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Bibliocrack Review: All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins

Calling all Julie James fans! Calling all Jennifer Crusie fans! Have I got a book for you. Of course, most of you have probably heard of Kristan Higgins before and are, in fact, already aware of the delectable treat that is her books. But just in case you haven't, I'm here to clue you in. I first discovered her as part of Sarah Rees Brennan's summer reading recommendations and (because I trust her so) I just went ahead and picked up a copy of All I Ever Wanted along with The DUFF. I am so very glad I did. Because this was the perfect book to read on the heels of The DUFF. And I'll admit I've gone on a bit of a Kristan Higgins binge after finishing it. And I don't regret a moment of it. What a wonderful find! And such an eminently recommendable one at that. I seriously feel I could hand this one to anyone. It makes me a bit giddy--the possibilities of passing this one on. It really does.

Callie (short for Calliope--ha!) Grey's life is reaching critical mass. And not in a good way. About to turn thirty, she's in some serious unrequitable love with her boss Mark. They had that one weekend a few years ago, but that's all it was. He's moved on (though he insists on flirting with her shamelessly in the office), but Callie just . . . can't. At least she doesn't live in her family's funeral home anymore, though they are holding her birthday party there this year. In the Tranquility Room, to be precise. And at night, Callie goes home to her curmudgeonly old grandfather and her beloved dog Bowie. Enter Ian McFarland, the new veterinarian in town. Despite looking rather unnervingly like a Russian assassin, he fits the bill as eligible bachelor, and Callie decides he just might be perfect for helping her move on from Mark. Unfortunately, eligible bachelors are few and far between in tiny Georgebury, Vermont. Add to that the fact that Dr. McFarland is about as tense and forbidding as they come, and things go south pretty fast for poor, well-intentioned Callie.

Perfectly delightful--that's what All I Ever Wanted is. I was giggling within the first few pages, and I immediately liked Callie because she is unashamedly herself. She's bright and bubbly and, well, honestly she's not my typical favorite kind of heroine. But she is also overtly honest with her emotions, and she gives as good as she gets when those around her chide her for being overly emotional or slow to recover from her lifelong crush. Her interactions with her insane-with-a-capital-I family are hysterical. Her parents are estranged, and her mother waltzes around the funeral home she runs, followed by the uber-creepy Louis, who insists on hitting on to Callie every time he sees her, heaping on the funereally sensual overtones with gag-inducing results. But it's her halting relationship with Ian that takes the cake for me. Whenever they're in the same room together, he spends most of the time being quietly appalled. Usually at Callie's constant effervescence, her ginormous hound, or some combination of the two. Callie, on the other hand, does her best to lure him out of his fortress of solitude by offering to do some PR for his new practice. These two together are just stellar. As Sarah Rees Brennan said, "I love people who are staggering around being staggeringly crazy in love." Just so. Callie and Ian's catastrophically awesome combination of sparkles and prickles filled me with joy. If you haven't had a chance yet, I do hope you'll give this one a shot. And believe you me, you'll be hearing more from me about Kristan Higgins in the very near future.


Linkage
The Allure of Books Review
Alpha Heroes Review
The Book Pushers Review
Dear Author Review
Lusty Reader Review
Luxury Reading Review
Monkey Bear Review
My Overstuffed Bookshelf Review
S. Krishna's Books Review

Comments

  1. I'm so glad you loved this! I'm a HUGE Kristan Higgins fangirl. I'm curious about what else you've read by her. This and Just One of the Guys are easily my favorites, but they're all good!

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  2. OH. Delightful you say? Can't wait to crack this open then! Shouldn't have waited so long.

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  3. So this pretty much makes me very very very glad I went on a Kristan Higgins book buying binge at Borders. I love it when you praise authors that I'm about to try.

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  4. Anonymous7:41 PM

    I love Kristan Higgins! This was my favorite book of hers...I did do one or two (catch of the day? maybe?) That I didn't love as much. But I found Higgins last fall and also did a little binging, very worth it ;) So happy to see you found her!

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  5. This is my favorite Higgins book so far (I've read most of them). I'm constantly bowled over by how her amazing wit, crazy characters, silly hijinks, and honest romances manage to feel so real.

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  6. Anonymous6:10 AM

    I am delighted! Nothing like a successful book recommendation - and then a wallow in mutual book love. ;)

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  7. I love KH. Also: happy birthday!

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  8. Anonymous5:06 PM

    This sounds like it would be a riot to read...a romance-comedy, set in a funeral home?? Haha, I like how you tagged this under "blibliocrack".

    --Sharry

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  9. I love Kristan Higgins and I am so glad to hear this is another win from her! It's on my TBR pile but I'm really those at a slow rate to make them last :)

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  10. Hey Angie - I think your twitter account has been hacked. The last couple tweets I've seen from you have all been spammy offers about how to make money from home and stuff. Just a warning.

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  11. Jeez. You've got me hooked. I have to admit I have an aversion to bubbly characters as well (she doesn't have curly hair, does she?), but it sounds like her honesty makes her break the mold. I love an awkward romance, though I hope he isn't dour. I get a little Jane Austen-and-Brontes-out.

    Still, nothing hits me like a funeral home home or party. I'm hooked.

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  12. Allison, I've torn a path through her backlist. So far my favorites are definitely this one and her upcoming UNTIL THERE WAS YOU. Also loved TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE.

    Holly, have you started it yet?? Liza is next in line to borrow it. ;)

    April, LOL. Excellent timing.

    thelibrarian, she's totally bingeworthy, isn't she? I've still got a couple left to go.

    Jacqueline, there does seem to be a pretty good consensus going that this is her best. That makes me happy.

    Sarah, always up for a good mutual book love wallow. Thanks again!

    Diana, I wondered if you'd read her. Of course you love her. :) And thanks! It was a good day.

    Sharry, yup, that is what it is. And the funeral home aspect cracked me up no end.

    Kay, definitely a win. Definitely.

    Erin, ugh. Thanks for the heads up. It did indeed get hacked. I think I've fixed it now.

    Bets, if you get around to it, let me know what you think.

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  13. Anonymous7:47 PM

    WOW!!! I AM SOO HAPPY YOU LOVE THIS BOOK AND AUTHOR!!!! :D

    It is true that Kristan Higgins books are really funny and cute!!!

    I love her books soo much!!!!!!

    You should definitely read all of her books!!!

    My favorites of hers are:
    1. Just one of the guys
    2. Too good to be true
    3. Fools rush in

    AMAZING BOOKS!!!! <3 <3 <3

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