Summary (taken from Goodreads):
We live in the same place, but never together.
Summer for Sasha and Ray means the sprawling old house on Long Island. Since they were children, they’ve shared almost everything—reading the same books, running down the same sandy footpaths to the beach, eating peaches from the same market, laughing around the same sun-soaked dining table. Even sleeping in the same bed, on the very same worn cotton sheets. But they’ve never met.
Sasha’s dad was once married to Ray’s mom, and together they had three daughters. But the marriage crumbled and the bitterness lingered. Now there are two new families—and neither one will give up the beach house that holds the memories, happy and sad, of summers past.
As a lover of “The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants”, I was really excited to read this book. I was disappointed. Despite the cool/fun premise, “The Whole Thing Together” hardly delivers. There are some problematic sexist/racist elements in the book, and a whole lot of the “she’s not like other girls” trope. The main characters are bland, hard to relate to, at times downright mean, and boring. I hoped it would be a sort of sweet, “finding friends in unexpected places” relationship from which they could grow as people. Alas, it was romance. Their particular romance is icky and weird. I mean, if you have to clarify that it’s not technically incest, something is wrong. Despite these things, some of the supporting characters were actually quite likeable. Their stories stopped me from abandoning the book completely, as well as a couple well written sequences.
In all, “The Whole Thing Together” is not completely horrible, but I wouldn’t really recommend it to anyone either.