Book Review: The Summer We Fell Apart by Robin Antalek

summerapartTitle: The Summer We Fell Apart
Author: Robin Antalek
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Publisher: Harper
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Source: TLC Book Tours
First line: The summer we took in a boarder my mother started wearing headscarves.

The four Haas children grew up in a home with little or no parental supervision. Their father was a playwright whose magnum opus came early in his career; from that point on, he created nothing but his children’s broken hearts and a wake of sexual affairs. Their mother, Marilyn, was an actress known best for her work in a cult horror flick.

Kate, the oldest, took on the responsibility of the physical care of her three younger siblings, but became completely closed emotionally. As a teenager, Finn disappears inside a bottle and spends his entire adolescence and young adulthood completely drunk. George and Amy lean on each other to survive: George tolerating cruel teasing from his father because of his sexual orientation; Amy worrying what will happen to her when George leaves for college and she’s the only one left.

The book is told in alternating points of view, with each sibling having a portion of the story to tell. The author does a good job of giving each character an individual voice, which is very important in a multiple-points-of-view novel. She can also write extremely well, and deftly shows us a family full of dysfunction. Because of that, I really wanted to love this book. But I didn’t – I liked it, but I didn’t love it – and that’s because I didn’t really care for any of the characters. Amy was probably my favorite, but her portion of the book came first, and so I didn’t enjoy the other three sections as much as I did the beginning.

Don’t take my word for it, however – there are other bloggers who did absolutely love it:

~ Regular Ruminations
~ Dolce Bellezza
~ Take Me Away
~ Booking Mama
~ Bermudaonion

(An Advance Reader Copy of The Summer We Fell Apart was provided to me by the publisher for the purpose of reviewing it for this blog tour. The above link is an Amazon affiliate link. If you click on it and subsequently purchase anything, I will receive a small percentage.)


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12 Responses to Book Review: The Summer We Fell Apart by Robin Antalek

  1. Pam says:

    Oh I have a nephew named Finn, one of those its hard to read due to name association haha.
    .-= Pam´s last blog ..Teen Fire Community =-.

  2. Kathy says:

    I liked this one more than you did, but that’s probably because I did like all of the characters.
    .-= Kathy´s last blog ..Our Life in France – banking, money and numbers =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Kathy – yes, that would help! 🙂 I’ll add your review link to the post – don’t know how I missed it!

  3. Sandy
    Twitter: youvegottaread

    I’ve been seeing this one around. I have to admit…I’m getting a little tired of dysfunction. Not to say that I won’t want more of it at some point, but I’m in the mood for something more!
    .-= Sandy´s last blog ..Monday Movie Meme – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly =-.

  4. When a book is written like this, I always like one character more then the others, and find it hard to relate to the others, thus dimming my judgement of the entire book. Great review!

  5. S. Krishna
    Twitter: skrishna

    Interesting review. I think I’ll pass on this one because characters I can identify with are a must for me in novels like this. Thanks!
    .-= S. Krishna´s last blog ..LOST: LA X, Parts 1 and 2 =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Swapna – I just couldn’t really care about them very much. Other people loved it, though.

  6. trish says:

    Sorry you didn’t connect with any of the characters! I hate when that happens! I’m glad you were on this tour because I’m really enjoying the various opinions! Makes me wonder who I’d agree with. 😀

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Trish – I agree – I like reading varying opinions on books, too – makes me more likely to want to read and see which side I come down on.