All We Ever Wanted: A Novel

By Emily Giffin

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Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
chathurani
Beautifully written, this is women’s fiction at its best. Ms. Griffin weaves a story of wealth and privilege, and how it can affect so many lives. The story takes place in Nashville where one family is surrounded by wealth and all its trappings, and one family lives simply. They are brought together when their teenage children become involved with each other. Although mostly told from Nina’s perspective as the wife and mother of the privileged, she did not grow up with money and does not like what she is seeing in her teenage son. It is a complex, layered story told from several points of view! Think it will be a great audiobook also.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
meganlgardner
This book was one of the best and truly intense books I have read
I have read and loved everyone of Emily's books, but as a mother and someone who has been bullied, this book really hits home. I wont give any spoilers but let me just say ,omey doesn't buy you happiness, money can buy you things that can be replaced. Respect in not one of those things.
She may have only be 16, but I truly respect Lyla Volpe. She is someone I would be very proud to say is my daughter. She's strong and very brave. I vcan't imagine the night everything changed her life. but she made to the other side and that is something to be proud of
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
meryal annison
This was a surprisingly deep and touching book. I've been a long time fan of Emily Giffin but her last few left me wanting. All We Ever Wanted started off like a standard rich people problems book but became much deeper. What do you do when what's right and what's best for your family are in competition with each other? I connected with some of the characters and loved reading about a single father who's very aware of his faults but is doing his best. The author does a very good job writing both the parents and kids sides and the reader gets a solid- if abrupt- conclusion. For fans of You Will Know Me or Anatomy of a Scandal. Rating: 4/5
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★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
anne garcia
I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to read an early copy of All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffen. It has been quite a few years (maybe 10 years) since I've read any of Emily Giffin's books. I was very pleasantly surprised and pleased to see how mature her writing has become over the last decade. I enjoyed her earlier works (the Darcy and Rachel stories) but found a great deal of depth in All We Ever Wanted, with a very serious storyline to match. Nina is married to Tom and they are an elite, moneyed Nashville couple. Their 17 year old son, Finch, has just been admitted to Princeton. All is well, apparently, until Finch is accused of taking and sharing photos of a local "wrong side of the tracks" girl, Lyla, at a party. Lyla's father Tom is a carpenter and single parent to Lyla. Things spiral downward for the lives of all involved with the word is spread about the photo and other behaviors that Finch has been exhibiting unnoticed. Without revealing too many spoilers or plot points, I will say that All We Ever Wanted is a compulsive, truly suspenseful read well worth the reader's time. Emily Giffin is on the right track if she continues to write stories such as this one.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
nsubuga lule
Emily Griffin has a new must read for those, like me, who eagerly look forward to her next new story.

Nina is married to a man who was rich and who got much richer in the not too distant past, allowing her and her family to have a life full of good things. That is, until her teenage son commits an act that spreads like wildfire among first his friends, then classmates and keeps spreading until Nina's friends make her aware of the situation. But.. did he really? Kirk, her husband, treats it more as a boys will be boys thing and not a big deal, in fact it's just one more thing his money can get him out of, but not so fast with Nina, who identifies more with Lyla, the girl at the center of the story. What a dilemma, since she wants to believe her son.

It's hard to know who is telling the truth, so the reader really doesn't know what to believe as more facts come to the surface. That not knowing, makes for a book that you want to keep reading due to torn loyalties; in other words a great story.

Thank you NetGalley for an advance reader copy in exchange for an honest opinion
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
mary lowry
There's a lot to like about this book. The plot is fascinating, although I generally wanted more of Lyla's POV. She is, after all, the person most affected by the events. The first chapter seemed entirely unnecessary to me - we can see how rich Nina is elsewhere without all the backstory. And I had some issues with the ending. Also, the title doesn't make sense.

Overall, I liked it, but I don't know that it's one of Giffin's best. I'd likely recommend re-reading Babyproof or Something Borrowed/Something Blue instead.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
shalvi
I don't usually associate a serious, intense topic when reading an Emily Griffin novel, but this one definitely was that. She definitely should not make this her last one either. One moment in time can change your life in a blink of an eye and cause damage to everyone associated. This novel really hit home in so many levels. Being a mother of a daughter and a son made me ponder and react to this well-written story. We all need to have conversations with our children about social media.

The pressures of being a teenager in the world we live in today in unsurmountable, and children aren't equipped to handle it. The inappropriate use of social media with teens is spreading like wildfires and causing lives to be damaged. Excellent job Emily Griffin for addressing it in a realistic manner that both parents and teenagers could learn from and realize this is a true problem that everyone needs to prevent.

I received an Advance Review Copy of this book. All Opinions are my Own.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lisa weingarth
Wow! I just finished All We Ever Wanted and it was a fascinating story! It was told in the first person, alternating between three different POV's (Nina, Tom, Lyla).

As a parent of teenagers, I thought it was a very relevant and thought-provoking story. The book touched on many issues teens face in today's world. The use of smartphones and social media, underage drinking, sexual abuse, racism, privilege. The character development was excellent. Overall this was a quick and easy read!

**I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.**
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
nicole olson
Nina and Kirk Browning are a wealthy Nashvillian couple. Their son, Finch, has been accepted to Princeton. Tom Volpe is a single father working multiple jobs to support his daughter, Lyla, and to fund her expensive education.

These two families lives are thrust together when poor decisions are made at a party one night. True colors are seen in the face of crisis.

This novel truly questions how social media affects the lives of those around us. One poor decision can have dire consequences. This isn’t the first book I’ve read this summer that addresses this topic. I’m really happy more and more writers are talking about relevant, real issues, even in fiction.

This is one of my biggest fears: to think you’re raising a child to be a respectable and functioning member of society, but social influences get the better of them.

All We Ever Wanted was a quick read, and a little predictable for me. For bigger fans of Emily Giffin, I highly recommend reading!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
anne duncan
I wanted to love this book. I have adored Giffin’s novels since Something Borrowed, because of their subtlety. I also wanted to love this as the mother of a teenager. Giffin definitely included topics and themes that haunt parents and test teenagers in today’s world.

My biggest criticism of this book is that it misses the nuanced characterization that I have appreciated in Giffin’s previous works. With the exception of Finch, every character was too “one note.” Even though Finch seems to be conflicted and reside in a “gray area,” his sotry line was predictable.

As for the other characters, Kirk in particular, the characterization lacked the depth I have come to appreciate in her other novels. No human is entirely good or entirely bad. In this novel, Giffin comes dangerously close to painting with those broad strokes. I hope she will get back to her strengths in future novels.

3 stars earned for compelling story/themes that kept me reading.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
nadine
All We Ever Wanted is the first book I've read by Emily Giffin. The story is very emotional and thought-provoking and completely in keeping with current issues. In reading a few other reviews, I see that this is a new direction in Ms. Giffin's writing style, more involved than the typical women's fiction. I loved her writing style. It just felt natural to me and one that I was instantly comfortable with. I will definitely be checking out her backlist and adding her to my TBR list.

Thank you to NetGalley, Ballantine Books and Ms.Giffin for the ARC is exchange for my honest opinion.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
kara lehman
Hard to put this one down! Sometimes our children are not what we had hoped and are leading different lives than the ones presented to their parents. This book deals with some tough topics: privacy in the new world of social media and how families are affected, standing by your belief in what is right regardless of the negative ramifications, teenagers ('nuf said - always drama and turmoil). Griffin handles the intricate relationships in this book with empathy and compassion. The writing is beautiful and absorbing. The characters are believable. Great job Emily Griffin - I really liked it!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
rhianon
I’ll be honest, I was putting off reading this book for a bit. Emily Griffin was an author I used to read back when reading had become a chore (cough, college...) and I would escape for some mindless entertainment. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not downplaying this in any way, I’m saying Emily Griffin was a go-to in that department, I just wasn’t quite in that mood for my next read...

I’m not too big to admit when I’m wrong, and I was wrong about this book: it was not just fluff. Following Nina primarily, the wife of Nashivillr elite and millionaire Kirk Browning and mother of Finch who just posted a picture of a prep school scholarship recipient passed out a a party with a racist caption. Now, Finch’s college future is in question and she’s realizing she isn’t quite sure what kind of young man she’s even raising at this point or why she’s even clinging to this life that may be easy, but no longer seems to be worth it. All We Ever Wanted was a painfully realistic look at parenting in a modern day, social media frenzied, everyday life and an authentic peek in to whether money can truly be the answer to all of our “problems”.

I say read this is you are an Emily Griffin fan, and read this is you aren’t, but you want a quick, modern, relevant story about life as a parent during this time of social media and internet “anonymity”. This is Emily Griffin at her best, trust me.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
john doe
Wealth, privilege, lies, scandal and heartbreak are the brutal framework of Emily Giffin’s emotional novel, ALL WE EVER WANTED. This story packs a punch that I didn’t see coming when I read the synopsis.

Kirk and Nina Browning run with Nashville’s elite crowd. Their son, Finch has never wanted for anything and his recent acceptance into Princeton is the cherry on the top of his privileged upbringing. Finch is the stereotypical product of this type of rearing – spoiled, narcissistic, and manipulative. Finishing up his final year at prestigious Windsor Academy, he gets drunk at a party and makes a horrible, racist and sexually degrading decision that threatens his academic future but has long-ringing effects on Lyla the victim, and near-death experience for Finch’s ex, Polly. Moreover the event causes Nina to question the moral thread that ties she, Kirk and Finch together.

Told in alternating narratives, the reader hears from Tom, Nina and Lyla but it’s Nina’s story that weaves the complexity of parenting, morality, betrayal and a mother’s love for her son into this provocative plot.

This book is borderline YA and may be appropriate for a mature teenager. It’s a timely story around the recent #metoo movement, this one is a stellar page-turner touching on social class and misogyny.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
leigh statham
I was expecting what other reviewer said about this book. Some loved and and some didn't. Either way, I liked it. At first it seemed it was going to be about social media, and it was a little. I kept with it because so far Emily hasn't failed me. And she didnt. This book was more about character and being true to ones self and doing what's right even when you stand to lose somethings. I just wanted to know more about father and son in the aftermath. The ending was wrapped well. But my more vengeful self wanted a father insight on the ex husband.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lady ozma
Emily Giffin takes us on a ride of three lives effected by one decision and the after effects that technology can have on the young, and their families. The realism the author shows really catches you and takes you on a journey of love lost, young lives tarnished and new friendships. This story also reflected on the differences in society with the gift of wealth, and how this can effect how children look at life and how they are brought up. This is my first book by this author and I ate it up and was really wanting more story!! *****5 Stars*****
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
marline5259
I love Emily Griffin's books and I was so happy to read this book. This was a very good book and a bit different than her usual style of writing but so glad I got a chance to read it.

Nina Browning and her husband live the good life. They have money and their son Finch is popular and headed to a great college.

Thomas is a single father trying to take care of his daughter Lila. They don't have much money but he pays for her to go to a better high school.

Lila ends up going to a party and a naked picture ends up being passed around on Snapchat. Nina's son Finch is the one who sent it to his friends.

Nina is upset and her husband could careless. Boys will be boys he thinks. Thomas is very upset and tries to get Finch kicked out of school.

Very good book! This book shows all types of emotions in one book. Lovely read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
pat boyle
Intense read about an all to common story. Well written and very believable story line. Uncomfortable story for parents, but, sadly, all to familiar. Characters are human, situations realistic, actions are deplorable.

Teenagers that go to a pricey private school, attend an unauthorized and unsupervised party. Drinking to excess, and stupid and irresponsible decisions are made. Single Dad, Tom, is holding down 3 jobs will taking care of his daughter, Lyla. Kirk and Nina are living the wealthy life and their only child, Finch, is born with a silver spoon in his mouth with no accountability. This story will take you on a ride that could be taken from today’s newspapers. Not to give any spoilers, but two endings to different story lines. One will disgust you, and one will restore your faith.

I received an ARC of this book. This opinion is mine alone.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jennifer zimny
This book explores a lot of different issues including class divisions, racism, immigrants, sexual exploitation and the different attitudes towards boys and girls. The story is extremely well written and pulls the reader in immediately. I couldn’t put it down. Multiple view points are used to tell the story and while I completely understand why this was necessary I think it actually took away from the story a little. There were so many issues at play here and none of them were explored in enough depth because we kept jumping around to different people. That being said I really liked all of the characters, especially Nina. I did feel like she had turned a blind eye to the what all that wealth and privilege had done to her family and let it slide to far. One of the things it really made me think about was parenting. The book centers largely around two teenagers and how their parents react to the photo. I had to pause a couple times to consider what I would do. I gave the story 3.5 stars simply because of the lack of really getting into certain issues. Otherwise I really liked it!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
christina kemeny
This was an ARC that will be released on June 26, 2018. An intriguing story by Emily Giffin that touches on a few very important subjects relevant in today's society, most importantly, social media and it's effect on our youth. The story is told in turns by each key character allowing the reader to feel close to each as they see the situation from his or her perspective. The main characters, Nina and Tom, are both likable and realistic, making them very relatable to the reader. Just when you think you know how this story ends there is a surprise twist that proves you wrong. Great storytelling.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
vidam23
I bought this on a whim in the airport yesterday and I am already more than halfway through it. It is a wonderful book! As soon as you start reading, you will be able to tell if you have ever met this type of people in real life. I know I have. It also shines a light on just how damaging social media can be to people's lives. The story is good. It's not just about wealthy people, and it's not just about social media. A lot more to it, but I won't spoil the story. Giffin is a gifted writer who creates believable characters.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
claudia van overbeek
Juxtapositioning of main characters telling the story always adds interest and Emily Griffin skillfully draws the reader into a plot line that can only get more complicated. And, as with classical literature, there is fair warning of the facts surrounding generational climbs and slides. Top of the world, or presumed so, parental wealth, just may not be enough, no matter the early student success of their progeny. Money helps, but it can also be part of the problem. Throwing money at one's children's poor decisions/actions, is simply that...throwing and possibly the start of a drain growing into an eddy...threatening the top of the world status that seemed impenetrable.

A tale as old as time, a cautionary saga. Where will it lead? Certainly, changes are ahead, and possibly tragedy, downfall, unwanted climax.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kristian
Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Random House for providing an ARC of this book. I was a little skeptical as I'm not a huge fan of "chicklit" however I was pleasantly surprised. The story line is quite timely, given the Me Too movement recently. You initially think it's just a story about a rich family and their trials and tribulations but the plot line eventually leads one to consider moral and ethical dilemmas in many areas, regardless of socio-economic status. I think this would make a great book for parents and teenagers to read and discuss the many important subjects this book touches on.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
karen lucas
TRULY CAPTIVATING! Nina seems to have it all-a gorgeous, doting husband, a beautiful home, a country club membership, and a brilliant son who just got accepted to Princeton. Then one night at a party things go horribly wrong. What ensues leads the reader on a quest to discover what is really important in life-is it money, prestige, or how we treat one another? How far will you go to protect a secret that has the potential to destroy everything you have ever worked for? Emilt Giffin writes a poignant novel about what forgiveness means.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
msarnold
So, I’m a bit late on this one, having downloaded it to my Kindle months ago. I’m not sure why I let it sit for so long because once I started this one, I was completely hooked. All We Ever Wanted tells the story of the wealthy, upstanding Nashville family, The Brownings. Kirk and his wife Nina are extremely proud when they learn that their son Finch has been accepted into Princeton. However, while at a charity gala one evening, they learn from one of the gossipy women in their circle that Finch has taken an inappropriate picture of a fellow student at his high-profile private school, and that it is spreading among the community like wildfire. Tom Volpe is a single Dad working extra jobs and doing his best to raise his teenage daughter, Lyla. She attends Windsor Academy with Finch thanks to financial aid and doesn’t exactly fit in with the rich and privileged students at the school, but when Finch’s photograph of Lyla has circulated around, Tom aggressively defends his daughter, demands repercussions for Finch’s actions, and finds a surprising ally in the process.

I absolutely loved this novel. I mean, LOVED it. Emily Giffin’s characters were completely amazing – whether good or bad – and the main conflict of the novel is something that could happen to any parent. I can’t count how many times I have made comments such as, “my child would never do anything like that,” assuming that I had raised him/her “right” and they just wouldn’t think of doing this or that. In this novel, those assumptions are completely upset and proved to be untrue when the popular, wealthy, intelligent, and charming Finch takes a photo of Lyla and then captions it with a comment even more inappropriate than the photo itself. However, once the photo is shared and each family begins dealing with the aftermath and consequences, lines are blurred, desperate measures are taken to fix everything, and it essentially becomes a battle of morals and what is right and wrong. Add in several lies, omissions, some manipulation and you can guess how things go.

I would say that the major theme of the novel revolves around the fact that assuming things about others – whether loved ones or complete strangers – is a careless way of thinking and unfortunately, can lead to a great deal of disappointment, anger, and heartbreak. Nina not only learns things about her son and his morals that are surprising and disappointing, she also recognizes and/or finally faces things about her husband Kirk that she had not seen. Nina and Tom are the moral heroes in this story, Lyla is repeatedly a victim, Kirk learns nothing, and as far as Finch goes, I honestly don’t know if he learned anything from the experience but I don’t want to go into that because of spoilers.

Faithful followers of my blog know that overall, I prefer romance or more light-hearted women’s fiction than novels such as this, but I cannot praise All We Ever Wanted enough. I think that parents will especially relate to this novel, but anyone that has ever stopped to wonder if their “perfect” life is truly “perfect” will most likely be fascinated by this novel. It’s a page-turner, there are several twists and surprises, but most importantly this one will get you thinking about things that are important.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
anna habben
This is my first Emily Giffin book.....
..........A PrimeTime-Page-Turning-Plausible-novel that most likely attracts women readers. If I saw more reviews from men than by woman, I’d be surprised- but also very interested in their thoughts.

There seems to be a trend on ‘issue’ novels lately- contemporary topics mirroring our every days lives.
This book could join bookends with Rochelle Weinstein’s book “Somebody’s Daughter”. They have similar themes........
.....starting with inappropriate sexual behavior among teens.....leading to a community scandal.
If it’s not clear by now - that social media has become a quick way to spread ugly information out to people whose business it’s ‘not’.....creating real damage - from misdemeanors to Felony crimes - to deeply hurting people - if one has ANY QUESTION of the damage ......spending time reading this book - looking at the nut & bolts from every angle will prove to be TRANSFORMATIVE......

For those more clear about the contemporary problems teens and families face today in a “sharing-is-caring” modern world of transparency - Emily Giffin’s book will strengthen and re-enforce your own beliefs.....on what’s right - and what’s evil - on morality & ethics - on how cheating damages relationships - lies hurt -etc.

