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All She Ever Wanted

by Christina Butrum

Version: Kindle Edition,
326 pages | Pub Date 28 Dec 2016 | CreateSpace

I read. I write.
I make characters fall in love at first sight.
♡ An author of Contemporary Romance
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This review contains spoilers

Does the book engage you? Yes and No. There is way too much going on, the plot is busy and didn’t allow for a natural progression on character development.


Are the characters convincing? Do they come alive for you? How would you describe them — as sympathetic, likeable, thoughtful, intelligent, innocent, naive, strong or weak? Something else? No, Leah and Liam’s relationship was unrealistic in parts. They meet at her high school reunion where she’s trying to get over her high school sweetheart who left her. It’s love at first sight for Liam, Leah’s unsure but he can offer her “All She Ever Wanted“. The characters are likeable, but parts of the story are rushed or overly complicated.
Do you identify with any characters? Are you able to look at events in the book through their eyes—even if you don’t like or approve of them? Do they remind you of people in your own life? Or yourself? Personally, I didn’t connect with the characters. While to story was an entertaining read I feel that it could have been so much better if it had been stripped down and focused on one thing, especially as its the start of a new series, we could have delved further in the later novels.
Are characters developed psychologically and emotionally? Do you have access to their inner thoughts and motivations? Or do you know them mostly through dialogue and action? Leah’s character development is detailed mostly through her actions and dialogue which doesn’t allow for us to understand what’s the driving force behind her actions. Liam’s development is quite clear, we are given a detailed back story that helps us understand why he is the way he is.
Do any characters change or grow by the end of the story? Do they come to view the world and their relationship to it differently? Growth or change is minimal.


Is the story plot-driven, moving briskly from event to event? Or is it character-driven, moving more slowly, delving into characters’ inner-lives? It’s definitely plot driven, we bounce back and forth with the numerous events happening.
What is the story’s central conflict—character vs. character…vs. society…or vs. nature (external)? Or an emotional struggle within the character (internal)? How does the conflict create tension? I’m honestly not sure, there’s potential for central conflict – character vs. character but the Christina doesn’t delve further into the direction, the same can be said for emotional struggle.
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Is the plot chronological? Or does it veer back and forth between past and present? There’s no veering back and forth between past and present which potential harms the story as we have no real back story other than snippets.
Is the ending a surprise or predictable? Does the end unfold naturally? Or is it forced, heavy-handed, or manipulative? Is the ending satisfying, or would you prefer a different ending? It’s very predictable, though the unfolding of the story is ridiculously slow and frustrating.

Point of View

Who tells the story—a character (1st-person narrator)? Or an unidentified voice outside the story (3rd-person narrator)? Does one person narrate—or are there shifting points of view? 3rd person narrator.
What does the narrator know? Is the narrator privy to the inner-life of one or more of the characters…or none? What does the narrator let you know? Not much!

Imaginative Development

What about theme—the larger meanings behind the work? What ideas does the author explore? What is he or she trying to say? I’m a little confused with the theme, this is due to the various directions the Christina went in, my personal preference would have been to focused on the “main” event. The plot twist thats driving the story.
Symbols intensify meaning. Can you identify any in the book—people, actions or objects that stand for something greater than themselves? My original answer was nope but I’ve had time to think more on this and yes to a degree Liam’s need to make his business work as it was his grandmother’s legacy had him thinking of something greater then himself. Leah is also driven to help and is a huge driving force in getting Levy’s to prosper again.
What about irony—a different outcome, or reality, than expected. Irony mimics real life: the opposite happens from what we desire or intend…unintended consequences.  Leah desperately doesn’t want to find love (not sure why) and ends up falling head over heels in love with Liam. Ironic!


You’re probably thinking that I HATED this novel and you’d be WRONG. Its my frustration that’s coming through; I can see so much potential in this novel especially as its the start of a new series. It has ALL the key ingredients to make it an outstanding read. My personal opinion is that there was way too much going on. Strip it back to basics and it would have been a 5 star read.

I’ve scored it..

Score: 3/5


Goodreads rating system.

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  So, All She Ever Wanted, have you read it? What did you think about it? Whatever you think, comment below, let me know!

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One thought on “#REVIEW + RELEASE DAY PARTY | All She Ever Wanted

  1. Pingback: Sunday Post #246 Welcome 2017 | Closet Geek Book Group

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