Review – The Party by Robyn Harding


The Party by Robyn Harding

Published June 6th 2017 by Gallery/Scout Press


I bought this book on a whim. I think this is one of the first times in a long time that I didn’t read any reviews before starting a book.

“One invitation. A lifetime of regrets”

Kim and Jeff Sanders want their daughter to have a wonderful sweet sixteen birthday party. Their daughter, Hannah wants a small affair…. just four girls for pizza and a sleepover. Hannah NEEDS this party to be perfect.

The story is told from four points of view. Hannah, her parents (Kim and Jeff) and Lisa, mother of one of the girls from the party.

To say that Kim Sanders takes her job as a mother seriously is an understatement. HER children are well-behaved and follow the rules. She’s not as confident about her eighteen year marriage though. After an “incident” the year before, most of their time is spent bickering. Jeff feels like she treats him like a child, wanting to know every move he makes. Kim hopes they will be able to salvage what they once had. Even Hannah notices the tension in her parents marriage.

High school has been going well for Hannah. She even has a new boyfriend, Noah. On top of that, Ronni Monroe and Lauren Ross, two of the most popular girls in school, have also started including Hannah in their plans. She has known Ronni for years though they haven’t been close for some time. She’s also pretty sure that Lauren is just hanging out with her because of Noah, but she doesn’t care. She’ll do pretty much anything to get Lauren’s attention. So what if Lauren changes friends on a whim? And sure she can be kind of mean…. well really mean to those she deems beneath her, but Hannah is positive she turn this into a meaningful friendship.

“She’d spent two years watching the queen bees stroll through the halls of Hillcrest Academy, bored, jaded, beautiful; Hanna was one of them now”

Hannah is both excited and anxious for her party. This evening is very important to her social status. Lauren and Ronni are coming to her party along with Marta and Caitlin. Marta and Caitlin are nice girls, like Hannah. However, now that she’s been hanging out with Lauren and Ronni she finds both Marta and Caitlin a bit immature. Hannah made sure to tell them that tonight’s party will require them to up their game. This isn’t some kids party. Hannah needs to impress Lauren and intends on doing just that.

Girls eating pizza, listening to music, and gossiping is what Hannah’s parents are expecting. Good clean fun. However, the girls have a different idea of what constitutes a good party and have their own plans.

In the middle of the night Kim wakes up to her daughter calling her name. Then she sees that Hannah is crying….and her hands are covered in blood. The next words out of her mouth send Kim and Jeff flying down the stairs to the basement.

What should have been a night of harmless fun for five teenage girls, turns into a nightmare for everyone.

What really happened the night of the party?

I think this book will have many mixed reviews. It was definitely a thought-provoking read. The fall-out after a party goes very wrong. Who is at fault? Honestly, it’s scary how easily this could happen. When I think back to the decisions I made as a teenager, I am so thankful that nothing bad happened to me or any of my friends. How lucky we were.

I had a very difficult time rating this book. There were so many unlikable characters. Usually that doesn’t bother me, but I found myself getting irritated quite often. However, I didn’t stop reading….in fact I read this book in just two sittings. So am I riding the fence a little here? I guess so. A fast read with a really interesting premise, but just not what I expected.

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