The Characters in this story ( flaws and all) are all familiar ‘types’. Each clearly developed. In a odd way - we take comfort in the ‘reality’ of this story....as we can invest out inner opinions.
The Family conflicts are clear: the solution to the conflicts is what’s ‘not’ clear.
Emily Giffin does a great job including us with the thought- process.....and we’re totally wondering how the book will end. She keeps us interested that way.

We look at individual reputations- school’s involvement with off campus misconduct - - betrayal- family dysfunctions - teen parties - teen drinking (some parents think if their child takes Uber instead of the car - it’s safer - IN CASE THEIR CHILD DRINKS WHILE OUT) >>>>wow.....this new parental train of thought is new-news to me.....

Lots of sex and sex related issues of all kinds associated with High School kids - rape - secrets - racial bigotry - troubled marriages - single parenting - class divide - jealousy- social media dangers - communications.....( types that work and empower and communication that destroys)....friendships... forgiveness... true and false friendships.....even ‘love’.
We look at the value of achievement ( be it grades, sports, business, wealth), vs. the value of honestly and service contributions. Get the point?.....Emily Giffin covers a wide range of human conditions to chew on.

If we stay with this storytelling—- and no reason not to —which flows effortlessly —-and can ‘let go’ of judgements about so many past books in pastel colors ......( admitting I needed to do this),
most readers who enjoy women’s fiction ( from time to time anyway), or books with ‘issues’ to examine and family drama ....will feel their own natural connection to this novel.
Doesn’t matter if there are clichés... those clichés are life’s reality.

Elysejody
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
breathe out
I had a love affair with Emily Giffin’s books a while back. Maybe ten years ago or so, I curled up and read Something Borrowed and immediately followed it up with Something Blue – all in one weekend, while I was on holiday visiting my grandmother. A vast expanse of Louisiana country acreage was laid out before me, the pine trees I’d grown up hiding in were far off in the distance, marking the property line. To my left was the fence I’d spent so many hours sitting on, feeding the horses from next door and giggling as they snapped at my palm hoping to make more apples magically reappear. To my right was a glass of iced lemonade and a Christmas napkin holding several of my aunt’s famous chocolate chip cookies. The porch had been covered early in my childhood, the open spaces filled in with windows and bricks laid by my grandfather, a ceiling fan installed to help get you through those tough Southern days full of the thickness of humidity. I’d curled up with those books and lost myself for a while, the sound of my grandparents and their children playing a (highly competitive) game of dominos creating a familiar and lulling soundtrack. They were easy reads, and I appreciated the light humor and romance.

After those books, I read Babyproof, and fell in love further. Babyproof was a lot less fluff than the previous two Giffin novels, and I was touched by the storyline and the honestly raw exhibitions. But then I fell into a sour disappointment. After picking up the rest of Giffin’s bibliography, I found I just couldn’t engage. There was something off in the tone of the other novels. It happens sometimes, when an author is no longer having to prove themselves and instead is bound by their publisher to crank out book after book – some of the charm gets lost in the shuffle. Books begin to sound mechanical and uninspired. I didn’t finish the books and let them collect (pastel, and very pretty) dust on the shelf.

Giffin wrote another book a few years ago, and it was set in Texas. Normally I’m all about reading books featuring my great state. Our history and our culture is so unique and defined to our area, and Texans are inherently proud of where we come from. While we share space below the Mason-Dixon Line with quite a few other states, Texas has always found a way to stand out in the crowd. Maybe it was our late entry into the United States or our determined spirit, but Texas is special … but, I digress …

I was out to a dinner with my husband; his Masonic lodge was honoring a few individuals, and I got caught up in a conversation with the daughter of one of the men. She was about my age, and because of her fortunate birth into a family well-off enough that she could lounge around a pool all day (while well into her 30’s) and not have to worry about money in the slightest, she had already plowed through the newest Giffin book.

“She thought adding football was enough to make this book Texan. I heard Emily Giffin came to Texas for six months to write this book and all she took away from being in the South was that we play football.” the woman said wryly, a sneer on her carefully Botox’d face as she tapped her manicured nails absentmindedly on the tabletop.

It was a statement that was enough to put me off that book, and the one to come after it as well. It probably didn’t help that I saw maaaaaany copies of that particular book thrown into the bargain bin at my local used-bookstore for $1. Not too long after publication, either.

So when I was sent a galley copy of All We Ever Wanted and asked for an honest review, I was dubious to say the least. I put reading it off until the last moment, sure that I was setting myself up for disappointment and would feel as if my precious reading time had been wasted – yet again. But instead, I was torn.

Let me explain:

Nina Browning is a woman just like any other – or so she tries to tell herself. She came from a normal upbringing in a middle-class part of Nashville, growing up with caring parents and a decent education from a regular high school. She certainly didn’t bank on the fact that as an adult, she’d become one of the elite. She didn’t assume that as a mother, she’d be carpooling in a G-Wagon or carrying a Chanel diaper bag. But after her husband strikes it big in tech and the family becomes part of the upper class, Nina falls into a routine … casually shopping for jewelry at Cartier, buying a new Jag every year, decorating her mansion with the help of a professional interior designer (and no budget). Her husband insists it’s all about the packaging here in Nashville – all about appearances – and Nina is willing to go along on the luxurious ride.

Amid all of her wealth and new privilege, there is something that nags at the back of her mind every now and then. What has she done to deserve this life, besides marry up? And more importantly, what has her teenage son done to deserve everything that he has in this life, by extension? Finch is growing up with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth, or rather – a platinum one studded in diamonds. It bothers Nina that her son knows nothing of the charmed life he leads – the boy goes to a private school and drives the newest model of whatever car he wants, and if he desires concert tickets to a sold out show … all he has to do is call his father’s contacts and he’s enjoying the music from the front row. Nina knows that things are bordering on being out of control, but she has no idea how to rein it in.

Across the tracks in a small but tidy home, Lyla Volpe lives with her father Tom, just the two of them. After her mother walked out when she was just a little girl, Lyla has learned to depend on her father for just about everything. But there are some occasions when a girl really needs her mother … like when she has a crush on a super hot guy and she has no idea how to get his attention. That Saturday night when Lyla was getting ready to attend a party she knew Finch would be at, she tried to look her hottest. Tight dress, showing some leg, her exotic looks on complete display. She’s hopeful that the evening will end up with the two of them finally able to exchange a few words and maybe garnering some progress to the incessant daydreams that cloud her mind. All she can think about is what it would be like to kiss someone like Finch.

But what Lyla didn’t expect was to pass out drunk in a stranger’s bed and wake up the next day to photos of her being passed around on social media … photos that show her in a terrible light and sexually exposed.

Photos that also border on racist. Photos that Finch is responsible for. Photos that crush her.

Thrust into a scandal that rocks the community, Nina is forced to look at her life without rose-colored glasses for the first time. Finch is out of control and not the boy she thought she’d raised – or is he? Her husband is making things worse by throwing money at the situation and hoping it all goes away. Poor Lyla reminds Nina so much of herself from the past, and she’s finding she has more in common with Tom than with her own husband. While Nina struggles to fix things for everyone involved, Lyla is dealing with the true fallout … and when the truth finally comes out, it is sure to leave lasting scars.

All We Ever Wanted is the newest novel by Emily Giffin, an author best known for her light and airy romances and quirky humor. This is her ninth book.

While I sat down to this book with acknowledged prejudice, I was quickly drawn in by the premise and read a huge chunk in just one evening. Unfortunately, a few characters left a lot to be desired, and I prefer books that are character driven. I like to feel invested.

Nina’s character is obviously the main protagonist, but she is not as likable as she seems to think. Giffin draws this character as a woman with a conscience who is wrapped up in a life full of excess almost against her will – but I couldn’t find it in myself to believe the narrative. Nina likes her life and she likes the wealth, and I just wish it could have been admitted. I’m not sure why the reader is supposed to feel sorry for this woman. The lack of a connection between Nina and her teenage son Finch was troubling to me, causing me to dislike Nina even more. I am mother to a teenage girl and teenage boy myself and I can’t imagine not knowing who they are hanging out with or what they are doing, or at least having some idea of it. Nina admittedly hasn’t even had a decent conversation with her own son (and ONLY child) in years. She seems 100% complacent in her chosen obliviousness, and is only repentant when something that she cannot fix happens. Something that directly effects HER. Let’s be honest here, right?

Nina was softened in the exchanges spent with Lyla. But adding to my growing confusion, I felt like Nina had a much stronger connection to this girl than to her own son which was again, troubling. She cared more about Lyla’s feelings than finding out WHY Finch “did what he did”, or admitting that she had a hand in leading him down that path. Instead of facing the issues at home head on and amending the problem from her lane (and allowing Tom the privacy to amend from HIS lane), Nina instead did the same thing she has apparently been doing her son’s entire life – she ignored him and moved on to the shinier new toy. And she wonders why Finch is such a nightmare? Really?

Lyla was the true star of this book. I don’t think I would have felt a connection to this story had it not been for her. I appreciate Giffin’s attempts to humanize Nina with a background story, but in the end, this novel belonged to Lyla. I felt like focusing so much on Nina cheapened the root of the plot a little bit. Lyla went through something that is unfortunately very real and true for the young girls’ of today, and she handled it with grace and dignity. I really liked the ending of the book, where we got to see how things are for the cast of characters years later.

I’ve lived in the South all my life. I am Louisiana born and Texas bred.

When it comes to the social (and many times familial) aspect of Southern sensibilities, there is one way of dealing with things that seems to come around in an all too familiar loop – that you just don’t deal. Scandal is swept under an imported Turkish carpet. Bad behavior is ignored for the sake of the Good Ole’ Boys Club. Heads are turned and people look the other way, mostly because its easy. And also because it’s just how it’s done down here. So, I had a good grasp on the reasons why things in this book were being handled the way they were.

To be direct as a woman is considered by many in the South to be crass and inappropriate. To be blatantly honest is uncouth and unladylike. Women should know their place, right? There’s more than a sense of a patriarchal society in the South, there is an actual air that the masculine sex truly believes they are superior beings to women. And unfortunately, it’s mostly because that’s just how they were raised. Women are bred to tend the house and children, to dress everyone in their best for Sunday services, and to serve a plentiful buffet of sweet tea and fried chicken on the Fourth of July. But most importantly, they are bred to make sure they lift their young sons up onto carefully comprised pedestals and reaffirm again and again that those young men are future kings.

It may sound archaic – and that’s because it is. Now of course, that is not true in all areas of the South, nor is it the norm in all households. But it is something that is prevalent down here, and a lot of times – it’s a problem. Ever heard of affluenza? It was practically conceived down here. Giffin could have dug harder and made this novel about what it was REALLY about – Lyla and Finch. Not Nina.

The novel read well and easy, and fans of Giffin will enjoy it. I was looking for something deeper and honestly, more real – I think it was Nina’s character that tainted it all for me, but I can see how a lot of readers wouldn’t get as deep as I do.

All in all, I give All We Ever Wanted 3.5 out of 5 stars … it just wasn’t all I ever wanted, unfortunately.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
quill camp
I received a copy of this via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This was a very touchy book. Touchy in that it had several things going on. Mainly someone taking advantage of another and thinking they can just say they are innocent enough and will be believed. A picture is taken at a party of a young girl, Lyla, by another and it gets sent to several others. It’s not the worse kind of picture but the caption included is awful. Not that the picture itself is ok. But to say something racial about someone is not cool. Living in the world where everyone should be treated equal it’s just wrong on all counts. Of course we don’t live in that world either. Someone took a picture of Lyla while she was asleep at a party then put a very racist caption on it thinking she was Hispanic.

This book is told from several different views and tells us a lot about each ones life. A father who would do anything for his child. His little girl. Though she is sixteen and in a good private school, he still thinks of her as his baby. He will go to any length to protect her. She may not understand that yet but will one day. Tom is a great dad and Lyla is very lucky that he cares so much. They are not rich like most of the other kids’ parents in the school where Lyla goes but he works hard and they have a great life. Sometimes money is not the answer.

Finch is a boy who thinks he can do whatever he wants. Spend money like no ones business without even asking his mother. Get the girls and fancy car. He’s very privileged and spoiled in lots of ways. Finch is not all he’s cracked up to be. But is he a liar, player and someone’s son.

Nina is the mother to Finch. She only wants what is best for him. She does not approve of some of the things he does, like spending money like there’s no tomorrow and buying him a very expensive car. His dad does not have a problem with any of it. Nina wants the truth to come out and for everyone to be able to move forward. Her husband wants to pay people off. Nina has some big decisions to make about her life, her son and her marriage. Will she make the right ones? She was not born into money but married into lots of it and a lifestyle she had never had before.

This book touches on several important topics. Racism, privilege, rape, social media and sharing bad pictures with others and more. Having a conscience is so important and some people it seems just don’t have one.

I enjoyed this book from the very beginning. I loved the ending and thank the author for writing this. It was an easy book to read with characters who you will love and hate. It is not a love story but is a story about love.

I gave it 4 stars.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
penny mest
This was my first Emily Giffin book so I had no idea what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised. A story that deals with some deep subjects like race, sex, underaged drinking, kids sending inappropriate photos, and the world of the ultra-rich feeling unsatisfied with life. Giffin does an excellent job at handling the different voices of the characters she's crafted for this story. I was a little nervous about it being multiple perspectives, but it worked seemlessly for the prose. My only realy complaint is that there were parts of the back stories that seemed unneccessary and to drag for a little bit. Though I didn't love the outcome mentioned in the epilouge, I'm sad to say that I think it was all too realistic. As someone who lives in Nashville, I loved the representation of the city. I thought Giffin's discription of the city was perfect to transport any unfamiliar with Nashville straight here. Despite the heavy topic, it was a quick and easy read and I would definitely recommend to my girlfriends.
Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for a free copy in exchange for an honest review!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
sean sheridan
This can be a hard subject for people to read. You have the rich who seems to get away with anything and then you have the middle class who seem to suffer. This book really boils down to two families and how they handle a crisis. I liked all the different point of views in this book because then you get to see all sides of the story. You are wondering who is telling the truth and want to keep reading to find out. Unfortunately this book is all to real to a lot of girls in high school and college. It is really sad how we treat boys when this happens and it's even more heartbreaking how the girls get treated when something like this happens. This book is both heartfelt and a reminder to change things.

*I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving a review.*
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
cathy caldwell
This novel is wrought with emotion, desperation, fear, and regret. It is a novel that calls to mind the reality for so many young women in our society, and offers just one possible narrative, among so many actual situations. It couldn't be more timely, in light of the #metoo movement, and the state of our current national situation. The story is replete with substance, and Emily Giffin did an extraordinary job of delving into a very troublesome topic, while maintaining the dignity of all involved. I felt the intense emotion of each of the three characters from whose perspective the author wrote, and was truly consumed with trying to understand how this horrific violation unfolded.

Reading All We Ever Wanted from the perspective of a parent of teens of both sexes, I was left aghast at what some teenage boys are capable of, and terrified of what girls can fall victim to in a moment of poor judgement. The sudden recognition, on a more palpable level, that societal norms don't always offer justice in such situations, especially when the wrongdoer comes from a priveleged, well-connected family, hit me like a ton of bricks.

Giffin brought each character to life so vividly. Nina became like a dear friend, and her insistance that her son be held accountable for his actions, no matter the cost, was so admirable. Nevertheless, I felt her pain and ambivalence throughout the entirety of the novel. Tom was so well-characterized, that I felt as though he too, was someone I knew personally. I was in absolute awe of Giffin's ability to reveal the intricacies of Lyla's teenage mind, using convincing teen language, and expressing her insecurities with incredible accuracy. Lyla had me in tears from the sheer realization that teenagers have such a skewed vision of the world, of right and wrong, and of who should be held accountable for their actions, no matter the circumstances.

The only reason I did not rate this novel 5 stars was simply because the conclusion seemed a bit rushed, somewhat contrived, and rather neatly packaged for a novel that seemed so authentic otherwise.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
adrianna
Kudos to Giffin for taking on a subject (and doing it extremely well) that happens way to frequently in our society and needs to stop. One that is too often swept under the rug. An emotional packed journey about doing the right thing to save those you love most. A perfect story for the world we live in today and about making the right, though difficult, decisions. A gem of a book by a talented writer! Thank you to Ballantine Books and NetGalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jorel thomson
Nina Browning lives a very comfortable life being married to Kirk, one of Nashville’s elite. Their son, Finch is on his way to Princeton having done exceptionally well at Windsor Academy, the city’s prestigious private school. Tom Volpe is a single father and a skilled carpenter. He lives modestly on the east side of town and his daughter, Lyla has excelled scholastically, earning a scholarship to Windsor. The Browning’s and Volpe’s worlds intersect following an unfortunate night at a party where both their children attended.

This was an extremely troubling but compelling story told through the eyes of Nina, Tom and Lyla. Contemporary issues involving sexting, teenage drinking, social bullying and traditional tensions between those that have and others that have less. Nina is a bridge to both worlds as she comes from more humble beginnings and can empathize with Lyla’s circumstances. It puts her at odds with her husband whose only goal is to help his son evade the consequences of his behavior, furthering instilling his sense of entitlement. Tom struggles with Lyla, who doesn’t think what happened was a big deal, to get her to understand how she’s been harmed and how her view will ultimately imperil her self value.

I loved how this story unfolded, made even more powerful by having Lyla’s point of view. All of the characters were changed by what happened, Nina most profoundly as it forced her to take an unfiltered look at her life. It felt real though some of the people in her world seemed a bit caricature, but it illustrated the salient points effectively. Everyone was trying to do the best for their children but not all actions were in their best interests.

I found all three narrators’ performances outstanding. It felt as though they were inhabiting the skin of their characters. This is an important story I literally couldn’t put down, essentially finishing it in one day. I wavered on whether to listen to this one and I’m so glad my instincts pushed me in the right direction. And that thought provoking ending was truly the best final touch.

(I received an advance copy from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review)
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jina saikia
From the outside, Nina has everything she could ever want. She has a successful (and rich husband), a son on his way to Princeton, a beautiful home, and time to charity work. But that's not really who Nina is, as she finds out when scandal strikes, in the form of a picture of a nearly nude girl that her son snapchats to a few friends. The repurcussions of that force Nina to really examine her life and whether it reflects her values. Her introspection forms one theme of the story, and the did-he-didn't-he question of who actually sent the picture and what the consequences will be, form another. Add to that Lyla, the girl in the photo, who has her own story to tell, and her father, and you get a complex, layered book that explores issues of privilige, complicity, and redemption.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
emily boyd
5 Thought Provoking Stars ?????

This book is a MUST read! Not only was it absolutely brilliant it also touched on so many of today’s issues... it was a book that really made you think... what would I do in that situation? And as a single mother of two boys and a girl I could see so many sides of this story... and this book really made you realize that with social media a teenager’s reputation can be trashed in a matter of minutes.... makes you long for the good old days when you needed to make a trip to the local drugstore to get your pictures developed and your rash words were only ever read/heard by a handful of people...

