Sunday, September 22, 2013

Book Review! All I Need by Susane Colasanti

About this book
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?

I tried really hard to come to love this book, you have absolutely no idea. I've heard amazing things when it comes to Susane Colasanti books, so my hopes for reading All I Need were high. I don't have a problem with fluffy romance because I'm a big big fan of contemporary romance, I just wished this wasn't my first Susane Colasanti book I read because the experience I had reading this book was dreadful. Seriously, utterly, dreadful. Definitely not impressed with this book at all, and not too often do I say this. Oh my gosh...

So it isn't so much that the book was badly written, it was okay. Just okay. Some of the sentences were a little choppy and subpar to me, but overall, the writing was good. It was the matter of how the plot line (if you could even call it that) was executed so poorly to the point where it actually had me CRINGING.

There's a "show don't tell" rule when it comes to writing, and this book not only broke that rule, All I Need literally shattered it. Everything in this book was 'telling' and when you think about it, there was nothing much to show. Throughout the book, I felt like I didn't really get to know the characters--not even the narrators, Skye and Seth. There were potentially interesting characters, but the lack of characterization a lot of the characters were given just put a whole MEH factor to the book and made it way, way more boring than it needed to be. For one, Skye and her friends talked like high school cliches plucked right out of an After School special, and no one's personality just seemed to stand out. It was like the author was moreso explaining their personalities rather than having it shine through the writing and dialogue, which totally made my like for the book dwindle down even more.

Seth and Skye meet up on the beach in that instant, they decide they're soul mates. No, you heard me. Soul mates, and after one day?! I have read paranormal romances where the characters fall in love quickly, but All I Need is one of the first instances where I can actually say it takes the whole concept of insta-love to an extreme. OMG. They lose track of each other when they part ways back to school, and even if it seemed flipping impossible for them to find each other again--they do. It was predictable and this infuriated me because there were absolutely no surprises...

What we're given in All I Need isn't a plot. I wouldn't dare call it a plot because it doesn't necessarily even have an exposition. It's the fact that both narrators, Skye especially, spend practically the entire novel whining about how much they want each other. Skye: SETH SETH SETH. I want Seth. I know it sounds terrible for mocking Skye, but her wanting for Seth to be around her side constantly is not only annoying, creepy, but I think the sort of relationship Skye and Seth have is unhealthy. Obsessing much? Overly clingy and overbearing, and I didn't really find it too cute.

The characters just didn't feel... three dimensional. Maybe I would've liked them so much more and go "aww" for them, but I felt absolutely no connection to the characters. Nothing too technical. I felt nothing for the characters, and I think my apathy I had for them bothered me lots. What I'm wondering is: Okay. You're sixteen or whatever. Why are you so desperate to find your soul mate?! Maybe it's just me, but that's just weird--and not to mention an ill-pictured portrayal of teenage love or well, romance in general really.

Ultimately, it was disappointing. Some might come to enjoy All I Need's romantic fluffy sweetness and love, but it just didn't work out for me. It could make the perfect summer book with the airy feeling All I Need gives. But-- something about the style wasn't very pleasing, and completely missed the mark. And then I realized: nothing in this book really happened. It was a total fest of anti-climaticness, boring 2D characters-- disappointing overall. If you're really into the romance scene if you're into fluffy romances and instalove in the purest form, then maybe All I Need is your kind of book. But totally does not get a recommendation from me.


  1. Oh god, I hate instalove, and this seems like one of the worst cases I've read about in a while! And gahhh authors that don't follow the "show don't tell" rule!

    I must agree, this book sounds rather terrible. I most definitely will not be reading it!

    Also, sorry for being critical but could I suggest that you make the font a touch darker? It's a little bit hard to read :)

    1. Me too! I couldn't believe she included it in this, because this book was where I least expected to find it. But it was really, really bad case of instalove. Definitely one of my least favorites. :(
      I made it black, hopefully that's easier. I had a little trouble reading before myself :P

  2. Ah, too bad about this one. I think I have read one of the author's books before and liked it somewhat but this one sounds pretty bad. You would think a big contemporary author would know to stay far far away from anything even remotely similar to insta-love. Great review!

    1. Right?! I've heard good things about her books, and I feel like maybe I shouldn't have started with this one in particular. Really disappointing. Thank you!

  3. I've only read one other book by this author and that was just a 3 star. Insta love and whining from characters are definitely two things that I don't like reading about. Thanks for the review!

  4. I will be avoiding this one so THANK YOU. Man, that's disappointing. I think I haven't read this author before, but I know I have heard raving things about her as well. Characterization is a NEED for me as well as no insta love. Bleh, soul mates. I hate that phrase. Why do authors continue to do both of those cliches? Great review!

    1. It was super disappointing, especially after hearing people raving about her (though not this book in particular; guess I can see why). A definite must! Why it still happens is a mystery, after seeing it done so many times before I would think the whole instaloveish, soul mate phase would've phased out by now...

      Thank you and thanks for taking the time to visit my blog!