I received a copy of this book on NetGalley through idly clicking a link on Twitter. I have read other David Levithan books, and David Levithan co-written books, and not really loved them. This is the first Rachel Cohn and David Levithan team-up I’ve read, but given that I don’t think I like David Levithan, I don’t know why I thought I might like this book. Hope springs eternal, I guess?
Sam and Ilsa Kehlmann have spent most of their high school years throwing dinner parties, and now they’ve prepared their final blowout, just before graduation. The rules for the twins are simple: they each get to invite three guests, and the other twin doesn’t know who’s coming until the guests show up at the door. With Sam and Ilsa, the sibling revelry is always tempered with a large dose of sibling rivalry, and tonight is no exception.
One night. One apartment. Eight people. What could possibly go wrong? Oh, we all know the answer is plenty. But plenty also goes right – in rather surprising ways.
I really didn’t love it. Twins Sam and Elsa are hosting a dinner party to celebrate a change in life pace. Both finishing school, they’re moving on to bigger and better things. Always together, this marks the end of their journey as two halves of a whole, and both of them stepping out of the moult to do new things. The entire story unfolds over the course of one evening as they host a dinner party with six invited guests.
I often like bottle episode books, or episodes of tv series, which are set in a very close environment, and focused over a short period of time. But I really didn’t like this one. It felt like too much exposition was crammed in at one time, and too much character development just happened to occur on this one momentous night. Sam and Ilsa have a horrendous relationship, inviting each other’s exes to their dinner party, and seem to really hate each other. Too many plot threads were briefly touched on but never expanded (Sam and his long sleeves, for example!) and I was left feeling highly dissatisfied when the book ended. With too much crammed into too short a space of time, this book left me feeling claustrophobic and unfinished, and distinctly disappointed