Tag Archives: Teens

Review: The Party

The Paty

The Party
By Robyn Harding
Gallery/Scout Press, Hardcover, 9781501161247, June 2017, 352pp.

The Short of It:

After just a few paragraphs I found myself completely absorbed by this story of a sleepover gone wrong.

The Rest of It:

Jeff and Kim Sanders host a sweet sixteen party for their daughter Hannah. They open their beautiful home to Hannah’s closest friends, pick-up her favorite cake and make it clear that boys, drugs & alcohol will not be tolerated.

What do you think happens?

As you can guess, something horrible happens and now Jeff and Kim Sanders, perfect in every way, find themselves trying to prove their innocence to the police as well as the parents and children involved. This blemish on Kim’s otherwise perfect reputation is enough to do her in. Then there’s Jeff, who is keeping a secret from her. Hannah is no saint either and forced to choose between popularity and cruelty.

There is a lot going on in this story but it’s SO good. You’ve got the whole “perfect” thing going on with Kim and Jeff but they are far from perfect. The other parents have their issues too and the kids…oh, the kids… their loyalty to each other changes with the weather. People are in. People are out. There are lies and secrets and lots of self-analysis going on. Oh, not to mention the denial!! I could not turn the pages fast enough.

These characters are complex and very well-developed and even though some of them do horrible things, you still feel something for them because the author just pulls it out of you. This book was read while making spaghetti and doing laundry because putting it down wasn’t an option. Plus, the events detailed in this story could literally happen to anyone which makes it all the more readable.

If you want a fast-paced domestic drama then you can’t go wrong with The Party.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: Cold Light

Cold Light

Cold Light
By Jenn Ashworth
(William Morrow & Company, Paperback, 9780062076038, October 2012, 352pp.)

The Short of It:

As the title suggests, the light that falls upon these characters is a harsh, unrelenting light. It seeps in where it’s not welcome and leaves its chilling aftermath behind.

The Rest of It:

It has taken me WEEKS to write this review. Not to actually write it, but to ponder WHAT I’d actually write about once I finally sat down to do it. It’s not that it was a difficult book to read. It wasn’t. It’s not that I couldn’t get into the characters, because I did. I think it had to do with the fact that when I finished it, I was like…”Hmmm. Interesting.” Then a week later, I was like…”Hmmm. It was so dark!” Then each day after that, I continued to think about it and it dawned on me, that what I thought was a book that fell into the YA category, really wasn’t that at all.

That made me ponder it some more.

There are no likable characters to speak of. No one in the book would ever be my friend. Lola is like any other fourteen-year-old in that she wants to fit in and when she hooks up with Chloe, she finds that niche, that “in” if you will. Chloe is pretty and popular and really, very into herself. She is the classic bad girl. She drinks and smokes and steals things and she gets Lola to do the same. But it’s obvious from the beginning that Lola has a lot going on in her head. Her family is dysfunctional and her dad, although too smart for his britches has some issues, as well as her mother.

After Chloe hooks up with a real loser of a guy, things begin to go downhill for Lola. She’s not Chloe’s center anymore and often takes a backseat to Chloe’s boyfriend but when something happens to Chloe and her boyfriend, the town paints a very different picture of the girl Lola knew.

Ten years later, when the town decides to build a monument in Chloe’s honor, Lola finds herself revisiting her past and what really happened that fateful night.

Cold Light is a quiet mystery that hits you over the head long after you’ve closed the book. It took awhile for me to digest the ending but after much thought, the ending was perfect and quite fitting given what I knew about the characters. I know that getting hit over the head does not sound like a good thing but for me, it was. It was a departure from what I expected it to be and I am always impressed when a book surprises me in some way.

Ashworth does a beautiful job of capturing just how obsessive teenage friendships can be without preaching about the dangers of mixing with the wrong crowd. It’s suspenseful and well-paced and not necessarily for the YA crowd although I can see them reading it as well.

Source: Sent to me by the publisher via Edelweiss.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.