My rating: 3 of 5 stars
We live in the same place, but never together.
When I saw that Ann Brashares was coming out with an new YA book, I jumped at the chance to read it. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is one of my favorite YA series. I remember reading them when I was in college and falling in love with the story and the sisterhood. If you go into The Whole Thing Together without these expectations that I had, you may enjoy it more than I did. I expected it to be younger, more fresh and fun than it was. Honestly, with the way the story focused on Ray and Sasha's older sisters for the bulk of the book, I think personally, I would classify this more as fiction than YA.
The story starts off with Ray and Sasha. Ray and Sasha are both teenagers who have shared a room their entire life. But they've never officially met one another. Once upon a time, Ray's mother and Sasha's father were married. They had three daughters together, then they divorced. The one thing they could never settle on was who got their beloved home in Long Island. So they share it. Each person takes every other week. As time went on, both got remarried. Ray's mother had him, and a few weeks later Sasha's parents had her. The three older sisters they share have their own rooms, but Ray and Sasha always rotated theirs.
He had the best qualities of an imaginary friend. He was patient, sympathetic, and understanding, silently sharing her things and spaces. He was never selfish or loud or bullying. He never even disagreed with her. He was just what she wanted, sometimes needed, him to be. So in that way, he was an ideal roommate.
Ray and Sasha's parts of the story were the parts I liked best. Both characters were likable and there were some funny and cute scenes between them. I especially loved their emails.
Could you please withdraw orders to call me Sasha?
Then the stories of Emma, Maddie, and Quinn came along. I could have done without having the focus of the book being on the entire family. I didn't love that it was written in third person and it wasn't clear to me who was who for the longest time. I also didn't like how one of the sister's stories ended. I thought it was unnecessary and sort of came out of nowhere for me.
What I will say about this book, is once I started it, I was hooked. I stayed up late to finish it because I was engaged in the lives of Sasha and Ray. While there were moments I enjoyed the story, sadly I didn't fall in love with the book. It was good for me, but not great. I give it 3 stars.