I was really looking forward to this book as I have fond memories of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. I figured if anyone could pull off a multi-POV mad house of characters, it was likely Ann Brashares. And to a point, I think she does. But to the same point, I think it got away from her and resulted in a confusing, twisted mass of characters without much of a plot.
I can forgive a lot of things that other reviewers have pointed out as negatives in that… not everyone’s life fits into a perfect box. Not everyone’s life is free of criticism, body-shaming, racism, negativity, and immature adults. I can understand why you maybe don’t want to read books with those types of things, but highlighting them in certain ways to raise awareness or to add an element of realism to their lives seems okay at times. I didn’t like it. But I can understand why those threads are in the story. I found most of the characters to be very annoying, but I have to think about it the way I think about other people I have met… no one’s life is perfect.
So that’s what this book was to me. A bunch of relationships that felt like people I have met at one point or another, that I then put my hands up in peace, and retreated away from, and told them I’d be waiting for them to call me when they figure out their life. These people at are such a messy point, you just hope everything turns out okay on the other side.
The setup with the house and alternating weeks, etc, is all a little unbelievable. So there’s that. And while there were some good moments, and the tragedy was intriguing and lended some much needed perspective and heart, overall this book was not for me at all. It was okay.
Note: Thank you to NetGalley and Delacorte Press / Random House for this e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. The Whole Thing Together is available on April 25, 2017.