Published: December 2010
Things were complicated enough for Roar, even before her father decided to yank her out of the city and go organic. Suddenly, she’s a farm girl, albeit a reluctant one, selling figs at the farmers’ market and developing her photographs in a ramshackle shed. Caught between a troublemaking sidekick named Storm, a brooding, easy-on-the-eyes L.A. boy, and a father on a human rights crusade that challenges the fabric of the farm community, Roar is going to have to tackle it all—even with dirt under her fingernails and her hair pulled back with a rubber band meant for asparagus.
This was one of those random books I picked up. There wasn't anything that particularly inspired me to read it beyond the fact that it was a new release for the library. The cover was nice, but no wow factor for me. Even the blurb was just okay. Despite this I was willing to read, mainly because I needed a break from all of the paranormal and zombie books I've been reading lately.
In All You Get is Me, Prinz attempts to tackle some serious social issues and manages to do so without coming off as preachy. Illegal immigration is a touchy point with me as I am an immigrant myself. But I didn't feel like she was trying to promote illegal immigration, just make the reader aware of how those people are viewed by some.
Prinz also has a great way of bringing a setting to life. This works wonderfully some of the time, and in fact the first few chapters really held my attention, so much so that I stayed up until midnight on a work night reading. After the opening chapters though it became a bit too much. I lost interest and began skimming. I don't like skimming books, mainly because it's too easy to miss conflict and then you end up confused and just need to go back and read it anyways. Not the case here. There was so little conflict that I could have skipped over multiple chapters and not gotten lost.
Roar's relationship with her father feels the most realistic and important. Even though many of their conversations are only described, it's easy to see the resentment roar feels for him and how he has absolutely no idea how to interact with his teenage daughter. When she discovers he's been hiding information about her mother from her, I was disappointed that there wasn't more anger and hurt from Roar or more regret and sorrow from her father. He talked about still loving her mom and it was evident that he was grieving about that, but his actions made me think he was trying to protect Roar. Yet he didn't seem to grieve the fact that his daughter was suffering from a second abandonment from her mother.
The romance between Forest and Roar was just blah. There was no spark there, and although Forest started out a bit mysterious, he was just a basic, nice, overly perfect boyfriend. There was no drama between them, even when he finds out that she's been hiding the fact that her dad is filing a lawsuit against his mom. The ending was too girly. He's been recording the process of falling in love with her since before they even spoke and now he wants her to read it? but wait, even better is the fact that he'll wait a year and he'll come and work on her family farm the next summer to be with her? Gag.
There was also an over abundance of secondary characters. Characters that kept popping up and have long, boring interactions with Roar, yet never lead anywhere. Her best friend Storme is only there to constantly bring up Roar's "extra-virgin" status, Steve provides a bit of eye candy that we never get to see, and there are so many others that popped up that I can't even keep their names straight. It was all just filler. The hardcover comes in at 288 pages and could easily have been closer to 200.
Perhaps the most annoying thing about the book was the names. Roar (Aurora), Forest, Storme? Really? It just screams trying to hard.
Wouldn't bother reading this one again, and I'm doubtful that I'll pick up any thing else from this author.