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All I Ever Wanted

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  1,524 ratings  ·  110 reviews
Mim knows what she wants, and where she wants to go — anywhere but home, stuck in the suburbs with her mother who won't get off the couch, and two brothers in prison. She's set herself rules to live by, but she's starting to break them.

Now Mim has to retrieve a lost package for her mother.

Does this make her a drug runner?

Why is a monster dog called Gargoyle hidden in the
Paperback, 202 pages
Published June 27th 2011 by Text
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Average rating 3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,524 ratings  ·  110 reviews

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Jul 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
“The summer holiday is nearly over.

This is not how it’s supposed to be.”

There is nothing saccharine about Mim Dodd’s life. She’s nine days away from seventeen, has two brothers in remand, and lives in a dead suburb with a Mother she is desperate to be nothing like. Mim wants to be anywhere else, and she’s got a set of rules to live by to make it happen.

It only takes one day, one package, and Mim’s life is about to change forever.

All I Ever Wanted’ is a powerful and beautiful book; a stunning
All I Ever Wanted is blurbed by two of my all-time fave Aussie YA authors:

‘One of the most memorable YA books I’ve ever read. Original, real, startling and beautiful.’ Cath Crowley (Graffiti Moon)

‘In a tarnished world, Mim is tough and sweet and true. Utterly charming’ Fiona Wood (Six Impossible Things).

Okay, I nearly feel like my work here as a reader/reviewer is done as I fully (crazily) endorse both those statements.

All I Ever Wanted captivated me from the first few pages. I adore Mim,
Jul 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
It's been two days since I read this and still don't think what I have to say will do it justice. I LOVED THIS. And while I do believe Marchetta to be the queen of complicated, emotional relationships, All I Ever Wanted leftmefeeling a little of what I feel everytime I pick up The Piper's Son or Saving Francesca or Jellicoe Road. And why? It's the people in it, their screwy relationship; it's how they weren't all lovey dovey for each other but simply present. Add to all that a whimsical element, ...more
Jul 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: aussie-ya
"I'm getting out," I tell her. I still half-believe it. Surely there's a recipe for it. Follow a few steps and you can cook up your own shiny destiny.

This debut novel by Adelaide author Vikki Wakefield is a unique and refreshing addition to the Aussie YA scene. What makes this book memorable is the outstanding prose and the loveable, rough around the edges characters.

Mim wants to escape her life. At 16, she's weighed down by a poor family, 2 brothers in jail and a gritty, run-down suburb. She
Jun 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
I loved this debut novel (published by Text—who are publishing some really interesting YA fiction). It's the story of 16 year old Mim Dodd (Jemima, a name she hates), youngest child of a family of small time criminals who is determined to follow her own rules, including not to take drugs, not to get tattoos, to stay at school, to only trust herself, to not to be like everyone else—especially her mother. The novel opens with Mim being relieved of a package she's collected from her mother by the ...more
Cass -  Words on Paper

Beautiful. I don't even really know what to say about this book. The only reason why I can't give All I Ever Wanted a higher rating is because it's so short! I want more, truly. Mim is such a relatable protagonist. Having grown up in a lower class upbringing that is heavily in the drug dealing business she longs for more. Thus her well loved collection of Lonely Planet books and the rules. Number 1: I will not end up like my mum. And then she starts breaking them. It all starts with a "deal"
Jul 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
this is forgot the whole world for a second good. it's kick you in the crotch spit on your neck fantastic. it's writing that makes your palms sweat and your toes curl. it's just so....SO. y'know? wowzers. this book is my people and fuck is it good to be home.
Zemira (Kylo Ren fangirl) Warner
Dec 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Marchetta and Crowley fans
Even though I picked it up because it was so short, I ended up wishing it was longer just because I was enjoying myself so much.
Wendy F
Feb 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, 2014
You know how sometimes when you read a book, one that someone convinced you to try, and you are completely blindsided and blown away when you fall deeply in love with it? Well, that is exactly what happened to me when I read Friday Brown by Vikki Wakefield. I have a very very select few of my absolute top shelf favorite books, and in my entire lifetime of reading it’s only got 8 books on it. One of those books is Friday Brown.

