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Everything We Ever Wanted

2.84  ·  Rating Details ·  975 Ratings  ·  179 Reviews
A late-night phone call on a Sunday evening rarely brings good news. So when Sylvie, a recently-widowed mother of two, receives a call from the head teacher of the school she's on the board of, she knows it won't be something she wants to hear.
Paperback, 352 pages
Published September 1st 2010 by HarperTorch
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Sep 28, 2011 Diane rated it really liked it
Reading this insightful novel by Sara Shepard made me uncomfortable at times. The self-destructive behavior of some of her characters may hit a little close to home for some readers, and I think that many readers may recognize themselves in some of the characters.

Sylvie is a wealthy recent widow, and mother to two grown sons: Charles, her birth son and Scott, adopted when he just a few years old. Charles always felt that he disappointed his father, that he wasn't the son his father wanted. Scott
Nov 18, 2012 Elly rated it it was amazing
Everything We Ever Wanted
Sara Shepard
321 Pages
Realistic Fiction
This is book is about a rich family that owns a very high up and expensive school. When the father dies of an aneurism the family is broken. When the father dies and they find out he was having an affair with his son's girlfriend the whole family is shocked. His brother was committed of hazing the kids on the wresting team at the school. When the whole family is accused and not wont speak up their mother Sylvie questions her son. W
Donna McBroom-Theriot
May 10, 2011 Donna McBroom-Theriot rated it it was amazing

About the Book:
One phone call can change everything...

When Sylvie Bates-McAllister, a recently-widowed mother of two, receives a late-night phone call from the prestigious school founded by her grandfather, her family is thrown into chaos. Her adopted son Scott may have been involved in a hazing scandal --and it may or may not have led to the death of one of the boys he coaches on the school team. Sylvie must decide between maintaining her outwardly perfect life --the family estate outside Phi
Nov 03, 2011 Chrissy rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2011
I've never read any of the PRETTY LITTLE LIARS series, but when I saw this Sara Shepard novel, intended for adult audiences, I was definitely intrigued -- even when the description on the back sounded a little less than enticing, I admit.

The plot revolves around Sylvie, a widow and a prominent lady of society. She has two sons; Charles, who is married to Joanna, and Scott, who was adopted and never quite fit into the lives of the "upper crust" family.

When the novel opens, Sylvie has learned that
Jul 27, 2011 Rachel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Sylvie Bates-McAllister is a wealthy widow and mother of two grown sons. When she gets a phone call that her younger son Scott may be involved in a hazing scandal at the private school where he coaches wrestling and she is on the board, she and her family are thrown into a panic.

I thought this book moved way too slowly and had a lot of moments that were supposed to be very dramatic that didn’t feel authentic to me. Everyone got worked up about the hazing scandal way too quickly – one phone call
Mrs Mommy Booknerd
As many of you know I am a fan of Sara Shepard. I have read every book she has written and enjoyed them all. She is mostly known for being a YA author who has written the wildly popular Pretty Little Liars series and the newer series The Lying Game. Both series are now shows on ABC Family. Pretty Little Liars is about to wrap of their second season and The Lying Game has just begun this summer. Both of which I am hooked on. But she also has written two books outside the YA arena; The Visibles ...more

Now, before I begin, I have a confession to make. It's a confession that may shock some of you. I have to admit that before reading Everything We Ever Wanted I had never read a Sara Shepard novel. Before you all start throwing things at me, I promise that I will be reading her others novels, especially her Pretty Little Liars series. So, therefore as soon as I had the opportunity to review Everything We Ever Wanted I jumped at the chance. After all I just
Oct 12, 2011 Laura rated it liked it
2.5 stars

This book was my first novel by Sara Shepard that i've read, and was really excited to read it, but was let down. I felt that the storyline was all over the place and wish it focused on one main issue instead of having a million different issues being highlighted.

Sylvie Bates-McAllister is a recent widow with two sons, one of which is biological (Charlie) while the other is a mixed boy that was adopted (Scott). Sylvie recieves a phone call from the well-known prep school that her grandf
Naomi Morrison
May 25, 2015 Naomi Morrison rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 16, 2011 Emily rated it it was ok
To be honest, I expected more out of this title. Everything We Ever Wanted was little more than a paperback romance, but it tried to be deeper. The rich Bates-McAllisters' lives have suddenly become more complicated: Scott (the grown-up adopted son) may have been involved in hazing that caused the death of a high school student. Sylvie (the matriarch)belongs to the school board, and now has to deal with the scandel and shame of what Scott did (or did not...we don't know). Charles (the uptight ol ...more
Jan 30, 2013 Rebecca rated it really liked it
Was this a great novel? No. Was this a really good novel? Maybe not. However, I couldn't put it down. The story may be maudlin, the characters may be clueless, but it didn't matter. It kept my interest and kept me reading. Maybe it's a pretty good novel after all.

