“I have one goal: Survive a full school year – 180 days – hiding behind a new name, new home and new persona”
Every year, Lexi starts somewhere new and every year she has to leave. All she wants is to disappear, to go somewhere where no one knows about her brother.
But this time things are different. She is making friends and she might even be falling in love. But none of it is real. When they find out who she really is, she will lose everything. She can never run away from the truth and what her brother did.
The riveting second novel from the author of I STOP SOMEWHERE about GRIEF, GUILT and HOPE.
All We Could Have Been is a genuinely absorbing and very emotional novel, with themes of grief and sense of self, looked at from a different and extremely compelling angle.
Lexi is a layered and engaging character to follow along with, as she once again attempts to start anew- despite herself she starts to hope, to integrate, but her reality is never far behind her and facing the unknown can be a dark path indeed.
I loved the levels of this story, one in which coming of age is a more than usual challenge. Lexi doesn’t know how to define herself beyond that which her Brother did, a horrific act revealed in stages through her narrative. Her coping mechanisms are many but how can you be yourself when all anyone see’s is that one deeply disturbing event, when they wonder about your own personal demons, when acceptance is non existent.
This then is what she faces, what I loved about this one was the pure authenticity of it, the harsh realities of living a life in someone else’s shadow. The author doesn’t mollycoddle but does offer hope through the people Lexi meets, sometimes that hope is justified sometimes not, but in the entirety of the story there are no easy answers, no palatable closures but genuine possibilities.
If you want complete answers or a neatly wrapped up tale this won’t work for you but if you like to be pushed into thinking outside the box, if you want thought provoking storytelling with strong yet honestly flawed characters then All We Could Have Been should definitely be on your reading radar.
Sometimes Young Adult novels explore the depths of human nature in more complex ways than adult fiction can, this is one of those times so All We Could Have Been comes very much re commended by me.