By: Tom Leveen
It's Saturday night in Santa Barbara and school is done for the year. Everyone is headed to the same party. Or at least it seems that way. The place is packed. The beer is flowing. Simple, right? But for 11 different people the motives are way more complicated...
to confront my ex
to hook up (since that's one everyone expects)
to make a friend...any friend
to numb the pain
to finally talk to her
to piss off my parents
to say goodbye
As each character tells his or her stories, they intersect and reconnect, collide and combine in ways that no one saw coming.
summary from book
My Rating: 4/5
Firstly, I have to say that I love the premise for this book. I've always been fascinated (in book or movies) when there are multiple characters just going about their lives yet in an instance, they're all connected due to one common thing. In this novel's case, the occurrence that brings everyone together is a party. Told through eleven points of view, each character has a very different reason for attending this end of the year party which you soon find out once you begin reading.
Now, I love multiple points of view. I think it's fantastic to get more than just one side to a story and it's also fascinating in the sense that you get to see what's truly going on with each individual. When you have just one protagonist telling you what they think and how they feel, your whole outlook is skewed and biased seeing as you're taking everything this character tells you (almost always) as the absolute truth. You make up your mind on many things, especially how you feel about other characters because the protagonist said so. With Party, you have one character tell you how they feel about someone else and then a few chapters or so later, you get that other character's rebuttal, in a sense or more so, the truth as to what is really going on below the surface. For me, this kind of technique reminded me a lot of how we often judge other individuals based on what we hear or see yet in reality, we have absolutely no idea what their full story entails or what's actually going on. I liked how Party addressed that, how it allowed the reader to see that there was more to each character then what many perceived them to be.
I was really curious as to how the author would take eleven characters and bring them all to life, making them individuals. Some characters did stand out to me more than others but overall, I'm pleased to say that even though each person is only anointed one chapter to tell their full story, the development was really well done and I learned so much about these eleven beings in such a short amount of time. Some discussed their past while other focused on the here and now. Needless to say, they were all honest and open and unique in the sense that each voice stood out from the next. Some characters used more slang, others were more eloquent, some characters swore, some didn't and so on. You don't have to worry about confusing one for the other.
Overall: Party is a really fantastic contemporary novel. It addresses many topics such as dating, friendship, racism and much much more in a very exclusive way. I recommend it to anyone as it is the kind of novel that I think many people can enjoy and relate to.