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Extended Audio Sample Everything We Ever Wanted: A Novel, by Sara Shepard Click for printable size audiobook cover
2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 2.00 (469 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sara Shepard Narrator: Coleen Marlo Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A recently widowed mother of two, Sylvie Bates-McAllister finds her life upended by a late-night phone call from the headmaster of the prestigious private school founded by her grandfather where her adopted son Scott teaches. Allegations of Scott’s involvement in a hazing scandal cause a ripple effect, throwing the entire family into chaos. For Charles, Sylvie’s biological son, it dredges up a ghost from the past that is suddenly painfully present. For his wife Joanna, it forces her to reevaluate everything she has hoped for in the golden Bates-McAllisters. And for Scott, it illuminates harsh truths about a world he has never truly felt himself a part of.

But for all the Bates-McAllisters, the call exposes a tangled web of secrets that ties the family together: the mystery of the school hazing, the event that tore Charles and Scott apart the night of their high school awards ceremony, and the intended recipient of a certain bracelet. The quest to unravel the truth takes the family on individual journeys across state lines, into hospitals, through the Pennsylvania woods, and face-to-face with the long-dormant question: What if the life you always planned for and dreamed of isn’t what you want after all?

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Sara Shepard delivers the perfect read…A delicious story loaded with mysterious twists and turns and a vault of secrets that will keep you turning pages long into the night. Sara is a brilliant storyteller.”

    Adrian Trigiani, New York Times bestselling author of The Shoemaker’s Wife

  • “With unflinching honesty and unstinting compassion, Sara Shepard tells the story of a proud family who, with the best intentions, must face the hypocrisy of the past or lose any hope for saving the future.”

    Jacquelyn Mitchard, New York Times bestselling author of The Deep End of the Ocean

  • “[An] expertly rendered novel of family dysfunction…As Shepard moves through time and shifts between the perspectives of her main characters, the inner lives of the Bates-McAllisters resonate more than the actual plot. Readers will respond as this family grapples with their many long-held secrets.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Explores the complexity of family dynamics and heritage…Shepard delves deeply into the differing emotions and moods aroused by family conflict.”


  • “The strings are so tightly laced around this family that they are bound to break—when they do, old secrets reap surprising results…Shepard has crafted a fine characters study on the repressed lives of the American elite.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “This riveting, provocative, and well-crafted family drama surprised and delivered at every turn. I could not put it down.”

    Sarah Mlynowski, author of Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn’t Have)

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Hillary Peters | 2/18/2014

    " I love Sara Shepard's Pretty Little Liars series, the "Everything We Ever Wanted" was disappointing because of her writing and not what I thought it would be. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Brian | 2/3/2014

    " I started off really liking this book. I never got into pretty little liars but I was willing to give ms Shepard a chance on her adult book. The premise is that a coach has a student commit suicide and hazing is suspected. Did Scott know about it? This book had very unlikable characters and a plot that is pretty pointless. I enjoyed the first 150 pages and found it to never go anywhere. I had 30 pages left and was still waiting for the plot to get better. It never did "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Holly | 1/31/2014

    " Another semi-depressing story with complicated family issues & drama. I think I should just stock to the PLL & Lying Games series by Shepard. Those books live up to my expectations & keep me wanting to read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Wendy | 1/28/2014

    " Sara Shepard, author of the YA Pretty Little Liars Novels, tries her hand at an adult novel "Everything We Ever Wanted." In my opinion, she needs to stick with what she does best. This novel fell flat and was a very frustrating predictable read. Sylvie is a recently widowed mother of two who receives a late night phone call from the head master of the private school that her grandfather owns. One of the wrestlers is found dead succumbed to what looks like a form of hazing. They think that her son Scott is involved somehow. This event throws everything Sylvie knows into chaos breaking social bearers. Overall, just an okay read for me. Received courtesy of Net Galley. 2 1/2 stars. "

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About the Author
Author Sara Shepard

Sara Shepard is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Pretty Little Liars series. Her first story ever, which she both wrote and illustrated, was about friendly yellow creatures that lived in a backyard garden. It won second prize at the State College, Pennsylvania, library and was bound and placed on the shelf. Shepard and her sister, Alison, have been creating many joint creative projects for years—claymation movies, art installations, and video game designs—based on a world they made up when they were six and nine years old. They’re pretty sure they’re the only ones who find the world funny, though.