struggling classmate owns a wallet "as ancient as the Dead Sea Scrolls and always flat as a pita besides." A sumptuously written examination of sibling rivalry and socioeconomic class. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375870811
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
10/08/2013
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
1,182,645
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile:
HL600L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2012:
“A sumptuously written examination of sibling rivalry and socioeconomic class.”

Starred Review, Booklist, September 1, 2012:
“The book is so raw that at times it’s difficult to read—yet it’s impossible to put down.”

Starred Review, School Library Journal, October 2012:
"Loss of bodily control, anorexia, social phobia, sibling rivalry, and compulsive lying are all explored as each girl’s story unfolds. An excellent choice for teen girls’ discussion groups."

Publishers Weekly, September 17, 2012:
"Griffin shows her customary skill at honing in on her protagonists’ perceptions, internal conflicts, and uncomfortable relationships."

Meet the Author

ADELE GRIFFIN is the acclaimed author of many books for young readers, including Sons of Liberty and Where I Want to Be, both National Book Award finalists. She is also the author of Tighter, Picture the Dead, The Julian Game, and the Witch Twins and Vampire Island middle-grade series. Adele lives with her husband and daughter in Brooklyn, New York.

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All You Never Wanted 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Falln2books More than 1 year ago
I may have enjoyed this novel more if I had actually been able to stomach any of the characters. As it stands, I finished this simply to see how it ended, but I didn't enjoy it. The writing wasn't bad, which is why I rated this with a D instead of an F. I just didn't enjoy the subject matter or the characters at all. I thought this would be different than it was. Fans of depressing contemporary will probably love this. I, however, did not. One of my complaints with these characters is the binary aspect of it. Thea is an intelligent character who is more comfortable with a book than a group of people. However, as she discovers her sister's life, she wants to steal it from her basically. It's disgusting, if you ask me. Of course no one asked me, so I guess that doesn't matter. But since it's my blog, it's kind of like I'm being asked, so I'm telling. Alex is a bit whiny and over dramatic, in my opinion. I didn't like her much either, and I certainly didn't buy her love for Xander. The plot was different, but I just didn't like it. I don't like lies and jealousy and the like to the degree that they're exhibited here. I don't like them at all, but at least in books they normally make for a good story. Not in this case. Thea just did one crappy thing after another, and I kind of hated her a lot. Overall, I wouldn't recommend this story to people who don't like reading from a brat's perspective. Or in this case, two brats' perspectives.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Heller