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Coming Soon:
~Review: The Killing Woods
~Review: The Waiting Sky
~Review: A Certain Slant of Light
~Review: Timepiece
~Review: Infinityglass

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Review: All You Get is Me

All You Get is Me by Yvonne Prinz
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pub. Date: December 21st, 2010
Pages: 288
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.

Characters: B
Writing: B+
Plot: B
Ending: B-
Enjoyment/Likability: B
Recommendable: B

Overall: B

Cover: A-
(Though Roar has black hair. Just sayin'.)

Buy it now: Amazon / Kindle / Book Depository


Mariana S said...

I loved the book, it is balanced and deep enough, I´m gald you liked it too ^^

-Mariana S

Naj said...

Sometimes Designers design the covers without even knowing or given vague images of the actual characteristics of the characters. It annoys them really. Oh wells for that! Great Review Bri! I've seen this around but never thought of actually reading it. It was the sort of book I wouldn't read. But one day venture on to do so anyways. So this will be on my TBR pile till then! Keep up with the great reading!

Candace said...

I don't think I'd heard of this one before. It sounds good, and your review has me convinced to try it, but one tiny issue is that there's a Forest in it. And if his name is spelled like that, Forest, then that could be something that could turn me off cause my ex (who was HORRIBLE) was a Forest. But it's been 11 years, it might be something that wouldn't bother me. It does sounds good though!

Candace said...

Oh, and I have to add- I think it's completely ridiculous to not read a book because of a name. But the shudder that ran through me from just reading your review makes me think that maybe it would be an issue. Just so you know. I think it's crazy. It's just a name.

Mavie said...

I've heard great things about this one! Glad you liked it.

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

What is up with the character names? Aside from the odd names, this one sounds like a nice read. I'm all for a plot that isn't supercharged and rapid too. I love a well-written contemporary story and All You Get Is Me sounds like it fits the bill. I'll have to keep this one in mind when I allow myself to buy books again.

Thanks for the review, Briana :)

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Hello all! My name is Briana, I'm 20, and I live in the beautiful state of Georgia. I love reading and photography.

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