Tuesday, September 27, 2011

All I Ever Wanted by Vikki Wakefield

All I Ever Wanted
Good Reads Summary

Mim knows what she wants, and where she wants to go — anywhere but home, stuck in the suburbs with her mother who won't get off the couch, and two brothers in prison. She's set herself rules to live by, but she's starting to break them.

Now Mim has to retrieve a lost package for her mother.

Does this make her a drug runner?

Why is a monster dog called Gargoyle hidden in the back shed?

And Jordan, the boy she sent Valentines to for years, why is he now suddenly a creep?

How come there's a huge gap between her and her best friend, Tahnee?

And who is the mysterious girl next door who moans at night?

Over the nine days before her seventeenth birthday, Mim's life turns upside down. She has problems, and she's determined to solve them herself. But in the end, she works out who her people are, and the same things look entirely different. 

My Thoughts

It's been two days since I read this and still don't think what I have to say will do it justice. I LOVED THIS. And while I do believe Marchetta to be the queen of complicated, emotional relationships, All I Ever Wanted left me feeling a little of what I feel every time I pick up The Piper's Son or Saving Francesca or Jellicoe Road. And why? It's the people in it, their screwy relationship; it's how they weren't all lovey dovey for each other but simply present. Add to all that a whimsical element, well it had me smiling a little more. But that there's friendship, old and new, both as complicated and nuanced as the other, had me wanting more. Wait, I'm getting ahead of myself. 

Mim has a set of rules about what NOT to become, about how to get out. I suppose the story line of being stuck and wanting to get out, to escape has been done time and again... It has. But, Mim's story stuck to me, is sticking to me. Her version of wanting to get out is so honest... and skewed at the same time. It's angst y and peppered with 'my life is shit' moments, yet I can not find it in me to poke fun at her (as I probably would have otherwise.) Why? What she knows of her 'people' is not a pretty picture and how she grew up was unconventional but like I said, her version of things is skewed. And that ending, had me hoping a little more for her mainly because of her 'people.'

She could be such a brat... and she could  act like one knowingly! I admired her spunk, but at the same time I also wanted her to open her eyes. She kept saying she didn't look down on them, kept saying she didn't hate any of them... but she did, didn't she? So when friendships started to unravel, and her lofty world view started to get shaken up... I needed to know how things would turn out for all of them, Mim, her mother, and Mim's friends.

I can't say that I was surprised by her behavior... because she simply wanted something different. But when it came to other aspects she could be so slow on the uptake. Don't get me wrong, the boy in this one had lovely moments. But moments alone! On the whole he behaved worse than she did. And what's worse is his awareness of her, though much craved earlier, came at the heels of what I felt as 'I want it because I can't have it.' (I hope I'm making sense.)

There are a lot of bitter moments between her and her bestfriend. Their shared history came clear across in how they behaved with each other. And while I didn't like what either of them did or how thoughtless cruel they could be to each other, I bought that there was a them. As to the new friendships formed, I enjoyed the discoveries they made in each other, and how their assumptions of the other turned out otherwise as with Lola and her job, or Kate and her nerddom... and how those two saw Mim, as brave out there and sure of herself. Then there were even more bitter moment between her and her mother. And yet, all was not as she had assumed.

I loved this... the people are far from perfect, so she viewed them as such... and almost missed out on the good in them.

* I went back to copy some good lines out of this. I stopped counting my bookmarks somewhere around


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