Emma and Bobby Ross enjoy a charmed life on the shores of Miami Beach. They are a model family with a successful business, an uncomplicated marriage, and two blessedly typical twin daughters, Zoe and Lily. They are established members of a tight-knit community.
Then, on the night of the girls’ fifteenth birthday party, they learn of Zoe’s heartbreaking mistake—a private and humiliating indiscretion that goes viral and thrusts her and her family into the center of a shocking public scandal.
As the family’s core is shattered by disgrace, judgment, and retribution, the fallout takes its toll. But for Emma, the shame runs deeper. Her daughter’s reckless behavior has stirred memories of her own secrets that could break a marriage, a family, and friendships forever.
Kathryn- 2.5 Star
I have very mixed feelings about this read. So much of the subject matter was difficult to tackle though so I do appreciate the author's attempt at bringing light to our changing times.
I found the entire issue of Zoe's act with her friend/boyfriend a non issue but it was made into a big shameful thing by not only the online exposure but her parents reactions. At least this was the way I felt. She is 14 years old and like it or not this is the age of experimentation and what happened should not be shameful. It seems like her mother was theoretically understanding of this but also had a deep rooted issue about teen sexuality of her own and so was battling her own history. Her father is in denial. It bothered me a lot that there seemed to be a lack of maturity from the adults about how to handle their daughter's emerging sexuality.
The main issue of the novel is probably the fact that someone exposed this private moment for not only the rest of their school peers to see but then the entire world via YouTube. I'm not sure how I feel about this. It's difficult to put yourself at that age in this era of technology and really know how one would feel at 14. The video taker should not have shared with anyone or filmed in the first place and I believe there should be consequences for this. I was really happy with the legal passages in this book that tried to sort out each person's rights. I felt this was tackled well.
Unfortunately at no point did I like the father, either in the present or in the past which really distracted me from the topic at hand. I felt the mother gave him a free pass to keep emotionally abusing their daughter and that she should have taken the kids and left when he obviously couldn't handle himself. Because of my feelings toward the father I had a hard time appreciating their surroundings and the subject matter. This was unfortunate because I found the concept of the hotel life fascinating and the emotional charged situation topical and important.
Overall I finished the book with some satisfaction of the outcome but a bit disappointed because with more fatherly support I felt more time could have been spent writing about the social impact on the girls and less about the parents. I wanted to give this book a higher rating because it's an important topic.
Thank you to Lake Union Publishing for our review copy. All opinions are our own.
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