The Party by Robyn Harding
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
If you want to read about domestic drama with some extremely unlikeable evil teenagers and rich selfish adults, that's not a thriller in reality, than this is the book for you. We follow Hannah, who's planning to go wild on her Sweet 16 birthday party, but she doesn't want to seem "uncool" next to all of her "cool" friends, so she starts doing things against the rules of the law and her parents. Needless to say, there is a serious injury that will change their lives forever, and make this party one of dark memories and regrets.
The story is told from four POVs, which I thought was necessary because this family doesn't know how to communicate with eachother and they each hold and hide their own secrets. There's Hannah, her parents (Kim and Jeff), and one of the mother's of a daughter that was at the party.
Kim Sanders is a very strict and hands-on mother, who stays at home, and is very involved in her children's lives. She thinks that she has the most well-behaved rule-abiding children in town, even though she fails to recognize that her two teenager's are growing up and growing apart from the way in which she has led them their whole lives. Her eighteen year old marriage with her husband is falling apart, in which she feels like she needs to treat Jeff like a child after last years unspoken "incident". Even Hannah and her brother notice the tension within their loveless relationship.
Hannah is a sophomore, pushing herself up to the ranks of the popular girls, which includes the controlling Lauren Ross, and her childhood best friend Ronni Monroe. As she explores her various relationships, like that with her new boyfriend Noah, she gets stuck in knowing what's right and wrong and actually doing the right or wrong thing in various situations.
When the party starts in the early evening, the girl seems to be having "clean" fun, gossiping about their classmates, eating pizza, watching their favorite movies, playing some fun games. At least, that's Hannah's parents think they're doing, until Hannah comes upstairs with blood on her hands, crying and screaming at her parents to do something, to help them. It becomes a question of "what actually happened that night?" which is the repeating question that we (as readers) are trying to piece together.
The plot was entertaining, I breezed through this book in one sitting, however the substance was a trainwreck, and the ending was ultimately a letdown, from all the action and buildup that was going on. Sure, there was a clear resolution, just not the type of climax that I was expecting to happen, which is what sorely dissappointed me.
**Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.**
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