Author: T.E. Carter
Genre: YA Contemporary
Published by: Simon and Schuster
Publication date: 01/05/19
My rating: ★★★★★
I received a free copy from Simon and Schuster in exchange for an honest review.
This is a spoiler free review.
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Five years ago, Lexie walked home from school after her older brother failed to pick her up. When she entered her house, her brother sat calmly, waiting for the police to come arrest him for the heinous crime he had just committed.
Treated like a criminal herself, Lexie now moves from school to school hiding who she is—who she’s related to. She struggles with loving her brother, the PTSD she now suffers from, and wanting to just live a normal life. But how can she be normal when she can’t even figure out how to just live?
This is a powerful look at the assumptions we make about people. Lexie’s emotional journey to separate her brother’s horrific act from herself is stunning and heartbreaking. This is Lexie’s story and journey—not her brother’s—and it will stay with you long after you turn the last page.
You know those books you know you will like, but actually end up loving? This was one of them, one I haven’t stopped thinking about since I finished reading it. Lexie never stays in a school more than a year before starting over in a new school, with a new name, living with a new relative. This time she’s moved in with her aunt Lucie in Connecticut, and starts all over again. There’s so much more I want to put here but it’s all spoiler-ish, so I’ll move on.
All We Could Have Been gives you a lot to think about. We see it on the news everyday, we think the same thing every time, think of the victims and their family (and rightly so). We often forget about the family of the perpetrator, how that impacts their life, both short and long term, the pressure to feel or act a certain way and how they’re treated by those around them and society as a whole. It’s the first time I’ve read anything like this, books like these are rarely told from the perspective of a relative. There’s no sugar coating, which I found really refreshing. Lexie is such a brilliant, flawed and complicated character. She’s stronger than she gives herself credit for, I loved watching her grow throughout the book and taking back control of her life.
I couldn’t stop reading once I had started, it’s tense, thought provoking. All We Could Have Been, is a story about different sides of grief, self acceptance and learning to move forward. LIke the synopsis says, this book will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page.