All I Need

Book review by
Sally Engelfried, Common Sense Media
All I Need Book Poster Image
Sentimental romance follows teen couple over two years.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Seth's obsession with '80s music may introduce readers to some historical pop culture.

Positive Messages

All I Need depicts both the joys of finding a kindred spirit and the hard work it can take to maintain a relationship that spans years and distance, with an emphasis on trust and honesty. However, Skye's preoccupation with romance seems to be her main line of thought; Seth cares deeply about Skye but is a bit more well-rounded: He also thinks about his art, his college career, and his parents' relationship.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Skye and Seth have a healthy relationship based on friendship, mutual respect, and honesty -- with lots of physical attraction thrown in. Though they struggle at times to uphold their ideals of what a strong relationship is, the care and work they put into is maintaining it is admirable. They and their friends are creative and believe in pursuing activities that they love, and one of Skye's best friends makes positive attempts to become more self-confident and have a healthier body image. Skye's tempted to base her college decision on where Seth is going to college, but ultimately does what's right for her. Skye and Seth's friends all take their educations seriously and are college bound.

Violence
Sex

Both Skye and Seth have sexually active friends, some of whom casually "hook up," but neither Skye nor Seth feels that's right for them. Several make-out sessions between the two are mentioned but are described more in terms of the emotions they arouse rather than the physical sensations. After Skye and Seth have been seeing each other for some time and have said that they love each other, they have sex in a hotel room. It is romantic and not described graphically -- Seth just states, "This is happening." Some readers may not understand that they actually do it.

Language

One character uses "f--king" as an adjective, but Skye says "effing." One character calls another "douchebag" and Seth describes his roommate as "douchey."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Seth and Skye briefly attend a frat party where there's presumably underage drinking, but neither of them drinks anything.

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.

User Reviews

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Adult Written by[email protected] April 16, 2015

All I Need By Susane Colasanti

I would definitely recommend All I Need By Susane Colasanti. I loved reading this book. The characters in the book are so relatable. The way Colasanti writes th... Continue reading

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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?

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