Review: The Whole Thing Together
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Overall, this book is a 3/5 stars. It was nothing super great, but it wasn’t poorly written. I enjoyed it. If you enjoy short contemporaries with a bit of light romance; you’ll enjoy this.
This was very easy to read. It only took me one sitting, which I don’t usually do for YA contemporaries.
I found it a bit troubling at the start; trying to distinguish the families. It was emphasised over and over again that Sarah and Ray are not related.
They just have mutual parents that once were married and they share 3 older sisters. Not weird at all. I get it: they’re not even step-siblings. But it’s still weird. They share siblings. That’s nasty.
All in all, I was expecting more out of Sasha and Ray’s romance. By the end of the book; not much happens. They probably saw each other 3 times in total. It’s one of those books that has a lot of build up: and even when you finish it, you’re like, “Wait; what was the climax? That small mishap 5 chapters ago? Oh.”
I found the siblings of the original married couple (now divorced) were the most interesting. The synopsis of this book misleads you: it mentions a tragedy between Ray and Sasha, but really, they were just observing the “drama” i.e. (view spoiler).
I wish this book was longer. Then I’d appreciate the characters more. I think the premise is cool– a boy and a girl share a room, interchangeably every fortnight. They’ve shared toys, books, clothes, a bed, ever since they were born. And they never once tried to effectively talk/meet each other. Ever. I don’t know about you guys; but if a guy was sleeping in my room and touching all my books… even at a young age; I’d tell him some boundaries.
I did appreciate Emma and Quinn’s quest for belonging. These two, as well as many of the other kids, grapple with their “half identities”. They are half Bangladesh, half white… but Robert (the father, who was from Bangladesh) was adopted in Canada. Thus the girls go experimenting, with different cultures like Islamism and Hinduism.
“Their parents didn’t deserve to be forgiven, and yet they would be. Where was the cure for that?”
I think the most heartbreaking this about this novel is that the parents had to have one of their children die before they stopped being so petty.