The lowdown from Goodreads
In this stunning and provocative domestic drama about a sweet sixteen birthday party that goes horribly awry, a wealthy family in San Francisco finds their picture-perfect life unraveling, their darkest secrets revealed, and their friends turned to enemies.
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.
Harkening to Herman Koch’s The Dinner, Christos Tsiolkas’s The Slap, and Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies, The Party takes us behind the façade of the picture-perfect family, exposing the lies, betrayals, and moral lapses that neighbors don’t see—and the secrets that children and parents keep from themselves and each other.
I was Really looking forward to reading The Party. The premise is right up my alley; I love books where secrets are exposed, values are tested, altercations occur & I already know the gist of the climax- that way, I know what I’m getting Into.
I read The Party in one day & it’s a good summer read. I loved how Robyn told the story of The Party through the eyes of a few different characters; I felt it added some depth to the story. I’ll be honest, there were parts of this book that were hard to read. These are not the most likable characters & these high school girls are awful! Drugs, sex, lies, manipulation, a law suit & more. These characters were a challenge to connect with & even more of a challenge to root for.
I’ve heard The Party likened to my homegirl Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies, but I didn’t think there were many similarities. Robin’s characters carry sadness & a bit more weight around than Liane’s. The cast of The Party is a messed up bunch of folks, more similar to Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney’s The Nest.
While The Party was a good read, it didn’t stick with me. There were parts I just didn’t buy, parts that made me roll my eyes & the ending wrapped up really quickly. I re-read the last bit twice & it left me with a furrowed brow, confused & frustrated. When I give my time to a book, I don’t like guessing at the end. I could see why someone could be Really Into This book, but it just wasn’t for me.