Sometimes you just need a sweet, light romantic young adult contemporary book in between heavier tomes. There are certain books that have this non-committal feel, like you don’t have to become heavily invested in the books because they are not all that deep and won’t affect you to the core, BUT these are the books you read to clear your palate for the next heavy hitter. All I Need by Susane Colasanti is a perfectly pleasant, perfectly decent book but it is not exactly one that will stick with me forever. Actually it’s totally your quintessential summer fling sort of a read. YES! That is the term, this is definitely a beach read and perfect for the season.
Skye is waiting to meet her soulmate. She wants to have one of those earth shattering romances that you see in movies. While attending one of the last beach parties of the summer, she meets a new boy, Seth. He is TOTALLY the one. Unfortunately, Seth and Skye never end up exchanging contact information despite really hitting it off. All I Need is about how the two feel such a deep connection, pine for each other, and then what happens when they eventually meet back up again. It examines that crazy falling in love feeling at the beginning and what happens when that wears off and reality sets in. Susane Colasanti tells the story of Skye and Seth through use of alternating first person point of view chapters.
Skye is a nice girl. She does after school activities. She comes from a nice family. She has two best girlfriends. There wasn’t anything that I found reprehensible about her. On the other token, I also thought there was not anything particularly memorable about her, either. I mean, I guess I would have liked her a whole lot more if she actually had legitimate troubles, but in all honesty, she leads a very, very privileged easy life. Her biggest issue were her problems with Seth and finding him again. As a reader, I did not want Skye to have a failed relationship, but I also did not really care all that much for her. Basically, she’s like someone you pass in the grocery store or on the street, you just don’t have very much feeling for them one way or another. She’s actually a bit boring, to be honest with you.
Of the two characters, I found Seth to be infinitely more interesting and totally identified with him more. Seth is from a working class background. He goes to UPenn, which I guess is Ivy League. Only, he is not loaded so he actually has to spend his time working after classes instead of out partying. ALSO! His parents are going through some marital and separation issues, so you know he actually has problems and conflict in his life, thus he is more interesting. I could get his attraction to Skye though, she’s nice and simple and safe. Also, pretty. So it was kind of a nobrainer that they would be into each other.
Now, if you LOVE romance that comes sort of easy and instalove, chances are you will LOVE Susane Colasanti’s All I Need. I mean, although I found Skye totally boring, I liked the chemistry between her and Seth. If you are a dork for the 1980s, you might really dig their romance. You see, Seth’s iPod is filled with music from the 80s and between the two, there are a ton of 80s references, even though the book is set in modern day. I love love love that. I thought that Seth and Skye did a good job balancing each other out. AND OKAY, I ADMIT I liked all the kissing scenes, ha ha.
However, a lot of the drama in All I Need feels manufactured and inauthentic. Like, there’s one character who exists solely to cause a rift between Seth and Skye – Karen who is a douche, like that whole Dane Cook routine. But besides the manufactured bits, there is not a whole ton of conflict. I did not see Seth and Skye struggling all that hard for their romance. I mean, sure Seth has problems paying for things BUT I don’t know, I guess it never felt like a pressing sort of issue.
I truly think All I Need by Susane Colasanti is one of those books that a lot of people probably won’t like because it’s very mushy and sappy. I liked it for the most part, but I am a romantic at heart, so there is that. There are better summer romance books out there, like Sarah Dessen’s backlist and Jenny Han’s Summer trilogy, BUT if you’ve exhausted those resources and just want a book in your hand as the waves roll in and out, pick up All I Need, you probably won’t regret it.
Disclosure: Received copy for review
Other reviews of All I Need by Susanne Colasanti:
Into The Hall Of Books – “It’s always nice to have an easy-breezy, fun title like this”
Ashley Loves Books – “it felt so young, so very juvenile fiction”
Perpetual Page Turner – “It wasn’t a favorite by any means”