Monday, October 10, 2011
Title: Everything We ever wanted
Author: Sara Shepard
Synopsis from Netgalley:
When Sylvie Bates-McAllister, a recently-widowed mother of two, receives a late-night phone call from the prestigious school founded by her grandfather, her family is thrown into chaos. Her adopted son Scott may have been involved in a hazing scandal --and it may or may not have led to the death of one of the boys he coaches on the school team. Sylvie must decide between maintaining her outwardly perfect life --the family estate outside Philadelphia inherited from her grandfather, the school, the reputation --and the son who she feels wants nothing to do with her.
For Charles, Sylvie's biological son, the call dredges up a ghost from the past --his high school girlfriend who has been off the map for years. Joanna, his wife, is forced to confront all the things that she didn't anticipate would come along with a perfect life she imagined ever since she was a young girl, creating her scrapbook of the Bates-McAllisters. Scott, haunted by years of first impressions and assumptions, is drawn into a new understanding of a world he has never felt a part of.
For all the Bates-McAllisters, the phone call awakens questions lain dormant for years, revealing a tangled web of secrets that ties the family together: the mystery of the school hazing, Sylvie's deceased husband's locked filing cabinet, the event that tore Charles and Scott apart the night of their high school graduation, and the intended recipient of a certain bracelet. The quest to push past a legacy of resentment and judgments to unravel the truth takes the family on individual journeys across state lines, into hospitals, through the Pennsylvania woods, and face-to-face with the question: what if the life you always planned for, and dreamed of, isn't what you want at all?
This book was just okay. A lot of the characters bugged me, but they didn't seem "real" enough. The whole storyline with Charles' high school girlfriend bothered me too. And the synopsis makes it seem like the book is all about Scott but that's only a little part of the book. I think the book would have been better if it had been shortened by quite a bit. The writing was well done, but the story itself didn't seem fleshed out enough. That said, I am interested in reading the author's young adult books.
Rating: 3 stars
**I was given an electronic copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.