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.
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The Party was our in person book club choice for October. Out of 6 women, the average rating was about a 2.5 out of 5, where no one loved it, but no one completely hated it. I rated it on the higher end because it was a book that I couldn’t put down. It was a super easy read, which I flew through in 2 sittings.
The novel takes place during and after a sweet sixteen party goes horribly wrong. All of the characters are very unlikable, especially 16 year old birthday girl Hannah and her mother, Kim. You get both the thoughts of Hannah and Kim and oh boy you just wanted to shake some sense into them. You also get the thoughts of Jeff (Kim’s husband) and Lisa (a mother of one of Hannah’s friends) and they weren’t much better. A lot of selfish characters who just wanted to defend themselves.
I was super disappointed with the ending of the novel. It just ended. I wanted so much more. It’s hard to explain without getting into spoilers, but it seemed like the author didn’t want to choose a side and just kind of threw her hands up and boom the novel is done.
3 calculators out of a potential 5. I liked that the novel told both sides of the story and had you wanting to pick a side. Unfortunately, with the unlikable characters and failure of an ending, it was a let down.