Author: Robyn Harding
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Canada
Genre/Themes: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
Release Date: June 6th 2017
Page Count: 352
*Disclaimer: An ARC of The Party by Robyn Harding was provided to me by Simon & Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.
When I first read the synopsis for The Party by Robyn Harding, I immediately thought that this would be the book for me! I absolutely love thrillers/suspense novels, but The Party seemed to have less of a dark undertone and instead had more of a drama undertone. I had never read anything by Robyn Harding before, so I was really excited to potentially discover a new thriller/suspense writer that I could add to my favourites list!
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.
What I Liked
The pace. The Party began with a great start. Right from the beginning, I was hooked. The story grabbed me and it continued to move at a fast paced throughout the majority of the story. I love when the questions that I have while reading a suspense/thriller novel are answered quickly, but not all at once. I love a story that unravels itself, and The Party did so at a great storytelling pace.
The unreliable aspect of the characters. My absolute favourite thing about the characters that are found within suspense/thriller novels is when they are completely unreliable. When you have no idea if what they are saying or thinking is the truth. The Party handled the idea of having multiple characters be unreliable and untrustworthy and I absolutely love that.
The family drama. I just love a good drama. Make it a family drama in an upperclass neighbourhood where all the teens are mean girls and their mothers are a bunch of snobby entitled house wives. I wouldn’t say I like these particular character traits, but I do love the drama that they are surely going to bring to the story.
What I Didn’t Like
A little repetitive. About half way through the novel, things started to get a little repetitive for me. Jeff and Kim were having the same arguments over and over. The same went for Lisa and Kim. While I understand that there was tension between all of these characters, it started to really effect the excellent pacing that I mentioned above.
The ending. Yeah, no…not a fan of this ending, unfortunately. After ALL that, it just ends the way that it did? I’m slightly annoyed by it, not gonna lie. Twists and endings are usually the best feature in a thriller/suspense novel and unfortunately, The Party just didn’t handle the ending well at all.
Overall, The Party had the potential to be great, especially at the beginning of the story. It started to fall a little flat with repetitive arguments between characters as well as not-so-shocking and slightly infuriating twists and endings.
Author Guest Post by Robyn Harding!
My Dream Cast for The Party, The Movie
My novel, The Party, was recently optioned for film by Hollywood producers. I have enough experience with Hollywood producers optioning my books to know that I shouldn’t get my hopes up too high. It is a long, tough road from book to screen. But an author can dream, can’t she? Especially after the incredible success of Big Little Lies. The talent on that series was incredible and any of those actresses could easily be slotted into the film version of The Party. But I thought I’d step outside the box, and come up with my dream cast.
For Kim Sanders (the wealthy, uptight helicopter mom who hosts the sleepover party), I’d cast Robin Wright. She’s amazing as icy, reserved Claire Underwood on House of Cards, but I’d love to watch her spiral downwards into a ranting, white-wine-at-noon mess. Kim’s daughter, Hannah, is the good girl trying to go bad. I think Elle Fanning would do a good job. She’s very talented and looks like she could believably be Robin Wright’s kid.
Lisa Monroe, the new-agey but fierce single mom would be Kate Winslet. She’s an incredible actress and would play off Robin Wright nicely, don’t you think? Her daughter, accident victim Ronni could be played by Bella Thorne. In the book, Ronni’s father is Hispanic and Bella is half Cuban. I’ve never seen her act, but she recently made headlines for dating Scott Dissick (Courtney Kardashian’s disaster of an ex), so she’s got the right edge.
For mean girl, Lauren Ross, I’d cast Chloe Grace Moretz. I’d like to see her play a toxic, femme-fatale type. The object of her obsession, Jeff Sanders, should be played by someone surly and masculine like Ben Affleck or maybe Liev Shreiber. But I’m going to go with Ryan Gosling. I know, he’s way too young, way too nice, way too suave… But hey, this is my fantasy cast, and I’d really like to meet him.
About The Author
I am the author of the domestic drama, The Party published in June 2017, by Scout Press/Simon & Schuster. I have also written four novels of contemporary women’s fiction (AKA chick-lit), a young adult novel, and a comedic memoir with an environmental focus. My books have been translated into seven languages. I am also the screenwriter and executive producer of the independent film, The Steps which premiered at TIFF and was the closing gala film at the Miami International Film Festival. I live in Vancouver, BC with my husband, two kids, and a seven pound dog with no teeth.
As always, thank you so much for reading my review of The Party by Robyn Harding! My review is one of 5 blog tour posts all about The Party! Don’t forget to check out the other four wonderful bloggers are participating in this blog tour!! Thank you for reading!