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Mim knows what she wants, and where she wants to go—anywhere but home, stuck in the suburbs with her mother who won’t get off the couch, and two brothers in prison.
She’s set herself rules to live by, but she’s starting to break them.
Now Mim has to retrieve a lost package for her mother. Does this make her a drug runner? Why is a monster dog called Gargoyle hidden in the back shed? And Jordan, the boy she sent Valentines to for years, why is he now suddenly a creep? How come there’s a huge gap between her and her best friend, Tahnee? And who is the mysterious girl next door who moans at night?
Over the nine days before her seventeenth birthday, Mim’s life turns upside down. She has problems, and she’s determined to solve them herself. But in the end, she works out who her people are, and the same things look entirely different.
Read the Readings Q&A with Vikki here.
‘I read this novel in one gulp, loving every moment of the narrator’s voice and the strangeness of her impoverished life…Though Mim makes mistakes, and plenty of them, this novel contains none. All I Ever Wanted is a brilliant coming-of-age novel.’ Five stars.
‘This is one of the most memorable YA books I’ve ever read. The voice is original, the characters are real, the language is startling and beautiful. And the plot keeps you trapped till the dangerous but hopeful end.’
‘One of the best debut novels I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Vikki Wakefield has gifted the Australian Publishing world, and readers of Young Adult Fiction, a superior tale, full to brimming with formidable characters and an exquisite protagonist. Her ability to sculpt full flesh and blood characters, with only words, ensures she will quickly be placed snug among the ranks of those we already know to expect much from, the likes of Cath Crowley, Melina Marchetta, Leanne Hall, Fiona Wood and Tim Pegler, for their talent to makes us love their characters.’
‘While it’s both a thriller and a gritty romance, for me All I Ever Wanted is first and foremost a sparkling journey into hope. As the story drives toward its surprising conclusion, we’re left as stunned as Mim as she discovers “that there are so many ways to tell a person you love them.” I loved this book.’
‘[An] absorbing young adult novel…Despite the grim setting, the characters are richly and lovingly drawn with smart-mouthed, determined Mim a particular delight. At the core of the book is the idea that things (and people) are not what they seem. It’s nothing new as a concept, but it’s executed with winningly original style, wit and heart. Think Underbelly meets Hating Alison Ashley.‘
‘Vikki Wakefield’s first novel walks the tightrope between fate and human agency. Despair is leavened by shards of hope; this is not Young Adult literature that peddles misery or wallows in a nihilistic fug. Mim is one of those resilient protagonists who still wields a degree of control over her life….Like her protagonist, Wakefield plays with the reader’s prejudices. Little by little, the restrictive labels forced on various characters are seen to be products of convenience or carelessness, rather than truth….All I Ever Wanted is a thoughtful and impressive début, and Wakefield a talent to watch.’
‘A beautifully-written account of one young girl trying to claw her way out of the circumstances into which she was born…It’s a story about daring to dream and the transformative power of hope.’