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10 thoughts on “All We Ever Wanted

  1. says:

    With her ninth novel Emily Giffin takes an ambitious step away from her traditional love story narratives and attempts to tackle relevant topics surrounding social media privilege racism and self worth Things that feel all too timely with the dominance of social media and the #metoo movement I’m just not so sure it all workedDespite the staggering number of issues Giffin sets out to address with this plot there’s a lack of emotionality leaving the reader to flail in the shallow end of the pool Entertaining for sure yet all too forgettable in the grand scheme of things I think by now we’ve all read some version of this story or at least seen a Dateline special have I mentioned I’m a junkie? A sexually explicit photo of a drunken scholarship girl taken by the uber popular rich guy and captioned with a racist “joke goes viral The uestion becomes what really happened that night and who’s responsible?It takes the rumor mill—gossip perpetuated by one of her biggest rivals—to snap Nina Browning into reality Maybe buying her son a brand new G Wagon allowing him to drink without repercussion and footing the bill for everything his heart has ever desired has made him feel entitled Untouchable Privileged Ya think? Compounding her regret is her husband’s own pompous attitudeIn stereotypical fashion Nina’s husband is convinced throwing money at their problem will simply make things disappear They have plenty of it being one of Nashville’s elite so what’s the harm? Why hold their son accountable when it might jeopardize his acceptance to Princeton or tarnish their standing in the community? GagThe major obstacle to just moving on is Lyla’s dad The typical overprotective father with a host of issues and insecurities surrounding money is adamant Taking a stance although he wavers at the most unexpected times and protecting his daughter’s self worth means not allowing the incident to just fade into the etherLyla earns the spotlight here being the naive teenage girl too in love with her crush to do anything other than brush away his major error in judgement With time and wisdom she'll learnThere are a host of other issues packed within these pages—relationship baggage infidelity dishonesty date rape divorce it’s a bit much While the ending is a little unexpected it still feels deflating somehow I can’t help but to think if Giffin would have focused in on a few key issues instead of trying to color with every crayon in the box the big picture might have been impactful While I would consider this an enjoyable experience—for the most part—it’s not one I’m earmarking as a favorite of Emily Giffin’s Thank you to Ballantine Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review


  2. says:

    You should always side with your kid AlwaysWithout regard to his actions? I asked No matter what? Here's two things I know for certain 1 I would never condone abusive discriminatory behaviour and 2 I would do everything within my power to protect my sons So what happens if those two things directly contradict one another?This book surprised me by how much it affected me I actually felt deeply discomfited and sad while reading it I've never read Emily Giffin and to be honest I probably wouldn't have if this hadn't popped up in the Goodreads Choice nominations and happened to be available at my local library It was a spur of the moment decision that became something I couldn't put downMultiple perspectives are brought in as this story unfolds One is Nina Browning whose son Finch tears apart their cushy life when he posts a picture of a latina classmate passed out drunk and barely dressed at a party and then captions it with a racist joke Nina's distress is palpable and memories of her own traumatic past surface as she is forced to consider how her son became someone who would do this and if there's time to save him and others from himselfI found it extremely compelling On a plot level I needed to know how things would work out Nina becomes convinced Finch's father has fuelled this toxic behaviour and she starts to uestion her husband and their marriage too The story often seems headed in certain directions but surprises us by not giving into the usual clichesBut it's than just a compelling family drama Maybe I felt this one so deeply because the scenario was horrifying what do you do when the person you love and care for than anything seems to be hurting others? It's obviously not an easy uestion to answer and Nina's reaction to it felt honest and sad All We Ever Wanted asks uestions about privilege and entitlement responsibility and blame Despite the impression I got from the marketing this is not a romance At all It hits so much harder than that twinkly blue cover would have you thinkCW view spoilerRape on page brief but graphic; attempted suicide; racism; misogynyslut shaming hide spoiler


  3. says:

    My reviews can also be seen at Stars “All We Ever Wanted” was my first read from Emily Giffin and I loved itLife is good for the Browning family Nina Browning’s husband Kirk sold his software company at the right time and they went from comfortable to very wealthy in a very short period of time Nina doesn’t like to flaunt how wealthy they are but her husband is a different story Nina is trying to keep their eighteen year old son Finch from becoming entitled though she admits they don’t say no to him often enoughThey just found out that Finch has been accepted to Princeton and the family is thrilledThe book opens on a typical Saturday nightwell typical for the Browning family They are attending their fifth gala of the year This gala is about suicide awareness and prevention and they are being honoured for their contributionsLately Nina has been feeling like something is off in her marriage She wonders if it’s money coming between them or something else As she listens to her husband giving a speech about the horrors of losing someone to suicide Nina thinks about Finch and all of the opportunities he has ahead of him Time has gone by so fast He used to tell her everything and now she’s lucky if she gets a few words out of him She really can’t believe that he will be off to college in the fallWhat Nina doesn’t know is that right at that moment their son is across town making the worst decision of his lifeTom Volpe is a single father who works multiple jobs in order to support his daughter Lyla Tom is extremely proud of his daughter She is very smart which is how she ended up at Windsor Academy The school is intense academically as well as socially But so far Lyla seems to have adjusted well As she heads out Saturday evening she promises her father that she won’t be out late – he tries not to worry However later that evening Tom senses that something is wrong with Lyla Sure enough a few minutes later his phone ringsThe story is told from the perspectives of Nina Tom and Lyla which really helped the story flow nicely I liked hearing from both parents as well as LylaAs parents our first instinct is to protect our children from everything But are there times where we can’t and maybe shouldn’t step in and fix everything? What is the difference between privilege and entitlement? It’s hard when your child makes a mistaketo know when to help them and when to step back It can be so difficult to let our children suffer the conseuences of their actionsEmily Giffin sure knows how to tell an engrossing and entertaining story with relatable and perfectly imperfect characters I thought this was a well written and thought provoking novel that deals with important and relevant issues I liked how everything came together and especially loved the epilogue“ All We Ever Wanted ” was a very powerful and touching read that I’ll be thinking about for uite some time I’m really looking forward to reading from this very talented author I'd like to thank Ballantine Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review


  4. says:

    This is a truly powerful wonderful novel It’s been many years since I’ve read an Emily Giffin novel but I enjoyed those books and was excited to read this one My previous experience with her work did not prepare me for the complex layered serious manner of this excellent book For most of the first chapter I thought this was going to be a book about a couple that went from well off to obscenely wealthy having marital woes Boo hoo But when I learned what it was really about it took a dark turnIt was important that the story was told from multiple points of view of the mother of the boy accused of taking the comprising photograph of a passed out girl at a party the father of the girl and Lyla herself because you can’t uite figure out who is telling the truth about that night Also it’s about the way teenagers don’t want to disappoint their parents and parents want to do their best for their kidsThere were pleasing twists in the story and I cried my guts out at the end Highly recommendThanks so much to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for the opportunity to review this book which RELEASES JUNE 26 2018For of my reviews please visit


  5. says:

    This is not literature for birds chick lit or women’s fictionThis is everyone’s fiction Because this kind of story should be directed towards every adult regardless of gender color class etcThis is not a love story It is both heart breaking and heart mending You will be frustrated half of the time cry at unexpected moments and smile rarelyThis is not a happy tale but it is an important and empowering one Although there have been stories about abuse of power physical and emotional published in the past the way this life altering scandal is dealt with is differentIt’s told from three distinct points of view all in the first person singular A mother a father and a daughter Only the father and daughter are related the mother being the parent of the boy who caused the scandal but they connect to one another in various waysIt’s filled with manipulatory behaviour – so much that it will mess with your head and what you believe is true – and characters behaving atrociously There is lying cheating neglecting and such bad role models Definitely not an easy book to read Unfortunately I predict many will pick this up expecting it to yes deal with serious issues but also be dramatic in an entertaining way – because of this author’s previously published books I assure you that will not happen It’s a compelling story because you’ll want – no need – to know the fate of the characters but rarely was I able to crack a smile Did I even?I hope this will truly empower people to speak out about abuse and help others grow into decent citizens of the world Blog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google | Bloglovin’


  6. says:

    All We Ever Wanted is all we’ve come to expect from bestselling author Emily Giffin an engaging effortless readable story that is deceptively likeable and painfully shallow Giffin asks nothing from readers but a few moments of their time and in exchange delivers high gloss low payoff novels that showcase entitlement and moral ambivalence disguised as depth By now her pattern is set but this time the stakes are higher It could happen anywhere All We Ever Wanted is a domestic drama about the upheaval that occurs when the 18 year old son of a wealthy and prominent Nashville couple posts a uestionable photo of an underage girl launching reverberations that upend the family’s smug existence and that of friends and relations as well The premise is compelling The execution leaves Giffin’s position unclear Like us only better Giffin’s bread and butter characters are what you might call beautiful people with first world problems The first world is my address so I’m game for domestic drama of the white privileged set Heck some of my best friends are wealthy Caucasians with country club membershipsThe problem is that Giffin wants to write her characters two ways and it leads her nowhere She seeks to explore the pitfalls of privilege yet she absolves her heroines of mistakes and casts them as well intended victims who are really good people honest if you just look behind the Chanel handbag and Mercedes SUV Meet the mom When we meet her the main character Nina has ridden high for two decades on the wealth and cache of her husband’s success She is a walking fashion plate whose fondest expressions come not for her husband or son but for the custom made furnishings and designer clothes that her lifestyle affords herAnd good for her That’s all fine Three cheers for Nina no one is judging She married a wealthy guy kept herself thin and pretty it’s her life to enjoy fabric swatches and poached salmon lunches if she so pleases But when Nina awakens from her comfortable reverie she notices that her spoiled son and rich husband have bloomed into arrogant snobs She spends the rest of the book castigating criticizing and rejecting themWhat she does not do is mother her son She never misses a Starbucks but in the time it takes her to vilify her boy and drift out of his maternal reach she never once grabs the scruff of his obnoxious neck to launch the tush kicking that his behavior demands Indeed her son is facing dire conseuences either with severe punishment or life as an asshole Moms step in; Nina steps out Holding out for a hero The unsettling part is that in Giffin world Nina is the hero Nina is the character with the moral authority This woman whose choices have contributed to if not created the family crisis bails on them and casts herself as an innocent victimized bystander She benefitted from every lazy parenting moment that led here but neither she nor the book ever say “Hey lady you know this happened on your watch right?” Instead her self involved shirking is supposed to signal some sort of heroic feministic coming of ageIt does no such thing and this is Giffin’s authorial failing She is a powerful storyteller with a weak moral compass for her characters Her stories build a compelling if cliched setup but she is neither honest nor complete when it comes time to dole out denouement and judgment Perhaps Giffin loves her characters too much to make them fully flawed people; perhaps she is writing too much of her own personal conflicts between success and the desire to be perceived as good Whatever drives her pen it should demand of stories and her characters Hold them accountable don’t make them so innocent Let them come to it honestly Right neighborhood wrong book Giffin is right on one score there are stories to tell here The vulnerability of privileged suburban American life to sudden and shocking fragmentation is fertile ground for writers with the guts to write authentic characters and ambiguous conflicts Two staggering must read novels This Beautiful Life by Helen Schulman and The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian delve similarly into the split second missteps and external forces that can disrupt and forever alter a modern family’s domestic tranuilityIn contrast All We Ever Wanted is a minor entry in the genre For Giffin fans who appreciate the escapism of her breezy readable style this is another easy sell and uick read For readers looking below the glossy surface seeking the painful yet redemptive truths that uality fiction can offer this one will leave you wanting I received an advanced review copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest reviewwwwjordanalandsmancom


  7. says:

    4 timely stars to All We Ever Wanted ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️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 HouseBallantine for an advance copy All We Ever Wanted will be published on June 26 2018 My reviews can also be found on my blog wwwjennifertarheelreadercom