Falling in love with a book like that is actually rather rare. Though,
Paula Weston
Jul 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is a gutsy book about family, identity, and the realisation that love comes in all shapes and sizes. It's unsentimental, but even though Mim's world is rough and tumble, it's not brutal. There's no dressing up the poverty and criminality in her world, and yet there's still dignity in lives of the eccentric and dangerous characters around her (well, most of them. Some are just assholes).
But in her desperation to get away from everything that makes her who she is, she discovers a startling -
Oct 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Anywhere but here. That’s what Mim thinks – that she’d rather be anywhere but these suburbs that are haunted by a missing girl. Anywhere but down the road from the Tarrant house, where a dog called Gargoyle patrols the perimeter. Anywhere but in this family, with a mother addicted to home shopping and two brothers stuck in prison. Where childcare workers take her brothers’ bastard kids away the second Mim’s mum starts loving them.

So Mim has made rules to live by, rules to get out of this dump.
Jan 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wakefield’s debut establishes her as a skilled writer with a new take on the teen experience. All I Ever Wanted is filled to the brim with the seedier aspects of this small community of misfits and criminals but there is a pervasive sense of hope throughout. Mim sorely wants to escape her family and her general lot in life but finds herself in the middle of a situation that goes against everything she’s been trying to achieve.

Wakefield’s beautiful phrasing and sparky narrative is at odds with
rating: 4.5
I was surprised by this book, very much so. It was so real and I absolutely loved the narrator and the story line and it was really very well written. The only thing that i wish it had was just more. It was really very short and I would've absolutely loved it if it delved into everything that little but more, it would have elevated the story so much. It was lovely and quaint with the size of the story, but my weakness is thick books.
Brooke R
Oct 14, 2015 is currently reading it
I chose the book, All I Ever Wanted because the front cover caught my attention. I found the front cover Fascinating because it looked like a girl so I think I could connect to the character. I also found first glances fascinating because of the simplicity happening on the front cover which helped me to focus on just a few images that interest me. From this book I am expecting some twists and real life events that would happen because of the images displayed and blurb. After reading the blurb I ...more

This book had so much potential.

I'm just sad that after letting it simmer for two days I have now convinced myself that it's flaws were too in-your-face to give it a good rating.

I read the sample first and was immediately hooked. Wakefield writes a good teen girl voice, very Sarah Dessen esque. So I got really excited.

Only a few pages into the book we watch Mim, the MC, get robbed of drugs she was trafficking for her family by the guy she's been in love with for years. She left the kid
Jul 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chachic by: Nomes
Shelves: best-of-2013
Originally posted here.

I've said it before and I will probably say it again in the future: I love Aussie YA. I can't help it, there are just so many great authors in the land down under. So it's no surprise that I've been curious about All I Eve Wanted by Vikki Wakefield since I first heard about it, when glowing reviews from Aussie bloggers started popping up all over the blogosphere. I knew I was in for a treat when I finally got the chance to read this one.

I kept being surprised by how
Aug 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This review is also posted on my blog, In The Good Books.

Mim's story is sweet and raw, her character likeable in its flaws, and her development and change of heart realistic and gradual. Her story is in equal parts heart-wrenching and heart-warming, and wholly touching.

Mim (short for Jemima) doesn't want to associate herself with the deplorable town she lives in, or the people in it. She just wants to get out. She has volumes and volumes of Lonely Planet travel guides read and reread. She's set
Jun 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Just one of those books where you take away more than just a story.

It was like, to an 18 year old teen stumbling through life, all the answers to unasked questions.

But in the end, even though I loved the story, that's all it is...
...A story.

I'm 18, and I found the book very close to my heart, since I live a state away from where it's set, so it was...strangely refreshing from the other YA fiction out there. And it was...mesmerizing, but at the same time disturbing.

