My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Out May 7th! Pre-order from Amazon here!
What do you picture when you think of a book about The Hamptons? I imagine glamorous parties and sandy beaches and chic fashion. What’s so unique about The East End is that it highlights a completely different view of The Hamptons. It is grungy and gritty and shows the less alluring side of life on the island. But it is real and honest, highlighting the struggles people experience, which I appreciated.
From the Publisher:
After graduating high school, Corey Halpern would love to leave the Hamptons and never look back. He is stuck though, saddled with responsibility for his alcoholic mother, Gina, and his younger brother. So for now, he finds momentary escape by breaking and entering. The night before Memorial Day weekend, he targets the estate of Leo Sheffield, the billionaire CEO for whom he and Gina work. But everything goes awry. Leo arrives suddenly—and he’s not alone. As Corey looks on in stunned horror, he witnesses a fatal mishap…as does another traumatized onlooker. With everything to lose, Leo will do whatever it takes to cover up the truth. Things spiral out of control, however. Pushed to their limits, Corey, Gina, and Leo all hurtle towards climactic showdowns as explosive as the holiday fireworks lighting up the night sky.
What did I really like about this book? As I’ve already mentioned, it showed the struggles people experience in their everyday lives, highlighting vulnerabilities and insecurities. Written from both the perspectives of the rich and glamorous and the poor and working class, I enjoyed the juxtaposition of higher and lower class characters in terms of lifestyle, but seeing how similar their lives were in terms of challenges and personality flaws.
It also had a fantastic hook in the beginning that captured my attention from the start. I wanted to know what would happen next and how the characters would get themselves out of the predicaments they found themselves in.
The things that I struggled with?
1. I felt like there was a lot of redundancy in terms of story line. To be honest, there wasn’t a whole lot of substance but the author managed to stretch out the story across 300 pages. I did feel there were times where the story was continuously rehashed and I ended up losing patience and attention along the way, wishing it would get to the point a little faster.
2. In my opinion, the characters made some awful decisions that didn’t seem super realistic. If they would have just made a different (and more logical) decision in the beginning of the book, everything would have been a lot easier on everybody.
3. I struggled with the “crime” plot holes. Spoiler alert: There would have been a mountain of forensic evidence pointing at all of the main characters, but somehow that wasn’t the case in the end. I found that portion of a story a tad hard to believe.
Overall, although there were some elements that I didn’t care for, I enjoyed Jason Allen’s writing and appreciated the premise of The East End. If you’re looking for a book depicting realistic characters who attempt to overcome their flaws and struggles, this is the book for you.
-I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley, Jason Allen, and Park Row Books for the opportunity to review.-