One night, one thoughtless moment, and lives are changed forever... what do you do when your daughter has had her picture taken in a compromising position at a party and it is plastered all over social media? What do you do if it was your son that took this picture? Meet Tom single father of Lila the girl in the infamous picture and Nina the mother of Finch the photographer.... both parents instant reaction was to defend their children, as all of ours would be, but what is the right thing to do? Wow, this is tough! If I were Tom I’d want blood my heart would break for my daughter in that situation... but what would I do if I were Nina? What If it were one of my boys that took this picture? This was something that nagged at me throughout this entire book.... i’d like to think I do the right thing, I’d like to think my boys would never do something like this.... but how hard would it be to let your son ruin his life over one indiscretion?Ugh still have no idea what I would do, and fingers crossed I never need to figure it out!

This book was told from the perspectives of Nina, Tom, and Lila and I thought this was super effective.... all three characters were likable, relatable, and reel.... Nina was probably the most relatable character to me, because she was a mother... my heart broke for her what a horrible position to be in! But to Nina’s credit she handled the situation with intelligence, grace, and an open mind.... actually all three of these characters handled the situation in a very commendable manner... unfortunately not every character in this book did... it is always amazing that controversy can show people’s true colors....

Loved this book from first page to last and the ending was perfection... strongly encourage everyone to pick up this book and make sure you have a box of tissues nearby when you read it!

*** many thanks to Valentine Books for my copy of this wonderful book ***
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
lauren mcculloch
I really wanted to like this book...I generally like Emily Griffin's work, but this one felt very formulaic and heavy-handed. The characters were very 2-dimensional, which I almost feel was done on purpose in order to get her message across. Don't get me wrong, this was a page-turner for me, I really did want to know what happened next...but I knew I was being manipulated, even as I continued to flip those pages. The major issue was, I didn't like any of the characters...I wasn't given a reason to. Though...I will say, I did like Tom. Everyone else....meh. Nina was supposed to be this character that sees the "errors of her lavish ways"...but she mostly seemed like a timid, caged mouse, who had the nerve to be morally indignant, even though she was a happily, kept woman. I understand the #MeToo movement is in everyone's mind, but this book didn't address it in a useful way, it just seemed like rich people bashing. And making assumptions about a large swath of people is a real turn-off. I also hated the political labels that were liberally (pardon the pun) sprinkled throughout the book, which labeled Republicans as (Greedy, selfish, rich, white people) and then assumed their perspective of hatred against the "Highly-educated, liberal elites". It was annoying and irritating, because again, I don't like one-dimensional character assumptions. She could have gotten her point across in a myriad of ways, without throwing political labels on people...the story wouldn't have lost anything, in fact, it may have been better. That honestly tripped me up several time and left me very disappointed that the political tribalism war even ended up in my fiction.

I received a copy of this title from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
brooks
Wow! I love Emily Giffin’s novels and had high expectations for this one too. It was even better than I imagined it would be. The topics addressed in this book are so important and relevant to today’s society. The book addresses the fallout of compromising pictures of a girl being distributed to everyone in her school and how that action causes ripples through multiple people’s lives. It’s about families coming together or falling apart in the aftermath, finding out who their friends really are, and so much more.

The author was able to give separate and distinct voices to every character and this is what sets her apart from others. The way she wrote about Nina’s struggles to find the truth, help her son, and get back to being the person she was before she had money or the way she wrote about a father trying to fight for his daughter so that she would understand that she’s worth so much more was so moving. Even the secondary characters were so wonderful. I really loved Bonnie. The author makes you feel like you are right there with these characters. I wanted to follow these characters through the rest of their lives and not just this moment in time.

As someone who lives in Nashville, the book also did an incredible job of highlighting the city and some of cultural and socioeconomic divides that are present. This book has so many layers and themes that it will resonate with any reader. I highly recommend it!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rosie
‘All We Ever Wanted’ by Emily Giffin brilliantly brings out the most significant issues of modern society – superficial relationships, parenting, behavioral problems, adolescent fun and racism that is taken so lightly by the immature youngsters.

A must read for all teens and young adults, the theme of this novel hovers around growing up through the most challenging years of life. This is hardly fiction as it deals with the real life situations every parent could face, every teenager could relate to. Fast paced and focused, Emily doesn’t digress even for a moment from the issues that she wants to highlight and her characters are perfectly crafted to fit in the story.

Nina loves her son Finch but refuses to accept his lies and disrespect for values that she wants to instill or probably didn’t emphasize them at the right time. If her eighteen-year-old son is insensitive to his girl friends and manipulates them, he could have been doing it for a long time, oblivious to her mother’s pride, with which she moves in her elite society, feeling a little doubtful whether her indulgence with riches has gone too far. If her husband has drifted away from her, the fact that she notices it only when crisis hits the family throws immense light on her negligence.

Giffin’s strength lies in creating strong female characters who know their worth and can take bold decisions. (Even Lyla rises to the occasion when the hour demands her to act.) She can get into their minds to portray the right emotions, hold the attention of readers to empathize with them and then follow the well-known, predictable path. I found this book engrossing, rewarding and thought provoking as it touches upon some fundamental questions that need to be pondered upon.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
benicio
This novel is a little different from some of the other Emily Giffin books I have read, a bit darker but very relevant. The story revolves around a picture that was taken at a party and gets out to the entire community. The picture is of a girl passed out with a racist statement attached. The story comes from three perspectives – the girl, the girl’s father and the boy’s mother who sent the photo. You will be drawn in to the story early and realize how easily this could happen anywhere.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tanmay
4.5 Stars (5 Stars Rounded Up)
I won this book in a giveaway and was under no obligation to review it.

Emily Giffin is an author that I constantly see and think that I need to read. I am very happy that All We Ever Wanted was my first book I picked up by her. I went into this blind and was expecting a romance based off of the authors other novels. This was not a romance, and was such an emotional and powerful story that I feel was very relevant for today.

This story is so hard to describe or explain as it deals with so many issues. This is a story around how your actions have consequences and how you will be tested around your true values and character. This is a story about a teenage boy making decisions without understanding how it will impact others. He does not seem to understand the consequences or even care about the consequences. This is also a story involving so many other issues that are very important. You will gets bits of information around suicide, single parents, alcoholism, racism, different classes, values, love, and so much more.

I really enjoyed how we get to see inside the perspectives of the parents instead of just the teenagers involved in the incident. I think it just brought something different to the story and the issues. You are really seeing the issues from the eyes of someone else and not exactly from those who were directly involved. You do get to see through Lyla’s perspective as well. In the end, this was such a powerful story and I wish I heard more people talking about it. I highly recommend picking it up and giving it a try. I cannot wait to read more from Emily Giffin if this is what I have in store!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
leslie erkman
When Emily Giffin releases a new book, it’s a big deal, and I think All We Ever Wanted is her best book yet!

That said, All We Ever Wanted gets off to a rocky start. The first chapter is narrated by Nina who escaped her middle class roots to live amongst Nashville’s wealthiest. I was worried over-the-top grandeur would take center stage in this book, but it did not. Nina’s son, Finch (no offense to any Finches of the world, but that name made me giggle a few times!), has been accepted to Princeton.

The next chapter is narrated by Tom, a single dad working multiple jobs to raise his willful daughter, Lyla, who earns a scholarship to Windsor Academy, where she rubs elbows with the most privileged kids in town, including Finch, of course. We also hear from Lyla as a narrator.

Everything is going well until a photo goes viral. Amid all this scandal, Tom, Nina, and Lyla are left holding the bag. How will they move past what happened? What is the right thing to do?

All We Ever Wanted is timely because we hear most every day a story where a teen, or even adult, has made a mistake on social media, one that could have a lasting impact on that person and their family, and even their community. I enjoyed hearing from the different points of view, and where the truth actually lies is anyone’s guess.

Additionally, Giffin addressed race and class biases, and there were unexpected twists to the story. All in all, All We Ever Wanted was a powerful and emotional journey. I highly recommend if you are looking for a summer read with plenty of substance and much to think about.

Thank you to Random House/Ballantine for an advance copy. All opinions expressed are my own.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
michaeline
**Was given an ARC by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

This was a great read.

Nina Browning married into a old money family. But years later, after her husband, Kirk, sold his software company, their wealth increased tremendously. That's when she starts to see Kirk's true colors; and she realizes that their son, Finch, is becoming just like his dad.

One night Finch is at a party, and he does the unthinkable, which might jeopardize his future to attend Princeton in the fall. At first he accepts total responsibility for the incident, but he quickly turns on his girlfriend and blames her instead. Kirk tries to pay off the family to avoid the private school getting involved. But the headmaster already knows about the picture.

Lyla has had a crush on Finch since she transferred to the school. But she NEVER thought that he would do something so degrading to her. When Finn lies to her, she naively believes him.

Tom, Luke's dad, is furious that this wealthy family tried to buy his silence and gives the money back to Nina when they meet for coffee. Nina isn't on Finch's side, because she sees no remorse from him and she knows that he's lying. She sees a lot of Kirk in him, and she is so disappointed.

Tom and Nina stick together for the same of Lyla, but end up becoming good friends. When things start to get ugly for Kyle and she finds out the truth, Nina is there for her every step of the way.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
bettina
Actual rating: 3.5 out of 5

All We Ever Wanted is an emotional and powerful story. Middle-class Nina married Kirk Browning who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. But ever since Kirk sold his software company, Nina and Kirk went from comfortable to wealthy. The proud parents are ecstatic when their teenage son receives an acceptance letter to Princeton. But everything comes crashing down when Nina is told about a photo of a half naked girl, passed out at a party. A photo that had a racist caption. A photo that was taken by her son and shared with his friends.
What would you do if your son committed a terrible crime? Would you lie or obstruct justice to protect him? Or have him confess and take responsibility for his actions?

Tom Volpe is a single dad, working multiple jobs just to get by. His daughter Lyla, earns a scholarship to Windsor Academy, Nashville’s most prestigious private school. Everything changes when he's called to pick up a drunken Lyla from a friend's house. It gets worse when he sees the damaging photo in question. He sets out for justice.

The story is told from three points of view: Nina, Tom, and Lyla. I had a hard time connecting with Lyla. Not victim blaming here but she wasn't as "pure" as made out to be. I liked the story but felt the ending was lacking.

I will definitely read more from this author.

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine for a copy of Emily Giffin's "All We Ever Wanted" in exchange of an honest review.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
graham irwin
All We Ever Wanted addresses the very timely topic of what can go wrong at a high school party when alcohol is involved, told in the varying perspectives of Lyla, a sophomore on scholarship; her father and the mother of the boy who took inappropriate photos of Lyla (and more) when she was passed out.

The story begins on the night of the party and evolves as Lyla's father demands justice from the school (over his daughter's protests), the boy's parents approach the situation in very different ways, and we learn more about what happened at the party and how the other students respond. We also learn the boy's mother had a similar experience in college when she was incapacitated and incapable of consent (but since it was before social media, photos of that night were not widely shared).

Given the current discussion of what a Supreme Court nominee did or did not do in high school, and why the alleged victim did not press charges at the time, this is a VERY timely book. Lyla's life was changed that night, as were the lives of several other characters who we come to know.

All We Ever Wanted is a quick and engaging read, and hopefully is a reminder to parents of young adults to have many conversations with them about what is appropriate and what is not, especially when alcohol is involved as the consequences can be significant.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kristine bruneau
Emily Giffin has delivered her finest book yet. All We Ever Wanted may be a work of fiction, but it includes very current issues: infedility, entitlement, snobbery, illicit teen photos, gossip, courage, and redemption. The story is a moving puzzle, all the pieces line up briefly, then become jumbled until another picture emerges. Giffin writes so well, she absolutely is convincing with her character depictions. All you will want to do is read this one. Thanks to NetGalley for the advance copy.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
brock
Nina Browning appears to have a charmed life. Rich husband, son recently accepted to Princeton, and whirlwind social life that makes her feel better about herself and the wealth she is unaccustomed to. Tom Volpe is a single parent to a teenage daughter on scholarship to the same private school that Finch, Nina's son, attends and while she feels like an outsider at first, finds herself at home, and in love with Finch. Unfortunately, Finch's girlfriend is none to happy about that and the fact that Finch is paying her any attention. So she takes the opportunity at a party to photograph the poor girl passed out on a bed, one breast showing and with a very racist caption......from Finch's phone. The resulting turmoil finds Finch taking the blame and Nina questioning the methods her husband chooses to use with Tom to make it all go away.
In today's world of technology, this story line could be pulled from a headline somewhere in the country almost daily, the truth be told. The willingness for Nina to demonstrate her true desire to help Tom's daughter, after her own college experience long tucked away in the folds of her memory, leads her to further examine the relationship with her wealthy, arrogant, smug and cheating husband, and to determine that the money, nor her son's taking on similar traits, is worth it any longer. Meanwhile she and Tom develop a friendship that could someday turn into more.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
tegwyn
Emily Giffin is an automatic must read author for me. I did like this book. But honestly it was not what I was expecting at all. If you are expecting a contemporary romance, a romantic comedy or even Chick Lit you won't get it. I would classify this as Women's Fiction. It is a book that deals with a serious topic.

The story is told from three POVs: Nina, Tom and Lyla. Nina is a 40 something mom. Her son Finch is one of the popular kids. She did not grow up rich. But her husband Kirk is very rich. And so Finch is now very spoiled. Tom is Lyla's father and he is a carpenter. Lyla is 16ish and goes to the same prestigious high school as Finch, although she is attending with financial aid.

I did enjoy having the story told from 3 POVs. But I was not expecting the narrators to be the parents of who the story is essentially about. I was also expecting there to be romance in this story. And there is very little.

The story was definitely interesting. And it was timely, relevant and important. However, to me this was not typical Emily Giffin at all. And I think not reading the blurb before starting the book made me think that this was going to be a completely different book to what it was.

Overall this book had a strong message. The narrators were all different and original characters. The story was about family and the values instilled in each person. This is a story that will make you think.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
boris
This is an absolutely fantastic, well worth your time, energy, emotion book. The characters are so well written and developed: Nina’s strength and determination; Tom’s utter belief in defending his daughter; Kirk’s absolute entitlement and elitism; Lyla’s fortitude and teen emotions; Finch’s mirroring his father’s attitude. The story is true to life for many teens: peer pressure, media nonchalance, and today’s gossip is forgotten tomorrow. In this case, the deed is too harmful for parents to brush off and therein lies the story: trust betrayed, covered up sins, glossing over by teens. It is hard stuff for a parent to swallow, easy for some teens.
This is a tough topic within a thoroughly great book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
laura goat
A huge fan of Emily Giffin's work, I am certainly not surprised by the quality of her writing in this newest release, ALL WE EVER WANTED; the subject matter and story line were somewhat surprising, pleasantly, and I appreciate that Giffin has taken a step away from the territory of her previous novels and moved into a timely, relatable contribution that I think many, including new readers of her work, will enjoy.

While I usually think of Giffin, now a hugely successful author, as part of the "elite" crowd, about which she writes in ALL WE EVER WANTED, I appreciate her ability to bring awareness to the difficult circumstances involved when a member of the non-elite crowd is forced to confront those who enjoy a different level of privilege after suffering a traumatic experience. Readers should note that the topics of sexual abuse and rape are included in this novel.

There were some portions of the story line, and a few characters, that were challenging for me; I felt like the story was on point, but there was a little too much of the elite cattiness between parents and cheating spouses and I felt like it diminished the importance of the overall themes of the novel. If I'd known to expect more of a Real Housewives vibe, I might have been better prepared; nevertheless, I will always be an Emily Giffin fan and this is definitely a worthwhile read.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
snowfairy 33
I was given the opportunity via NetGalley to read an electronic copy of All We Ever Wanted. I was under no obligation to review this book and my opinion is freely given.

Nina Browning's carefully crafted world comes crashing down, after her son posts an unspeakable image of a fellow student on social media. As Nina tries to right the wrongs of her family, will she learn volumes about herself at the same time? Will her connection with the wronged student ultimately topple Nina's life?

The premise of All We Ever Wanted had promise, but the book fell a little short of expectations. Half of the characters in the novel are detestable and all conform too much to different stereotypes. Nina could have been interesting, but the author spends too much time hammering home how different Nina is from the other elite without actually delving into her background in a meaningful way. I liked the character of Tom Volpe, but I do not think he was given his due. The epilogue was just there and not really all that worthwhile. I do not think it is necessary for an author to wrap up all of the details in a neat package because life is ongoing. Readers do not need to know the future, just that there are possibilities. All We Ever Wanted was a good beach read, but not as good as I was expecting.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
maysa
I’ve read a couple other books by Emily Giffin and this one is completely different than the others. It is certainly deeper, deals with a very serious issue, an issue that is getting a lot of publicity lately. This book had my mind buzzing throughout.

Lyla is a sophomore at Windsor Academy, an elite private school in Nashville, Tennessee. She goes to party, has too much to drink and a photo is taken and passed around her peers. In this age of smart phones with cameras and social media the photo, of course, spreads like wildfire. This is a very complex issue and I felt that Ms. Giffin did a great job of touching on every aspect of it.

Tom, a single father, is trying to navigate this very difficult situation though the odds really are against him. He is trying to raise his daughter with a strong sense of self-respect and self-worth. Nina, the wife of a millionaire and with her own demons, realizes, too late, the mistakes she has made in raising her son and in her marriage.

I was a concerned that the author was going to make the root of this issue political, that would have been oversimplifying something with many, many facets. Thankfully she opted to delve into what was really at the heart of it in this particular case - entitlement, power, respect, socioeconomics and probably more.
I highly recommend this novel. It showcases Emily Giffin at her very best.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sylvia bunker
All We ever Wanted was a winner in my book. The topics presented in the novel are timely and relevant. Emily Giffen does a great job of telling a story of classism, entitlement, fluctuating social norms, and challenges of parenthood and adolescence. The story is told from the perspectives of several different characters, which seems to be a popular approach in contemporary fiction. It's also a tricky approach and not all authors can pull it off but Giffen most definitely does. The transitions from narrator to narrator are smooth and logical and the shifting narration allows the reader to more fully connect with the characters.

Characters make or break a novel for me and, in order for me to really enjoy the novel, I have to feel somehow connected to most if not all the characters. I don't have to like them but I do have to have some emotional reaction to them. They have to seem real. I think that's the strength of this novel. Giffen has created characters that I can either relate to or that I can feel contempt for or, in one case, a mixture of both responses. I can't say exactly how she does that but it works for me.

