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Book Review: All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin

Read another book that’s not my typical go to, but I absolutely loved it. I received an ARC copy of All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin, it is out already, but being released with Random House UK, Arrow on April 4th 2019.

It’s available now on Amazon.

All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin

Genre: General Fiction

BUG Rating: 5/5

Overall: A beautifully written story, told from the perspectives of several of the main characters, in the aftermath of a really bad decision. It’s a rollercoaster of a read. I was tense, waiting to uncover more about the characters and it was also emotional, in parts. This book consumed me – it’s all I could think about, even now, a couple of days after I have finished reading it. The story is so realistic in the times we live in now, and I am sure many people can actually relate to it. In parts of this book, the storylines were inspiring – the braveness and courage it takes to survive, move on and share with others to raise awareness. It also brings up the whole issue of nature vs nurture and  how parenting and upbringing can affect behaviours. It’s all been perfectly brought to life in this book. A huge congratulations to Emily – your book is simply awesome.

She was a magnet, an absolute force field, and I couldn’t stop myself from kissing her. I brushed my lips against hers, tasting lime and liquor. Her lips were perfect, and my heart exploded in my chest.


Could one bad decision tear two families apart?

Everyone’s seen the compromising photo of Lyla, a scholarship kid in a prestigious private school.

Everyone knows that Nina’s son, expensively prepared for success since childhood, took the photo.

And everyone thinks they know who to blame.

As events spiral out of control, Nina and Lyla – both outsiders in the elite social circle they inhabit – are drawn together in an unlikely bond of friendship.

Because this photograph is forcing them to question who they really are – and who they are becoming.

I have been fancying some different reads lately. The last couple of days I have been totally and utterly absorbed by All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin. Another one of my, ‘not usual type of reads’ that has taken me completely by surprise.

This book is just amazing. I actually don’t think the word even lives up to it. It’s a really captivating read which had me hooked from the first page. Just dying to know more about the characters, their lives, and what Finch did.

It’s really tricky to go into the plot too much, without giving away all the parts I enjoyed discovering, so to keep it really brief:

The chapters are told from the point of view of the main characters in the book

  • Nina, a formerly ‘ordinary’ girl from a working class background, who married into wealth after college, extreme wealth. Who’s teenage son, Finch, causes the scandal and the domino effect this has on the lives around him. Despite, possibly, one’s first thoughts of Nina, that she’s a gold digger, married for the money, that could not be further from the truth of who Nina really is. 
  • Lyla, a young, half Brazilian teenage girl, who lives on the poorer side of town, attending the same private school as Finch, but on financial aid – she’s smart and beautiful.
  • And finally, Tom also tells his story. He’s Lyla’s protective father, who raised her alone, and tries as hard as he can to provide a safe, stable home for his daughter.

As all 3 of them tell their stories, starting from the discovery of the photo Finch took of Lyla, unconscious, drunk, semi naked, with a racist caption, how they are dealing with this scandal, to their actual lives, who they were, who they have become. This incident makes them question and revisit a lot of their hardest, and most painful times.

I  wasn’t expecting it but there are some trigger storylines in this book around rape/other non consensual activities, so proceed with caution if these are not normally for you. 

Emily has done an incredible job at the different perspectives, I was really able to connect with each character, I loved them all. They all had their own flaws, complex lives and personalities. The book is truly engrossing, and I couldn’t put it down. It’s also emotional, I welled up a couple of times. Emily’s writing and descriptions of scenes, and feelings were spot on – really awaking feelings in me. I am still feeling drained from this read a couple of days on, it was THAT good.

I believe this book is already out, but it’s being re released in April with a new publisher – hence my Advance Reader Copy of this book. 

I received a free advanced copy of this book from NetGalley / Random House UK, Arrow in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. All opinions are my own. 


  • Ashley
    March 18, 2019 at 10:07 pm

    I officially need to read this book! This will be my next purchase for sure. Thanks so much for your review, and the warning.

    • bookedupgirl
      March 20, 2019 at 6:20 pm

      I loved it, really loved it – you won’t be disappointed.

  • Rosie Amber
    March 19, 2019 at 7:36 am

    I love a book that leaves a lasting impression.

    • bookedupgirl
      March 20, 2019 at 6:20 pm

      Me too – it’s the true sign of a good book 🙂


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