My name is Ardis and I am an avid reader and budding writer. I want to share my love of books with others. I work with kids and am interested in finding and creating books that will ignite the reader in everyone. Contact me at: ardis.atkins@gmail.com

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

ARC Review: The People We Hate At The Wedding by Grant Ginder

Please Note:  I received an advanced reader's copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  This did not influence the opinions in my review in any way.

Synopsis (From Goodreads):
Paul and Alice’s half-sister Eloise is getting married! In London! There will be fancy hotels, dinners at “it” restaurants and a reception at a country estate complete with tea lights and embroidered cloth napkins.
They couldn’t hate it more.

The People We Hate at the Wedding is the story of a less than perfect family. Donna, the clan’s mother, is now a widow living in the Chicago suburbs with a penchant for the occasional joint and more than one glass of wine with her best friend while watching House Hunters International. Alice is in her thirties, single, smart, beautiful, stuck in a dead-end job where she is mired in a rather predictable, though enjoyable, affair with her married boss. Her brother Paul lives in Philadelphia with his older, handsomer, tenured track professor boyfriend who’s recently been saying things like “monogamy is an oppressive heteronormative construct,” while eyeing undergrads. And then there’s Eloise. Perfect, gorgeous, cultured Eloise. The product of Donna’s first marriage to a dashing Frenchman, Eloise has spent her school years at the best private boarding schools, her winter holidays in St. John and a post-college life cushioned by a fat, endless trust fund. To top it off, she’s infuriatingly kind and decent.

As this estranged clan gathers together, and Eloise's walk down the aisle approaches, Grant Ginder brings to vivid, hilarious life the power of family, and the complicated ways we hate the ones we love the most in the most bitingly funny, slyly witty and surprisingly tender novel you’ll read this year.

Family gatherings are ripe fields of conflict in life, and in literature.  Thanksgivings, birthdays, and funerals all have the potential for drama.  The People We Hate At The Wedding, by Grant Ginder, uses the nuptials of a thirty something woman to bring to a head years of animosity between her, her half siblings, and their mother.  At times, I loved this book with it's squabbling relations, outrageous rivalries, and the gripping backstories of the main characters.  Other times, like a guest at a wedding seated next to the drunken uncle, I just wanted to stop the author from oversharing.

What I Liked: 
I like the three siblings: Eloise, Alice, and Paul.  Each has their own issues and heartbreaking backstories.  And the dynamic between the three is fascinating.  Alice and Paul always feel that Eloise is their mom's favorite, while Eloise feels like an outsider intruding on the other two's closeness.  All of them are proud and this causes misunderstandings between them.

Donna, their mom, is also a complicated character.  Her attempts to shield Paul from his homophobic father result in Paul hating his mother.  I feel she was treated very poorly by all of her children.

With the exception of Eloise, all the main characters have a preoccupation with how others think of them.  They each are rather inept, socially,  and this causes them be overly concerned with what clothes they wear, what they say, and how others treat them.  It also is the reason they let their romantic partners treat them so badly.

Sibling Interactions:
I think the siblings gossiping about the other was funny.  When one calls another, they share secrets, hang up, and them immediately call the third sibling to tell them what happened.  It doesn't mean they don't love each other, it is just that the characters can't help themselves.

I enjoyed the plot of the book and how all three siblings seem to be at a crossroads.  They are each making life-altering decisions.  Even as they are  bickering with each other, they try to help one another.  And by seeing each other's problems, they are able to look at their own problems with more clarity.

What I Didn't Like:
Crude Sex Scenes:
If you read my book reviews with some regularity, you will know that I am not a fan of graphic sex scenes.  Once in a while, they do have a place in a novel, but this book's sexy bits were over the top.  I don't know if it was because it's played as comical, but I really didn't care for the descriptions in the threesome scene.  They are crude, not sexy, and made me want to take a shower afterwards.  I would have given this book a much higher rating, had it not been for this.

If you are looking for a "clean romance" this is NOT IT.




Release Date:  June 6th, 2017

Genre:  General Fiction

Source:  NetGalley

Format:  ARC E-Book

Recommendation:  If your looking for catty comments between siblings, you will love this book.  Be warned: there are some extremely crude sex scenes.
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MsArdychan has read 5 books toward her goal of 120 books.


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