I highly recommend this book especially if you have teenagers in your life or if you care about changing social values.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
tstsv
I'm an Emily Giffin fan from way back so I was eager to read this one which appeared to have a bit more complexity that we usually see with her novels. This novel explores some very timely themes such as racism, social media use, privilege and more. And I found that I quite liked it. I'm glad to see Giffin working to expand her focus to something a little more 'meaty.' It took me a little bit to really engage with the story but once I connected, I really connected. It was a compelling read about themes that interest me and I enjoyed seeing the different ways that she explored them. Not a heavy read but it does address some substantial issues. This is definitely a great summer read but good for any time of the year, of course. I especially connected with the fact that one of the characters felt compelled to really question her values and the impacts of putting those values into practice despite the potential consequences. That struggle really gave me a great deal to think about as a woman and as a mother. All in all, I highly recommend this one. I think it would be an excellent book club book as it is likely to bring up a great deal of conversation for the group.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
saebinna
This is a fast read with good pacing and an interested second half, which makes up for the lackluster characters. The author sets up people of a wide variety of demographics (young/old, old money/married into money/low income) but when it came to their political viewpoints, which are a prominent feature of the plot, they fall into one of two categories with no nuance - crazy greedy Republicans vs reasonable Democrats with identical viewpoints. They became caricatures rather than well-rounded individuals. The dialogue often felt like a collection of 2018 buzzwords, particularly in the first half. Nina was a strong example of this - within the first few chapters we get a veritable checklist of things she supports, like inclusive holiday cards and transgender bathrooms, though those have nothing to do with the story and are only mentioned to contrast her against husband Kirk. Too much "tell," not enough "show." Finch was actually the most interesting character overall for me, though he isn't one of the three main narrators. Nobody else has a compelling character arc, but I was constantly questioning whether or not we'd finally seen the "real" Finch. A decent read, but nothing that blew me away.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
travis gasper
All We Ever Wanted surprised me. It is my favorite EG book yet mainly because of its thought provoking and relevant topics. The story unfolds when a photo from a party is released of a teenage girl, Lyla. With social media being the beast that it is today, it spreads like wildfire. It was interesting to see something so realistic happen and the repercussions it can have written out. How one mistake can alter the course of your life and impact you in ways you never imagined. And not just your life, but your family's as well.

Speaking of families, we get multiple points of view on how it all unfolds and seeing it from the teenager’s point of view vs a parents was tackled delicately and efficiently. It made me think of how I wanted my son raised in this social world and the morals we need to instill in him. Throughout the story other issues arise as well such as race and class. Again, done with such perfection. All We Ever Wanted is a powerful summer read with substance, important topics, and incredible characters. My only wish is that it had been just a little bit longer because it seemed to wrap up too quickly in those final pages. I highly recommend this one friends!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sarah pruitt
It's been a while since I tried an Emily Giffin book. I was gung-ho Emily Giffin for a long time, but they began to feel so formulaic and the infidelity stories just got old to me. So I was reluctant going into this book. But it looks SO GOOD that I had to give it a try. And my oh my am I glad that I did. Watching Nina blossom into who she was meant to be was everything a reader wanted it to be. Seeing the hoity-toity charity attending new-money wife open her eyes to the mistakes she had made was as painful as it was heartfelt for me as a reader. And oh, her emotional connection to Lyla. And Tom. Everything unfolded as I hoped, but more well-done that I even anticipated. The epilogue was perfection. Which is saying a lot because I despise epilogues.... But this was a true epilogue, the way they are meant to be.
Although as much as I am gushing, can I just say for a moment, that good lord, it is frustrating when the outrageous, clearly wrong character is a raging conservative. I'm sorry, but as a conservative, most "right-wingers" would be appalled at both his behavior and the behavior that he condoned.
That is all. Back to the gushing.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
kate cares
I love Emily Giffin! It's hard not to enjoy her books. This one hit on some hot button topics - think Jodi Picoult - and I wasn't necessarily looking for this type of read. Regardless, I got wrapped up in the characters and the story and enjoyed every page.

This book is told from multiple perspectives which was great. Nina is a mom to a teenage boy, Finch. They've been fortunate to live a privileged lifestyle. Tom and his daughter Lyla don't have near the money that other families in their area do; however, Lyla and Finch attend the same private school. A terrible picture is taken at a high school party one evening, and this books shows all of the aftermath. The unique perspectives of Nina, Tom, and Lyla make this a well fleshed out, though difficult, read.

This is a tough read in many places. The question of sexual abuse/consent is a big part of this book. Be forewarned if you're a sensitive reader! Giffin really does a great job showing how this topic can be a gray area for many involved.

Thanks to the publisher and Bookish First for making this book available to read and review.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
marsee
Lyla's story is one that will be familiar to many but has been told by very few. Wronged by the rich, entitled boy, Finch, who seemingly has no consequences - but since the narration isn't from his point of view, do we really know there were none? - Lyla is in the awkward time of life (high school) and really just looking for love and acceptance. Her single father is making her life miserable. It is surprisingly Nina, Finch's mother, amidst sad revelations that becomes her strongest supporter.

I received and ARC for my true and honest feedback. I really enjoyed this book and will be recommending it as a result of this copy.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
chutimon
For anybody expecting a 'light', 'fluffy', 'chick lit' read, let me be the first one to tell you that this novel is so much more than that.

This was an emotional, thought provoking, heart wrenching, and realistic novel. Unfortunately, I can imagine that there are some are dealing with similar events in their own lives (facing the scenarios of many different characters in this book).

Although the content is heavy and does have the reader thinking in-depth throughout, I found that I raced through the pages of this novel in a day (one to two sittings even!). It was written in a style that flowed but also was such a suspenseful story that had me uncertain until the very last page.

I have not read all of Emily Giffin's novels (yet) but I have read a few and I feel certain that this has to be one of her best. The storyline is very unique and the whole novel was wonderfully done.

***Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review***
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
arieh
All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin completely blew me away, and it evoked many of the same feelings I had reading Beartown by Fredrik Backman.

What would you do if your son is accused of sharing a picture with his buddies that contains a half naked girl with a racist "joke" as the caption? Well that is exactly what Nina has to find out when her son Finch is accused of doing just that. Told in alternating viewpoints, this book is a heavy hitter that touches on a lot of pertinent issues in today's society. Chapters alternate between Nina, Finch, Lyla who is the girl in the picture, Lyla's dad Tom, plus a bit of Nina's husband Kirk sprinkled in. I loved the way Giffin did this because not only did it keep the story interesting, it also made figuring out who was telling the truth much harder. Each character had a very strong, unique voice so you can tell this isn't Giffin's first rodeo, and the characterization was perfect for me.

While the main storyline has to do with the photo, there is also a touch of romance, marital woes, keeping up with the Joneses, and relationships between parents and their children. There are so many topics touched upon and I found the book to be quite emotional. Not only is the cover of All We Ever Wanted beautiful, but the inside is as well. There is struggle and sadness, but also a good dose of happiness and hope as well.

I LOVED Nina and Lyla, and I think a lot of women will be able to relate to them (even though Lyla is high school age). They are very strong female characters and they weren't doormats which was refreshing to say the least.

Final Thought: I have heard that All We Ever Wanted is nothing like Giffin's other books (which mainly seem to be romantic in nature), but it was such an amazing book that it makes me want to read her other novels right away. Her writing is superb and she is such an amazing storyteller. I will definitely be thinking of this book for months, and maybe even years, to come.

All We Ever Wanted in 3-ish words: Beautiful, Must-Read, Ponderous
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
eli denoma
I have loved every book I have ever read by Emily Giffin and All We Ever Wanted did not disappoint. Once I picked it up I had a hard time putting it down, I read it in under two days. Good thing I was on vacation! This story is very current and feels like it could have been ripped from today's headlines. As the mother of a teenager I often think of how hard it is growing up in the age where everything is at their fingertips and at the same time, the fingertips of others. This is a story of a young girl caught up in the problems that today's technology can bring. The story also deals with how a mother's love may influence how she perceives the actions of her loved ones. Two very different families deal with events that take place at a party. As a parent I was left wondering how I would have dealt with the situation. Ms. Giffin did a wonderful job in including us on the emotional roller coaster the characters ride as they try to deal with a very poignant situation.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
kaaronica evans ware
I have enjoyed Emily Giffins prior novels, so I was looking forward to this one and purchased it right away. I wish I would have gotten it from the library instead, as I really won't even suggest it or pass it onto my friends. The most disappointing thing is that it WAS a really interesting story that had so much potential, especially with the relevance of the issues being addressed. But the ball was dropped big time. It was as though she had to meet a deadline with the publisher, threw together the last two pages as an ending, called it a day. When it really should have only been the halfway point in the story. It really pissed me off because she could have done something really thought-provoking and meaningful with this topic and these characters, but it all went to waste with the haphazard ending.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
michael trigilio
I received an advance copy of this book for my honest review.

This book feels really timely. In the era of black lives matter and MeToo, it's interesting to have a story like this that touches on race and rape, as well as class, among other issues. What I really was intrigued by when reading this book was the way it makes you examine bias. As the reader we come to different parts of the story without all the facts and yet we make judgments, which is natural, but this novel does a good job of exposing our bias. I am not saying anything is what it seems in this novel and I don't want to give anything away.

I suggest reading this book if you want to spend a bit of time struggling with issues of class, sexual assault, and race/ethnicity. It's not that these issues are the only focus of the book as the story is much more about our protagonist, Nina and the younger female Lyla (Tom's daughter) and their journey to finding themselves.

It's also a book about the elite and what money can do and what it does do - i.e. the opportunities it brings and the spoliation it causes.

It is a thought provoking read. It doesn't shy away from topics like suicide and what it is like to be a teenager today. At the same time, it's filled with love, fun, sadness, and joy.

I found that I came away feeling like the book offered a very bright outlook on a feminist future but honestly portrayed a few of the many set backs that women face today. I do find it hard to discuss this book without including any spoilers. I recommend it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
britny
All We Ever Wanted is my first Emily Giffin book, but it won't be my last. I couldn't put down this well-written, thought-provoking, at times scary read. Emily Giffin brings real world issues into her book in a way I thought was meaningful and real. When a photograph goes viral, Nina, who married into wealth, Tom, a working single dad, and Tom's daughter Lyla are all brought together. The author tackles privilege, racism, and self-worth with the mystery surrounding the viral photograph – did Nina's son do it? And if he did, was it because of his upbringing? Was he entitled to things because of his privilege?

I couldn't put this book down. Emily Giffin had me in suspense nearly the whole read and I was desperate not only to find out the truth, but also see how the main characters would react to it. I highly recommend this book if you want a meaningful, powerful read you can't stop reading.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
dionna l hayden
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for allowing me to read and review this book.

Nina Browning seems to have it all . . . a wealthy husband, a son who has just been accepted into Princeton and a beautiful home in a wealthy neighborhood. She is living a dream life until her son, Finch makes one drunken mistake at a party and brings her whole world crashing down.

Tom is a single father raising a teenage daughter. When a picture of Lyla, passed out and in a state of undress that was taken at an unsupervised teenage party, starts circulating among the students of the exclusive school that she attends, Tom vows to see the perpetrators punished. Lyla just wants to forget the whole incident.

I enjoyed this book. The characters, some I loved and some I really disliked, were well thought out and the storyline held my interest. I recommend All We Ever Wanted to anyone who likes good women’s fiction.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
christine dundas
All We Ever Wanted was such a deeply poignant and moving story about a young girl in a tough predicament. A lapse in judgement leaves so many exposed. The story follows them as they struggle to put their lives back together, find forgiveness, and move forward.

This book had it all. From loss and love, to deceit and pain. I absolutely loved that this book addressed difficult topics from different perspectives. It was a well rounded look at how a variety of people are affected so differently by a single instance. I think Griffin did a great job of addressing them from the different viewpoints, and the way it was written, I found myself really connecting with all of the characters, no matter how good or bad they were.

I really enjoyed this book. I found myself completely lost in it while the world continued to spin around me. Its not too late to make this your next great summer read. Highly recommended!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
lyght jones
I can’t quite make up my mind about this one. It contained a few too many cliches but it addressed a situation right out of the news. A boy, wrapped in all the privilege that money and society can give him, takes advantage of a girl, who just happens to be the equivalent of “the other side of the tracks”. This is played out in tandem with his mother discovering that she doesn’t much like who she has become and really doesn’t like who her husband has become. Throw in a hard-working single dad, the boy’s jealous girlfriend, and a sincere school headmaster and it is almost too much. But somehow, it works. There are enough interesting characters and the story has enough honesty and sincerity to keep you engaged. It wraps up too quickly and too neatly after all the development, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I loved seeing parents who wanted their children to do the right thing, rather than covering for them.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
deetya
This was a difficult book to read in some aspects. With the storyline of this book Emily weaves a compelling story told from 3 different points of view about an issue that unfortunately has become sort of commonplace in today's society. It is extremely well written and when you add in one of the viewpoints is a 16 year old girl, another her single parent father and the 3rd the mother of the boy accused of taking and distributing explicit photos of the girl, Emily has crafted an explosive story. My personal preferences generally veer to a "happier" story or a mystery, so while this won't go down as a favorite book for me, I did enjoy it. It did take me little longer to read because I had to take breaks from it but I am glad I stuck with it and finished.

I received this book through NetGalley and was not required to post a review. All thoughts are my own.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
stardroplet
So this novel is about a couple of spoiled rich boys in a private high school that maybe doing semi-despicable things to young high school girls. It takes this premise way up to bash class, materialism, etc but all in a totally anticipated manner. The tipping point for me in this over arching novel is at one point Tom, a dad, has paint on his shirt and jeans after making an unpleasant discovery and actually compares it to the blood of Jackie Kennedy’s suit in November 1963! While it says the latter is way worse, it encapsulates the problem with this novel. These are rich people in a story you’ve heard numerous times behaving badly. I am still trying to figure out why I finished the book, other than the format is interesting in that alternating chapters present the same events from different characters views except of course the guilty one.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
amanda
Let me start by saying that I LOVE Emily Giffin's writing style. It's light, descriptive, and flowy without overdoing it and she delivers on that same style in All We Ever Wanted. As is general true of Giffin's work, this is not a light-hearted novel. It's real, it's tough at times, and it gives voice to timely concerns.

The story follows Nina, Tom, and Lyla after a high school party gone awry. Giffin gives voice to each unique character well, and switches between points of voice to help us piece together what really happened that night. At it's core, All We Ever Wanted is more about how people respond, adapt, and cope when things go wrong than focusing the mystery of what really happened.

It's a slow-paced, introspective novel that I enjoyed in bits and pieces over two weeks rather than binge-reading like I normally might.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
tom mathes
Emily Giffin's "All We Ever Wanted" is a book for our times, looking at how status, money, family, and values collide in the wake of a social-media scandal at an elite Nashville prep school. Nashville socialite Nina Browning apparently has all she ever wanted -- a beautiful home, impressive husband, and social status -- but when Finch, her Princeton-bound son, is implicated in some salacious photos of his classmate Lyla, Nina has to reconsider her values. What's more important -- family or the truth (whatever that turns out to be)? What about Lyla, with whom Nina identifies as an outsider? And, how does her husband's reaction to the situation compare to Lyla's father's reaction?

It's an interesting take on our times, and a good beach read. Fans of books like Big Little Lies will enjoy this take on privilege and suburban society.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
mariana zapata
The Brownings are super rich. So when his son, Finch, is accused of passing out a sexually explicit photo of a girl (Lyla), Kirk Browning thinks he can make the problem go away by throwing money at it. But Nina Browning, who comes from a middle-class background, disagrees. Going against her husband and her ‘supposed’ friends, she sides with Lyla and her dad. Along the way, she also takes a close look at her life and what she really wants for herself and her son.
I usually read thrillers, but this one caught my eye a few months ago and I’m glad I took the time to read it. I loved the way the writer portrayed Nina’s determination to do the right thing, even if it meant making sure her son would have to pay for his mistake. Lyla’s character was refreshing and very real. I would have liked the ending to be a little more fleshed out, but I'll take it!

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
alka nanda
I have read several books by Emily Giffin, so when I received an advance copy of All We Ever Wanted I was thrilled. And this book did not disappoint. Though sometimes I feel as if multiple viewpoint stories are over used, that style worked very well for this story.

Told through the perspectives of Nina Browning, Tom Volpe, and Lyla Volpe we see the story of one drunken night among teenagers and one unfortunate photo taken.and its after effects unfold in this book. I spent most of the story wondering who to trust and whose version of the story was correct. I couldn't put this book down. The characters were well written and by the end I had my favorites.

This is a very relevant story in our digital age. One photo and one situation can spread like wildfire and have far reaching consequences. It goes to show nothing is truly private on the internet.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book. If you have a chance to get your hands on it, read it. Perfect summer read!

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
amy louise
This book really took me through all the emotions. From hating Finch, to believing in him and hating girl vs girl hate, back to actually despising the little sh*t. I think it’s a very important book at this time with everything surrounding the “me too” movement and the men that think they can do what they want because of their money and/or power. I wish it had ended with Finch having to face the consequence of his actions (some might say he did to an extent) but it would have been nice to see him lose his admission to school, though that’s not really how these things work is it? This book was fantastic and left me with a lot to think about. I think we are making progress but it can’t happen soon enough. Easily one of Emily’s best!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
dr sara2
Determined to get to the second book in the series that everyone I knew had assured me was "the best," over the years, I must've picked up and earnestly started my paperback copy of Emily Giffin's Something Borrowed dozens of times but just couldn't relate to the characters.

And while I feared the same would be true for Giffin's latest novel All We Ever Wanted, especially considering that the first chapter of the book – which divides the storyline into three alternating first person points-of-view – began from the perspective of the wealthy one percenter wife from Nashville's elite, Giffin quickly replaces first world problems with real world problems.

Shocked to her core upon discovering appalling decision made by her Princeton bound son, in trying to get to the bottom of what exactly happened and what on Earth he was thinking, Nina Browning is forced to take a good hard look at her life and marriage as well as her past when she found herself at the other end of a similar horrific situation.

Continuing the action from the perspective of the two main other parties involved including her son's younger classmate, Lyla and Lyla's protective single father Tom, Giffin deftly balances her richly compelling drama with timely issues of economic inequality, racism, and sexual harassment in the digital age.

Surprising her readers with a few well-earned twists, while despite the narrative roller-coaster, we're pretty sure we know precisely who's to blame, ultimately it's in Lyla and Nina's journey toward accepting and understanding the truth that made the book increasingly hard to stop reading, particularly in its second half.

An ideal property for HBO to look into adapting as part of its annual miniseries exploration of twenty-first century women in literature, All We Ever Wanted might have been my first Emily Giffin work but it's just the right one to make me want to pick up Something Borrowed again for good.

Note: I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this title from Bookish First in exchange for an honest opinion.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
david humber
On the surface, All we ever wanted , is a light read built around the contrasts between the privileged world of the very wealthy and that of the working middle class. But at the core of the story are some very timely and important issues - date rape, consent, racism, class, and bias as well as character and values.

