All I Ever Wanted – Kristan Higgins

22 Dec
Back in the day, I used to write quick reviews on Goodreads, mostly for myself. I have a terrible memory, and oftentimes I’ll read a book, like it, then promptly forget all about it. Goodreads was a way for me to write down some quick impressions that I could refer back to. I wanted to bring some of those over here to the blog, so here’s the first one.

Kristan Higgins is a contemporary fiction/romance writer – she writes the equivalent of a romantic comedy movie. (This is what is funny about many women – they’ll flock to the theaters to watch a romantic comedy without shame, but put a romance novel in their hands and they’ll quickly hide it in their purse. It’s the same thing, yo.) I first heard about Higgins when I read a review over at Angieville (Angie hits all the major notes in this book – check out her in-depth review).

Callie is stuck in an awful cycle – she’s pining for her boss, who is that horrid combination of caring and callous. You know, where they compliment your haircut but fail to see how you hang on their every word? Add to that the fact that they hooked up in the past, Callie fell madly in love, and her boss decided it “just wasn’t right.” Ouch. Callie’s family runs a funeral home in their picturesque small town, and Callie is torn between cringing and loving her family. Callie runs into shenanigans with the new town veterinarian, and she’s simultaneously intrigued and discomfited by him.

This is a light, quick read, very bubbly and cute with some funny dialogue. Actually, I was surprised at how much I liked the author’s humor – she was able to be very realistic in how people, especially women, talk to each other. I also appreciated her variety of characters and how she didn’t just plop in all the romance stereotypes, but tried to introduce some gray area to a lot of the characters and situations. Infidelity is dealt with, ex-girlfriends are allowed to be normal, nice people, and a toxic friend is introduced. Pretty realistic stuff, actually.

I know it was a device of the novel, but Callie’s dumb-bunny love for her boss, who thoroughly used her, was hard to take. Instead of making me feel for her, I just felt angry. For a character who is constantly giving herself affirmations, that mindless adoration and lack of self-esteem were hard to believe. Still, she eventually broke out of it and managed to create a relationship with hot, silent guy (one of my favorite archetypes).

This, my friends, is the perfect antidote for stressful times. Work sucking lately? Hit this up. It’s low maintenance and funny, and you get a guaranteed happy ending.

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