5 star reads - Courtney

(Audiobook) All we ever wanted by Emily Giffin



Nina Browning is living the good life after marrying into Nashville’s elite. More recently, her husband made a fortune selling his tech business, and their adored son has been accepted to Princeton. Yet sometimes the middle-class small-town girl in Nina wonders if she’s strayed from the person she once was.

Tom Volpe is a single dad working multiple jobs while struggling to raise his headstrong daughter, Lyla. His road has been lonely, long, and hard, but he finally starts to relax after Lyla earns a scholarship to Windsor Academy, Nashville’s most prestigious private school.

Amid so much wealth and privilege, Lyla doesn’t always fit in—and her overprotective father doesn’t help—but in most ways, she’s a typical teenage girl, happy and thriving.

Then, one photograph snapped in a drunken moment at a party, changes everything. As the image spreads like wildfire, the Windsor community is instantly polarized, buzzing with controversy and assigning blame.

At the heart of the lies and scandal, Tom, Nina, and Lyla are forced together—all questioning their closest relationships, asking themselves who they really are, and searching for the courage to live a life of true meaning.

Where do I even begin? I have so many feelings over this book. It is such a favorite of mine now and gah the feels. I really didn’t know what to expect from this book, but I saw @katereadsbooks on Instagram raving about it and figured what the hell. From the beginning, I thought it was about a wealthy couple that went into marital woes and honestly I got bored with it, but then it took a dark turn and went into something completely different than what I thought.

First off major trigger warnings for rape and suicide. I wasn’t prepared or it and it caught me off guard, but it wasn’t too graphic but go into it cautiously if it’s a trigger for you.

The second trigger warning is for attempted suicide. One of the girls tries to overdose on pills because of everything that happened. So again be cautious of that is something you don’t want to read about.

All we ever wanted is told from three perspectives. You mainly read from Nina and Tom and occasionally Lila. I listened to this book on audio and each narrator did such a fantastic job and made it that much more interesting for me.

One night at a party Finch (Nina’s Son) does something very stupid. He has a taken a picture of a drunken Lyla laid out on a bed with one of her breast exposed. The picture quickly goes viral and Tom (Lyla’s Father) is quickly getting the school involved to fix this so that Finch is punished.

This book had me in waves of emotion. It is a bit of an emotional roller coaster as you go through chapter after chapter. I know for sure that Kirk can kiss my ass 🙄 with his entitled and privileged self. He was one character that could have fallen off the face of the earth and I would not have missed him. He made every bloomin excuse in the book why Finch was innocent and the famous boy will be boys speech. He’s an absolute ass.

Nina had the most growth throughout this book for me.  She went from being a naive rich housewife to a badass. She was not putting up with anyone’s shit anymore, she didn’t care how much money they had or their status in the community. She quickly realized that every one of her “Rich” friends were using her in their own game of what they could gain and she threw their asses to the curb. She impressed me with how she went against her husband and gave up everything to do what was needed to save Finch.

Lyla though handled everything so mish-mash. She hated Finch then she liked him, she hated Finch then she liked him. I get she’s young and naive, but she was being played like a fool and it sucked so bad to watch her be used and treated like garbage. I was so glad of how she handled things toward the end of the book, so much personal growth and maturity showed.

Tom was a confusing character at first but I quickly grew to love him. He had to been used as a paw throughout his life and just wanted to protect his daughter. He knew with him being a single father and a lower class household how hard it would be to get justice and Finch be punished. He fought like hell to get Finch punished in any way he could. He was always there for Lyla even in the difficult parts and you can’t help but respect him.

As I said above this book was an emotional roller coaster but I couldn’t put it down. Each character brought a unique perspective and thought process to the book, but were all tied together by this event. I genuinely think everybody should read this book, it is that good. I know it is now one of my favorites and will be a reread in the future.

 Courtney 💛


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