Set in Nashville, Tennessee, the story revolves around two families and their different worlds. The first to be introduced are Nina Browning and her old money husband, Kirk. They live in a world where teens attend exclusive private schools from their first day of school and later drive new expensive cars while their parents wear designer clothes and golf and dine at a member’s only country club. Next we meet Tom, a single parent and carpenter by trade, who moonlights just to pay the bills.

These families intersect through their teens. Both are students at a prestigious private school, Windsor Academy. One night, the teens end up at the same party even though Layla, a scholarship student, is only a sophomore and Finch is a senior. After the party, a racy photograph and controversial caption get shared via social media. The rest of the story unfolds as the families and community respond and investigate who was responsible for the post.

All we ever wanted was quite successful as a quick, engaging read about teens today, their parents, and their problems. The story moves through a maze of personal relationships with a few obvious outcomes but also a couple of surprising twists that kept it interesting.

But, overall, it didn’t quite succeed at the deeper levels of the issues it raised. In fact, there were so many side issues and subplots that they distracted from the main focus to the extent that none of them seemed really complete. Sometimes it was small details left hanging. For example, at one point Finch said he wanted to protect his former girlfriend because she had complicated issues. These were never really identified and thus didn’t support what happened later.

More importantly, there were missing pieces that led to a lack of credibility. One of the most critical, I thought, involved a main character, Nina. I was bothered by how quickly she championed Layla but practically abandoned her own son and her role as his parent.

From my perspective, this novel had a lot of unmet potential. There seemed to be a lack of continuity in places as well as uneven editing (?). Emily Griffin seems to be a popular author so I will try another title.

FYI - I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
charlotte eeles
This book is apropos in this day and age where social media is used for both good and bad. It shows how one photo can irreversibly change the lives of all involved.

Nina didn’t come from money. She’s now married, rich and money is no object. Her son Finch has been accepted into Princeton. But one night Finch gets into trouble after taking a picture of a half-naked Lyla.

Tom is a single parent, raising his daughter Lyla by himself. He’s extremely proud of her accomplishments which includes getting a scholarship to the exclusive Windsor's Academy. His world is shattered when he's called to pick up a drunk Lyla from a friend's house and then when he sees the damaging photo in question, Tom appeals to the school for retribution.

As usual, Emily Giffin has written a moving, thought provoking novel. It draws you in and you feel connected to these characters.

I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of this book from Netgalley and Random House Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
bert
Emily Giffin is a great storyteller. She draws characters well and creates storylines with easy dialogue that are easy to fall into and hard to put down. Her new book, All We Ever Wanted, shares all these attributes while also covering relevant topics to today’s families and teens. That being said, it is a departure from her usual lighthearted romance and instead deals with issues of race, wealth (or lack thereof), teens/social media and partying and how those three can intermix with disastrous and hurtful results and more.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Mrs. Giffin’s book and in fact brought the topic up to my own teenage sons at the dinner table. I am already looking forward to whatever the next book is that Emily writes! Recommended, 4.5 stars for readability and content.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
josh black
This book has a storyline that is particularly relevant and makes for an engaging, if sometimes difficult, contemporary women's fiction read. I especially liked the way the story unfolded through alternating viewpoints of three main characters. All three of the characters were interesting and their differing points of view added to the story.

This was a quick read and one that kept my interest. There were some situations that were realistic but not easy, including sexual assault and racism. This book also included a sobering view of the potential damage teenagers can experience via social media, and the role parents and other adults play. However, despite the serious topics, the tone and writing style was more thought provoking than oppressive.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ummehani pardiwala
I love Emily Giffin books even though I'm not a chick lit huge fan... somehow, her first two books just really got me, so I've been a fan ever since.

This book was very different in a lot of ways. There was still some odd romance thrown in (that I didn't like, for the overall theme of the book), but the message and topic is so incredibly important and relevant. I thought she did a very good job of making us wonder: Did Finch go too far, or was it typical boy fun? Was Lyla truly a victim, even if she doesn't think she was?

This was a very solid book and I would recommend it to anyone with young children.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
alya
Emily Giffin is back! I've adored her work since the early days, but have been somewhat disappointed by her most recent efforts. But I can safely say with this most recent book that she is back in the game. I loved this one.

As a mom, you want to believe that your child is a good person. Even faced with evidence to the contrary, you don't want to believe that the boy you raised is a little shit who treats people like disposable objects. How do you separate the child you love from the mounting evidence? This book deals with the issues of how to be a good parent while still being a good person. I loved the alternating viewpoints, especially Nina's. I liked getting Lyla's point of view as well. I would definitely recommend this book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
thanh huong
This book was WOW, just WOW. Emily Giffin crafted a wonderful story that had me hooked from the first chapter. It's a story that reaches out to everyone. It tells a tale that says no one is ever too entitled, too rich, too poor, too perfect to have things happen in their lives that we don't plan on. A story about love and loss and being so caught up in out lives that we don't see what's actually happening around us.

A mother's love. A father's fight for justice for his daughter. The inner workings of relationships, including good and bad. The ending was perfect for the book. A nice tie up.

*I would like to thank the author/publisher/Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest and fair review*
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
bryn
Have you ever done something that you regretted later, especially when you were a teenager? Let me start by saying how happy I am that I did not grow up in the age of social media. I am thankful that when I made a mistake that it wasn't posted for everyone to see in the next moment. That is what happened to Lyla one night at a high school party. One night in a drunken state, Lyla's picture was sent around to her classmates without her permission. This story was told through three different points of view: Lyla's, Lyla's father, and the mom of the boy accused of taking the picture.

I would recommend this book to high schoolers and up, although I would share it with my mature 8th grade students. It's really a book that most students should read about how pictures posted can affect your life, even if you aren't the one in the picture. I enjoyed not only reading it from the adult's point of view, but also the teenager's as well. The characterization was done well, and it was easy to relate to their lives.

I was given this book for my honest review.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mood17
This was the first book I have read by this author and will not be the last. I will be recommending this book to as many people as I possibly can. I loved the complexity of the characters and how conflicted, yet certain Nina is when it comes to her feelings about Lila. She seeks to help Lila when it is revealed that she has been the victim of a provocative picture being shared without her knowledge. Lila's father questions if Nina is truly being transparent with her support and it leads Nina to question her affluent life. I loved the sheer strength projected in Nina's character and how she is fearless when she needs to change her life in a big way. It is very encouraging and enviable to see this as a woman in this world.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
dominique
I really like how the book starts off the plit is amazing.the author is really good I have so much about her and this book and hoe great of a book this one is definitely will be checking this book and leaving my reviews on goodreads and the store.the characters are really good and the plot is awesome.really excited to hear more about the book and the characters and the plot and what this book has to offer.I cant wait to read the full book of this one.I have seen so much talk about this book all over Facebook instagram and overdrive sounds like a really good book that is very intriguring and can pull you right in I'm going to check out more of her books the cover is really pretty.the author is super good
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jmhodges15
I am so grateful to the publisher and author for an early copy of this timely book. My review may be tinged by emphatic clapping for the discussions with my own children (teens) that arose from my reading this book. However, there is no doubt about the power of this book for all readers. All We Ever Wanted tackles a subject matter many authors shy away from, and it is a very murky subject matter with many triggers for some readers. I am a huge Emily Giffin fan, and this book is no exception. I this book I find it incredibly important to discuss and review topics that this author navigated with sensitivity and accuracy. I am going to recommend this as a book club selection. An addictive read, and recommended for all my book loving friend
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
daniel greene
This book is my new favorite from author Emily Giffin. It covers a difficult topic with a natural ease. The themes are timely and necessary in this social media focused society.

The book is told through multiple perspectives: Nina - a woman who marries into a wealthy family, and whose son, Finch, spreads an illicit picture of a classmate; Lyla - the teenage victim; and Tom - Lyla's father who pushes for justice. Nina struggles to accept her son's behavior and throughout the book questions both her and her husband's role. Lyla also struggles to understand her father's persistence in pushing for repercussions.

This book looks at what a parent goes through as they discover their child is growing up. It looks at how a parent must grapple with their role in their child's behavior, both good and bad. This book also touches on the role that wealth and status have in situations like these. Giffin is able to wonderfully articulate both the parents' and child's perspectives in this book. Although the ending is not quite what you want to see; it is unfortunately what happens too often.

This book will leave readers thinking and will hopefully illicit some discussions between parents and their children about social media and positive behavior.

I flew through this book and found myself getting very emotional over some parts.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
karun
What happens when your world becomes an emotional conflict all its own? Do you side with a certain family member or follow your own heart?

When a questionable social media post stirs up a storm, Nina must decide if she will go along with her husband's feelings and plan or if she will take matters into her own hands and deal with her son. Tom must decide how he wants to handle the fallout of the post on his and his daughter's lives. Will he let it go or continue to fight?

The emotion and thoughts that are stirred by this book really make you think about the ramifications of people's actions and where you might stand on certain issues.

Ms. Giffin has written another touching, thought provoking novel.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
katie wejzgrowicz
I always love reading anything by Emily Giffin. She is one of my favorite authors and her books are always must-reads. I’m always left still thinking of the characters after I finish. This book definitely stuck with me, also. I found myself looking at those around me, wondering if they really had the feelings that some of the characters did in this book. Giffin made me think about how class and race lines really are divided, how some take so much for granted. Some parts were upsetting to know that people really act a certain way and feel like it’s okay to get away with their behavior. Giffin handled some sensitive material with grace and in such a wonderful way. I greatly enjoyed this book so much. It was an engrossing, entertaining read. I would say this is one of my favorites by her, if not the best.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
masha
3.75 stars. What would you do if you woke up one day and discovered your life was nothing like you'd planned? Your husband was a snob and your son seemed to be following in his footsteps. This is where Nina finds herself in Emily Giffin's latest novel. My first Emily Giffin book, I was intrigued from the very beginning. The characters were flawed and interesting, and the story began to unfold like a train wreck you can't look away from. I would categorize this as a "beach read", perfect for those times when you want to get lost in a book. It was a fairly quick read, with just enough mystery to keep me turning pages. However, some things were predictable, and the ending felt a little rushed. But overall, very entertaining.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sushma
This was my first time reading Emily Giffin. Thanks for Netgalley I am finding new authors that I want to read for a long time. The premise drew me in. With one snapshot a life can change. It can bring people together who may not have met under any other circumstances. Giffin wrote a story that seems as if it was taken from the headlines. I don't want to give anything away because you need to read it for yourself. You will be drawn to the characters and how they got where they are now.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jonas
Emily Giffin's latest is about teenagers and the risks they face with the technology of the world today. Nina married into the extreme upper class when she found Kirk. There she found someone to take care of her but what kind of person is he? Their son Finch goes to an exclusive private school where Lyla, the daughter of a carpenter, goes to school on scholarship. The two mingle at a drunken party and a compromising photograph is taken that is spread throughout the school. Lyla's father Tom is parenting alone and is trying to protect his daughter while Nina is seeng her husband and son through new eyes.
This book reminds me a bit of Jodi Piccoult in that the subject matter is very timely and the characters are well thought out. The book is written from Tom's, Lyla's and Nina's viewpoints.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Emily Giffin's best yet!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
angeleah
Giffin absolutely NAILED IT with this absolutely made-for-book-clubs story! ALL WE EVER WANTED is set in the world of Nashville's elite, and it is a riveting story of class, race, rape culture, social media, parenting and marriage. I had to slow myself down to keep myself from finishing it too fast, and won't be able to stop thinking about this story for a long, long time. As a parent of both daughters and a son, this book paints a stark picture of my worst fears of parenting when my kids reach their young adult years. Easily on my list of Best of 2018 ~ intensely readable, wide appeal, so many hot issues. Go put it on hold at the library immediately, or buy from a local store! Thanks to the publisher for the review copy.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
imane
Reading All I ever Wanted felt like I was reuniting with an old friend. When you haven't seen or spoken to a friend in a good while you may find them a little different when you finally do catch up. People change over time. They also grow. I see the changes and the growth in Emily Giffin' s latest. This was not like the stories that we usually get from her. This went in much deeper addressing a more serious subject. While it was a change, it is welcomed by me. I loved how this story had characters that I liked, disliked and really disliked. There are characters that you root for and others you want to get their just desserts. You also question ones innocence or guilt I do wish that the end was more rounded out as it did feel a little rushed. While it was sufficient, I would have liked a little more details. Still, I really enjoyed this and welcome Emily Giffin back with open arms. I eagerly await her next!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
chris whitebell
Emily Giffin proves what a perceptive author she is with her latest novel, All We Ever Wanted. Nina and Kirk Browning are extremely wealthy and living an extravagant lifestyle in Nashville. Their only child is Finch, a spoiled 18 year old who drives to private school in his own Mercedes. The Browning's are celebrating Finch's admittance to Princeton while in a less affluent area of Nashville another family is very distraught. Tom is a single parent to 16 year old Lyla. Lyla attends school with Finch and has a major crush on him. Tom is stunned to discover a lewd photo of Lyla that was taken at a party and circulated widely via text message. The photo also includes a racist comment. Finch is accused of the crime. Kirk tries to protect his son at all costs, but Nina is the brave parent. She meets with Tom and Lyla and is moved by their encounters. She takes a deep look at her husband and son and their family values. Although this story is familiar, Giffin's character's provide a unique twist. All We Ever Wanted is a fascinating novel with a strong message.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
madhuri koushik
I downloaded the free sample for this book because it was chosen for a book club I recently joined. I’m glad I didn’t waste my money. I couldn’t get past the first part of the second chapter. The writing is cumbersome and there is far too much adult content and cursing. Why can’t people write books using their intellect and a good thesaurus, instead of resorting to crass words that only show a lack of imagination and education. Such a shame. Not worth my money or my time.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
chris cain
The premise of this story, teenager on teenager assault, when one party isn't conscious of what is going on and the resulting electronic media fallout, is much too common these days. The author pulls you into the story on the first page and your stomach churns with each twist and turn. Although there is an acceptable ending, getting there is a roller coaster ride.
No matter which side you take in the unfortunate incident, the fallout affects all of the players. As parents, we try to do what is best for your children but maybe, that isn't really what is best. This story illustrates how much we really don't know about the lives our teenagers are facing on a daily basis and how their actions can effect the rest of their lives!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
zain
Nina's son, Finch shares a picture of a classmate (Lyla) passed out with her breast showing with a friend. Even though Lyla wants it kept quiet, her father goes to the school to demand punishment. He knew that the boy probably wouldn't get any serious punishment. His family is rich while Lyla goes to the prestigious school on a scholarship. Nina knows her son needs a punishment but her husband doesn't think the pictures is that upsetting and wants it swept under the rug. While dealing with the situation with her son and the school, Nina starts seeing a side of him and of her husband that she didn't realize was there. She has to decide if she wants to keep living safely or if she wants to start living happily. It's a wonderfully written book that kept me interested and surprised me with the twists!
**I received this book in exchange for my honest review**
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
selindrella
All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin is a departure from her usual sweet romantic stories. Don't go into this thinking that is what you will be reading. But, that said, this was a book that I did not want to put down, I needed to know more. There were little twists and turns throughout and right before I would decide to be done for the time being, something would happen and I would have to keep reading! The story revolves around an inappropriate photo taken at a teen party. It is told from the point-of-view of the main girl, Lyla, her father, and the main boy's mom. There is good character development, I definitely knew enough to intensely dislike a few of them and to be rooting for others.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
suzvt
As is the case with all of Emily Giffin's novels, "All We Ever Wanted" was a delightful read. It was completely engaging and I was very drawn in by the characters. This was a particular difficult story to read as it concerns a situation that so many young people find themselves in this day and age thanks to social media and cell phones. However, I just loved it. I'm so lucky I got to read an advanced copy. Definitely pre-order this one before it's released next month!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
diane w
I’ve always loved Emily Giffin’s novels, and this one is no exception. The sweet romance element is not there, but the typical Giffin storytelling is ever present.

HS senior Finch is accused of taking an inappropriate photo of HS sophomore Lyla. Before too much time passes, Finch’s father has bribed Lyla’s father to stay silent, and Finch’s mother and Lyla’s father begin texting and even set up private meetings.

While written as an adult contemporary novel, this could easily pass for YA. The characters are strong and the ending comes together nicely. I am thankful to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to be an early reader in exchange for my fair and honest review.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jim hart
In true Emily Giffin style, this book pulls you in and brings you right into the middle of relationships and personal situations. Giffin developed the characters expertly, and I felt connected to them (mostly Nina and Lyla). They seemed real with real life situations and problems.

The story was also great. Mostly chick-lit, but it was deeper than that. There are themes of women empowerment as well relevant women issues relating to the "Me Too" movement. My only issue was that some of the dialogue was cheesy, but a great and interesting story overall!

Growing up and living in Nashville most of my life, I appreciated all of the call-outs to different spots and areas around town. It especially helped my ability to picture everything, and knowing a lot of about Belle Meade helped me understand exactly who these characters were. It felt like a real story. However, I did feel like it tried too hard sometimes, but I appreciated the love of Nashville that shined through!

*Thank you to Netgalley, Random House, and Ballantine for the ARC, for which I have given an honest and unbiased review*
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jenessa maudal
This book was an enjoyable read. I found the topic to be interesting and could not wait to find out the conclusion. I enjoyed the perspectives of Lyla, Nina, and Tom. I liked the perspective of Tom the most. His struggle to parent his daughter during a difficult and trying time was very interesting to me. I felt his response to the whole ordeal was genuine. I loved the themes of forgiveness, parenting, and secrets.
Overall it was entertaining and I definitely recommend it. Thank you NetGalley and Ballantine Books for my ARC copy. All opinions are my own.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
tanya jeffers
This is the first Giffin book I've read after hearing great things about the author, and I was not disappointed. This story focuses on the story of Nina, Tom, and Lyla. Nina feels trapped in a loveless marriage while trying to raise her son, Finch, to be a better man than his father. Tom is a single father trying his best to do what's right for his daughter Lyla, the victim of a sexual assault followed by a cruel social media crime. Tom and Nina are thrown together when her son is accused of being responsible for sharing the photo of Lyla. This novel explores the myriad of emotions present when some people seek the truth, others deny it, and others want to forget about it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jonny illuminati
All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin was a wonderful, emotional, roller coaster read for me. While it took a while for me to get hooked, it didn't take long before I had to have it read in a matter of two days. The story is told through the eyes of Nina, Tom and Lyla. While the story starts out talking about Nina and her husband becoming insanely rich and how it changed their lifestyle etc, the book focuses on the real, meat and potatoes of the story...how social media can ruin people, families, trust and reputations. It focuses on what parents are faced with today regarding teens, in particular, and the choices they make and how other kids turn that into cyber bullying. One night, turned into a "who's telling the truth" situation when Lyla, the daughter of Tom, went to a party where Nina's son Finch was attending as well. Lyla had a little too much to drink and the next day, there was a compromising photo of Lyla that had basically gone viral. The book is told through the perspective of these main characters and takes you on a roller coaster ride of who we, the readers, should and should not believe as far as who took this photo and why. Marital woes do play a part in this book between Nina and her husband, and other factors play out as well to the point where you begin to think one thing will happen and Emily Giffin has a way of twisting the story to lead your thinking and assumptions elsewhere. This was a good book that overall had my emotions riding high until the end...it didn't really end the way I wanted it to, but that's just my personal opinion. I wanted a bit more revenge in this book, but love saved the day. I would highly recommend this book, especially for parents of teens who are starting to venture out with friends.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
melinda garcia
I got an advanced copy of this book. I loved it! It was a tale of sexual abuse victims, materialism, marriage to people that you no longer recognize. It was also a story that talks about how difficult it is to parent teens: it is a whole different world out there with social media and choices that are perhaps easier to make than what is best for children.

