The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares
Published April 25, 2017 by Delacorte Press
Genres YA, Contemporary, Romance
We live in the same place, but never together.
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.
I had high hopes for this book because I really did enjoy the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series and The Last Summer by Brashares, but this book was a bit disappointing. I found the whole family situation to be a bit confusing and kept having to look at the chart in the front of the book to figure out which child belonged to who. The book is told from several perspectives and I just really didn’t enjoy Ray as a character. Maybe because it is a bit more difficult for me to identify with writing from a teenage boy’s perspective. I also don’t really enjoy most contemporary books but when it is by an author I like, I will usually read it. The first half of the book felt like your typical contemporary YA romance and that was fine, I just never really got invested in the characters or the story. Then I felt like the story shifted away from the YA to more contemporary where the focus on family issues and tragedy. I do enjoy Ann Brashares writing and the synopsis of this book sounded really interesting to me but then just kind of fell flat. I do recommend her other books if you have never read them, definitely check them out.
Thank you to the publisher for sending me a finished copy of this book.