Christa Seeley's Reviews > Everything We Ever Wanted

Everything We Ever Wanted by Sara Shepard
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's review
Oct 16, 2011

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bookshelves: bea-2011, genre-contemporary, own, blog-tour
Read from September 23 to 26, 2011

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 Liars series or The Lying Game series, these secrets are crazy, over-the-top, hard to imagine secrets. They are regular old secrets that anyone could end up with depending on the choices they have made in their life. For me this was the charm of this novel, just how…normal it was.

I really liked how realistic all the characters felt. I truly felt like they were “real” people and I was reading their story. The character development never felt forced. They all changed and developed (as people do) but there wasn’t some big “ah ha” moment, after which everything was completely different. I just don’t think those come around as often as fictional writing has us believe, so it was nice to see an author go a different route.

I should mention that the story itself was interesting. Accusations were flying, plans were set in motion. It was all very dramatic. But it wasn’t the story that sold it for me. If you haven’t already guessed from the previous two paragraphs, this novel is all about the characters. You get invested in them. You hang on through the slow parts because you want to know what will happen. I particularly like Joanna. She seemed so lost, yet so determined to find herself. I respect that. She’s made a few mistakes along the way, but we all make mistakes. It’s human.

What it comes right down to is that Everything We Ever Wanted gives you a glimpse into a very intimate part of people’s lives. But it isn’t about what’s going on in that moment, but how that moment affects the people involved. It's about how it relates to their humanity and their ability to adapt. And it shows you all this in a way that is subtle and unobtrusive. You can’t help but admire it. Sara Shepard has already shown that she is able to write stories that have deep dark secrets, crazy rumours and lots of suspense but now she has proven that she can write the serious dramas that make us question who we are as individuals and how other’s affect our development. She is most definitely a multi-talented writer.

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Reading Progress

09/23/2011 page 60
09/25/2011 page 150
43.0% "Sleepy small town with dark secrets? It's what Sara Shepard does best."

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Michele Good point on the "over-the-top" secrets vs realistic ones!

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