I loved how effective the author was at so accurately telling the story from the perspectives of parents and the teenager.

A few passages that stood out to me: "I felt a deep, aching loneliness, coupled with a painful longing for a simpler time. I missed all the chores that once felt so tedious-driving my son to school and to all his other activities, cooking breakfast and dinner for him, nagging him to go to bed, and even my least favorite, helping him with his homework at the kitchen table." Totally relatable to any parent with an adult (or soon-to-be adult) child.

"She talks about how materialism can lead us astray, but that we all need beauty in our lives. And a sanctuary. A home and people who will always have your back."

Some of the characters were very unpleasant. I was hoping for more resolution and justice. Overall, I felt that ending was very satisfying. Very enjoyable read, I finished it in two days!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
hilde
4 of 5 stars
Wow, this was totally unexpected. Emily Giffin’s previous novels have been contemporary romances, but this one deals with so much more! Rape, inappropriate sexual photos, bribery, infidelity, lies, shame, and how some people with money and privilege behave in various situations.
I think this book is a real departure from Ms. Giffin’s earlier works, and I was impressed that she tackled such difficult subjects. I am looking forward to more books from Ms. Giffin, as she writes along these theme lines.
Thanks to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for providing me with an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
#NetGalley #EmilyGiffin #AllWeEverWanted #BallantineBooks
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
marycatherine mcgarvey
I'm a huge fan of this book....but I do take issue with some of the narrators whose light-hearted, almost comedic, over the top performances detract from the serious subject matter. Who narrates and how they do so is hugely important for an audio book. Perhaps it's the author's choice to have a more caricature-like reading, but it is distracting to me and it makes me not care as much for the characters. That said, the book on it's own is golden.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
cordelia
Every summer, I look forward to a new Emily Griffin story, which I read and then pass on to my friends, who are all waiting with bated breath for it as well. This story doesn't disappoint, though it's more drama than love...unless you count a mother's love (which, obviously counts a lot). This story addresses the choices we make, respect for ourselves and others, personal space and consent. It's a moving family drama that's written with compassion.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sophia siu
This was an absolutely fabulous read. You are always rooting for Nina Browning. This is a great story of how you change in life and sometimes your decisions at one point on life don’t fit your life later in in life. The characters are extremely interesting and have many facets to them. There were many twists and turns in this book and love how everything ends. I highly recommend this read. Emily Griffin did not disappoint with this story.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
felix
Great read! Well written, easy to follow the storyline, this book shows the differences between right and wrong and how we teach our lids to become better people.A caring and compassionate woman trying to raise her son along with his father who is all about trying to make things go away with money and lies. A teenage girl being raised by her dad. There is so much more to this story but I don’t want to give anything away. I highly recommend it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jerome
When the gossip first reaches them, Nina and her husband Kirk are having a typical Saturday night, which for them consists of being honored at yet another gala event. Rumor has it that their son has taken advantage of an unconscious girl at a party by taking and sharing a sexually explicit and racist photo of her.
As Nina tries to find out what really happened at this party, she also begins to find that she never really knew her husband at all. His solution is to throw money at the problem to make it go away.
This domestic drama is quite relevant in today's world and shows that there are some things you just can't buy with all the money in the world.

I received an advance copy for review.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
azrielq
3 1/2 stars. Intriguing story told from different viewpoints. Relevant to today’s #MeToo movement, sense of entitlement among youth and their parents, and use of technology in today’s world. We hear from the three more likeable characters who are trying to live with integrity in a situation where the social norms are to protect the people closest to you no matter what. There is a very clear moral compass in the story I appreciated that I appreciate , as well as the reframing of what it means to be successful. Set within a privileged first world perspective even though the characters come from various backgrounds. Good summer reading though it is serious subject matter.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
noel
I absolutely loved "All We Ever Wanted" by Emily Giffin. What a great book. I included the audio portion and wow... the narrators brought this story to life. My commute to work flew by as I listened to this thought provoking story unfold. Like so many of Ms. Giffin's books, this had me on a roller coaster of emotions and I just didn't want the story to end. She writes about real life and real issues and her characters are raw and engaging and keep you on the edge of your seat. Great story line and superb writing. I don't think I've ever been disappointed by anything she's written. A must have for your book collection.
Happy Reading...enjoy!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ntensibe joseph
This novel is about how one really bad decision changed the lives of two families. One family is a privileged, well off family. Some members of the family feel they can do anything because they have money. The other family is a single father struggling to put his daughter through a prestigious school. I don't want to give any spoilers by telling how they are brought together. I will say that it took most of the book for me to figure out who to believe.
I liked the way the book was told from the point of view of different characters. It was an easy and quick read. I read it in two days. Thanks bookishfirst for the early copy for my honest opinion.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
nicky hardman
I read the first few pages and was immediately immersed in this book. Very timely subject matter of a teen boy who takes an illicit photo of a female classmate, forwards to friends and the aftermath of his actions. The beginning of the book made me take a deep breath because it was something you could hear about in your neighborhood high school. I actually slowed down my reading at points because I simply didn't want it to end. Three quarters of the way through I was nervous that it would take a bad turn but thankfully, it didn't. I would highly recommend this book to friends. Different from some of her other books. This one read more like a Jodi Picoult novel.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
dee dee
Great book by Emily Giffin! A moral dilemma faces two families after an inappropriate comprising photo of a young teenager passed out drunk at a party is shared among some friends. The story is told in three voices and explores not only the sharing of photos and consequences, but also how money comes into play. Themes of trust, loyalty, love and veracity are explored. Very readable and current book. I really enjoyed reading.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
amee 21
Like many of Emily Giffin's Dana I have read all of her books and look forward to each new book. Her early work is so good that I've read the same books (something borrowed, something blue, baby proof, etc) over and over again - they are that good. This book was not that good. The story was mildly interesting but that's about it. The characters were boring and overly stereotypical. The actions of the characters were unrealistic. I didn't think this book was "deep" at all - it read like juvenile fiction, which was disappointing to me. I honestly don't want to read a book about teenager drama. I read books as an escape from my kids and their drama- not interested in reading about it for fun.

Oh... And then the book ends. It just ends. I honestly thought my Kindle was going to tell me I was 65% through the book and then it was the epilogue. Are you kidding me?? The ending was completely and utterly anticlimactic and unfulfilling.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sharmaine dela cruz
I devoured Emily Giffin’s All We Ever Wanted. Emily is a new author to me, and I received this book through NetGalley. This will not be my last Emily Griffin book. I was hooked from the beginning. This book explores current problems such as teenagers and sexting, parenting issues, ....There are strong characters who need to decide right from wrong and figure out if there is redemption. The reader develops strong feelings for the characters in this book. I predict this book will be a huge success!
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
vivaswan pathak
I had to double check that I didn’t accidentally choose a young adult book since this novel seemed to be written for junior high students. I then realized the author tried to write about relevant social issues but she ended up using typical stereotypical caricatures of evil rich Republicans and the imposhered liberal heroes. How original. I don’t know if rich authors feel gulty when they become successful (John Grisham!) and start to preach and tell the readers that money and white males are evil. Maybe just donate some money to charity to relieve your conscience and concentrate on writing entertaining and meaningful books.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
leticia
{I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.}

It has been years since I've read an Emily Giffin novel, and now I remember why I loved them so much. The absolute ideal chick-lit summer read, "All We Ever Wanted" is one that women are sure to relate to and devour in just a few days' time, if not in one sitting. It's just that good. While many chick-lit books are often formulaic and predictable, "All We Ever Wanted" really took me by surprise in the last bit of the book. All the things I suspected were going to happen did not, in fact, happen....which I love in a book! Each time I thought I could predict where the plot line was headed, I ended up being wrong. As a momma of a teen, I could relate to so many aspects of this book, and I appreciate the theme of family values that this novel set forth. Love, love, love this book, and will be recommending it to all my gal pals!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
amanda laughtland
This is only the second book I've read by Emily Giffin, the other being the super popular Something Borrowed. Well this book couldn't be more different than that! This is not the chick lit that I would expect (and love) from this author.
This book could be a story you see on Dateline or maybe even hear about from a friend - it happened at her teenage daughter's school. Or maybe your own teenager's school. It was topical and believable.
Finch is a senior, his parents Nina and Kirk are very wealthy. Lyla, a sophomore, lives with her single Dad Tom who supplements his job as a carpenter driving an Uber when he can. Finch and Lyla both attend the exclusive Windsor Academy together - Lyla on scholarship.
The two of them are brought together because of a photo that's taken without Lyla's knowledge.
The book is written in 3 POV's Nina, Tom, and Lyla. It's really a fascinating journey to hear the thoughts of these 3 at the beginning through to the end. A parents struggle to connect with their teenage children. A wife trying to decide if her husband is still the man she married. And is that a good thing? There is a lot going on here and I loved it. When I thought I had it figured out, I didn't.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
beebo
All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin is a fast paced compulsive read. Kirk and Nina Browning are a prominent wealthy Nashville couple. Their son Finch has just received his acceptance to Princeton when he finds himself in the middle of a sexting scandal at his elite prep school, Windsor Academy. The Brownings are pitted against single father Tom Volpe whose daughter Lyla, is an academically gifted student attending Windsor on scholarship. The book explores the themes of “affluenza” and entitlement as well as social media obsession and rape culture. All We Ever Wanted is a light, quick, but thought provoking book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
amy sakasitz
I'm going to start by saying, I love Emily Giffin! I've been a fan since Something Borrowed was first released. So, I expected to love this from the minute I saw her name on the cover.

And I was not disappointed! This is another fantastic addition to her works! Her books are very relationship driven, which I love. I care so much about these characters. I cringe when they make mistakes, and can't stop smiling as I read them work through those mistakes. This story is very timely, with everything happening with #MeToo and #TimesUp, and even some of what's happening with immigration.

This was another amazing story from Emily Giffin. I encourage old and new fans to pick this one up. I can't wait to see what comes next from her. You have a fan for life!!

Thanks to the publisher and BookishFirst, who provided me with an Advanced Reader's Copy in exchange for an honest review.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
drea101
This was a great read - I could not put it down! Really well written and even though I am not a fan of the alternating narrator/chapter method, this was just excellent. A very timely subject and as a mother whose child attended private school I can tell you that it was quite realistic. Strongly recommend.

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a review copy, this is my honest opinion.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
shalini patel
In this story, three people must choose between family and values. Nina was the mother of a boy named Finch accused of taking a nasty picture of a drunk girl (Lyla), and sending it out. Tom is the father of that girl. Nina is married to a very rich man who "helps" his son, who has been accepted into Princeton, and this scandal might keep him from attending. Tom is a hard-working carpenter trying to raise his daughter on his own; his wife left them years ago. Finch has a girlfriend Polly, who fights with him on the night of the scandalous incident, and Finch blames Polly for taking the picture and sending it out, because she was jealous of the looks Finch gave Lyla at the party. And then the story continues...
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
robynn
Nina Browning feels like she has everything. A perfect life, perfect marriage, and perfect son. But it all come crashing down the day after her son, Finch, is accepted to Princeton. His terrible decision changes all their lives.
Finch has been raised among the privileged and never been denied anything. One night, after spending the evening at a party, he takes a compromising picture of an unconscious classmate, Lyla Volpe. The photos spread throughout the community bring attention to both Lyla's father, Nina, and the school administrators.
Tom, Lyla's father, is determined to make Finch pay for what happened to his daughter and sets off on a mission to get justice from the school's Honor Council. Nina's husband, Kirk, has other ideas and tries to use his family money to get Tom to drop the issue and save his son. Nina's uncomfortable with her husband's actions and forges a friendship with Tom and Lyla and sees that her perfect life isn't as perfect as she thought it would be.
Each chapter changes perspectives and gives voice to all of the characters that are going through the situation. Although I enjoyed getting a front seat to all of the character's thinking and rationales, it was Nina's chapters that engaged me the most. Her mama bear instincts to protect her son are at odds with her understanding of Lyla and all that she has been through. All of this boils down to her realization that her husband may not be the man she thought he was. This book was extremely thought-provoking and made me think about what I would do if I was in Nina's situation.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
shaurya
In this day and age of social media our youth are faced with more moral decisions and dilemmas than my generation was. Right is still right and wrong is still wrong, but because of social media it often becomes a community issue regardless of how the victim chooses to handle it. Couple these often-occurring situations with money or lack thereof, social privilege, social status, overprotective parents, under-protective parents, etc., etc., etc. and you have All We Ever Wanted.

Whether you are rich, poor, middle-class or the parent of a boy or girl, if you are a parent this is a must read. The story will make you think about what ultimately is best for our youth and how morals trump money every time. It also forces the consideration of all parties involved and evokes empathy for even the least likely characters.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
runa
4.5 stars! I haven’t read an Emily Giffin book in awhile but I picked this one up after seeing so many fantastic reviews. I think I was expecting something vastly different to occur and when I realized the subject of the entire book was an inappropriate photo that leaked, at first I thought “that’s it?”. Be clear- I’m NOT saying that isn’t an important topic. This is such a timely and important book. Though it is fiction it so closely depicts a very real scenario that happens to women all too often. Teenagers- partying and drinking- poor decisions- inappropriate conduct. And parents with wealth that think money can solve everything and absolve guilt and fault. But I didn’t think I’d be interested in reading 331 pages of fiction about the topic.

Boy was I wrong. Because...the writing. It just ROCKS. The voices of each character, the characters themselves- I just CARED so much! Giffin made the traditional unpopular-girl-meets-popular-guy-and-falls-for-him-then-gets-hurt story SO MUCH more than that.

The ending disappointed me- but let me be clear that it was NOT the writing I was disappointed in. I was disappointed because the ending so entirely represented the truth of what would have happened in real life. What DOES happen in real life. There is something to be said about an author that doesn’t take the easy way out and wrap everything up in the perfect happily ever after story but ends on a realistic note. I wasn’t disappointed in the way Giffin ended the story at all but in the way our world is- and that made me THINK about the way our world is, which is such a great thing for a book to do.

The only thing I could say that I didn’t like was the abrupt skip ahead 10 years at the end. It didn’t give me enough wrap up of Nina and Kirk’s story line and left me feeling a bit like BAM- the book ended! But honestly, I couldn’t put this book down- the story just flowed and I found myself trying to find ways to squeeze in extra reading time because there was never a stopping point that didn’t leave me wondering what would happen next. Emily Griffin definitely goes on my list of authors that do the shifting of narrative perspective thing REALLY well.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
joe pierce
I am a big fan of Emily Giffin and have read almost all of her books so far. All We Ever Wanted was quite different from the other books I've read, in a good way. I don't know if it is because of the time we are living in or just how I have grown as a person and how my reading taste has changed but taking the traditional love story out of what is called 'chic lit' is beautiful to me. I say this isn't a traditional love story because it isn't about a woman and man falling or being in love but instead about a mother's love for her son and a father's love for his daughter and I find that type of love story super compelling. Emily Giffin takes that parent's love for their child and mixes in the topics of sexual harassment/abuse, racism, and social elitism to build a intense and thought provoking story about integrity and justice.

This book is a lot less fairy tale and a lot more real life; you see real emotions and feelings and you get two sides and a lot of in between thoughts about a very real political and moral concern in our country. I love the layers and complexity that Emily Giffin is able to offer and it makes this novel stand out above her others and its feminist outlook while still addressing the other side is applause worthy. I love that nothing ever felt forced in this book and that the outcome felt natural with a sense of hope. I would very much love another book by Emily Giffin that breaks tradition and addresses real world concerns.

Thank you to Ballantine Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book for free in exchange for my honest review.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jessica renae
Bonnie Gonzales's review Jun 27, 2018 · edit
really liked it

Very riveting read, with some real intense moments. But oh how I loved reading all the teenage stuff and that went back to Nina’s teenage years to.
Bonnie was my favorite secondary character, she was so wise and kind.
Great characters, great dialogue, sensitive subjects that keep me flipping the pages.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
whirly
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley.

I liked this book, I really did. Ms. Giffin is a fantastic storyteller, and this work is well written, and had me hooked from the first page.

This story is so relevant to society today. It's the story of a high school girl, Lyla, a scholarship student at an elite private school who goes to a party, gets drunk, and the next day, a compromising photo of her starts to get texted around the school. The story is told from four points of view: Lyla, her father (her Mom ran off when she was little), the boy accused of taking and distributing the photo-Finch, and Finch's Mom. I really enjoyed getting the story from four sides. The depth really added to the novel. The reader is taken through the minds of single Dad trying to raise his daughter in this tech-savvy society, the out of her element daugheter trying to fit in, the spoiled rotten boy who has never had to suffer consequences for anything. Ever., and his Mom, who you really want to like because you see how vulnerable she is and you learn her back story-but damn it Mom, get a backbone.

So why four stars? First off, I thought the whole "rich boy, poor girl" plot was a bit too cliche, but what really bothered me was how it all ended up tied up with a pretty little bow. After everything we go through with the characters, Finch, yet again, suffers no consequences even after he blatantly uses his friends, his Mom, and Lyla. I wasn't prepared for a happily ever after.

Thank you NetGalley for affording me the opportunity to review this novel.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
spiegols
I loved reading All We Ever Wanted! It's the story of teenage immaturity in the social media age. It revolves around a very wealthy family in the aftermath of an inappropriate photo which went "viral". I was compelled to read the book quickly, with all it's emotionally intense "ups and downs". I couldn't wait to find out the truth in this very ugly situation. I was somewhat disappointed in the way Giffin chose to end it, and felt I could have used some more explicit clarity in what actually happened between the main characters. I would categorize this tale as being "young adult" reading.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
narges
A very well written book told from the point of view of a mother, a teenage girl her son wrongs, and the girl's father. The three quite different characters each had a distinct voice. The book examines what happens when parents think the best and decide their kids are "good" and because of this stop paying as much attention to everyday occurrences. The book makes you consider whether your perspective changes gradually over time, or if it takes one single significant event to change things. I loved that Lyla, the teenage girl, is extremely strong but still has vulnerable teen characteristics.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
lester
I will say that I liked that the story was told from multiple POVs. However, I felt that there were too many cliches. Nina has money, because her husband sold his business, so they're rich, but she doesn't think of herself as one of the elite (though all her friends are, except for one, whom she has to travel to see -- and frankly whose life I probably would have been more interested in following).

