All I’ve Never Wanted by Ana Huang

Published: 9th June 2015Goodreads badge
Pages: 626
Format: ebook
Genre: Young Adult/Romance
★   ★   ★  – 3 Stars

The Scions were the four richest, most powerful guys at Valesca Academy, and they ruled the school with iron fists. Everyone wanted to date them or be them…everyone, that is, except Maya Lindberg, who just wanted to avoid them until she could graduate. 

She almost succeeded, until an ill-advised outburst on her part put her right in the Scions’ path. Just like that, one became her fake boyfriend, one her unwanted matchmaker, one her guardian angel, and the one she couldn’t stand the most? Yeah, he’s her new housemate. 

A Young Adult romantic comedy that explores what happens when a girl gets everything she never asked for, including a puppy, a new wardrobe, and, possibly, even true love.

 Note: I was provided with a copy of this book from the author for review.

I experienced so many conflicting emotions reading this book. The beginning felt so cheesy I could barely keep my eyes from rolling every few lines. It is unrealistic and so unbelievable it’s hard to accept the story being told. However. Huang grabs you in the middle of the narrative and makes you invested in these characters. She draws you in and somewhere between eye-rolling and groans you are suddenly excitedly following the story, reading with an irremovable grin on your face, and finding your heart beating as you engage with these characters. I wasn’t even “shipping” to use the internet term Maya and Roman, and yet I loved their connection, I loved her relationship with each Scion boy, I was involved in this totally incredulous story, it was the more bizarre read I have had in awhile.

From the start the story is literally told to us from Maya’s teen voice that basically starts with “let me tell you about this”. Taking this for what it is, a teen voice narrating her story, you don’t hold it against her, even if she has the “not like other girls” syndrome. One thing people keep mentioning in reviews is that this is an apparent copy bordering on plagiarism of Boys Over Flowers, a Korean story based on Japanese manga. I haven’t seen this, therefore I can’t judge that aspect, I can only review what this story provides.

Storywise it is hard to believe that four rich boys could control a school, teachers included, and this small town notion of bowing down to money is hard to swallow. The descriptions and introductions of characters are often ridiculous and unbelievable and you really have to put up with it for the first part to get into the story.

The narration switched perspective throughout and we gain points of view from numerous characters. This worked well because you see ulterior motives, different thoughts, and observe how characters interact with one another in different environments. Having different voices helps give strength to the narrative and it adds additional elements such as secrets and mystery.

The setting also switches from mainly the school environment to Maya being friends with the Scions and doing activities outside of school. A few things still don’t make much sense and there are a few things left unanswered, but for the faults in the beginning there is an addicting quality that keeps you reading.

This switch comes out of nowhere and it is amazing to see the strange juxtaposition. The sudden change in writing and the emergence of mystery and suspense that appears from nowhere with very little basis is engaging and could be out of place but somehow works in this strange town environment.

 There was a strange juxtaposition with this story, after an unbelievable and odd start, you do become invested in these unrealistic characters. You hang on the story and become excited and curious and there is mystery and suspense which comes out of nowhere given how the first 1/3 of the story is. It’s an amazing switch.

Understanding the closeness claim to Boys Over Flowers, knowing how it begins and how at times it can be unrealistic, there are twists that you do not expect, characters that you enjoy despite there being flaws and issues with them, and you do become captivated in the lives of these characters. If you accept the situation you stop looking at the flaws and start enjoying the events as they unfold which results in a rather enjoyable read.

You can purchase All I’ve Never Wanted via the following


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