Review | The Adults by Caroline Hulse

Meet The Adults

Claire and Matt are divorced but decide what’s best for their daughter Scarlett is to have a ‘normal’ family Christmas. They can’t agree on whose idea it was, or who said they should bring their new partners. But someone did – and it’s too late to pull the plug.

Claire brings her new boyfriend Patrick, a seemingly eligible Iron-Man-in-Waiting. Matt brings the new love of his life Alex, funny, smart, and extremely patient. Scarlett, their daughter, brings her imaginary friend Posey. He’s a rabbit. Together the five (or six?) of them grit their teeth over Organized Fun activities, drinking a little too much after bed-time, oversharing classified secrets about their pasts and, before you know it, their holiday is a powder keg that ends – where this story starts – with a tearful, frightened, call to the police…

But what happened? They said they’d all be adults about this…

Title: The Adults

Author: Caroline Hulse

Genre: Contemporary

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 (3.5)/5

Disclaimer: I was sent this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are my own.

I went into this book kind of excited to see what a “hilarious” book that started with someone being shot by an arrow would be like. I ended it a little disappointed, but satisfied all the same.

It was an interesting book, from five main points of view:

Claire: a solicitor, mum of Scarlett, and dating Patrick.

Patrick: a sporty man, dating Claire. Extremely competitive and very hard on himself. Insecure especially around Claire’s ex.

Matt: Claire’s Ed husband and Scarlett’s dad. A bit lazy and childish, dating Alex.

Alex: a scientist, fairly new to adulthood, and an alcoholic. Struggles to deal well when everyone is put together on holiday.

Scarlett: Matt And Claire’s Daughter. She’s a bit judgmental of the new members of her family and has an imaginary friend Posey: a purple rabbit.

When all of these people are stuck together on a holiday in the Happy Forest, (a place that felt extremely similar to Centerparcs) obviously drama ensues!

For a book that describes itself as “the most hilarious debut you’ll read this year”, I didn’t find it particularly funny exactly. I only really smiled by page 200 at a sarcastic comment by a friend of Alex, and not much after then.

I wonder if the book hadn’t tried to sell itself as funny, but rather thoughtful, then it wouldn’t have set itself up for disappointment. I would describe it as a really in depth look at the lives within a blended family, and how Christmas time can bring out the best or the worst in us. This book is absolutely that!

Although, I don’t think it helps that I happened to read this around the same time I was already starting to feel a little overwhelmed by so much concentrated family time at Christmas. It kind of exaggerated that feeling with the book’s main obstacle being the forced time spent together with so many disjointed people. So that might mean I judged it a little unfairly in that regard.

One person I really could have done with reading more of was Alex’s friend, the one who called her a couple of times during this book. She was the funniest person! Would have really upped the comedic quality of this book, and the sarcastic quality too.

Also it was nice seeing an imaginary friend from a little girl’s perspective. I don’t know if the author ever had an imaginary friend herself, but I could see it being like this. Posey was quite a serious rabbit, very adult in comparison to Scarlett. He was almost like her subconscious thoughts brought to life.

I liked his perspectives on things, and his reactions to the things happening around him. It was a really unique perspective to read about and I’ve never read anything like this before in anything else, so very refreshing!

I also found the flash forwards to the police reports about someone getting shot by an arrow that you read about in the beginning quite interesting. I was a bit annoyed if they gave me spoilers about what was going to happen, but I liked the interesting format.

I’d say, if you want a nice easy-to-read book with some drama and a really well represented blended family, pick this book up! Don’t expect too much from the hilarity side of things and you’ll be able to just enjoy the well written dialogue, and the very human characters (flaws and all).

I don’t often read contemporary adult books, but this was a very nice one to pick up outside of my usual genres. I’ll happily check out this author again!

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