Saturday, June 3, 2017

Book Review: The Party

Title The Party
Author Robyn Harding
Release Date June 6, 2017

In this stunning and provocative domestic drama about a sweet sixteen birthday party that goes horribly awry, a wealthy family in San Francisco finds their picture-perfect life unraveling, their darkest secrets revealed, and their friends turned to enemies.

One invitation. A lifetime of regrets.

Sweet sixteen. It’s an exciting coming of age, a milestone, and a rite of passage. Jeff and Kim Sanders plan on throwing a party for their daughter, Hannah—a sweet girl with good grades and nice friends. Rather than an extravagant, indulgent affair, they invite four girls over for pizza, cake, movies, and a sleepover. What could possibly go wrong?

But things do go wrong, horrifically so. After a tragic accident occurs, Jeff and Kim’s flawless life in a wealthy San Francisco suburb suddenly begins to come apart. In the ugly aftermath, friends become enemies, dark secrets are revealed in the Sanders’ marriage, and the truth about their perfect daughter, Hannah, is exposed.

Harkening to Herman Koch’s The Dinner, Christos Tsiolkas’s The Slap, and Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies, The Party takes us behind the fa├žade of the picture-perfect family, exposing the lies, betrayals, and moral lapses that neighbors don’t see—and the secrets that children and parents keep from themselves and each other.

I've seen this recommended to fans of Big Little Lies a few times. I still haven't gotten around to reading it yet, but if it's anything like The Party, I think I'll enjoy it.

The Party sucked me in from the very beginning. It's a compulsively readable book and hard to put down. It was exactly what I needed to pull myself from the reading slump I was in.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book until the very end. I had questions throughout the novel regarding whether or not we were dealing with an unreliable narrator or if we were getting the whole story. The ending doesn't answer that and left me feeling a bit disappointed.

Which account of that night's events are real? I'd like to believe that Hannah is telling the truth when she texted Sarah the end of the book, but I don't believe she is. The fact that she seems to be doing it solely to become popular again (and take down Lauren) was a bit disappointing. I really would have liked it to be more of a case of unreliable narrator where Lauren did push Ronni and the ending was expanded to accommodate that.


4 out of 5 stars

* This book was received from Galley/Scout Press via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. *

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