All You Get is Me by Yvonne Prinz
Pub. Date: December 21st, 2010
Age Level: 14+
Source: For review from publisher.
Synopsis via Goodreads
A summer of love, loss, and justice. Things were complicated enough for Roar, even before her father decided to yank her out of the city and go organic. Suddenly, she’s a farm girl, albeit a reluctant one, selling figs at the farmers’ market and developing her photographs in a ramshackle shed. Caught between a troublemaking sidekick named Storm, a brooding, easy-on-the-eyes L.A. boy, and a father on a human rights crusade that challenges the fabric of the farm community, Roar is going to have to tackle it all—even with dirt under her fingernails and her hair pulled back with a rubber band meant for asparagus.
All You Get is Me is one of those books that kind of snuck up on me. It had a subtle depth about it that I wasn't expecting but was glad to find.
Roar was a realistic and dynamic heroine. True she sometimes complained about her new 'life on the farm' but it never crossed into the whiny zone, which I appreciated. Also, I liked watching her grow fonder of her new-'ish' lifestyle. The process wasn't rushed, but gradual. Roar was also very witty and genuine and I loved that she had such a strong interest in photography. As an amateur photographer myself, this trait really appealed to me. There were also some very well fleshed out supporting characters. There was Roar's snarky best friend, Storm, a rebel who's main cause is to scare the ever living crap out her parents. And to be honest, I can't say I blame her; I'd be tempted too. *giggles mischievously* Then there was Forest and, no joke, the first time his name was said it was all I could not to shout at the book, "Run, Forest! Run!" even if it is spelled differently. That aside, he was sweet and charming, maybe even a little bit awkward at times, but I liked that. I thought the romance between him and Roar was both believable and pretty well paced. Some other great supporting characters were Roar's dad and Steve.
All You Get is Me is a well-balanced, appealing combination of lighter and heavier topics. On one hand, we have a summer of good times, family, friends, and first love. On the other hand, the story touches on some heavier topics such as illegal immigration, civil rights, and parental abandonment. Prinz weaved all of these elements together so that they not only flowed smoothly, but also created a developed and layered plot. Surprise of all surprises, I loved how thoroughly incorporated Roar's photography was in the plot. My only complaint would be that it took me a little while to get into this one. But once I did, it was well worth it.
Prinz has what I would call a confident writing style. Sometimes I feel like authors pace their books quickly because they feel that is what's needed to keep a reader's attention. However, All You Get is Me took a more leisurely approach, though not slow, mind you. It was almost as though the author was saying, "I've got a story to tell and I see no sense in rushing it." I admired that. Also, the writing in and of itself was beautiful and honest, though I admit, it wasn't something I noticed right away. Instead, it was something I realized as I sank further into the book.
The ending Prinz gave All You Get is Me was a hopeful one and, while it was nothing profound, I did like it and felt it brought everything to a close quite nicely.
In the end, All You Get is Me is a touching and heart felt coming-of-age story that I would recommend, especially to teen girls. I'm glad I got the chance to read this and I look forward to reading more of Prinz's work.
Cover: A- (Though Roar has black hair. Just sayin'.)
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Wednesday, March 30, 2011
All You Get is Me by Yvonne Prinz
Posted by ~The Book Pixie at 3/30/2011 12:31:00 PM