Sara Shepard usually writes young adult. "Everything we Ever Wanted" is targeted to grownups. The Bates-McAllistars are a wealthy family with so much history it stifles them. Mom has designed the house as a shrine to her grandfather. He
Sep 24, 2011 Brian rated it it was ok
I started off really liking this book. I never got into pretty little liars but I was willing to give ms Shepard a chance on her adult book. The premise is that a coach has a student commit suicide and hazing is suspected. Did Scott know about it? This book had very unlikable characters and a plot that is pretty pointless. I enjoyed the first 150 pages and found it to never go anywhere. I had 30 pages left and was still waiting for the plot to get better. It never did
My first e-book.

2 and a half stars.
Autumn Palik
Oct 07, 2016 Autumn Palik rated it did not like it
Can't believe I read this book. Somehow it appeared on the ipad and once started I had to finish it.
Oct 22, 2011 Joanne rated it liked it
This story brings us into the lives of a privileged American family as they are struggling to try to hold onto the life that they know. Sylvie was fortunate enough to inherit her grandfather's mansion early on in her marriage, but I don't think that she realized how this windfall would impact her family life. Her grandfather worked hard building the family business and making a name for himself and was quite an asset to the local community. When the private high school was about to shut down, he ...more
Nov 29, 2011 Sara rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult-lit
This book exhausted me. So many troubled stories intertwined. Not troubled like drug abuse, or alcoholism, or literally crazy…Troubled like, letting a misunderstanding, or letting a misperception of a person haunt you for life.

Seriously, the Bates-McAllister family is living entombed in the Great-Grandfather’s house. Like not one piece of silverware has changed in two generations. The mother, Sylvie is driven to maintain the life of her beloved Grandfather to the point of stifling growth in her
Laura Kay Bolin
Jun 28, 2011 Laura Kay Bolin rated it really liked it
The first thing we learn is there has been a possible suicide at the prestigious school, Swithin. There is a shadow around the students’ death, a possible hazing. Sylvie Bates-McAlister gets the call. As a board member, she isn’t sure why she is being told about the incident until she realizes her son, Scott who is an assistant wrestling coach, will need to be questioned about his possible knowledge of hazing. You expect the story to move in the direction of a full investigation, but story isn’t ...more
Christa  Seeley
Originally posted at Christa's Hooked on Books

As in many of Sara Shepard’s books, the story begins in a quiet, quaint small town. This town is filled with “average” people. They go to work, they come home, they raise a family. Most of these people have quite a bit of money to their name and spend a good deal of time worrying about their reputation. This worrying is often because of some secret(s) that they don’t want getting out. However, unlike many of Sara’s other books, like the Pretty Little
Dani Peloquin
May 11, 2012 Dani Peloquin rated it it was ok
In the past five months, I have read four books about high school scandals. There must be something in the air that has turned so many people’s attention to these events. Of course bullying is in the forefront of everyone’s mind these days and I think that many of these books do justice to such a complicated topic. Unfortunately, there are other novels that fall short and do not add anything to this canon of literature. Sadly, Sara Shepard’s “Everything We Ever Wanted” is one of these works.

Anna  Tee (The Bursting Bookshelf)
If you didn't know I am a pretty big fan of the Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard, so I jumped at the chance to read anything else by her, even if it broke my not usually reading adult books. So boy was I excited to find that I liked it just as much as her young adult books.

The cover for this book was interesting. It intrigued me and some of my friends who saw me reading the book. Two of the most common questions I got was "Who are they?" and "Where are they going?" and to be honest, I'
Nov 04, 2011 Susan rated it liked it
In Sara Shepard's novel Everything We Ever Wanted there are varying shades of relatable characters that we, as reader's, are introduced to. This may make reading this book a bit uncomfortable at times, but it also helps to enlighten the reader as well. Shepard is a well-rounded seasoned author who has tackled many an issue in previous novels, such as her Pretty Little Liars and The Lying Game series. She is quite versed in penning and seemlessly incoporating the mystery element into her no ...more
Karen morsecode
Aug 02, 2011 Karen morsecode rated it it was ok
Recently widowed Sylvie Bates-McAllister's life revolves around Swithin, the prestigious preparatory school endowed by her grandfather. When a scholarship students dies, concerns about hazing within the school's wrestling team (now coached by Sylvie's adopted son, Scott) come to light. An investigation begins. Scott might be fired, Sylvia might lose her seat on the board, but worst of all, Swithin's reputation might be tarnished.

