Initial reaction: Read this earlier this year and wasn’t really taken by it because the relationship proceeded far too fast to really process. I still think Colasanti struggles to identify her audience, as some subjects are mature for presentation in this work, but the writing suggests that it’s aimed towards a younger target audience.
Still debating on the rating, but I’m guessing 2 stars at this point.
Quick review for a relatively quick read, though I’m writing a review about it months after the fact? (Figure that one out.)
I read this book in about 45 minutes one afternoon, and one thing I can say is that Colasanti’s books are incredibly easy to move through most of the time, because she’s dialogue heavy and the prose moves in a streamline, so the stories are easy to move through and understand. However, from a developmental standpoint – for character and plot, that’s not always ideal. Such is the case with “All I Need”.
The blurb on the digital copy I read from my library said this was “The Notebook” meets “Serendipity”. You guys know how I feel about comparisons – in this case, I’m not touching that one. I’m just going to talk about the book.
This is the story of the dual perspectives of Skye and Seth. They meet one summer and it’s like *boom!* Instant connection, they have a chemistry together that’s undeniable and they’re convinced it was for life. (Which I was like, “Wait…what?! How did…when did that happen?)
I wasn’t so convinced by this, especially on the fact that they didn’t even know each other’s last names. Due to some circumstances (which on Seth’s part was too easily transitioned), Seth isn’t able to meet Skye for an arranged meeting and they’re separated for a time before they’re able to get together again. Once they reunite, it’s like they were never apart – they hook up, they spend a lot of time together as boyfriend/girlfriend, and there are some minute storylines running parallel to the main relationship as conflicts are thrown their way – personal and relationship-wise.
I had a hard time connecting to any of the characters here, and it’s likely because the story moved just that fast. It was an easy read, I’ll admit in part because of the rolling dialogue and transitions, but I couldn’t really connect enough to it or believe in it to smile or otherwise find enjoyment in the relationships here. I like chick-lit, slice of life, teen reads typically and Colasanti has had narratives I’ve liked in this vein in the past. With “All I Need,” it was a hard sell, to be honest. Plus, with some of the themes explored here (going to college for the first time, sexual relationships, etc.), it was all too lightly touched upon to have much impact. I’ve had some issues with this in some of her previous narratives, but there were some books that worked better with it whereas ones like this, it didn’t fit very well. Likewise, it’s hard to know whom to recommend this to since it deals with subjects that are more mature, though lightly touched upon, but is presented in a way that may seem like it’s for a younger audience. My guess is that for maybe a reluctant reader or someone who’s looking for something light and fluffy with some touch and go conflicts, it might work, but it still doesn’t really give you much time to enjoy Skye and Seth’s relationship and connection for what it provides.
Overall score: 2/5 stars