Book Review: The Whole Thing Together

Summer for Sasha and Ray means the sprawling old house on Long Island. Since they were children, they’ve shared almost everything—reading the same books, running down the same sandy footpaths to the beach, eating peaches from the same market, laughing around the same sun-soaked dining table. Even sleeping in the same bed, on the very same worn cotton sheets. But they’ve never met.
Sasha’s dad was once married to Ray’s mom, and together they had three daughters: Emma, the perfectionist; Mattie, the beauty; and Quinn, the favorite. But the marriage crumbled and the bitterness lingered. Now there are two new families—and neither one will give up the beach house that holds the memories, happy and sad, of summers past.
The choices we make come back to haunt us; the effect on our destinies ripples out of our control…or does it? This summer, the lives of Sasha, Ray, and their siblings intersect in ways none of them ever dreamed, in a novel about family relationships, keeping secrets, and most of all, love.
While I am a big fan of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, I’ve never actually read the books. I KNOW, I KNOW. But that makes this my first Ann Brashares book! Yay!
This book is amazing. The sisters, the drama, the family, the romance. And for the first 89% you think it’s all drama and romance OH AND THEN THIS BOOK BREAKS YOU HEART INTI A MILLION THOUSAND PIECES. I will have a spoiler section later because I HAVE to talk about what happens later.
But let me begin with Sasha and Ray. The family tree is a little confusing, but basically they’re in the same family but NOT related. ALSO: they are adorable, SO adorable. Like they talk two halves of one person to another level. Their romance is absolutely amazing and I loooove it omg.
The sisters are just.,,, they’re wonderful. They’re real and they laugh and love and they’re friends and ahhhh
Also Jamie is perfect omg. Like STEP ASIDE EMMA I WANT TO MARRY HIM. Y’all, their romance isn’t even the “big” romance of the story but I love it and them and him omg omg.
The whole premise of this story is super confusing at first but when you actually read the book it SO makes sense. Y’all, this boooooook 💔💔💔💔

This book makes me happy and sad and I love it and I have so much more to say, but spoilers. So keep reading if you want all my spoilery thoughts!

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SPOILERS BELOW, select to view
Y’all, this book’s representation of grief ❤️ it’s so absolutely raw and honest and omg. Don’t believe me? Examples:
“It was just two mute halves of a damaged, disoriented family staring at each other across the abyss.”
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 “A proud acknowledgment passed between them. His agony rose and reached out for hers. The set of her chin showed signs of struggle. His own face started to fold. He couldn’t let it go yet. He smashed another plate instead. She let loose a lemonade pitcher against the house like she was Clayton Kershaw. They moved around each other in a strange ballet of demolition, conversing in crashes. The sun finally peered up from under the horizon and saw what they had done. They stopped. The rain was over. Everything that had been whole was broken.”
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“Her dad slumped around the edges of rooms like an extra in a movie. His posture had changed since it happened. He said his body didn’t digest food right anymore. His stomach wasn’t at all fat now. It was the vacuum into which the other parts of him began to sink.”
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“I’ve sort of got the hang of waking up in the morning, but it’s not easy. I fight with falling asleep at night. Some nights it feels impossible. If I could hold you again, I think I could do it.”
Y’all I love this book so much. The accuracy of the grief stings but I love it. The characters are amazing. I just love this book so much omg.
SPOILERS OVER
CONTENT GUIDE –
Sexual – kissing, innuendos
Cussing – quite a bit. F-bomb, etc.
Violence – mild
Imbibing – underage drinking, drinking.
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