Thursday 30 August 2018

Review: The Adults by Caroline Hulse

Claire and Matt are divorced but decide what's best for their daughter Scarlett is to have a 'normal' family Christmas. They can't agree on whose idea it was, or who said they should bring their new partners. But someone did - and it's too late to pull the plug.
Claire brings her new boyfriend Patrick, a seemingly eligible Iron-Man-in-Waiting. Mattbrings the new love of his life Alex, funny, smart, and extremely patient. Scarlett, their daughter, brings her imaginary friend Posey. He's a rabbit.
Together the five (or six?) of them grit their teeth over Organized Fun activities, drinking a little too much after bed-time, oversharing classified secrets about their pasts and, before you know it, their holiday is a powder keg that ends - where this story starts - with a tearful, frightened, call to the police...

But what happened? They said they'd all be adults about this...

Review: I liked this novel but I didn't love it. I thought the premise behind this novel and the storyline itself was great. The idea of a blended family trapped together at Christmas is a villa in a holiday park in Yorkshire, awesome idea, so much could go wrong. Throw into that the fact that the little girl who this is all for has a giant rabbit as an imaginary friend who requires his own chair at the table and cup for drinking from, winner. But at times I found it to be a little confusing and it left me wanting just a little bit. 

The characters in this novel are not the kind of characters you take an instant liking to. The only overly 'nice' on of the group is Claire, Matt's ex-wife and Scarlett's mum. She tries her best to be nice and to do the right thing and the great thing is, you spend the novel wondering what she's covering up by being so nice all of the time. She is with Patrick who definitely has more to hide than he is letting on. He doesn't seem too bothered by not spending Christmas with his own kids and doesn't really seem to like the rest of the group. He may not be likable but boy is he intriguing!

Then the other couple are Matt and Alex, Matt used to be married to Claire and now lives with Alex, he is Scarlett's Dad. He is easy going but so much so that he is lazy. You get what you see with him and I spent most of the novel resenting him, a strong feeling! Alex definitely has more to her than meetings the eye. We know that she is a scientist and no longer drinks but we don't really find out an awful lot about her past until way way on in the book. I just really didn't sympathise with her at all and I think that's one of the issues I had with this book at some point. 

Scarlett to me seems like a little brat and I really didn't like her imaginary rabbit friend either. He seems evil and I almost became scared for her to be alone with him because I was worried what he might do and if he really was real or whether he was someone in a purple rabbit's suit, interesting concept I know! The scenes from her point of view though were good because I spent the whole time hating her and so I wanted to read on to get past them.

This book is structured a little bit like Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty but I found it a little confusing at times. We know something has happened and we have police reports and hospitals being mentioned and these police reports and interviews are dropped in throughout the novel, slowly, slowly revealing what happened. I think this was just a little bit too slow for me and sometimes it interrupted something that was happening in the rest of the book that never really felt resolved. 

Overall I thought there was definitely potential for this to be a gripping read but it just fell short on a few basic points for me and so I don't think I would be recommending this one to you. 

To order your copy and see for yourself, just click the link: UK or US (released 11/27 in USA)

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