Sylvie's biological son, Charles, and his new wife are on the sidel
Oct 30, 2011 Ariel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: womens-fiction
Wow, there are some pretty harsh reviews here. Maybe it is a matter of reading this book at the right time in your life. I got my copy from Jen over at Book Blub Girl. She will be hosting a discussion with Sara Shepard on her blog talk radio show in November. Check her blog for details. I actually couldn't put this book down and it wasn't the type of book I normally gravitate to. The story revolves around two generations of bates McAllisters, Sylvie the mother and her two sons Charles and Scott. ...more
Oct 09, 2011 Shanella rated it it was ok
Shelves: bea-2011, arc
This was my first introduction to Sara Shepard. I’ve heard of the success of her Pretty Little Liars and Lying Games series and while this is an adult novel, I thought I’d give it a try.

The story is centered around a very dysfunctional family. Sylvie - the matriarch of the family - is awaken by a phone call. There is a death at the private school that her adopted son, Scott, works in as a wrestling coach. There is talk of hazing. Then the assumptions start; or, I should say continue.

It’s clear,
Katrina Burchett
A late night call leaves Sylvie Bates-McAllister with questions, her biological son, Charles, with resurfaced memories and her adoptive son, Scott, even more misunderstood.

Scott was this mysterious person for a while. People kept walking on eggshells around this man and there was so much negativity concerning him that I had to keep wondering why. After a while all of the assumptions and judgments bothered me, and then I began to wonder why Sylvie and James made him a part of their family in the
Oct 21, 2011 Jackie rated it really liked it
Shelves: novel, grown-up-books
Everything We Ever Wanted is an adult novel about a dysfunctional family who has to face their own demons in order to move on with their lives.

The matriarch, Sylvie Bates-McAllister, is from a family of means and lives the current lifestyle of a family of means. Her grandfather Charlie built the house she and her family currently live in. He also single handedly rebuilt the prestigious private school, Swithin, nearby. Sylvie has lived in her grandfather’s legacy, or quite possibly, in his shado
SLJ review:

SHEPARD, Sara. Everything We Ever Wanted. 352p. HarperCollins/Morrow. Nov. 2011. pap. $14.99. ISBN 978-0-06-208006-6.
Adult/High School–Spock of Star Trek fame put it best: “…having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting.” Best known for her teen series of “Pretty Little Liars” books (HarperTeen), Shepard uses sophisticated prose and the aura of old money to illustrate a family’s angst, ennui, and the belief that appearances are everything. Issues of race and class are the u
Aug 11, 2011 Jessica rated it it was ok
Shelves: books-i-own
When I got an ARC of this book from Librarything (of the paperback that comes out in October) I was really excited. I had read Pretty Little Liars and the Lying Games series by Sara Shepard, so I though that this would be awesome too. Boy was I wrong! This book was just so boring! I don't think it got interesting until 250 pages, then after another 50 pages it got boring again. There was no real drama and shocking secrets like her usual books. Sara Shepard's writing is phenomenal (that's the ...more
Stephanie Cowart
I really wanted to like this more. Sara Shepard really is a good writer.I just couldn't really connect with any of her characters. And it moved. so. slow.!

It's all about the Bates-McAllister family - a very dysfunctional one to be sure. Sylvie, the matriarch, has recently lost her husband and she's been informed of a possible scandal involving her adopted son, Scott, at the private school that her grandfather helped created. Her other son Charles is married to Joanna and they have their share of
Jul 10, 2011 Laura rated it it was ok
Members of a dysfunctional family gradually learn to accept themselves, even if they don't really learn to communicate.

Widow Sylvie Bates-McAllister is the mother to two adult men, one of them adopted. Everything We Ever Wanted slides from her point of view, to her sons, to daughter-in-law Joanna. All of them have problems communicating, trusting their feelings, or sharing their pain. A crisis at Swithin, the private school Sylvie's grandfather re-founded, pushes the entire family to a new level
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Sara Shepard graduated from NYU and has an MFA from Brooklyn College. She currently lives in Tucson, Arizona. Sara's Pretty Little Liars novels were inspired by her upbringing in Philadelphia's Main Line.
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