Thursday, January 13, 2011

(ARC) Tour: All You Get Is Me by Yvonne Prinz

Published: December 21, 2010 by HarperCollins
Received: (ARC) Tour from Good Golly Miss Holly
A summer of love, loss, and justice.

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.

{taken from}

Lately I've been reading books about death, loss, heart ache - and photography.  So when this book arrived in my mailbox from an ARC tour that I signed up for awhile back, I wasn't surprised!  I had read the synopsis for this book & thought it sounded like something I'd enjoy.  Did it end up being my favorite YA contemporary piece? No.  But there was something in this story that grabbed me & I found myself turning the pages.

Fifteen year old Roar is being uprooted from her family home in the city by her father because her mother decided to check-out (literally!) of their lives.  They settle on a farm in the country, where Roar's life is anything but blissful.  Her father takes on the job of creating an organic farm & insists that Roar be an active member in helping out with the daily chores.  The author Yvonne Prinz does a good job of describing the elements of the farm to the reader.  I felt as though I was standing among the corn fields & fig trees, cleaning out the chicken coop along side Roar & tending to their roadside vegetable stand.  In between the daily chores on the farm, we are given glimpses at Roar's life back in the city with her mother.  Being the only child to a free spirit, we soon realize that Roar's mother didn't have a care in the world, at all.  She spent her days painting, which then turned in to drinking, & eventually resulted in leaving.  Instead of Roar's father tackling the issue he ignored it & ran from it.  Thus teaching Roar to do the same.

Everything comes to a screeching hault one morning when Roar & her father are on their way to a farmer's market to sell their goods.  An angry passer-by on the road ignites a collision head on with another vehicle, leaving Roar & her father to witness the tragic ordeal.  The reader is then told that the deceased victim of one of the cars is the wife of a local Hispanic farm worker, and the woman at fault is a middle class resident of the small town.  Roar's father makes it his mission to find compensation for the farm worker's family & not let the woman at fault get away with murdering someone with her car, even if it was an accident.  The town is left in a bustle when Roar's father helps the Hispanic farm worker by landing a law suit on the woman at fault.  The story takes an interesting twist when Roar meets that same woman's son, Forest, who is visiting his mother for the summer from the city.  A connection is sparked instantly between the two, and so a forbidden summer romance begins.

The illustration that Yvonne Prinz created is remarkable.  The description of this small town puts you right in the middle of their social dilemma.  Do the Hispanic farm workers deserve the same rights & attention as the American farm owners?  Can Roar come to terms with her mother's abandonment & turn to her father when she really needs him most?  All of this is captured through the lens of Roar's camera.  Her passion is photography & she is always carrying her camera around her neck.  A part of me wished that the author captured these snippets & placed them between the pages.  But even though she didn't, her words painted the most beautiful pictures.  The farm scenery & the feel of the forbidden summer romance between Roar & Forest is brought to life through Yvonne's words.  These descriptions could have been a character of their own.

It was the ending that captured me the most.  Without giving away the result of the story & Roar's father's lawsuit, I'll just say that not everything is wrapped up in a pretty bow.  Life is messy & with it comes consequences.  My heart break for Roar when it comes to her final "closure" regarding her mother.  However, my heart breaks even more when Roar must say goodbye to Forest as their summer romance comes to a close & Forest must return to the city.  It's their love that carried the story for me.  Intertwined with the beautiful landscape & the hard work that is being made on the farm - I kept flipping the pages until I came to the end.

I recommend this story to anyone who is interested in emotional YA contemporary pieces.  Though I had my doubts in some places, in the end Yvonne told a story about love, loss, & growing up.  It's a good piece for those wanting something tangible.



  1. Oh, I've been looking forward to this for a good while now, and I had a WoW for it way back when. It sounds compelling, and I might just have to give it a go! Great review, G! :)

  2. I really like this one too! Didn't Prinz nail the teenage voice? I was laughing out loud a lot! I love Storm.... I am going to have a character interview with Storm in a few days. Love!


  3. Thanks for the review! I just ordered this book last week and I'm waiting for it to come in the mail!

  4. This looks like an interesting book! I love the cover!

  5. Wow, hadn't heard of this before, but I'm definitely interested! Great review! :]

  6. I've see this a few times this week. It does look like a book I would have to be in the mood for.

    Thanks for the honest review.

    Today I posted a review of a grand Steampunkery Book!  Please do check it out, I highly recommend Vampire Empire: The Greyfriar if you want Steampunkery and a mix of many genres.  A new favorite... indeed a huggable book!

    Mad Scientist
    Steampunkery & Book Reviews
    Forbidden Steam
    Where the Mad Scientist can be found behind the bed chamber doors!

  7. I'm loving contemporary lately a lot so I'm going to have to check this one out, sounds good. Great review! =)

  8. This one sounds REALLY good! I absolutely love the cover and I'm looking forward to a sort of emotional contemp!

  9. This sounds really good. There are a lot of books out there with this general plot, but this sone seems to have enough to set it apart. Great review!


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