The Brownings' son, Finch, isn't likeable at all, even when he's claiming there's more to his side of the story than everyone knows.

The only characters I truly felt for were Lyla, as she wanted so hard to fit in, and Nina's old boyfriend, who, like Nina's friend, I think would've been a good character to see more of.

That being said, it was well-written, which I think is one of the reasons I found myself hooked up enough to read it to the end.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
darcy o
What can I say other than that I am so excited that Emily Giffin has a new book coming out and that I was able to get my hands on an advanced copy? Ok, okay I know that is not a good enough review so here it goes.

The story is told from the voices of Nina, Lyla and Tom. Nina appears to be your typical trophy wife who married money but we quickly find out that there is more to her than what is on the surface. Tom is a single dad who is out here trying his best to make it work for himself and his daughter, Lyla. Lyla is your typical teenager who winds up in a scandal that will rock her world.

Nina is the wife of a very wealthy man and this scandal hits her close to home and puts her in a very compromising position since her son Finch is involved. She wants to believe that he is her innocent child still but she starts to notice things that make her realize that he is not the person she thought he was. She also finds out much more about her husband than she bargained for and will have to make decisions that are most definitely going to affect all of them.

Tom is a single dad who is doing his best to make sure that his daughter has the best education possible but he also wants to protect her from the world. You can only imagine his devastation when he has to defend his daughter in the light of this scandal. Without Nina's mother really in the picture, things get more difficult for him before they get easy. He has to deal with being just a regular working class man up against a family of money and power.

Lyla has to learn a very valuable lesson about life. One simple mistake can make a detrimental impact on your life. Even though it was not her mistake and she is the victim, she gets the worse treatment just because of where she lives and because of what people assume about her. Even through all of this she still tries to protect who she can. You definitely see how naïve teens can be.

Nina, Tom, and Lyla must fight thru this and figure out how to come out in one piece. They are forced to find allies where they wouldn't have necessarily looked before.

I feel that this story is relevant to today's society with all the dependence on social media and technology. It also focuses on race, class, and how society perceives it all. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but what isn't elaborated is how those words will follow you and how it will be perceived differently by each person who comes in contact with it.

This novel makes you ask the questions of how far are you willing to go to protect your child? Your place in society? How much of an impact does entitlement have on decisions that you make?

Although this book is an adult fiction, I recommend that teens read it as well if approved by their parents. Teens need to understand that there are consequences to their actions, not matter how much they think what they have done isn't a "big deal." Things do not just blow over.

My only complaint about this book is that the ending seemed a bit rushed but hey, books can't go on forever and must end somewhere right?

I received this copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
smitha
I really enjoyed this! Somehow I have missed reading all of Emily Griffin's other books, so I was glad to finally read one by her. I thought it was just a fun chick lit book, but the themes really were deeper than that. A high school girl goes to a party and after drinking too much, pictures are taken of her and then they are passed around the school. The book is from the point of view of the girl, her dad and the mom of the buy who took the pictures. A very trendy topic and and interesting story line.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
devy nurmala
This story is very real for today's world. Parents want to believe their kids are telling the truth but that's not always the case. Sexting is very real today and kids do not use good judgement. This story does a good job showing that parents need to be actively involved in their children's lives. All the wealth in the world does not replace good parenting. Highly recommended!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
keshia thompson
This is what I would call a perfect book for the summer- it's fast paced, has twists, and is drama filled. At the start there is an incident that could have lasting ramifications for those involved. An inappropriate picture is shared, lies are told and we, as the readers get to witness the drama that goes down throughout the school community as they try to find out the truth. I will say there are some weaker areas of the book, but as a whole it was worth the read and I'd recommend adding it to your beach bag this summer!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
linda
All We Ever Wanted was an interesting, engaging, and timely read. It’s theme and topic is essentially about consent and the use of social media in today’s society, and you see the story develop through the perspective of three characters, Nina, Tom, and Lyla.

I don’t want to talk about too much of the plot because I don’t want this review to contain spoilers, but the story revolves around how Nina’s son Finch sends a revealing and racist Snapchat to some of his friends of a partially naked and passed out Lyla- who happens to be Tom’s daughter. The story focuses on the aftermath of these events and the impact this had on all the characters.

I’ve read most of Emily Giffins’ books, but I think this is my new favorite. I couldn’t put it down. There were times I would get quite frustrated at Lyla, the high school student, for how she was acting, but then remembered that it was honestly how a high schooler would probably respond to what she was dealing with.

Sometimes I felt like the book moved a little fast or was a little rushed - a lot happens in a short amount of time - but I did get resolution for the majority of characters in the book, and would be interested in another book following the future of these characters.

I’d recommend this book to anyone who has enjoyed this author’s writing before, but note it isn’t as light as her other books. I’d also recommend it to anyone interested in or supportive of the #MeToo movement. It may also be a good discussion for parents who want to have conversations about social media use, consent, and even racism with their high school or college aged children.

Overall, a great, quick summer read!

*I was provided a free, advanced copy of this book by NetGalley in exchange for my honest review*
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
doug cammarota
Meh, I thought it was okay, but no more than that. Mostly unlikable characters, very one dimensional. As others have said, this book could have been so much more; sadly, it wasn't. Lots of things seemed like totally unrealistic reactions, and the ending left much to be desired. Haven't read any other books by Emily Griffin, and I doubt I'll read another.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
rababsaleh
I loved the easy and breezy style of this book. I read it in 2 sittings and was thoroughly entertained. I am really not sure if Nina was the hero — and that made the story even more interesting in a lot of ways. The truth and moral high ground are hard to come by in this story of white privilege. The story was stomach turning. Worth reading!

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the chance to read an ARC.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sapphire
All WE Ever Wanted is a story that covers a topic that someone or another we know has gone through. It is both gut-wrenching yet beautiful.

Nina grew up in Bristol, a town that is not too far from I live, which I thought was pretty neat. Nina is living the high life of wealth and socialites after marrying a man who comes a family that has money. Tom is a single father who is just making ends meet.

These two parents find themselves in quite the scandal. Ninas son Finch and Toms daughter Lyla are at the center of it all. The pics circulating around of Lyla went viral quickly. And the two families have to deal with the fall out and the effects of their children. This just broke my heart how easy and fast the pic went virial. Social media is great at times but at times this like it is the worst enemy. My heart just went out to the kids and their families. Yes, they made mistakes but are trying to fix it all, and it wasn’t an easy feat.

Follow these two families on this journey tore my heart out, and I couldn’t imagine having something like this happen to my own family. Giffin did such an amazing job with the subject too and I found my self so engrossed in these families lives. The disappointments, the hurt, it all felt so real. This story will break your heart and mend it as well. My review might seem kinda short, but I feel that this is one those reads that needs to be read and talked about as well and I don’t want to take away from the message it has. And is one that I would highly recommend reading, with tissues.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
deandrea
One drunken night changes the lives of Nina, Finch, Tom, and Lyla forever. Finch and Lyla go to the same high school , Nina is Finch's mom, and Tom is Lyla's dad.The story is told from the point of view of Nina, Tom, and Lyla. This story is about a common problem in today's world. Sharing pictures to the internet, go wide and far in today's world. Lyla is my favorite character. After everything she has been through, she still cares about others and helping them. I received an advanced readers copy from NetGalley and Ballantine Books. All opinions are my own.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sandybell ferrer
"All We Ever Wanted" begins with an innocuous enough sentence, that you soon realize holds a dark promise: "It started out as a typical Saturday night." The story goes on to reveal a single incident at a teenage party that got out of control (think, a terribly inappropriate photo that goes viral), which has now torn apart the lives of several families.

We get to know the families' backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses, and secrets. I sympathized with each of the three POV characters in different ways. Of the additional characters, though, not everyone is telling the truth, and I found my allegiances and conclusions shifting at a couple different points in the story. Once the truth finally comes out, several characters are left to pick up the pieces and put them back together into something resembling a life.

This was an insightful, thought provoking, and relevant story, and I'm betting a lot of people will be talking about it this summer.

You can read my full review on my blog, linked in my profile. I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for my honest opinions.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
amy gowans
Nina thought she had everything she ever wanted but did she really? When her son uses bad judgment by sending an inappropriate picture to his friends of a girl passed out at a party that goes viral, causing problems for Finch, as well as the Lyla, the girl in the picture, she finds that she and her husband do not agree on how to deal with it. She also begins to question her relationship with her husband and her own life, wondering "where she went". A timely story told in multiple voices that kept me turning the pages as fast as I could. highly recommend.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sneha ray
Emily Giffin has written another brilliant novel. In All We Ever Wanted, four different characters must make a decision regarding a scandal... some take the high road, and some take well, the lowest of the roads, really. Giffin challenges the perspectives and provides an excellent example of women caring for other women in solidarity, Solidarity that is formed through unfortunate circumstances. A cunning way to illustrate the power of the Me too movement while thoughtfully highlighting the differences in generations.

Yes, to sharing this story, and so much yes for Nina Browning sticking up for what's right, even if it meant trouble for her son.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
saganaut
Loved this book. It’s an extremely relatable story these days- what happens when your teenager makes a mistake and the entire world finds out about it, thanks to social media. Griffin somehow tells both sides of the story- from the teenagers’ point of view and the parents’ point of view- without it seeming like a YA book. You find yourself taking a side early, but the story keeps unraveling until the end. I read this one quickly, wanting to find out the ending. Great!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
amy madden
I LOVE this author and was so excited for this book. It was excellent for about 2/3 of the book and then it just all went to crap. It had the potential to be soooooo good. I’m so confused about the ending. The entire book was building up to what I thought would be a huge, dramatic, and satisfying ending and it just seemed to stop with no conclusion. So disappointing.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rehan
I absolutely adore Emily Giffin. I have read all her books, some more than once.

All We Ever Wanted touches on very real issues. The novel shows just how damaging social media can be. I think this is a must read for Parents. This book definitely points out how damaging it can be as a victim of modern technology.

I read this in one sitting. It is definitely a page turner. Just when you think you have figured it out, the plot twists yet again.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
eric wilson
I received an advanced reviewer copy from the Publisher (RandomHouse) through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I've never read Emily Giffin before, so this is my first read of hers and I think that's a great thing because this book is SO GOOD. I've heard from most people that Giffin writes 'chick-lit' (which is an annoying term b/c just because women love it doesn't mean its lesser but that's a whole other talk). This book is not that and even if you've stayed away because you've heard she writes rom-com, please read this book, it's an important read.

What It’s About: Nina and Kirk have a lot of money and are able to get themselves and their son, Finch, whatever they want, including a wonderful education at a prep school and a future education at Princeton. Then their send snaps a picture of a classmate with her nipple showing and a racist caption. This sends their lives into a spiral, as Nina comes to grips with how she could raise someone who did this. Meanwhile, the victim, Lila, and her father Tom deal with the fallout as well with Tom refusing to concede because his daughter was wronged despite Lila's embarrassment and her desire to make it all go away (by the way I agree with Tom's fight for justice for his daughter but also her desire to move on)

What I loved: Everything. This book is a rollercoaster. I love the story from the mother's perspective of how her son turned out like this. I love the story of the father who wants to defend and protect his daughter, while the daughter wants it all to go away. It is incredibly well considered and thought out and you feel for all the narrators and their dilemmas. This book is very timely. Also, a lot of people hated the ending, I won't spoil it, but it is also very timely and I think that was Giffin's point.

What I didn’t like so much: I didn't like some of the characters but you were meant not to like them. I didn't like the ending (but I thought it was fitting). At times I got annoyed by Tom's anger being taken out on the wrong people but again, it felt realistic. Basically, I guess sometimes I was frustrated but it was part of the story and really I loved the book.

Who Should Read It: Everyone. Sexual assault and harassment are huge issues, and Emily Giffin writes an outstanding novel addressing it from a different perspective.

General Summary: An important read about rape culture that is told (mostly) through the parent's perspective: what happens when your child is the victim? What happens when your child is the abuser? A must read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
kevin dern
This book was very Emily Giffin, if you’ve read her other books like “Something Borrowed” and “Something Blue.” It is an important story in the #MeToo era. It follows a story from the first person viewpoint of 3 characters: a wealthy but unhappy Nina, whose son and husband are more than she can deal with; Tom, a single carpenter dad raising a teenaged girl; and Lyla, Tom’s daughter who is navigating life with an absent mother in a world where her father struggles to make ends meet while she attends a prestigious private school.

Nina comes from a poor background and has become the complete opposite of who she once was. Her husband loves money above all else. Her son is a spoiled brat. And she is struggling with her own past currently playing out in front of her through Lyla, her son’s classmate.

Tom is working hard to make ends meet. He’s been raising Lyla alone and is a bit bitter toward her mother. He doesn’t always make the best decisions and thinks he knows better than everyone, but becomes friends with Nina while they try to navigate the rebellious teen years of their kids.

Lyla has just had the unthinkable happen: someone took a half naked photo of her while she was passed out drunk at a party, and sent it around Snapchat with a racist caption. It changes EVERYTHING.

Emily does a wonderful job navigating a story of two parents trying to do right by their kids and raise them well but even more importantly... two incredibly strong women who have had the cards stacked against them in situations women are often put through everyday, and they are badass.

I listened to the audiobook, as I've been busy with work and can finish the book in one workday. Note: this is my first ever audiobook.
I really enjoyed the story. Some of the prose came off as a bit bland or amateur but the story itself was done well enough to be overlooked. The only thing that really bothered me was with the narration. I think all 3 narrators did well but when the dialogue took place in quoting other characters, it just became annoying with the voices they moved into. I would really rather not listen to any of these narrators again but would suffer through it for another 10 hours for a story like this or better.

I’m a sucker for Emily Giffin novels and I don’t think this is any different. If you want a gripping, inspirational story about badass women, finding your voice, and following your principles that you just can’t put down/stop listening to... you’ve found it.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
isabel geathers
I love Emily Giffin, and though this book wasn’t her best I still enjoyed it.... unfortunately though, I listened to it on audiobook (long commute) - and the voice of Tom is so unbelievably wrong I almost couldn’t finish it. He’s described as a father who doesn’t look old enough to have a teenager, yet his voice is the perfect deep rasp of Santa Claus - somewhere in his late sixties, vocal quality and rhythm/ intonation to match. Totally wrong, killed the audiobook. Shame because the main female reader was quite good. Shame on you audiobook producers.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
julia ramadhanti
I was lucky enough to read an Advanced Readers Copy of this book. I have read all of Emily Giffen's books and All We Ever Wanted is slightly different than the rest, but still a good read. This is a family drama concerning a picture shared on social media and its repercussions. The story is told with three voices, Nina, whose son is alleged to have posted the picture; Lyla, the subject of the posted picture and Tom, Lyla's father. The truth of what really happened is read between the lines of these characters. It is realistic, thought-provoking book with a lot of social relevance in today's world of #metoo.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
michelle g
I’ve seen Emily Giffin’s books everywhere but never really had time to read them… Until now. I’m so happy that “All We Ever Wanted” was the first Emily Giffin book I experienced. New favorite author hands down!

This book is an intelligent and captivating story about how one boy’s “error” changes everyone’s lives in different ways. The so-called “incident” brings out the characters’ true colors. It’s fascinating to see just how one little ripple can set everything else in motion. In this book, we get to read the characters’ first-hand perspectives about how this particular event impacts their lives/decisions. A woman learns the true nature of her husband, although she always suspected it. A single father is brought close to someone who captivates him. A girl must decide whether to trust the boy who allegedly ruined her reputation. And a husband must decide what is most important to him and how far he’s willing to go to save his family’s name.

Praise for Emily Giffin and how eloquently and tastefully she navigates through sensitive topics of race and class in this racially charged climate.

A book that I could not put down, I give it five stars out of five both for Ms. Giffin’s style of writing as well as her ability to capture a powerful story so beautifully. She has a talent for placing us right in the forefront of her character’s minds, so much so that at times, it feels like we’re intruding their thoughts. Amazing.

Although this is not a Young Adult novel, I would highly recommend this book to anyone ranging from age 13 and above! Everyone could learn a little something from this captivating story and would have you questioning your own decisions in any of the characters’ shoes…
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
mike van campen
Synopsis: Nina’s son and Tom’s daughter are caught up in a high school sex scandal, they are both forced to confront their values, parenting skills, friendships and relationships…
Review: I was really swept away by this book; the writing was light and breezy, yet the characters were fully-developed and interesting; easy to root for while also being flawed and imperfect. The story was timely and the ending was impactful and really resonated with me (that last sentence…really beautiful). If you have a few hours to spare, it’s a great read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sarah pape
Another stunning novel from Emily Giffin! A story about values, morals and what to do when these come into question. Nina questions her own value system when she realises her husband’s values have changed and these changes have influenced her their son. The conclusion was amazing, unexpected and I never saw it coming! A winner!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
naina
I enjoyed this book quite a bit, but wasn't completely satisfied with the ending. I've read almost all of Emily Giffin's other books, but haven't enjoyed any of them as much as the first one I ever read, which was Something Borrowed. This story grabbed me from the start and I liked each of the main characters. I admired how Giffin made each of the character's voices so distinctively different from each other. The story itself was compelling, but the climax wasn't as affecting as it could have been. It centered around a secondary character that the reader didn't know enough about to care about. Had we had even a few more scenes with this character it would have been a more intense scenario. I can see this book being a good choice for book clubs because there are several timely issues for discussion.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ally armistead
I have read Emily Giffin's books before, but this was like Emily Giffin on steroids. This story was deep and complex, and really kept me intrigued the entire time. I even found myself thinking about the outcome while I wasn't reading the book.

I think we see one of the main characters, Nina, go through a pretty big transformation throughout the book. In the beginning, it's like she's become so accustomed to being "high society", that she has taken on a lot of that attitude in her life. She tended to try to convince herself that she wasn't like those people. However, she would share beliefs similar to theirs, and always find a way to justify why HER reasoning was different and made more sense than theirs. It was almost her way to excuse herself for having thoughts or beliefs that others would find reprehensible. But after the incident occurs, you can see that start to shift. She stops making justifications for the similarity in beliefs that she shares with wealthy, entitled people. She tends to stick more to her core values, and doesn't make excuses for the bad choices that her family makes either.

