2023 Book Review: Not a Happy Family

Not a Happy Family by Shari Lapena 

A Mystery/Thriller, 2021 by Pamela Dorman Books, 344 Page 

What I Didn’t Like:

  • There’s definitely a lot of out of touch rich people in this one. I’m not overly sensitive to that and I even noticed. Spoiled and entitled would describe this entire family. 
  • The 3rd person omniscient POV causes a lot of head hopping, even inside of a chapter. Combine this with the big cast and it means you never really feel connected to any characters. 
  • The big reveal felt a little sudden, almost. It felt like we were building to it naturally and then it just happened quickly. It wasn’t anticlimactic, necessarily, and I felt like it worked. It just felt like it suddenly popped up out of nowhere. 

What I Did Like:

  • That prologue is amazing. Do yourself a favor and read the sample pages online, you’ll definitely want the rest!
  • The mystery itself is satisfying. I didn’t have it all figured out, which is always good, and it seemed to come together pretty well. Plus, you definitely believe more than one of the suspects could have been responsible, which always heightens the anticipation for that big reveal. 
  • Terrible people behaving badly. Sometimes this can be a bad thing but in a mystery like this it actually works. It reminds me of watching How to Get Away With Murder. You know they’re all bad people, you’re just wondering who the bad person responsible for this particular thing is. It’s shockingly addictive. 

Who Should Read This One:

  • Fans of mysteries that are multi-layered who like to try and follow the clues and figure it all out. This one is packed with likely suspects for you to accuse!

My Rating: 4 Stars

  • This is a good mystery for unraveling but it is a big cast so be aware of that!

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