Ray and Sasha share three half siblings but aren’t related themselves. The Whole Thing Together takes place over the summer as Ray and Sasha occupy the same room alternative weeks due to his mum and her dad splitting the time at the house they both own. This summer is about to change lives for the whole family.
Although Ray and Sasha are our main characters, we also follow their half-siblings, Emma, Quinn and Mattie. This was probably too many people to focus on. There was a noted family tree at the start but as I was on a Kindle it was harder to flick between my page and the notes. As I continued reading I could differentiate a bit but the character’s didn’t have a lot of depth.
Ray and Sasha are basically the same person. The way they are written is so focused on one another and their siblings, you could interchange their names and it would probably still make sense. Actually, Brashare’s did interchange their names within the book. Which made it even more confusing.
Each of the half-sisters had their own storyline. But the only one I enjoyed was Mattie’s. The premise of her plot isn’t a unique or original story, but I would have preferred just focusing on hers rather than all five of them. It would have made Mattie and her parents more three dimensional, and would’ve made her reaction to the whole thing a bit easier to understand. I felt she was a bit upset and then got over it pretty quickly because there wasn’t enough time to spend with her and also have time focusing on everyone else.
The Ray and Sasha being two sides of the same coin being brought together felt boring. I didn’t care if they were going to meet or not. They ‘shared’ a room which fair enough there weren’t enough rooms within the house. But I found it really strange how they wouldn’t tidy before they left. I really questioned whether they were changing the bed sheets because Ray spent so much time saying the bed smelt like Sasha. I found it really awkward and weird the way it was set up for them to be two sides but the same.
The romance aspect was set up from the beginning but I hoped I was reading too much into it and it wouldn’t happen. Unfortunately for me, it did happen. I didn’t really like it for a couple of reasons. One reason is a spoiler so I wont say it. The other was that I felt they didn’t know each other enough for there to be a romance.
I disliked the ending. It felt very much that Brashares had rushed it. Basically a big life-changing event needed to happen and so there was an incident. After this incident, it was very ‘so this happened, and then this happened, and this happened, done’. It was a complete abrupt and hurried.
Overall, The Whole Thing Together wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever read. But I didn’t really enjoy multiple aspects of the book. The plot wasn’t for me, it was predictable in places. There was one shock, but that was it. I didn’t really feel for the characters either, which would have helped to make the ending more likable.
I received The Whole Thing Together* by Ann Brashares as an e-book from the publisher via Netgalley. This is an unbiased and honest review.