But a star must be removed
Steve lovell
Oct 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a fine debut novel from a writer with a knack for portraying engaging characters, most rough on the outside but with the ‘right stuff’ caged internally. The journey in this book, from start to cusp of climax, was excellent as, like a more sombre version of ‘Weeds’, our hero copes with growing up in a drug dealing dysfunctional family with little hope, so it seems, of crossing over those symbolic tracks. Mim is, as Fiona Woods notes in her blurb caption, ‘tough and sweet and true’, as, to ...more
Pam Saunders
Jun 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Vicki writes of Mim, a quite different character, not an anguishing private school girl of many teen books, but Mim from the hard suburbs, struggle town itself. Mim wants out and faraway, is it possible? Probably not with brothers in jail, a blob of a mother and a best friend who doesn’t understand. Why has the neighbours vicious dog moved in with them, who is the mysterious, moaning girl next door and now Mim is involved in the family drug business. Maybe getting a tat is not a big deal after ...more
Adele Broadbent
Jun 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Vikki Wakefield is an amazing new Australian author for teens. All I ever Wanted is about a girl who is determined not to end up like her overweight, overspending mother, her tattooed and boy crazy best friend or her two brothers - both in prison for drug offences.

This would make a fantastic school character study as the reader gets to know the main character so well. And as the story progresses, the main character learns about herself and her family too. Maybe all is not what it seems?
Jan 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
This debut novel by an Australian author was just a nugget of gold. Jemima and her odd collection of friends and relatives all found a place in my heart very quickly. A story about a lost sixteen year old girl who finds out being herself is the best choice. A quick wonderful read that will have you well and truly satisfied at the end.
Christine Bongers
Nov 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: aussie-ya
I could not put down this warm and gritty YA novel about a girl from a rough neighbourhood who is desperate to escape her small-time crim roots. The engaging storyline and characters, fluid narrative and evocative writing would have made it five stars for me, but for the sentimental, too-neat ending. Still, a fantastic debut novel. Four-and-a-half stars.
Jess - The Tales Compendium
In A Nutshell: All I Ever Wanted was a unique novel, distinctly Australian with likeable characters fighting to figure out who they are, and who they don't want to be.

For my full review, please visit my blog:
I knew from the beginning that I would love this book. Vikki's writing made me feel like I was where Mim was and this was a heartbreaking story.

I'll say it again, I am loving reading the work of Aussie authors at the moment.
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oh, man. I really, really liked this.

Mim dreams of a different life, a life far, far away (in every respect) from her current one and it’s not difficult to understand why she wants to escape. She lives in a rough neighborhood where bright futures are the rarity, not the foregone conclusion. The family business includes drug dealing and loan sharking and her neighbors range from strange to genuinely terrifying. Mim hardly dares to say her dreams out loud, but she fiercely clings to the idea of a
4.5 stars.

"I see them: Mum with a golf club, Mrs Tkautz with a crowbar, Benny with . . . a bottle."

This book started off slowly and I didn't think I was going to enjoy it. But boy, was I wrong. This book was beautiful in its storytelling, characters and their development, and of course, its spot-on Australian culture.

I didn't think I could enjoy a book without romance so much but I flew through this. I highly recommend it to everyone.
Jan 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When a book is spoken of so highly by both Melina Marchetta and Cath Crowley you go in with some pretty high expectations. Thankfully, All I Ever Wanted blew right past my expectations, and (yes, I know it’s early days) will probably be a favourite read of the year. It’s hot, gritty, Australian suburbia and I loved every moment of it.
Annelise Guest
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-fiction
When I described this book to my friends, they were shocked that I would categorise it as a young adult text. And it is true that there is some very hard hitting content, including drug dealing, sex work, consent in sexual relationships, and domestic violence. However, I believe the take away messages are important.
rachel ☾
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2-star, contemporary
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Author interview with Vikki Wakefield (includes writerly advice) 1 13 Feb 15, 2012 03:13PM  

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