All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin tells the story about a stupid teenager who decides to take an explicit photo of someone, send it to his friends and doesn’t care about the consequences. In this world of smart phones, social media and the internet, it’s very easy to share photos and videos that will be out there forever in the ‘Google’ world. If you delete the item immediately off your accounts, it’s already too late. The item has already been downloaded or a screen shot taken.
Lyla and her Dad are a middle income family and she attends Windsor, a private expensive school where she is a sophomore. Lyla has a huge crush on Finch, a popular senior who comes from a very wealthy family. One night at a party, Lyla drinks too much and falls asleep in a bedroom. Finch takes a photo of Lyla with her boob exposed then sends it to a few friends through Snapchat with a racial slur. It soon goes viral.
Emily Giffin does a great job showing how people react differently. Lyla wants to forget about it and do nothing because she thinks it’s no big deal, kids do things like this all the time. Finch says he is sorry and will take whatever punishment comes his way but really doesn’t seem like he thinks he did anything wrong.
Then there are the parents who each react differently. Finch’s Mom, Nina, is worried about Lyla and expects Finch to step up and take responsibility even if it ruins his acceptance into Princeton. Finch’s Dad, Kirk, wants to handle everything himself and brush it under the rug. Lyla’s Dad, Tom, wants Finch to pay and pay big. Tom wants to ruin Finch because he believes Finch has ruined Lyla.
So many different things are happening in this story and there are so many different ways this story could go. Most kids have an “it can’t happen to me” attitude or “this is no big deal; it won’t affect me at all” when really the incident could ruin their future or could be considered a crime. Emily takes the reader on a journey that will make the reader stop and reflect on what they have done in their past and what they would go back in time to change. I know it made me reflect on a few things I did as a teenager and even into my 20’s that weren’t so smart.
There are several twists and turns and revelations that are shocking. The way some of the characters reacted to the situation did not surprise me. Another great story from Emily. I did not want to put this down.
In the riveting new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of First Comes Love and Something Borrowed, three very different people must choose between their family and their values.
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 teenaged 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.
Until next time…enjoy the view from your passenger seat