Wednesday, January 18, 2017

PRETTY LITTLE WORLD BY ELIZABETH LaBAN AND MELISSA DePINO

Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, today it is Pretty Little World by Elizabeth LaBan and Melissa DePino. Thank you so much to the publisher Little Bird for sending me a copy of this book for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.


Going into this book, I was really excited. The premise sounded really unique and I loved the idea of three families combining their small homes into one larger one. I just think that the story wasn't really so much about that element as it was about the marital/everyday problems of the families.

Basically, there are three families who live in 3 separate, tiny row houses. One of the families decides that their home is too small for their family of 5 and are planning to put the place up for sale. However, before they can do that, one of their pipes burst, leaving a small flood and damaged drywall. Taking this as a sign, the three couples decide to take down their main floor walls and create one large living space, a gourmet kitchen and a playroom for their collective 5 children. Then life gets in the way and the families begin to question whether or not they made the right decision.

I was most excited by the communal living aspect of this novel, and less about the characters themselves, but I guess the two go hand in hand. I was happy with how the first part was going, the families getting along, working out the logistics of the concept. But then as the story progressed, things got uncomfortable. One of the husbands has an affair; one husband and wife from two separate couples basically have an emotional affair. There was a lot of raging teenage hormones in grown men and women that just felt weird, especially because they were all living together.

The part I was most looking forward to was soon overshadowed by marital problems and angst. I felt like I was reading a whole other book. I didn't want a book about these issues, I wanted a book about modern-day communes.

I suppose, in a way, I did get a book like that, and it just showed how that sort of thing doesn't work in today's world. They gave it a solid try but it just wasn't working the way they wanted it to, and I think that took away from the story because I wasn't expecting it to not work out.

The characters themselves were fairly flat and typical. I could never keep couples straight, with the exception of Celia and Mark, I could never remember if Leo or Chris was married to Hope or Stephanie. Plus, their relationships blurred so much into the more close and intimate that they all felt married to each other. The kids were forgettable, they were too young to really have their own personality, though.

For the most part, this book just reminded me of summer vacations with my cousins, where we'd all rent a cabin and stay together. It was fun, but by the end of the two weeks, we were ready to go back to our own homes. After reading this story, I don't think I could imagine living with two other families under one roof.

The authors did do a really good job of creating feeling throughout the story, especially towards the end when everyone was sick. Hope was losing her mind and I was right there with her.

I think this story had a lot of potential, however, there were a lot of elements that just didn't work for me.

Overall, an interesting read, but not what I wanted.