Parents' Guide to

All This Time

By Mary Cosola, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Message of teen love and grief gets lost in contrived plot.

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Kids say (11 ):

This teen romance has some positive messages about healing and personal growth, but the story gets bogged down in a contrived, frustrating plot and ridiculous plot twists. All This Time focuses on Kyle's emotional and physical journey after he's injured in car accident and his girlfriend is killed. The positive aspects of the story are centered on Kyle learning to be a better friend and working through his grief. Readers will see that physical and emotional recovery is a series of small steps that lead to big change. The problem is that Kyle's a romantic to the point of being sappy and dull. The story is told from his point of view, and his character isn't engaging enough. He's emotionally stuck for a good chunk of the book, so the reader is stuck with him. Marley, too, is one-dimensional. The dialogue is flowery and unrealistic, a case of the authors putting "message-y" wording in teens' mouths. The authors try to juice up the story with a few big plot twists, but they elicit more eyerolls than gasps. They were trying way too hard to tick off a lot of teen romance plot points, but ended up with a contrived, uninteresting story.

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