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All I Need
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that All I Need is the story of two teenagers who fall in love and build a strong relationship over two years. Skye's parents become concerned that Skye is getting too serious with Seth too young, and Skye lies to them about where she spends the night when she visits Seth at college. When Skye is 17 and Seth is 18, they have sex. Although their relationship has rocky periods, both make mature attempts to fix their problems. As for swearing, one character uses "f--king" as an adjective.
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What's the story?
When Skye meets Seth on the beach the summer before her junior year, she knows he's the boy for her. Seth feels the same way about her, but he leaves unexpectedly early the next day. In alternating narratives, each of the teenagers laments the fact that they didn't get each other's number ... until the following summer, when they meet again. Over a period of two years, they fall in love and deal with love's problems, including Skye's parents thinking she is getting too serious about a boy at such a young age and Seth being away at college during Skye's last year of high school. Each of them has other close friends and outside interests -- Seth is an artist, and Skye is involved in environmental clubs at school -- but their romance is the focus. All I Need attempts to answer the burning question of whether teen love can last beyond high school.
Is it any good?
Readers who are "in love with love," as Skye describes herself, will enjoy this book; others may find it sentimental and unrealistic. Skye's and Seth's emotions are complex enough to ring true, but Skye seems too perfect: She's pretty (her honey-blond hair is mentioned several times), gets good grades, and has an interest in environmental activism. Seth is almost as flawless, except that he gets insecure around people with money. Though they hit some bumps in their relationship and both Seth and Skye agonize over their arguments, they ultimately solve their problems fairly easily.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what makes good romantic fiction. Why do so many romances start with a summer beach encounter? Is that true to life?
Skye gives up her involvement with the environmental group at school so she can spend more time with Seth, even though she really likes the group. Have you ever given up doing something you cared about for someone else?
Seth's roommate almost flunks out of college because he can't stop playing his favorite video game -- have you ever been so involved in gaming that it prevented you from doing things you knew you should be doing?
Themes & Topics
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