Happy “weird days between Christmas and New Years when you have no idea what’s going on”. I am on another planet at the moment. I feel like I’m living in a bit of a bubble and I have no idea what’s going on outside of it. It’s no bad place to be mind. I went home to the Midlands yesterday to celebrate Christmas Part 2 with my family and we had a lovely day out. I don’t plan on doing much between now and going back to work; I want to take the time to chill out and prepare myself for early mornings and long days.
Thank you to @hqstories for this advanced copy of All For You by @fabricating_fiction in return for an honest review. Now, I got this as an ARC a long time ago (it was published on 20th January 2022) but it got left in the pile of Netgalley books I’m very behind on. So in the interest of fairness, I purchased this book to read now. You can get a copy of All For One here.
The Walsh family have a lot going on and they’re struggling to hold it together. Lucy is the mother and she is falling apart at the seams. Aiden is the father; carrying a secret that he’s in way too deep with and doesn’t know how to dig himself out of. Connor is the eldest son and at 17, he’s been through more than most boys his age.
All of them have a secret and something to hide but all of them are doing so for a reason. What or who are they trying to protect and what will the cost be of doing so?
General Thoughts 🤔
I’ll start by confessing that I was an absolute fool for leaving this book way down at the bottom of my Netgalley list because it was so so so good. I haven’t read a book this twisty and unpredictable in quite some time and I loved every moment of it. It was one of those stories that makes you think you’ve cracked it, you know what’s going on, before whacking a great big NOPE in your face and going down a completely different direction.
I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what was going on and who was to blame, but it wasn’t until the very end that the pieces started to fit together for me. On reflection, the clues were there throughout, but they were so cleverly hidden, I only recognised them in hindsight. There were many suspects in my mind and I was gobsmacked when I found out who the person was I was trying to seek out.
Connor has to be the character I talk about first because he was the one I was drawn to the most. When I say I felt sorry for this kid, I mean I felt it way down deep in my soul. He was carrying some pretty heavy stuff around in his metaphorical baggage and I felt like someone should have been able to provide him with emotional support to help him offload. I appreciated that his parents had a lot going on, but I couldn’t help but feel that Connor was somewhat neglected by them.
Which brings me on to Lucy and Aiden. I had strong suspicions about Aiden from quite near to the start as he seemed very shifty. The secret that he was keeping from the rest of his family wasn’t the biggest reveal in the book and it wasn’t my biggest surprise, but it revealed a lot about him to me. I think he was a touch cowardly and was happy to leave his wife to deal with the heavier stuff going on in their family. I felt total empathy for Lucy. I got the impression that she was the glue holding everything together, but she was pritt stick when really she needed to be lock tite. Reading Lucy’s POV always gave me a sense of heading into impending disaster.
Writing Style ✍️
This is the first book that I have read by this author and I really liked her writing style. The pacing of this book was fantastic and it was what kept me going back and turning the pages. Short snappy chapters helped to keep the story moving along and I loved the different POVs throughout.
I’ve read some reviews saying that the ending was far fetched and extreme and I have to agree, but I say that in a positive way. All of the events within this story could only lead to something far fetched and extreme. All of the characters were at breaking point and something big had to happen, otherwise I think the ending would have been an anti-climax. I loved the shock of it.
Conclusion & Scoring 🎖
This book had me up until the early hours of this morning because I simply could not put it down. Fast paced, twisty, shocking and at times emotional, this was a great psychological thriller that had me guessing all the way through. Though I regret not having read this when I had the Netgalley ARC (I’m an ARC failure, I know), I am so glad I bought it now and read it. The silver lining is that Louise Jensen’s next book is right around the corner and I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy. This is likely going to be my last book of 2022 and I am so happy that I’m ending the year on such a high.