  8. says:

    this may be my first book by EG but i can agree with other reviewers who are familiar with her bibliography that this story isnt women fictionchick lit this is very much contemporary fiction and discusses heavy topics such as privilege entitlement racism sexual assault and individual worth and the effect of these themes is not limited to only women i like how relevant this story is i appreciate how realistically flawed the characters are some are even unlikable but they feel real and i like how the writing presents such complicated topics in a very accessible and effective way yes there is a lot to unpack with this story but i never felt as if the plot or pacing was drowning or stretched too thin im uite pleased with my first experience with EGs storytelling and i am very much looking forward to picking up books by her ↠ 35 stars


  9. says:

    Sometimes you just can't see the things that are the closest to you All We Ever Wanted was a very thought provoking read that addresses timely and pertinent subject matter for today's society and technological age At first glance Nina Browning seems to have it all She is rich focusing on doing charity work and her son has been accepted to Princeton She has the kind of ideal life that others envy Yet she finds herself embroiled in a scandal that she never thought would happen to her Her son Finch snaps a revealing photo of Lyla his drunken underage classmate who is a scholarship student at the prestigious Windsor Academy He captions the photo with a racist comment and shares it amongst his friends The photo spreads throughout their upper class privileged student body causing controversy amongst the students and parents The book's chapters are told in alternating voicespoint of views This made for an engrossing story as different tidbits were revealed by each character but also made you doubt everything as we were left pondering whose version was actually true I love how Giffin focused on the emotions of each character from their perspective as they dealt with the aftermath of the photo We saw Lyla's struggle to be accepted in this upperclass world We saw Nina uestion how money and privilege affected her choices and parenting style Through her husband we saw how ruthless and cold money can make a person What happens when you are forced to see your partner and ultimately your child in a different light and you don't like what you see? Life is full of choices We face countless of them on a daily basis Some are simply far reaching and profound than others As parents we try to instill our children with the morals and ethics they need to make the right decisions Ultimately the choices and decisions they make are up to them and they have to deal with the conseuences of their actions As a parent I found this book thought provoking especially the social media aspect which is so relevant today I couldn't help but think about what I would do and feel if I were Nina or Lyla's dad Tom This one was engaging from beginning to end and made you think about the dynamics of marriage money power morals ethics and parenthood


  10. says:

    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 readheard by a handful of peopleOne 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 outThis 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 colorsLoved 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


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All We Ever Wanted

Free read All We Ever Wanted

Trong daughter Lyla His road has been lonely long and hard but he finally starts to relax after Lyla earns a scholarship to Windsor Academy Nashville's most prestigious private schoolAmid so much wealth and privilege Lyla doesn't always fit in and her overprotective father doesn't help but in most ways she's a typical teenaged girl happy and thrivingThen one photograph snapped in a. This is a truly powerful wonderful novel It’s been many yea A Faint Cold Fear (Grant County, prestigious Sweet Mandarin private schoolAmid so much wealth and Sweet Mandarin: The Courageous True Story of Three Generations of Chinese Women and their Journey from East to West privilege Lyla doesn't always fit in and her overprotective father doesn't help but in most ways she's a typical teenaged girl happy and thrivingThen one The Lost Heart of Asia photograph snapped in a. This is a truly The Secret Life And Brutal Death Of Mamie Thurman powerful wonderful novel It’s been many yea

characters · E-book, or Kindle E-pub ¸ Emily Giffin

Nina Browning is living the good life after marrying into Nashville's elite More recently her husband made a fortune selling his tech business and their adored son has been accepted to PrincetonYet sometimes the middle class small town girl in Nina wonders if she's strayed from the person she once wasTom Volpe is a single dad working multiple jobs while struggling to raise his heads. My reviews can also be seen at Stars “All We Ever Wanted” Geometric Dimensioning And Tolerancing: Self Study Workbook person she once wasTom Volpe is a single dad working multiple jobs while struggling to raise his heads. My reviews can also be seen at Stars “All We Ever Wanted”

Emily Giffin ¸ 9 characters

Drunken moment at a party changes everything As the image spreads like wildfire the Windsor community is instantly polarized buzzing with controversy and assigning blameAt the heart of the lies and scandal Tom Nina and Lyla are forced together all uestioning their closest relationships asking themselves who they really are and searching for the courage to live a life of true meaning. Sometimes you just can't see the things that are the closest