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Review and Giveaway: All Things Different by Shawn Underhill

All Things Different

All Things Different by Shawn Underhill

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“I know that the night is not that same as the day: that all things are different, that the things of the night cannot be explained in the day, because they do not then exist.”
~ Ernest Hemingway
Late in the summer of 2005, starkly independent Jake Thornton was on the verge of turning 16, expecting little more than his driver’s license in the fall, and the continuance of the quiet life shared with his father. So when 14-almost-15 year old Sara moved in next door and began vying for his father’s attention, Jake wasn’t exactly thrilled, and couldn’t quite understand his father’s motives for allowing it. But certainly he never anticipated the dramatic shift their lives would take as a result.

As the summer fades and autumn takes over, friendship between the two teenagers begins blossoming into a bond, until fate steps in once more, threatening to tear them apart as quickly as they’ve come together. The decisions that follow, and the emotive tale that results, opens Jake’s eyes to the simple yet life altering truth, a truth that Sara has understood all along: that love—not the feeling but the action—is the most powerful force in the world.


Outside I headed straight to the shop. In passing I saw a thin mist rising from the lake. My heart was beating nicely. I gathered the fishing gear while Dad turned over the boat and put the floats in place before the seats. I was cold but warm inside and very excited, hurrying to the point where I was getting clumsy in my cold-fingered excitement.

I stepped out the side door of the shop with my hands full of gear and my head full of early-morning promise. Then I stopped dead in my tracks. Sara was there. She’d gotten to my old man while I was inside. I hadn’t heard her over the commotion, but there she was, sure as hell, with my father helping her fasten a life vest over a yellow sweatshirt. I watched for a moment, taking slow, deep breaths.

“Hi, Jake,” she said as I neared them, smiling in bright-eyed, tight-lipped triumph. Her hood was up with the strings drawn, and her head was partially immobilized due to the bulky, ugly orange life vest.

I said nothing and dropped the poles and tackle box into the center of the boat. The tackle box gave a semi-satisfying thud against the bottom. Sara jumped slightly.

“Here,” Dad said, ignoring me. Leaning before her, he pulled the hood strings a little snugger. “You don’t want that cold wind in your ears, where you’re not used to it. Once it warms up, you won’t need it anymore.”

“Thanks,” Sara said, smiling very big.

“We don’t have another pole,” I said. “The reel on the spare is broken.”

“She’ll use mine,” Dad said.

I climbed into the bow and took my seat facing forward. At the time I would’ve bet a thousand bucks that she was making faces behind my back. Ha-ha, I won!


I am not really sure what I was expecting when I first started reading All Things Different. I know I never thought my heart would break for these characters as all of their lives changed that first summer.

Jake is a normal but really grounded 16 year old boy who lives a quiet life of fishing, swimming and helping his dad. He never expected his dad to let a single mom and her daughter move into the cabin next door. Soon after he meets Sara and starts to get to know her, he realizes that for some people life is far from perfect.

I have to say several times the plot totally took me by surprise. I cried and smiled along with Sara, Jake and his dad. All Things Different is an emotional YA journey of love and family that I think anyone will enjoy.

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*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*

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