Not you typical beach read is right. This book is not your typical anything.
Let me just come out and say it: for the most part this book was plain weird. Weird family. Weird friends of that family. Weird relationships. Weird parental behaviour.
It all just felt kind of awkward. The story is told by Chase, the second oldest kid, who behaves like he is the oldest/parent. And his parents expect him to do this and be responsible for the rest of the litter they have put on this earth. Chase has an older brother who is pretty irresponsible and just runs away at the most inappropriate times. Then there's his younger sister who is flirting with boys and kissing girls at the tender age of 12, who most of the time behaves like she's much, much older. Then there's Gideon, his younger brother, who is deaf. And finally, though their marriage is falling apart, the parents decided to have another baby, a girl (who seems to be the only normal person in the book, as far as you can tell, since she doesn't really talk yet).
Every year they go to a summer house and meet up with the family in the house next to them. Both Chase and his older brother have a messed up sort of relationship with the eldest daughter and this creeped me out somewhat. She just goes from sleeping with one brother to sleeping with the other. I was surprised she didn't make a pass at Gideon to be honest.
The parents weren't really into parenting it seemed. Which is weird, since they did choose to have 5 kids. With pretty big age gaps in between. They probably should have stopped at 2 or 3 in my opinion. The father is lost when it comes to Gideon and hasn't even really tried to learn sign language, which means he can't communicate with his son. I thought they both were very selfish and pretty annoying as well. This goes for all the characters. Except maybe Gideon and the baby. It's sad that the baby was probably my favourite character. Unlike the other, she has a right to cry and whine: she's a baby, that's how they communicate.
Towards the end something happens. And it was heartbreaking and haunting and finally made me feel something other than annoyance. Awful as it was, it saved the book.
Mostly, I felt awkward and weird reading it.
My rating: 2 stars