Thanks to NetGalley and Gallery/Scout for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: Available Now
Synopsis: 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.
The Party is a fairly decent read, but for me it played out like a Lifetime movie of the week with lots of angst and drama, but surprisingly little in the way of excitement or suspense.
My main issue was that I just didn’t like any of the characters. The teens were your stereotypical mean girls, or in Hannah’s case, an eager to please follower who cares only about ascending the social ladder. The adults were completely self-absorbed and insipid, and were more concerned with bemoaning how what happens directly effects them, then doing what’s right.
The story itself is more suspenseful in the events leading up to the accident. Unfortunately this only makes for less than a 1/4 of the book. After that, the intensity peeters out somewhat and this is made worse by the overwhelming focus on high school politics and lawsuits.
The Party isn’t a horrible book. It was just a little too “meh” for me to truly enjoy it. It surprisingly had little tension or suspense, and there’s no psychological insight into its characters, which made it impossible for me to get really invested in the story, The book has received some positive reviews, and I think if you’re a fan of family drama, you may want to try this. But if you’re looking for a suspense/thriller with a climactic ending, you might wind up being disappointed as I was.