Friday, August 24, 2012

Book Review: All Things Different by: Shawn Underhill

Release Date: June 26, 2012
Source: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.
"Late in the summer of 2005, starkly independent Jake Thornton was on the verge of turning 16, expecting little more than his driver’s license in the fall, and the continuance of the quiet life shared with his father. So when 14-almost-15 year old Sara moved in next door and began vying for his father’s attention, Jake wasn’t exactly thrilled, and couldn’t quite understand his father’s motives for allowing it. But certainly he never anticipated the dramatic shift their lives would take as a result.
As the summer fades and autumn takes over, friendship between the two teenagers begins blossoming into a bond, until fate steps in once more, threatening to tear them apart as quickly as they’ve come together. The decisions that follow, and the emotive tale that results, opens Jake’s eyes to the simple yet life altering truth, a truth that Sara has understood all along: that love—not the feeling but the action—is the most powerful force in the world."

My Thoughts:

When I first read the summary for this book, I expected a light coming of age story. While I did get a coming of age story, it was also much more serious than I had initially anticipated. That did not make it bad, it was just a bit of a shock for me. While the book has its funny moments, the overall tone is very somber and serious. These two young teens have to deal with things that even adults should not have to deal with.

The book focuses on the lives of Jake and Sara. We meet them at the ages of 15 and 14 respectively. When Sara shows up, initially Jake is not thrilled to have her living next door. However, she manages to get under his skin and worm her way into his heart. Sara has had a difficult past, to say the least, and for some reason she takes to Jake and he helps her move on. They become extremely close and share a bond that is not easily broken. Now I know what you are thinking, they are only 15 and 14. Yes they are, and the author manages to show this bond in an appropriate manner for their age. They simply come to love each other as friends and over time that love grows.

Jake is very serious for a 15 year old and he is very independent. He is set in his ways and knows what he wants out of life. On the other hand, you have Sara who is exuberant and energetic and full of life, despite her past. The contrast between these characters was one of my favorite parts. Despite how different they seem, deep down they were exactly what each other needed and they did not even know it.

I must warn you though; this is not a story to be picked up lightly. As I have said before there are some very serious circumstances involved and while the characters may be young, I believe this book is geared more towards more mature readers. I do not think I would classify it as Young Adult even though the characters are young. This is not a light and fluffy read, but it is a good one.

As a whole I enjoyed the story and the plot moved along nicely, with twists and turns in all the right places. However, I do have one tiny complaint, and this might just be a “me” thing. At points the dialogue seemed to be very back and forth without any tags or descriptions in between. To me, it made the conversations seem very fast paced (and for some conversations that was okay, especially with Sara) and it was hard to follow who was saying what after a while. At certain points, I would have to go back and re-read the dialogue to make sure I got it right in my head. Like I said though, that might just be a preference thing. I tend to like tags in between the dialogue.

All in all if you are looking for something meaningful to read, then this is the book for you. The ending is heartbreaking and good all at once and will have you smiling through your tears. 


  1. Great review! I got a copy of this book for review as well and am about to start reading it. Glad you said something about it being a more serious book. I wasn't really sure what to be expecting so I'm glad you gave some details about it!

    1. Yea, I wasn't sure either, but the synopsis intrigued me so I gave it a shot.

  2. Great Review!!!
    I don't know if I could get into it, I'm in just a huge contemporary romance mood lately!! Ha ha :)
    But this book does sound like a nice read!

    You are amazing at reviews, by the way!! XD

    Magen Corrie

  3. Sounds like fun. Wow! Ernest Hemingway, I have to admit he isn't one of my favs since he is so depressing!


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