All This Time

Book review by
Mary Cosola, Common Sense Media
All This Time Book Poster Image
Message of teen love and grief gets lost in contrived plot.

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

We're committed to diversity in media.

We're updating our reviews to better highlight authentic stories and accurate, diverse representations. See something that needs to be addressed? Suggest an update to this review

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

A look at the ways grief and trauma can affect someone after a tragedy.

Positive Messages

Relationships are more fulfilling when you listen to and really hear the other person. Maturing emotionally is hard work but worthwhile. Admitting you're wrong is a strength, not a weakness.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Like many teens, Kyle can sometimes be selfish, but he cares about his friends, family. Kyle's mom is a great balance between firm and caring. She is patient, supportive of Kyle through his troubles. Sam is a good friend. Kim has her issues with Kyle but wants what's best for both of them. Marley is sweet, helps Kyle learn how to move on after his accident. All characters are presented as White and straight.

Violence

Car accident with serious injuries described, not too graphic. Kyle falls a few times, experiences pain in his recovery.

Sex

Story is a romance, so expect lots of talk about love and desire. A few scenes with kissing. Teen characters shown in bed together. One descriptive make-out scene that leads to characters having sex, which isn't shown.

Language

Strong language throughout, but not frequent, including "f--k," "s--t," "d--k," "hell," "ass," "damn," "a--wipe," "a--hole," "balls," "bitch," "bulls--t," "pissed," and "son of a bitch," and "God" and "Jesus Christ" used as exclamations.

Consumerism

A few brands and media mentioned: Etsy, Instagram, Facebook, iPad, Google, Uber, YouTube, Lay's, Starbucks, FaceTime, Pringles, Famous Amos, Lucky Charms, Diet Coke, Pop-Tart, Tylenol, and Converse.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A few references to and instances of teens drinking, but no one is ever shown drunk. Teen brings alcohol in a flask to prom. Character has memories of drinking with friends during high school. Friend brings beer over to Kyle's house twice.

 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that All This Time, by Mikki Daughtry and Rachael Lippincott (Five Feet Apart), is a romance about a teen boy figuring out how to deal with grief and loss after his girlfriend dies in a car accident. Popular high school senior Kyle Lafferty has it all going for him -- football star, pretty girlfriend, acceptance to UCLA -- when he and his girlfriend, Kim, get in a terrible car accident during an argument and Kim dies. In the months that follow, Kyle meets Marley, a teen grieving her own loss. As their romance develops, surprising obstacles throw Kyle for a loop, forcing him to confront his personal issues and figure out how to grow as a person. Because this is a romance, expect lots of discussions of relationships, desire, some kissing, and a few references to teens having sex, including one descriptive make-out scene. Teens drink alcohol a few times, and there's infrequent strong language ("f--k," "s--t," "a--hole"). The violence is limited to flashbacks of the accident and descriptions of injuries. The story presents discussion opportunities about teen relationships and working through trauma.

Wondering if All This Time is OK for your kids?

Parents: Set preferences and get age-appropriate recommendations with Common Sense Media Plus. Join now

Continue reading Show less

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

At the outset of ALL THIS TIME, Kyle and Kim are the "it" couple of their high school, wrapping up their senior year at the prom. They've been together for years and are planning to go to the same university. During a big argument about their future, Kyle's car is hit by a truck, with tragic results. He wakes up in the hospital and learns that Kim is dead. His guilt and grief are all-consuming for months. When he's finally well enough to visit Kim's grave, he meets Marley, a teen grappling with her own tragic loss. Though he's still in physical and emotional pain, Kyle finds in Marley someone who gets what he's going though, and their friendship develops into romance. Kyle still has flashes of his accident and sometimes sees Kim lurking in the shadows, making him wonder whether he's really ready to move on. Is he experiencing the effects of his brain injury or PTSD? He gets some startling answers to his concerns, sending him on a journey of self-examination, healing, and growth.

Is it any good?

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how grief and loss are portrayed in All This Time and other stories. Do you think Kyle's behavior is believable? How does it compare with how other books you've read or movies you've seen show characters dealing with these issues?

  • Kyle doesn't respond well to honest feedback, but he learns to reflect and grow. How well do you take criticism? Is this something you need to work on? How can you make that happen?

  • What makes a plot twist satisfying and feel "earned"? What makes one feel contrived? 

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love romance and stories of grief

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Top advice and articles

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate