Author: E. Lockhart
Plot and Themes: 5/5
Cheers Factor: 4/5
Pairing: Keep it Classy
This is for sure something the Sinclair family would drink in one of their many houses on the island. You cannot convince me otherwise. It’s not super boozy but anything in a champagne flute is an obvious win. Fair warning there are 2 ways to make this cocktail. I would have done the former, but there’s the lighter way and the boozier way. Take that as you will.
- 1 1/2oz Empress Gin (it has the coloring otherwise everything is the same color)
-For more boozy lemonade
-Add sparkling lemonade to a glass. If you're doing it boozy add 2 oz lemonade and add prosecco leaving enough room for gin in flute
-Using a stirring spoon carefully layer the gin on top diffusing the liquid so they layer
“This island of ours. Here, in some way, we are young forever.”
Take a Shot: Cady comes from a wealthy family. And not just any kind of wealthy family, the kind of old Succession type money. Every summer the Sinclair daughters bring their families to the island to spend time together and with patriarch Harris Sinclair. That is until a disaster Cady can’t remember causes her to have horrible headaches and other physical imparities after she was found in the water near one of the homes a previous summer. This summer she gets to go back and finally see her friends, the Liars and maybe get some answers as to what happened.
“You do not wish you were dead. Don’t say that.”
Something about a nice Hamptons style Martha’s VIneyard style house island deal really sells me. I think it’s overall very intriguing concept of their isolation on the island for the majority of the story which I think only highlights the important aspect of the story and plot.
Cady is an annoying and unreliable narrator and that’s the point. I don’t love stories with this type of trope, but I find I’m not mad about this one and its execution. I actually quite enjoyed it tbh. The set up of Cady being unreliable is incredibly important to the plot. I also love the other characters. I think they are all done in a great way. I like the dichotomy we get to see wight all the characters during their time on the island and as the story progresses how they feel the more they are together. I also believe that the parents are often forgotten characters, but I think they are actually some of the most interesting characters. More on this in the spoiler section cause this is spoiler free.
Plots and Themes
This book is still one of my favorite twists in a book from this era. I did not anticipate the twist and in retrospect I should have the first read, but forgive me as I was literally 14. 23 year old Ashlyn would catch it now, but I deeply appreciated it when I originally read it and it’s my selling point when convincing other people to read this book. I still think about it nearly 10 years later and that’s how you know the book was done well.
I love this book and would put it into the same category as In Five Years which is also another one of my favorite. Short and sweet but rotten on the inside trying to keep its secrets hidden that it has to tell you in less than 400 pages. Huge kudos to the author. I recently picked up b ook two that was recently published and it spurred the reread and i’m incredibly happy that I did end up picking it up and reading it this summer in the park.
“It’s clear you want everyone to feel sorry for you. And we would, I would, but you have no idea how lucky you are.”
Reasons to Raise a Glass - PLOT TWIST, rotten rich and spoiled
Too Strong - I’d love to see this in a non YA context to be honest. It’s not really a critique just a desire to have the adult version of this book and wish it could go more along those lines given the adult content. Like a reboot. Maybe book 2 is that way so stay tuned
“Be sad, be sorry - but don’t shoulder it.”
Warning spoilers ahead if you read more. Proceed at your own risk!
Okay now that I’m in the spoiler section this has me excited. I said that I would talk about the adults and talk about them I will. I believe it’s absolutely fucking bonkers and yes I used the curse word because it’s crazy the way these grown adults manipulate and use their children to gain personal favor with the patriarch. I think it’s gross and sadly a reality in and amongst certain circles and social spheres. This book is Succession with more death and tragedy before Succession was likely even a blip on anyone’s mental radar for creation. I’m disgusted by the way that the parents acted in the beginning when we read about earlier summers and it’s not an I told you so that is fulfilling because it resulted in multiple deaths of their children. But I think it’s so sad the way that the kids really wanted to break out of where they were so much so that they felt the only way to get enough attention of the adults to take them seriously was to light a whole house on fire. I think they were stupid and reading it as I’m older and truly comprehending the details of the way their plan went so spectacularly wrong is heartbreaking. The fact that those children burned to death in that house would be enough for me to sell the island and never return, but the morbid and poignant fact is that the family does go back and then in part has to forget about it due to their own desires as well as Cady’s unfortunate amnesia.
The ending is cathartic as we watch the dead children walk into the water to finally leave Cady to properly grieve as she remembers the horrors of what happened as well as the consequences of their actions leaving her as the only one left alive. Overall, I think this is an incredible book and it breaks my heart every time I think about it and I applaud any author who can make such an indelible impression with their work that now 9 years later I still read it and am now writing about it.
“Before we became criminals. Before we became ghosts.”
Each book here at Cheers&Chapters is rated based off of certain categories that are genre specific, however every book will get a Cheers Factor. The Cheers Factor is how much we wanted to raise our glass while reading it. So get your glasses ready and cheers!