Seventeen-year-old Kari meets Neil Mars. “Neil as in Armstrong and Mars…as in Bruno.” A boy who beats every vampire, werewolf, highlander fantasy Kari has ever had. But she knows she can’t get close to him. Not ever. Because that would mean telling him everything. Coming clean. And Kari can’t bear the idea of changing the way Neil looks at her. Like she’s the only girl in the world. His reverence is something too precious to lose. Perhaps even at the cost of losing him.But Kari doesn’t know why Neil calls her his ‘Angel’ and when she finds out, she realizes what love is all about. Boundless joy, unending longing and a fuckload of heartache.
I initially gave this 4 stars, then I changed it to 5 stars and then changed it again to 4 stars. I’m still pondering over my rating because IT IS REALLY GOOD. Do not be turned off by the cover and I know the blurb doesn’t gleam that much about the story but HAVE FAITH. I wanna give this novel a new cover that isn’t as steamy just so more people will grab it. Though I do get how the cover relates to the story but the novel in itself isn’t as racy as the cover might suggest. So anyway, enough with the cover!
Kari has a secret that she’s been trying to forget but Eddie won’t let her. She tries her best though to move on with her life and she starts working on the tattoo parlor in front of her house. Then she meets Neil Mars and the collective panties all around the world drop. They get to know each other and sparks fly~
Okay, that was such an ineffective and boring plot summary. It’s just that, it’s really hard to tell you anything because it would be a spoiler. And I’m saying this, you don’t want to be spoiled. Do know that the plot to this novel is unique. Are you tired of characters hiding a secret that’s really lame or common? In here, Kari’s secret is the first I’ve read and I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a novel with the same set-up as this. So if you want something fresh, get ALL MY LIFE!
As for the characters, OH THE CHARACTERS. ❤ Kari was HILARIOUS, as well as Nalini, her mother and even Josiah. She's smart, she goes to college and actually attends classes! This book has some scenes where she goes to classes. Wow. Don't you know how rare that is in New Adult? Everyone is witty, sarcastic, funny and AWESOME. EVERYONE (who isn't evil of course). I love Kari and Nalini's friendship, Kari and her interactions with Agnas, her boss, and how strict yet understanding though passive-aggressive her mom was. I had so much fun reading this because of all the characters. I also adore how Kari second-guesses herself, has insecurities but still, she's not a downer. She's not the woe-is-me kind of girl and I love it!
Of course, there’s Neil Mars. Neil Mars is a new addition to my book boyfriends. He’s sweet, hot, handsome, SUPER NICE AND KIND, cares for her mother, a gentleman, . He has everything you’re looking for and I’m sure he’ll be the dream guy of many many girls who’ll read this book. Oh and yes, he cooks! And he falls in line for so long just to get you the yummiest BLT in town. Ain’t that a keeper?
All My Life tackled A LOT of issues and while being a quick read, nothing (except the bit at the end) felt rushed. Rucy Ban has written characters with depth and small conflict arcs coupled with an overarching one. The conflicts were believable and convincing and you’ll certainly get invested in Kari’s life and her relationship with Neil. Side characters also get some of their own stories and it was such an amazing feat because aside from the ending, the pacing was great. Every scene was pertinent to the plot, giving the novel such a satisfying quality to it. It delved on family, blackmail, sickness and fame among others. Topics you wouldn’t see jammed together but Rucy Ban has successfully made it work.
Rucy Ban also wrote such beautiful scenes and her imagery while fun to read, resonates. It reads true, sounds true and feels true. I found myself nodding at a lot of lines, similies and metaphors. So many sweet lines I’m sure people on Tumblr will love to make into graphics. Here’s a kinda funny excerpt but just as true.
I think that’s why people often compare love to drugs. It’s like a perpetually unfurling, growing yearning. The more you taste it, the more you crave it…wait a second…taste?! Oh my God! My pasta!
Case in point! She compares love to drugs and uses words such as “unfurling”. I love it. But that leads to Kari remembering how she’s cooking some pasta and that it’s probably overcooked by now. Don’t our thoughts just flow like that? I also like that about how All My Life was written because we can totally read about Kari’s thoughts and we can see her thought process. Rucy Ban injects some musings and deep thoughts into the scenes and ends it in a fun way which makes All My Life not too serious that you’ll just cringe at how serious it takes itself.
All My Life is a must-read for all new adult fans and for anyone who wants a fresh romance novel with equal parts swoon and steam. I had such a great time reading this as it was engaging and enjoyable. Rucy Ban, I am certainly excited for your future novels!