I loved that the story was told in multiple points of view. While that can get confusing sometimes, I felt like there was enough character development and distinctness of voice that it was very easy to follow. There definitely would have been times that we wouldn't have gotten the entire story if this was told from just one person's POV.

I will definitely read more works by Emily Giffin in the future. While I still find this to be chic lit, it was refreshing to read something that really made you think and made you wonder what you would do if you found yourself in those circumstances.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
katherine diantonio
I really enjoyed this book. An explicit picture was sent around the school. The story is about dealing with the aftermath. It is told from several points of view, which I completely enjoyed. The plot line is complicated further as this school is an upper class school and the victim of the photo was a Latina scholarship student. This story raises the question, does money really matter? What is the parent’s role in all of this? Can money buy love? #allieverwanted #netgalley
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
chad helder
All We Ever Wanted in an incredible read! The characters are well-developed and ring true. The plot is current, exploring the consequence of teenage drinking and social media pictures, and it also deals with the importance of truth and values. All We Ever Wanted would make a great book discussion selection.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
naser farzinfar
Emily Giffin’s best novel yet tackles difficult subjects while telling the story of Nina, Lyla and Tom. Each has a voice in this story of he said she said, and how truth is more important than material wealth. Nina’s husband is a successful businessman, but his ethics are not meshing with Nina’s. When their son Finch is accused of taking a compromising picture of Lyla, allegiances and sides are taken. A powerful and timely book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kawthar
The plot for Emily Giffin's latest novel comes straight out of the news: an explicit photo of a drunk, passed out, young woman in compromising positions is circulated with a highly racist caption ("looks like she got her green card"). The book is written from the perspective of three characters: (1) Nina Browning, mother of Finch Browning, who allegedly took and circulated said picture, (2) Lyla Volpe, the fifteen-year-old featured in the picture, and (3) Thomas Volpe, Lyla's father who has raised her solo since she was 4 years old. Each character is deeply flawed in some way which gives the plot a realistic patina. I picked up the book this morning and could not put it down. Emily Giffin really shines in highlighting the inner debates and thoughts of each character. The one flaw in this novel is that Giffin does try to pack too many themes and issues into one book, but at the end, Lyla and Nina's strength shines through and is incredibly heart-warming and touching. You find yourself rooting for them both throughout and it's lovely to see two strong female characters featured in one book. I would highly recommend to my friends.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ovunc tarakcioglu
I really enjoyed this book. The main female character, Nina, was strong and courageous. This book is based on elitism and the choices made to be part of "the group" or stand alone for a cause. What lengths will people go to even if it hurts those who are innocent. I really liked how it ended.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
marybright1
Nina and Kirk Browning and their teenage son, Finch, live a good life, especially since Kirk sold his company and the family has experienced a great deal of wealth. Nina and Kirk are attending a fundraiser when they hear whispering that Finch has been involved in an incident with another student at his school, Windsor Academy. It soon comes out that Finch has taken an inappropriate sexy picture of Lyla at a party and sent it to friends, accompanied by a racist comment. The photo spreads around the community quickly, causing both the kids and parents to take sides. Lyla's father, Tom, who has been raising Lyla since she was small, is appalled--he cannot believe his daughter is involved in such a mess, and he wants justice for her. Lyla's at Windsor on a scholarship, and she just wants to fit in. Now, Nina, Finch, Lyla, and Tom must grapple with the aftermath of the photo and what exactly happened the night of the party.

This is a timely novel that certainly has a place in the #MeToo moment. It's a topic being covered more and more lately, and the idea of teens and sexting is just as horrifying as always. It draws you in from the beginning, and I found it to be a very fascinating read that kept my interest throughout. By alternating the point of view between Nina, Tom, and Lyla, we get to the story told from a range of characters, including the victim herself.

The biggest issue I had with this one--and even Lyla herself admits it--is that the characters sometimes come across as cliche: the spoiled rich boy hurts the poor, intelligent girl on scholarship. The only light of resistance is Nina, our wealthy wife with the obnoxious, rich husband. Even Nina's friends appear to be clueless (or worse) jerks brainwashed by their picture perfect Nashville lives. Still, Lyla is a great kid and reading her sections is lovely. Her father is a flawed individual, but you can't help but empathize with him as well. Nina is more complicated, and I would have liked to see her take on a little more responsibility for her son and the events that unfold around her. Yes, Nina had a conscience, but she didn't seem to do a lot with it, if that makes any sense, besides apologize.

In the end, I enjoyed this one because it wasn't totally predictable and because I really liked the characters of Lyla and Tom. I found it to be an easy and quick read. Still, it seemed like something was missing as I read, whether it was because some of the book felt like it was populated by stock characters or what, I don't know. While it's not exactly the same story, I would recommend the amazing Girl Made of Stars from Ashley Herring Blake if you're looking for a timely book on this topic. That powerful book blows this one out of the water, and maybe it's that power and emotion that I felt was lacking here.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
angine
As a big fan of Emily Giffin's I will read whatever she writes and I am never disappointed. All We Ever Wanted is a very timely book and is one that really had me thinking "what would I do?". As the mother of two teenage girls and a young son I thought about both sides of this conflict. It was well written and while I felt the conclusion was a bit rushed it was a very satisfying read. If you are a fan of Emily Giffin's you will not regret picking this one up!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
susan ainsworth
I enjoy Emily Giffin's books and this was no exception. A story about wealth and privilege and how it can shape a person. Also a story about being a parent --how much responsibility for a child's actions (in this case, a teenager) lies with the parent and the things they have modeled for their children. It's also a timely story about females being taken advantage of and two very different ways it's handled -- keeping it secret and letting it affect future choices or stepping forward and dealing with those repercussions.

It definitely wasn't a light, fluffy summer read, but I found myself engaged with the characters and racing through the whole book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
miles mathews
As a parent of a teenage son, this book really hit home. Where do your loyalties lie? Do you protect your children from the dangers of the world or do you let them experience the consequences of their actions? How do you find a middle ground? Then, with all that in question, Nina is also dealing with the consequences of her own actions. Does her husband love her or better yet, does she love him? This book tackles some big issues and does it beautifully.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lana jax
Emily Giffin novels are among my favorites and I was really excited to read this one! I was quickly reminded why I love her books with the story jumping right in and the writing flowing so effortlessly. I was slightly surprised by the controversial topic but thought it was very relevant in today’s climate and loved the thought provoking perspectives with strong female characters. I would highly recommend this book!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rhonda hodges
I've always loved Emily's books. I was patiently waiting for this one to come out! When I couldn't find it in my local bookstore, I came to the store. This is the first Giffen book that I have listened to (always read the others). I loved the different voices for the characters. The story was also well written, about important topics and I left like I knew the characters. I was sad when it was over, but happy/proud with the evolution of the characters. Definitely a great read/listen!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
kendeigh worden
I received a free copy of this book for review. This is my first Emily Griffin novel. What can I say? I really enjoyed it. From the beginning it caught my attention and I wanted to know how the story would end. Talk about every parent's nightmare. One mistake can ruin their life and the lives of those around them, unless, of course, you have money. Then the rules all change. I found myself bouncing between whether Finch was guilty or not. I kept wondering how Lyla could be so naïve, and then remembering that at that age I was just as naïve. My favorite character though was Nina, Finch's mom. She was such a good person. She made hard choices in order to do what was best for her son, even if it meant him hating her. This was a good and very relevant read. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys contemporary fiction.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
grubiorz
I've loved some of Emily Giffin's books - not all. But they are always a quick fun read. This one was great - it was insightful, well developed and flowed very well.
I was halfway through it before I even realized I was - that's always a good thing!
I agree with one other review- the editing could have been better - the italics everywhere really hampered smooth flow of the words. But overall definitely a great read!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
richard rouillard
DISCLAIMER: Novel sent via NetGallery in exchange for a honest review.

A book by Emilie Giffin is always a guaranteed enjoyable read. When I saw she had a new book coming out, I made sure to check it out as soon as I could. She doesn't disappoint! The characters are genuine and you can picture them easily. The storyline moves quickly and keeps you hooked. I don't have a lot of extra time for reading so I'm extremely picky when it comes to choosing something to lose myself in. This is another winner.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kelleyaurand
I loved, loved, loved this book ! A book that really makes you think and stays with you long after you read it is rare. But this is one of those books. It is beautifully written with amazing strong characters. This is hands down an amazing book A book everyone will love.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
harriet parkinson
I love Emily Giffin's books - some more than others- and am happy that her latest novel was a book I thoroughly enjoyed. Mostly I think of Giffin as a writer who provides light, fun stories, but I am always happily surprised by the fact that there is often more to her stories than what I initially think.

Nina, Tom and Lyla are the three narrators of this book. Nina has a high school age son, Finch, and is a part of the Nashville upper class, living in the rich area of town. Tom is a carpenter, a single father raising his teenage daughter, Lyla, a classmate of Finch's. And Lyla has a crush on Finch that gets in the way of her making good decisions.

Add some an inappropriate use of social media, and this story takes off. Giffin's story may be similar to some others that have captured the headlines in recent years, but I loved that she chose to write this from Nina's perspective, showing what the mother of the perpetrator might feel and think. And I love that she balanced that with Tom, the victim's father. To make things even better, we see teenage Lyla's perspective. I think Giffin is pretty much spot-on with all of her character depictions. They felt real to me and I could see this playing out in real life in a very similar fashion.

Giffin nicely ties everything up, which might bother some readers, but not me. I know when pick up a book by Giffin I can count on a reading experience that is fun and interesting and engaging up until the last page is turned.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
kati
As a self proclaimed Emily Giffin groupie, I pre ordered this book as soon as possible. I love her books because they are easy reads and usually relatable. Also I simply love her as a person. This book, though, rubbed me the wrong way and I found myself wondering if Nina was really Emily Giffin - a normal girl with a normal upbringing who was now rich and raising privileged children (hmm sounds familiar). I didn’t like the “rich boy, poor minority girl” theme of the book. It was off putting and slightly offensive. Why did the rich family have to be white? The ending was such a let down and seemed to focus more on the fluff of the story than the ending which should’ve had a spin or a twist or SOMETHING. But it just fell flat and left me annoyed. Not my favorite of hers. I really hope she gets it together for her next book or maybe starts other projects because I think she’s running out of ideas
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
sara allen
Thank you to NetGalley, Random House - Ballantine Books, and Emily Giffin for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. All We Ever Wanted was an enjoyable book to read - easy, fast, and entertaining. It is about Nina, Kirk, and Finch (a wealthy/privileged family) and Tom and Lyla (a working-class father raising his daughter on his own) and what happens when the two families come into conflict. The topic it addresses is timely (sexting) though I did not feel that the seriousness - and the consequences - of this act was fully explored. I would have liked the narrative to have delved deeper into the emotional repercussions of being violated in this way. All in all, an easy and engrossing read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
apoorva
Marriage, divorce, cyberbullying, lies, deceit - this book has all that and more. It would seem there are too many topics for one book to cover, but this beautifully written book manages to tie everything together smoothly. The characters are believable as are the situations in which they find themselves. The story is told well and I was glad to see a satisfactory finale but that the author avoided a cliched ending.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
azin
What mother in her right mind would even THINK about destroying her son’s future over ONE stupid high school mistake when there were other ways to rectify his behavior. Especially when this kid had a totally clean upbringing and was a good person. Just a ridiculous plot. Didn’t get very far into this book. Made no sense and a little republican bashing along the way. Will never buy this author again. Returned for refund.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
naima
The best Emily Giffin I have read in awhile. I thought some topics could have been handled a little better or expanded upon like race since it plays a pretty important part of the story. I also wished some of the characters that were brought up were wrapped up a little better - like look, mom is back... so what? But overall it was a good story; informative, entertaining, a good beach read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
kate broad
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and could NOT put it down once I started reading it. The author has a great style of writing that IMMEDIATELY gets one sucked into the plot and characters. The best part of the book was that the characters were well-fleshed out which I always enjoy. The writer also has a nice style of writing which is really easy to read and enjoy!

Definitely THE summer read of the season!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sonia szymanski
Emily had my attention from the start. The way she writes draws you in to the story like you were there participating. That she tackled a current and relevant subject in a way that was tasteful and yet promoting awareness was an admirable feat.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
stanislava
All We Ever Wanted is another stellar release by Emily Griffin. The story line is timely and kept me engaged. The only disappointment was that I wish there was more character development. The ending seemed to come to fast and I had a lot of additional questions that I wanted answered. If you love Emily Griffin, you will love , All We Ever Wanted. Thank you to NetGalley for the advanced review of this book. Also, thank you to Ballatine and Emily Griffin.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
lime
When I began this book I kept putting it down and picking it up. The truths in this book are a reflection on our world today and how social media as well as wealth, discrimination and moral decline has affected our children. Over all I finished this book and felt that there is hope for our world but it will take strong, kind, honest people to stand up for their values.
NetGalley gave me this book.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
shanda brown
I have read all of Emily Giffin's books and enjoyed them very much. This one, however, was a huge let down. I couldn't wait for it to end, and I endured reading to the end hoping it would redeem the rest of the book. It didn't. It really also irks me that authors are taking little, or maybe not so little snipes at Conservatives and Republicans. I suppose they are under duress from their left wing publishers. Don't waste your money on this one.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
carlainya
I think this may be my all time favorite book that Emily has written. I was sucked in from page 1 and I couldn't put it down. What a page turner! As a mom of two daughters, it really got me thinking and wondering how I would have handled the incident. I absolutely loved the ending, it was what I was hoping for throughout the novel. Just loved it. (Thank you NetGalley for my ARC copy!!!!)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
manahil saber
Gone are the slightly flighty always struggling with courtship marriage and babies. In this book you will find women who suffer from self esteem issues and struggle to find their way, single fathers and bratty teens fighting for independence and maturity.

Her characters are fleshed out so well that you see the good and bad in each of them. Thank you for this book Emily.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kathy mertens
Emily Giffin is an automatic read for me. I don't even need to see the blurb, as was the case here. This may be my favorite of all her books. She does such a good job of shining a light on the rich and privileged and giving the reader insight into the ups and downs of parenting under those circumstances. I loved getting the three different perspectives, which really helps the reader get all sides of the story and understand each character's motivations. Loved this one and am already looking forward to her next.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
andrea repass
No, no no. Too drawn out for 3/4 ofnthe book, then a couple of chapters that literally have no meaning (trip back home), andnthen shoce ending into a chapter and epilogue. Not Emily Griffin style or capability. What was this? I love her, but I feel like she tried to put real life headlines into a book and had no idea where it was going until she hit send to the editor.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
vishal
Long time fan of Emily Giffin's writing have to say she has what it takes to hot the top of the charts. This is a compelling story about morals and values. What is important to you in your life, do you think raising a child to do the right thing is the most important job as a parent? Or is it keeping the peace? Would you walk away from cushy life if unfulfilled, so many questions.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
roberto machado
Thank you to @penguinrandomhouse for sending me a free early copy of All We Ever Wanted! I’ve been an Emily Griffin fan for years and this was a departure from her usual storyline. But I didn’t love it any less. I’m on a roll with solid 4 and 5 star reads lately and this one is no exception! Griffin tackles some heavy subjects like rape, sexting, white privilege with an underlying theme of having character and doing the right thing. I always appreciate an author who can accurately write the teenage perspective because it’s so easy to forget how you thought and acted during the high school years once you’ve been adulting for awhile. Despite the tough subjects, this was still an easy, engrossing read!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ellinor willumsen
I didn’t know if I was an Emily Griffin fan, but after reading those book I definitely want to be! It was a quick & fun read, driven off a premise any mother can relate to: am I raising a child with a strong moral compass, and if not, what will/can I do to right his wrongs? Nina is a very strong female character that is easy to identify with, I was rooting for her from start to finish!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
chris fontenot
All We Ever Wanted is a book about the interconnectedness of all people no matter their social or economic standing. Nina, a woman who appears to have it all, is suddenly confronted with the results of a horrible decision her son may have made one night at a party. Just as bad, Nina suddenly realizes her personal and family integrity may have to come before her personal desire to see her son succeed. She's starting to wonder if she's finally seeing her husband for what he really is and on the journey to discover her son's guilt or innocence, she also must confront her painful past. In this book, we learn that by following what is true and right in our heart, we can never go wrong.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
erica tysoe
I received an early copy of All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin from NetGalley and this is my review.
This was a fantastic book. I loved every minute of reading it! It was about an every day family and their struggles; Mostly the struggles inside themselves. It’s about family and how difficult it can be to reconcile your differences (or not). Mostly it’s about being true to yourself and who you are.I really enjoyed it so much. It reminded me a lot of Jodi Picoult.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ryan fossey
I thought this book had meaning to it. It looks at the life of two people on the separate sides of the tracks, and how one picture can change everything. It puts a mother in a tough position. She has to decide if she is going to stand by her family or fight for what is right.

** I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review**
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rinny
4.5/5!!! I love all of Emily Giffin's books... when I first found her, I read all of her books in a week! I was so excited to receive an advanced copy of her new one out later this year! It did not disappoint!!! I immediately fell in love with the characters and their stories. I could not put it down and read it in a day! The only negative I have to say was that the ending felt a little abrupt. The conflict was not really resolved, with the exception of the epilogue essentially saying nothing else happened. I was a little disappointed in this, as I thought the story could have continued and the ending could have had an impact on many young women reading this novel. Overall, I adored the characters and did not want their story to end!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
dana longley
This book may be my favorite of all of Emily Griffin’s! It is fun and easy beach read, but also leaves the reader pondering what is important in life. Emily Griffin brings the same power and wit that she is known for from Something Borrowed and First Comes Love.

The main character, Nina Browning, is one that many women can relate to. She is living a wonderful picture perfect life, and then some things are flipped upside down. Her family is filled with characters that you can picture in your home.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading drama! It is worth the read and is a nice follow up to Emily Griffin’s other novels. From the cover to the last page, it is well done.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jim bremser
I have read all of Emily Giffin's books so I was very excited to receive an advanced copy of her new book. I really enjoyed the book and had a very hard time putting it down. I finished the book in 3 days. The chapters are told from different character viewpoints and it is very interesting. The story brings out the unexpected impacts of social media. I highly recommend this book!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
sam mowry
My very first book by this author and I wasn’t impressed. I couldn’t connect with the characters and I really didn’t like the development of the story. I guess I was hoping for a more captivating story with more interesting characters. The book was overly descriptive at times and I found myself skimming through a lot of it.
Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
tptk
I thought this would be more formulaic than it ended up being, and brought some things home. Some may find it preachy, & I'm not sure how many moms like Nina exist, but the statements about culture are pretty powerful, applied specifically like this story does. And it is an amazingly fast read! I can understand why it's on everybody's list, & I recommend it.
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