The Whole Thing Together
Author: Ann Brashares
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: April 25th, 2017
Source: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review – Thank you!
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.
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I am probably the only person who hasn’t read The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series (seriously, never read it – don’t know why, either), but when I got the invitation to read and review Ann Brashares’s newest novel, The Whole Thing Together, I jumped on it, because I have heard nothing but amazing things about her books.
When I first started reading The Whole Thing Together, I’m not going to lie – I was kind of overwhelmed with all of the names and characters in the book, especially when it came down to remembering which character was a part of which family (as the parents for some of the characters were divorced and had married others, and had more kids, etc.). It was a bit rough, but there’s a family tree in the beginning of the book that was incredibly helpful in remembering. I highly recommend bookmarking this page when reading the book so that you can keep track, at least at first, until you remember who is who.
While I found myself not really caring about some of the characters in this book, I absolutely loved the two main ones – Ray and Sasha. It was interesting to see how their lives intertwined without actually ever meeting – they traded the cabin every other week, meaning Ray’s family would stay there one week and Sasha’s the next, and the two of them essentially shared the same room, and had since they were kids. It was cute to see how they kind of grew up together, and more or less called each other imaginary friends – for example, they built a Lego city together, each one of them adding something to the city every week and surprising the other with what they built. I honestly haven’t read anything like this, and I loved the fact that it was not only so different, but so touching as well.
I absolutely love how much emphasis is put on family in this novel – I always find myself drawn to books that feature strong family bonds and relationships over everything else. This book might have a lot of characters and a lot of family relationships going on, but it’s so worth getting to know the families in this book.
This book would be a perfect summer read for pretty much everyone – and it’s coming out right in time for the summer season, so you need to pick a copy of this one up, even if you aren’t familiar with Ann Brashares’s writing (like me)!
About the Author
Ann Brashares is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, The Here and Now,
3 Willows, The Last Summer (of You & Me), and My Name Is Memory. She lives in New York City with her family. Visit Ann’s website at AnnBrashares.com and follow on Twitter @AnnBrashares.
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I haven’t read The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, either! I have been so excited to read this book and I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed it so much. I love a book that has family at the heart of it as well. I will be definitely looking forward to this one in my summer TBR. 🙂
Olivia @ The Candid Cover recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday #98: Dear Reader by Mary O’Connell
Yay, so g lad to hear that you’re excited for this one! I’m also kind of happy to hear that I’m not the only one who hasn’t read The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants! If you love family in your books, this one is going to be a great read for you!
I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed this book. I saw it on Netgalley the other day and was thinking about requesting it because I love books that focus on family relationships. Wonderful review!
Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra recently posted…Blogiversary Giveaway # 1: Hardcover Copy of The Hate U Give
Thanks so much! If you like books that have a strong family focus, this one is definitely for you. If you get a chance to read it, I really hope you enjoy it! Thanks for stopping by!