Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Book Review: All I Need by Susane Colasanti


Pages: 240
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
Pub. Date: May 21, 2013
Source: LibraryThing Early Reviewer
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "Skye wants to meet the boy who will change her life forever. Seth feels their instant connection the second he sees her. When Seth starts talking to Skye at the last beach party of the summer, it’s obvious to both of them that this is something real. But when Seth leaves for college before they exchange contact info, Skye wonders if he felt the same way she did—and if she will ever see him again. Even if they find their way back to each other, can they make a long-distance relationship work despite trust issues, ex drama, and some serious background differences? Teen favorite Susane Colasanti returns to the alternating-voice style of her beloved debut When It Happens in this Serendipity-inspired story about summer, soul mates, and the moments that change our lives forever."

Skye, a hopeless romantic, is attending the last beach party of the summer with the hopes that she will finally meet someone.  Just as she had hoped, she meets Seth and they have undeniable chemistry; they just get each other completely.  The only problem is that Skye is still in high school and Seth is heading off to college in Philadelphia, which means while Skye is worrying about high school drama, Seth has more serious concerns like how to pay for college. Both are optimistic that they can make it work and keep in touch, but things take a turn for the worse.  When they were supposed to meet to exchange information, something happens and they miss each other.  Seth spends his first year of college still wondering about Skye and Skye spends her time back at home thinking about the boy who got away.  As fate would have it, they both meet up next summer at the shore, but can they get past their differences enough to make their relationship work? Susane Colasanti's All I Need is a light beach read that will make teenage girls swoon.

Skye comes from a wealthy background. Her parents have a gorgeous house at the Jersey Shore; whereas, Seth's family has more of a bungalow, his parents are separated and they aren't sure how they will pay for his college tuition.  Both come from very different backgrounds, but they hit it off instantly; in other words, cue the insta-love.  However, I found their relationship to be a little too immature for me to really find it swoon-worthy.  I'm sure if I were in high school I would have loved their relationship, but older readers may want a bit more in All I Need.  It doesn't help that I found Seth to be a little weird and not in a good way. I dig his unconventional/artist vibe and his love of 80s music, but when he tries to convince Skye that The New Kids on the Block are a talented musicians, I rolled my eyes a bit.  

For me, the best part of All I Need is the setting. I love that Colasanti has it set at the Jersey Shore and even though it isn't my Jersey Shore, it was still fun to read about it.  Plus, Seth goes to school in Philadelphia, so part of the setting took place there, which I loved.  It's always fun to read about locations you are familiar with and I haven't read too many contemporaries that take place in Philadelphia.

The synopsis compares All I Need to Serendipity and it's very similar with the whole change meeting and will-I-ever-see-him-again story line.  While I love this kind of story line, I felt like it was unbelievable for such a young couple, especially one trying to have a long distance relationship while one person is in college. What can I say? I am a skeptic.  And it does make me cringe a bit when I see a young girl alter or adjust her college plans for a boy. I'm not a big fan of that message; I like to see more young girls live a little before they settle down. I never want to see a young girl go to a particular college just because their boyfriend's college is in that city.  

But nonetheless, All I Need is a sweet story and perfect for the beach this summer.  I'm sure many teenagers will find Skye and Seth's tale to be hopelessly romantic. I mean who doesn't dream of meeting the perfect guy at a beach party in the summertime?  

8 comments:

  1. "However, I found their relationship to be a little too immature for me to really find it swoon-worthy."

    Uh oh Christina, I do not like the sound of that! One of the things I struggle most with when reading YA is the characters' overall maturity - if they read really young I just end up feeling old and kind of icky if there's a romance. I don't love that she alters her college plans for a boy either, but aside from those two (not insignificant) drawbacks, it sounds like a pretty solid read.

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    1. Yes, I have been struggling with that too. I know i would love it if I were in high school, but it's lost on me at this current age. ;) It is pretty solid otherwise--you are right! Thanks for visiting, Jenny!

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  2. That is one of the problems I have with a lot of contemporary books these days, I don't find I can relate to the romance of it and I find it happens so quick and is unrealistic at times. I think some of these type of books would have been easier to read and enjoy when I was a teenager myself. Great review!

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    1. Yes, I am struggling with that too. Very unrealistic! That is exactly my thoughts. If I were in high school, I would have LOVED it. Thanks for visiting, Andrea!

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  3. I love sweet, beachy reads, and Susane Colasanti really never fails to deliver on that. I do, however, dislike the message of a girl needing to change her plans for her future for a boy. I absolutely despise that in books. Lovely, honest review though...it still sounds like a decent read :)

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    1. Me too. I am so against a girl focusing her future plans based on a boy's college location. I wasn't a fan of that part of the novel, but it was a lot of fun and great for the beach otherwise. Thanks for visiting, Melissa!

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  4. I really love the sound of this one - I LOVE summer romances - but I think the romance in this one might be a little on the young side for me. I'm loving all your summer reviews, Christina. Picking up some great recommendations! :)

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    1. Thanks, Leanna! It was a cute read, but definitely a little "young" for me with the whole insta-love piece. Thanks for visiting!

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