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All That Was
Cover of All That Was
All That Was
A Novel
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Two best friends. The boy who loves them both. What happens when there is only one girl left?Piper and Sloane are best friends. They grew up together, dress alike, and never do anything without each...
Two best friends. The boy who loves them both. What happens when there is only one girl left?Piper and Sloane are best friends. They grew up together, dress alike, and never do anything without each...
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  • Two best friends. The boy who loves them both. What happens when there is only one girl left?

    Piper and Sloane are best friends. They grew up together, dress alike, and never do anything without each other. To Sloane, Piper has always been extraordinary: fierce and pretty and powerful. The only thing that makes Sloane special is that Piper chose her for a sisterhood that was supposed to last forever. That is, until Piper caught Sloane kissing Piper's boyfriend, Soup—and the next day, Piper is found dead, washed ashore on a beach.
    As Sloane and Soup relive their deep, sometimes painful histories with Piper and face a future without her, they are racked by questions: Who is to blame for Piper's death? How do you make amends for hurting someone you love if that person is no longer around? And how can you ever move on and love again? Told from alternating perspectives in Karen Rivers's signature lyrical prose, All That Was is a story about the complexity of friendships, forgiveness, and growing up.

About the Author-

  • Karen Rivers is the author of many award-winning books for children and teens, including The Girl in the Well Is Me. She lives in Victoria, BC, with her children.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 23, 2017
    Ever since they became best friends in preschool, Sloane and Piper have been two peas in a pod, dressing alike, fixing their hair the same way, and doing everything together. But now Piper is dead and Sloane believes that she is to blame. In this gripping novel, the events leading up to Piper’s death are vividly and painfully replayed in the minds of Sloane and Piper’s boyfriend, Soup. A sinister undercurrent permeates the story, hinting that the friendship between the girls’ wasn’t quite what it appeared on its surface. There were times that Piper was too dependent on Sloane and times that Sloane failed to break free from Piper, even after Piper started dating Soup (whom Sloane loved) and pushed Sloane into a relationship with a boy—a man, really—whom Sloane couldn’t stand. Although Rivers (Before We Go Extinct) leaves some questions unanswered, Sloane and Soup realize some important truths about the past and present as they tentatively reach out to each other. Ages 12–up. Agent: Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary.

  • Kirkus

    November 15, 2017
    Sloane's grief over the murder of her best friend, Piper, is complicated by the rifts that had recently been developing in their friendship.With coordinated looks, joint post-graduation plans, and a vow to never be separated by boy drama, Piper and Sloane are blonde, white, well-to-do high school seniors who epitomize best friendship. Dynamic Piper can be demanding, but Sloane mostly views these moments as simply the cost of their friendship. Until Piper suddenly snags Sloane's longtime crush, Soup (painfully nicknamed by a teacher for being "a mix of every race anyone could even name"), as her boyfriend. Inwardly seething, Sloane sometimes almost hates Piper. Seemingly oblivious, Piper has sex with Soup and then determines that maintaining friendship synchronicity requires Sloane to also have sex. Sloane's acceptance of the bizarre ultimatum leads to disaster. Saving the plot from sliding into melodrama is Sloane's razor-sharp narration, which unsparingly reveals both her dependence on Piper and her growing awareness of Piper's occasionally predatory nature. The resulting fascinating character study resists easy explanations of how the girls both adore and harm each other in nearly equal measures. And the layered plotting, in which key moments seem to spiral toward one another through the disjointed timeline, adds intriguing complexity. Issues of race and class arise, but the girls' relationship remains the central conflict.Emotionally dark and keenly observant, perfect for fans of E. Lockhart's We Were Liars (2014). (Fiction. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    December 1, 2017

    Gr 10 Up-Sloane and Piper have always been Sloane-and-Piper: they dress alike and they do everything together, and they always have. Now that they are 17, something is changing. Piper touches her tongue to her lip and flirts with strange men while Sloane continues to stay true to their shared oath: The No-Boyfriend Rule. Piper hooks up with Soup, a boy that Sloane has had a crush on since fourth grade. Piper becomes a woman and cuts off her hair and now it's Sloane's turn, but Sloane isn't ready. Facing increasing pressure from her best and only friend, Sloane hooks up with a guy that Piper introduces her to and has to face the consequences of her actions. How can Sloane still be Sloane-and-Piper when Piper has turned into Piper-and-Soup? How can Sloane live with herself when she still has a crush on Soup? How can Sloane and Soup go on after Piper is killed and her body washes up on the shore? In this long, meandering, and often confusing novel, three teens suffer through the pains of growing up and finding themselves. The central relationship in the novel, Piper and Sloane's, feels toxic, codependent, and self-destructive. Sloane's internal dialogue is rambling, exhausting, and puerile. In the few short chapters told from Soup's point of view, it is difficult to distinguish his voice from Sloane's. The final result is a pseudo-literary novel replete with straw feminism, glorified mental disorders, and privileged teen characters who will push readers away rather than draw them in. VERDICT Skip this one.-Ashley Fetterolf, Indian Creek Upper School, Crownsville, MD

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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