Everything We Ever Wanted: A Novel

Paperback | October 11, 2011

bySara Shepard

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“Sara Shepard delivers the perfect read….A brilliant storyteller.”
—Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of Very Valentine and Brava, Valentine

“[Written] with unflinching honesty and unstinting compassion.”
—Jacquelyn Mitchard, author The Deep End of the Ocean

“This riveting, provocative and well-crafted family drama surprised and delivered at every turn. I could not put it down.”
—Sarah Mlynowski, author of Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have)

Sara Shepard, the bestselling author of Pretty Little Liars, delivers a powerful novel of family dreams, lies, and delusions.  Everything We Ever Wanted begins with a phone call with allegations that rock an upper crust Philadelphia family to its very foundations, unlocking years of secrets and scandals that expose the serious flaws in outwardly perfect lives. A moving, intelligent, and unforgettable novel, Shepard’s Everything We Ever Wanted is exceptional contemporary women’s fiction that will be embraced by book clubs everywhere.

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From the Publisher

“Sara Shepard delivers the perfect read….A brilliant storyteller.”—Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of Very Valentine and Brava, Valentine“[Written] with unflinching honesty and unstinting compassion.”—Jacquelyn Mitchard, author The Deep End of the Ocean“This riveting, provocative and well-crafted family drama surprised and deliver...

From the Jacket

A recently widowed mother of two, Sylvie Bates-McAllister finds her life upended by a late-night phone call from the headmaster of the prestigious private school founded by her grandfather where her adopted son Scott teaches. Allegations of Scott's involvement in a hazing scandal cause a ripple effect, throwing the entire family into c...

Sara Shepard is the author of twoNew York Timesbestselling series, Pretty Little Liars and The Lying Game, as well as the series The Perfectionists. She graduated from New York University and has an MFA from Brooklyn College.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.79 inPublished:October 11, 2011Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062080067

ISBN - 13:9780062080066

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Customer Reviews of Everything We Ever Wanted: A Novel


Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not the same as her other work, but still worth reading/ Originally posted at Christa's Hooked on Books (http://christashookedonbooks.blogspot.com) As in many of Sara Shepard’s books, the story begins in a quiet, quaint small town. This town is filled with “average” people. They go to work, they come home, they raise a family. Most of these people have quite a bit of money to their name and spend a good deal of time worrying about their reputation. This worrying is often because of some secret(s) that they don’t want getting out. However, unlike many of Sara’s other books, like the Pretty Little Liars series or The Lying Game series, these secrets are crazy, over-the-top, hard to imagine secrets. They are regular old secrets that anyone could end up with depending on the choices they have made in their life. For me this was the charm of this novel, just how…normal it was. I really liked how realistic all the characters felt. I truly felt like they were “real” people and I was reading their story. The character development never felt forced. They all changed and developed (as people do) but there wasn’t some big “ah ha” moment, after which everything was completely different. I just don’t think those come around as often as fictional writing has us believe, so it was nice to see an author go a different route. I should mention that the story itself was interesting. Accusations were flying, plans were set in motion. It was all very dramatic. But it wasn’t the story that sold it for me. If you haven’t already guessed from the previous two paragraphs, this novel is all about the characters. You get invested in them. You hang on through the slow parts because you want to know what will happen. I particularly like Joanna. She seemed so lost, yet so determined to find herself. I respect that. She’s made a few mistakes along the way, but we all make mistakes. It’s human. What it comes right down to is that Everything We Ever Wanted gives you a glimpse into a very intimate part of people’s lives. But it isn’t about what’s going on in that moment, but how that moment affects the people involved. It's about how it relates to their humanity and their ability to adapt. And it shows you all this in a way that is subtle and unobtrusive. You can’t help but admire it. Sara Shepard has already shown that she is able to write stories that have deep dark secrets, crazy rumours and lots of suspense but now she has proven that she can write the serious dramas that make us question who we are as individuals and how other’s affect our development. She is most definitely a multi-talented writer.
Date published: 2011-10-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An adult must-read! Everything We Ever Wanted is the highly anticipated adult novel by the highly acclaimed author of the Young Adult series Pretty Little Liars and The Lying Game. With Everything We Ever Wanted, Sara Shepard delivers a story about Sylia Bates-McAllister, a recently widowed mother of two. However a late night phone call causes a whirlwind of drama for Sylia. It turns out that her adopted son, Scott, may be responsible for the suicide of another boy, all thanks to a hazing gone overboard. Though the drama doesn't stop there, as it turns out Charles, Sylia's biological son, is going through something of his own - his past haunts him. Easily Relatable Characters Being an avid fan of Sara Shepard's Young Adult titles I absolutely could not wait to dive into Everything We Ever Wanted. When I was approached by HarperCollins Canada to review the title I nearly fell off my chair, I was shaking with absolute excitement. Sara Shepard's characters in Everything We Ever Wanted are very vast and come in quite a variety. It was impossible for me not to find a character I could emotionally connect with. In this case I found myself understanding Charles far more than the others. I couldn't help looking forward to his appearances in the novel nor could I help myself from feeling by about his story. Unfortunately I did find that some characters possessed great issues with confrontation, finding that most did have trouble being honest with their feelings which was quite off-putting. Excellent Story Development Furthermore, I really enjoyed the contrast Everything We Ever Wanted provided in comparison to her Young Adult titles. Her other titles tended to be shrouded in mystery, romance and unyielding drama but in this case her adult title focused mostly on character growth, development, and uncovering lies and deceptions. Everything We Ever Wanted also, thankfully, featured a stable plot line with a consistent chain of events, ones that I found very surprising and incredibly attention grabbing. Unfortunately the pace didn't help improve my reading experience. It felt quite slow, almost unbearable at times, as I tired to push throw and discover it's mysteries. An Adult Must-Read! I absolutely loved Sara Shepard's latest adult read! It was incredibly emotional, unraveling, and attending grabbing. I couldn't help but look forward to reading more about the characters and discovering the novel's hidden secrets. I highly recommend this novel to any adult looking for something some-what slow but wonderful.
Date published: 2011-10-11

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Editorial Reviews

“Compelling and touching, this is a story with a difference—a real treat.”