The Lying Game series. I'd only had one experience with Shepard previous to this novel when I read The Lying Game, so I was definitely interested to see if she maintained the same mystery and suspense I loved in The Lying Game, but hopefully with a more satisfying conclusion.
Everything We Ever Wanted is the story of a family that should have the perfect life. Sylvie is at the centre of the Bates-McAllister clan, but having recently lost her husband she has also discovered that she may not have known him as well as she thought she did. When the novel begins her world is changed when a phone call lets her know that her adopted son Scott may have played a role in the suicide of one of his students. Scott has lead a complex life, having been adopted at a year and a half old and being of mixed race in a community where White rules. Sylvie's biological son is Charles, and he envies Scott, feeling like he will never live up to the expectations his father set for him. Charles has recently married Joanna, a woman who grew up in a world very different from the Bates-McAllisters, and wonders if she will every truly belong.
It's always interesting to read an author's crossover into another genre, and since Shepard is known for her young adult fiction- although she has published one previous adult novel in 2009, The Visibles- I was curious to see if her adult fiction would vary significantly, or if it would be similar but with older characters. In reality, Everything We Ever Wanted is very different than The Lying Game, but both are easy to read, taken place predominately in a wealthy world, and are filled with suspense and secrets of the most delicious kind. The characters in Everything We Ever Wanted are unique although not entirely likable, but I could appreciate the complicated struggles and decisions Sylvie faced with regards to her sons.
Although the ending of Everything We Ever Wanted was rushed, it is definitely a stand-alone novel which I appreciated. The novel is quick-paced and full of suspense, but with a little more dimension to the story than The Lying Game, although the major mystery was less crucial to the plot. I definitely think that it is a novel worth picking up by older fans of Shepard's YA work. Like Shepard's young adult fiction, Everything We Ever Wanted is a dramatic tale about privileged individuals and the darkness that lurks beneath the shiny exterior, the difference is that not only are the characters older but they are also slightly more complex. However, like The Lying Game, Everything We Ever Wanted kept me interested the whole time I was reading, but disappointed in the ending.
Release Date: October 11th 2011
Buy the Book