Fifteen-year-old Aurora “Roar” Audley is a city girl at heart. Especially after two years living on a farm with her father under protest. Roar can’t wait for her big chance to get away from this farm girl life that she hates.
At least until a tragic accident brings Roar and her father to the center of attention in town. And brings a mysterious boy to the center of Roar’s attention.
Suddenly everything seems different. Maybe the life Roar’s been so desperate to leave behind is really the one she’s meant to have in All You Get is Me (2010) by Yvonne Prinz.
This was an interesting, quick read. Roar is likable enough but ultimately a lot of the plot elements felt superficial. Roar’s best friend Storm comes off as a cartoon. The romance angle is simplified despite all of the potential pitfalls. There is a lot going on but Prinz brings in so many elements (Roar is a photographer, her mother disappeared, she’s in young love, the lawsuit, the accident, the farm, a photography contest) that everything gets a very perfunctory treatment instead of going into more detail. At 288 pages All You Get is Me is a fairly short book and ultimately needed tighter pacing and plotting to be really compelling.
The jacket copy makes comparisons to Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Which, surprisingly, does actually work. The slice of life treatment, though not as well done as Lee’s classic, does bring to mind To Kill a Mockingbird. All You Get is Me could be an interesting modern companion to that title even if it may not be quite as memorable.