Review: All of You by Christina Lee

Friday, February 7, 2014

All of You
Title: All of You (Between Breaths #1)
Author: Christina Lee
Publisher: Intermix (Penguin USA)
Date of Publication: September 17, 2013

Avery has just met her hot upstairs neighbor. He's irresistible. Tattooed. And a virgin.

Nursing student Avery Michaels wants nothing to do with dating—she's perfectly happy single. Privy to too many of her mother's bad decisions and even worse taste in boyfriends, all Avery can handle is a string of uncomplicated hookups whenever the mood strikes.

When she meets smoking hot tattoo artist Bennett, she wants him—for just one night. But he won't accept a no-strings-attached arrangement. He lives by a straight-laced code of values based on his own troubled upbringing.

Bennett sees something special in Avery and he wants more from her. Way more. As Avery wrestles with her emotions for Bennett, danger and tragedy force them to open up to each other. And Avery must face the terrifying realization that she wants more from him, too.

So she needs to make a choice—let Bennett go or finally let him in.

Purchase from Amazon | B&N


My Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Sigh. I was so excited for this one as early as May. I remember thinking oh wow, this is unique The guy is the virgin? Holychocochips gimme that! So when it went on sale, I immediately bought it because a lot of people are raving about it. And when I couldn't sleep one Sunday night, I read it in one sitting until it's already morning, not heeding my reading schedule. Because hey! At last, I own it and I can read it. And I regret doing that. I regret buying it, reading it and most of all, losing sleep over it. And I feel bad because Christina Lee is such a sweetheart. So why didn't I like it?

Lest you think this novel is such a fresh take on the virgin trope in new adult books, you're wrong. Yes, it is fresh as Christina Lee reversed the usual roles. But the freshness ends there. What you think will happen? That's what's gonna happen. You have the virgin-by-choice-because-he-is-scarred-by-his-parents'-relationship and in this case, it's a guy (Bennett). You have the sleeps-around-the-block-no-strings-attached who's a girl (Avery). Avery's also scarred by her parents' relationship and in fact, both Avery and Bennett have irresponsible, almost-an-absentee mothers. They also have siblings who they act as a parent for, are fiercely protective of and who they love most in the world. They dealt with it differently though as we can observe in their lifestyles. And of course, they bonded over the sameness of their situations. Sorry and maybe it's just me but I'm tired of reading this set-up.

And then, not only was it predictable in my opinion, the events in this novel were so forced and not organic. I don't like that. I don't mind predictable but it should be logical in the realm of things. I didn't feel that in here. Moreover, I'm sorry to those who love Bennett (and Avery) but I found them SO CHEESY. Sure, Bennett is a tattooed good boy but oh boy, was he so sappy and mushy! Avery too. Instead of squealing in delight and sweetness, I was cringing at their dialogues. Oh, and the dialogue! It felt stiff and stilted at times.

I know, how sad. I don't know if it was just a fluke of timing or that I was already unimpressed with ALL OF YOU that I ended up being more unimpressed every turn of a page but this book wasn't for me. I've read so many raves and great reviews and I felt like I read a different novel from them. In my opinion, it wasn't fresh at all and was mightily predictable and cheesy. However, I would like to thank Christina Lee and ALL OF YOU for introducing me to this poem called FORGET ME NOT by Anna Peters. It was featured in the book and I adore it. And because I love you my dear readers, I'm putting it in here!

About Christina Lee

Once upon a time, I lived in New York City and was a fashion stylist. I spent my days shopping for photo shoots, getting into cabs, eating amazing food, and drinking coffee at my favorite hangouts. 

Now I live in my hometown of Cleveland, with my husband and son—my two favorite guys. I've always been an avid reader—reading was actually my favorite time of day when I taught second and third grade.

But it wasn’t until I became a local newspaper columnist that something clicked. I finally realized I could turn my love of words into my dream of writing fiction. 

I write Young Adult and New Adult fiction. I am represented by Sara Megibow of the Nelson Literary Agency.

I also own a hand-stamped jewelry business called Tags-n-Stones, which requires me to stamp letters and/or words onto pieces of silver. They go hand-in-hand perfectly.

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