Title: The Party
Author: Robyn Harding
Genre: Contemporary Mystery
About the book: It’s a standalone novel about a sweet sixteen birthday party gone wrong. (What party doesn’t when there’s alcohol involved?) At first, I thought the story could be a thriller, but the novel has more drama than suspense. I received a copy from a giveaway on Goodreads.
First impressions: The pretty cover made me excited to read the words inside. Prior to starting it, I saw good reviews, and the novel seemed like something I would enjoy. The story starts off promising, sets up the book to end on a bang, which it didn’t in my opinion. More on this later.
Characters: Everyone with a large, important role is flawed in some way. They aren’t all that likeable either. Obviously, readers are supposed to root for the female protagonist, Hannah, and not the typical bad girl. But she didn’t win me over. I’m all for imperfect characters, but I didn’t find myself in their corner, cheering them on. I mostly felt bad for the girl who gets hurt. At least, readers in high school might relate to the characters as most of them are teenagers in school.
“I don’t conform to traditional standards of happiness.”
Writing: The book is well written technically. I’m a fan of good grammar and spelling. Even though the plot didn’t exactly play out how I expected, I don’t have a problem with the pacing. While the book isn’t very long or short, I found the ending to be quick, almost too abrupt for my liking.
There’s a lot of relationship drama that goes down after the party. Secrets revealed. Lies told. Truths exposed.
Final thoughts: Overall, I formed a prediction of what I thought happened at the party, and I kept turning the pages because I wanted to know the real truth.
I’m a fan of the premise, less so the execution of the ending. It left some questions unresolved. The last chapter almost lends itself to the beginning of another story. Perhaps this is the author’s intention. I guess I wanted greater closure, but I realize it’s tough for all the characters to move on after their lives change so drastically because of one night.
I like the book enough that I wouldn’t mind reading some of Harding’s other works, but I can see why people might have issues with this particular novel. I would still recommend it to younger audiences especially. I think parents with kids, specifically teens, might take something away from the story as well. If you’re looking for a light, end of the summer read, check out The Party.
As always, I’d love to hear what you think. Let’s talk!
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