Friday, April 7, 2017

Review: The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares

Publication Date: April 25th, 2017
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance 
Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ Book Depository 

Synopsis: Summer for Sasha and Ray means the sprawling old house on Long Island. Since they were children, they’ve shared almost everything—reading the same books, running down the same sandy footpaths to the beach, eating peaches from the same market, laughing around the same sun-soaked dining table. Even sleeping in the same bed, on the very same worn cotton sheets. But they’ve never met.

Sasha’s dad was once married to Ray’s mom, and together they had three daughters: Emma, the perfectionist; Mattie, the beauty; and Quinn, the favorite. But the marriage crumbled and the bitterness lingered. Now there are two new families—and neither one will give up the beach house that holds the memories, happy and sad, of summers past.

The choices we make come back to haunt us; the effect on our destinies ripples out of our control…or does it? This summer, the lives of Sasha, Ray, and their siblings intersect in ways none of them ever dreamed, in a novel about family relationships, keeping secrets, and most of all, love.

My Rating
3/5 stars

My Review
The Whole Thing Together is a cute summer story about a dysfunctional family trying to come together. Sasha and Ray share the same sisters, the same room at the family's beach house, and the same summer job. As they are not related and their parents (who were once married) cannot stand each other, Sasha and Ray have never met, at least not before this summer. 

This book was really good in some aspects, and really bad in others. I really wanted to like this book more than I did, but I just couldn't bring myself to love it.

Even though it is mentioned multiple times in the book that Ray and Sasha are not related whatsoever, their relationship just felt wrong. I can't see the two characters having a romantic future together and the whole romance was just unnecessary. Most of the scenes when they're together were just cringe worthy to me, I would have enjoyed the book much more if they tried to be friends instead. 

What I loved reading about was the lives of the three older sisters that Sasha and Ray share. This book is written in third person, and is told in the point of view from the three sisters as well as Sasha and Ray, this made me really confused and I couldn't tell which character was which at the beginning. Near the middle of the book when each sister had her own story to tell I was much more impressed with the book. I absolutely loved Emma and Mattie's part of the story, this made the whole book for me and made me want to keep reading. The rest of the family, I didn't really care about. 

One of the main things I had a problem with, was the author taking the easy way out in her writing. There were no huge surprises, and the one "surprise" the author tried to include was a complete tragedy, I mean, anyone with a basic genetic background can tell that an full Indian man would never have a child with blonde hair and blue eyes. The story was very short, and a lot of things werent explained clearly, the whole book felt a bit rushed. And lastly, the thing that pissed me off the most was the Dad's backstory. The author tries to introduce multiculturalism into the book by including the Indian culture into the book, but I'm assuming that the research was much too hard on the author since she just gave the guy white American parents to make it easier. We barely hear anything about the culture, and when we do, its the basics that are common to mostly anyone.

I would recommend giving this book a read during the summer if you love these types of contemporary books, but I would suggest you take it out of the library or borrow it from a friend, its not exactly a book I would willingly spend money on.

Happy Reading,
Aneta

4 comments:

  1. Hmmmm... I have been seeing a lot of mixed reviews on this one. I really like Ann Brashares and I was really hoping this would be a return to form for her after a few rough books in recent years. I'm glad you didn't hate it but sad to hear it wasn't great.
    Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know. I'm not sure if everyone just has high expectations from this author or has she just stopped caring about her writing? Either way this book wasn't the best.
      Thanks so much for the lovely comment.

      Delete

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