Monday, May 13, 2013

Never Getting Back Together...My Brain Would Explode

Expected Publication:  May 21st, 2013
All I Need
By: Susane Colasanti
Viking Juvenile
ISBN-13:  9780670014231

The last night of summer is only the beginning.

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?

     Skye just wants to meet the boy of her dreams, but the bonfire is the same every year - no one interesting ever comes to it.  Seth wants to get over his ex-girlfriend and meet a girl he can learn to give his heart to again.  When they meet each other at the bonfire, it's love at first sight.  Spending the next 24 hours together, they make plans to meet the next morning and exchange contact information.  But then something comes up and Seth is unable to make it.  He heads off to college and Skye heads home from the beach, both wondering about the other and longing for them over the course of the year - even while dating other people.  The next summer when they both return to the beach, Skye and Seth begin a romance for the ages, but can it survive ex-drama, school issues, friendship problems and each of them holding back one last part of themselves from the other?  Can they let go and be transformed by love and begin a brave new future together?
     This book made me nauseated within the first 10 pages.  That is a very unfortunate record to hold and I was highly disappointed.  I should have known from the summary that it was going to be a completely NOT my kind of romance book.  I expected for it to be starry-eyed in the beginning, but also that the main characters would develop and mature over the course of the book.  Instead Skye spends the whole book fixating on how perfect Seth is and how much she loves him, how they're meant to be together.  Until they have a big fight (because he's keeping things from her) and she acts like a spoiled brat, and Seth acts like a complete dick.  They both get into relationships with other people, but spend their time comparing them to their supposed 'soulmate' and basically just using them.  The better parts of the book are during Seth's first year of college, when he's not yet with Skye.  She is just as immature before the relationship as during it, honestly speaking.  When things begin to sour in their relationship Seth applies for an art internship and Skye applies to good colleges, not necessarily really close to Seth.  She's accepted to NYU and really considers going.  But then she and Seth make up from their fight and Skye goes to the not so great college really close to his.  And of course he gives her a promise ring, promising to love her forever.  Gag me now please!  No seriously, GAG ME.
     Not much really happens through the course of this book, other than a really superficial and unhealthily obsessed relationship between two very selfish teenagers.  Never once does Seth really acknowledged that he's keeping things from Skye to 'protect' her, but in the process is enacting a parent-child type of relationship rather than an equal, romantic one.  Oh yeah, and there's some sex and they talk about how great that is a lot for the middle third of the book.  Except when Skye starts acting like a princess, expecting hotel rooms every time (even though Seth is painfully poor and she is a privileged girl, who takes it for granted) and being disgusted by his dorm room.  I did like the depiction of Seth's parents and their fight to have a real relationship and stay together, even in the face of his Mom's illness and his Dad's business failing (an 80s themed roller rink that he started in honor of his romance with his wife).  It was painful, beautiful and true - everything Skye and Seth's 'romance' was not.  Sometimes their friends are amusing, but mostly Skye's BFFs Jocelyn and Kara who are just as shallow as her, are more annoying than anything else.  Seth's roommate Grant is just a self-righteous douchebag most of the book.  And when he does change it doesn't really matter.  Overall, this is a book that reads like it's for twelve year olds.  But the subject matter is inappropriate for anyone under 15 or 16 (unless they don't mind sex and college talk that they won't relate to at all).  This book was a disappointing mess, with a message to girls that seemed to be that it's okay to give up everything for a guy as long as it's 'true lurrrvvveee."  Spare me, please.  Not recommended to anyone who has a brain not made of bubbles, and any sense of feminine romantic equality/pride.
VERDICT:  0.75/5  Stars (For Seth's awesome parents and their roller rink only)
*I received this book as part of Around the World ARC Tours, run by the lovely Princess Bookie. No favors or money were exchanged for this review. This book's expected publication date is May 21st, 2013.*

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