All She Ever Wanted
The last time she saw Jake was the day he broke her heart. She wasn’t about to make the same mistake twice.
Twenty-eight-year-old Leah Adams is content with her life. Living with her best friend in the big city and working as a receptionist at the doctor’s office, she doesn’t allow herself much time to think about falling in love and starting a family.
Until the night her ten-year high school reunion not only brings her to Levy’s, but face-to-face with Jake. Leah is faced with feelings she cannot ignore. She has to make a decision that is in her best interest – no matter who gets hurt.
She’ll have to decide if risking another heartbreak is worth it for all she’s ever wanted.
I read. I write.
I make characters fall in love at first sight.
♡ An author of Contemporary Romance
*WARNING SPOILER ALERT*
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.
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!
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..
I LIKED IT!
Goodreads rating system.