I’ve always loved reading fluffy little romance novels because they are the bread and butter of adult fiction sometimes. If I’m facing a reading slump or I’m trying to pull myself out of a book hangover, short and sweet romances such as All I’ve Wanted All I’ve Needed are the perfect things to perk my appetite for fiction. It’s the hopeless romantic in me coming out to play, I swear.
Harlow Shaw feels naïve for believing in happily ever afters but she craves a love that lights her up.
She thought she had it all with her boyfriend. Until his promising baseball career overshadows their relationship and he asks her a life changing question. It causes her to wonder if what they have is all she ever truly wanted.
Harlow is yearning for more than the curated life she is living.
A trip to Bali, a move to Seattle, and an alleged burned cup of coffee lead her to a friendship she didn’t know she needed and a love so deep she can feel it in her bones.
goodreads ♡ amazon.co.uk
- New Adult
- Adult Fiction
title ♡ all i’ve wanted all i’ve needed
author ♡ a.e. valdez
series ♡ none
pages ♡ 266
edition ♡ kindle edition
publisher ♡ independently published
All I’ve Wanted All I’ve Needed follows Harlow as she leaves her toxic relationship with her spoilt ex-boyfriend Hendrix to rediscover herself and her passions. I loved that the book was so strong on pushing Harlow to become her own person instead of allowing her identity to become part of her boyfriends. Its easy to fall into these traps in relationships where everything you do is centred around your partner. There’s a real danger that you begin to lose your own identity as you help them develop theirs. I’ve experienced it before, and it’s a really terrifying realisation when you are no longer your own person, so I could completely relate to Harlow and understand her reasoning for not wanting to continue her relationship with Hendrix.
Harlow is a very cheery character – which at times did feel a little strange. Of course this earns her the nickname of ‘Sunshine’ from Acyn – her friend’s brother and her love-to-hate friendship which she establishes when she moves away from Texas. While I appreciated her optimism and enthusiasm, at times it felt a little unusual. It’s not possible for people to be happy all the time. I did also feel that Harlow needed to develop a bit more of a backbone, especially when it came to her ex. She failed to cut contact with him and allowed him to manipulate her feelings and relationships even in a different State. That’s not healthy – especially when they are broken up.
The book is ultimately a romance novel, and it’s a fluffy little romance novel as well. It was a short and sweet read where you absolutely cheer on Acyn and Harlow, hoping they will come to their sense and get together before you knock their heads together to make them see. There are plenty of cute, romantic scenes where you get to see both characters develop their understandings of love – something they are both relatively new to. It’s a pretty obvious plot because if they didn’t get together by the end, what would be the point in reading it?
A lot of the conflict in the story is based around miscommunication and felt a little strained. Though I understand these miscommunications do happen in reality, it was quite frustrating who Acyn would not ask for clarification at times and Harlow failed to be brave enough to grab life by the balls and confront Acyn for ghosting her.
The book does move quite fast and some of the things that happen in the beginning feel a little too unnecessary. For example, Harlow’s trip to Bali with her friends takes up a chapter or two but isn’t really described in detail. There is no real need to it other than to describe the fact that she seems happier without Hendrix. Some of the job opportunities that arise for Harlow happen suddenly and that felt a little unrealistic. But hey, at the end of the day, it is a fictional story right?
I found that All I’ve Wanted All I’ve Needed was a quick, cute comfort read. I’d return to this book if I wanted to revisit the friends-to-lovers trope or if I need a small story to help warm me up inside. There’s not a lot of depth to the story; it’s quite simplistic – but sometimes it’s nice to take a step back from books that feel like they need to be analysed for something you can just pick up and enjoy.