Friday, July 12, 2013

Review: All I Need by Susane Colasanti

Title: All I Need by 
Author: Susane Colasanti
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Release date: May 21st 2013
Pages: 240
Genre: Young Adult contemporary romance
Source: BEA - I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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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?
My rating: 2 out of 5 stars

I was so excited to read All I Need. I saw Susane Colasanti speaking about it at the Teen Author Carnival and got to meet her at BEA, and she was great. And All I Need sounded like the perfect summer read. But it didn't end up working for me - the characters annoyed me, and their relationship was too instalove-y.

The story starts out with Skye and Seth meeting at a beach party at the end of summer. They see each other, and instantly know they're soulmates. Yup. Finally, a novel with instalove. I've been trying to find one. Anyways, they spend two perfect days together being soulmates-y and whatnot, but never exchange phone numbers or, say, last names. So when Seth has to leave a couple of hours early and doesn't show up in the morning to say goodbye, they have no way of contacting each other. Very unfortunate. Both Skye and Seth spend the next year moping, unable to move on from their epic two-day non-relationship. And of course, they look for each other in their beach town the next summer, and then fall in love again. The novel proceeds to describe their long-distance relationship and the non-obstacles they face.

I'm sorry for sounding so incredulous of their love and whatnot. But really, that was the problem, for me - I just didn't buy into their relationship. Call me heartless, but I found their feelings for each other melodramatic, and I never saw enough of anything between them that would justify them getting so serious about each other. (Serious enough for Skye to decide to go to college in the same city as Seth instead of going to a better school she got into. Don't get me started on how much that bugged me.) No one thing is fully explored; the novel just kind of follows Skye's and Seth's relationship, and I didn't see the point. I appreciate that the author tried to cover such a long time period, but that meant that so much time was skipped that I didn't see their relationship develop in a natural way. I also feel like the point of such a long time period would be to see the characters grow over time, but they didn't seem to change a whole lot.

Speaking of the characters and character growth... ugh. These characters annoyed me to no end. Skye is in love with the idea of love, and basically centers her whole life around that. She is whiny and annoying and does not act her age, at all. Seth is slightly better, but it also bugged me how hung up he is over some ex that broke his heart a million years ago, causing him to no longer believe in love. I just wanted to shake him and tell him to get over himself. Together, Skye and Seth are even more annoying - they bond over their pretentiousness and opinions on how much society sucks and how much they miss the good old times, then go on to call Seth's roommate, who does basically the same thing, pretentious and annoying. Point being, I wanted to slap both of these characters throughout the novel.

Susane Colasanti's writing flows nicely, and All I Need is a quick read, so that's something. But I couldn't get myself to care about the story because nothing is ever fully explored, and the characters and romance annoyed me to no end. I think I'll still give Susane Colasanti another try, though, since so many people seem to love her - any recommendations which of her books I read next?


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