Monday, May 18, 2015

Book Review: The Best of Us by Sarah Pekkanen


Pages: 339
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: April 9, 2013
Source: Personal Copy
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, " Following a once-in-a-lifetime invitation, a group of old college friends leap at the chance to bring their husbands for a week’s vacation at a private villa in Jamaica to celebrate a former classmates' thirty-fifth birthday.  All four women are desperate for a break and this seems like a perfect opportunity. Tina is drowning under the demands of mothering four young children. Allie needs to escape from the shattering news about an illness that runs in her family. Savannah is carrying the secret of her husband’s infidelity. And, finally, there’s Pauline, who spares no expense to throw her husband an unforgettable birthday celebration, hoping it will gloss over the cracks that have already formed in their new marriage. The week begins idyllically, filled with languorous days and late nights of drinking and laughter. But as a hurricane approaches the island, turmoil builds, forcing each woman to re-evaluate everything she’s known about the others—and herself. "
Pauline is married to Dwight, a billionaire, and what do you get your billionaire husband on his birthday when he has everything else? You invite his college friends to spend his birthday in a private villa in Jamaica.  Pauline does this very thing and pays attention to every single detail of the trip.  There's helicopter rides, a private beach, a chef, waiters, unlimited drinks, hot tubs, infinity pools, and of course, Jamaican sunshine.  All of Dwight's close friends attend and everything is going swimmingly, until there's alcohol feud antics and drama made worse by an impending hurricane. This trip forces each person to come to grips with their lives and many secrets unfold.  Sarah Pekkanen's The Best of Us is quintessential summer reading. 

Pekkanen focuses on each character equally and while it may seem like there too many characters in The Best of Us, she does a good job not overwhelming the readers with many subplots. All of the characters are intertwined, in a sense, and readers should be able to find at least one character to relate to.  

There's Allie, who is hiding a heath issue, and no one knows about it...yet.  This possible heath issue is serious, but Allie hasn't really come to grips with the reality of the situation before she boards the plane to Jamaica. She hasn't even told her husband Ryan! Then there's Tina, an overworked and under appreciated mother of four, who can't wait to lay on the beach and do nothing.  She feels guilty for leaving her four young ones, but she know she deserves this trip and can't wait to reconnect with her husband as well.  

Next, there's Dwight, the birthday boy, and his life seems perfect. Obviously, he is SUPER rich, has a private plane and lives a life that the others can only imagine, but there is something missing. To make matters worse, Pauline is hiding a secret from him.  Lastly, there's Savannah, the effervescent party girl who is always looking to be the center of attention. Everyone expected her husband Gary to come along this trip, but she attends alone and this has raised many questions.  So, needless to say, The Best of Us isn't short on family secrets and relationships filled with drama.

The setting of a private Jamaican villa is what initially sold me. I love Jamaica and Pekkanen does a great job of bringing the relaxed Jamaican atmosphere to life. The ocean, the infinity pool, the drinks, boats, helicopters, chefs, etc....all the makings of a once in a lifetime vacation are in The Best of Us.

If you are looking for a light summertime read that will have you longing for a day spent in the Caribbean  sipping a frozen cocktail while Bob Marley tunes play in the background, look no further. I will admit some of the drama got old at times as I didn't always agree with each character's decision, but The Best of Us was very entertaining overall. Simply put: Books like this are made to be read at the beach.


8 comments:

  1. Oh intrigue! I love the sound of this. Filthy rich people usually have shocking secrets (more so than us, Lilliputians), so really curious about this book.

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    1. Haha. You will definitely like the drama and secrets in this book then! There's only two people on the trip that are filthy rich, the others are pretty average, but they all have some shocking secrets. Thanks for visiting, Joy!

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  2. I've enjoyed Sarah Pekkanen's books in the past and this does sound like a perfect beach read especially with that setting. I think I'll have to check this out this summer. Great review!

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    1. This was my first Pekkanen....very impressed! I will have to read more of her books in the future. This one is perfect for summer, Christina! Thanks for visiting!

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  3. I'm looking forward to adding this to my beach reads pile. I've enjoyed works by Pekkanen before.

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    1. This is perfect for the beach! It's my first Pekkanen....definitely looking forward to picking up more of her books in the future. Thanks for visiting!

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  4. Christina, I've read most of Sarah Pekkanen's novels; just finished her upcoming release, and I enjoyed it, as well. It was nice to have you review this one, so that I could remember it again (ha!) and hear about it from a different perspective. I enjoy her characters because they are pretty complex, but I do think these make EXCELLENT beach reads. Great review!

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    1. I will have to keep my eye out for your review of her latest novel. I liked her style and definitely want to read more of her books in the future. The characters were really complex...you are right about that! The setting is what initially hooked me. I would love to be back in Jamaica! ;) Thanks for visiting, Tara!

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