When a house party goes terribly wrong, a suburban town fractures, exposing disturbing truths about the community—perfect for fans of Little Fires Everywhere and Ask Again, Yes.
“The House Party will keep readers on the edge of their seats.”—PopSugar
It’s the party of the year. Afterward, nothing will ever be the same.
Maja Jensen is smart, stylish, and careful, the type of woman who considers every detail when building her dream home in the suburbs of Philadelphia. The perfect house that would compensate for her failure to have a child, the house that was going to save her marriage. But when a group of reckless teenagers trash the newly built home just weeks before she moves in, her plans are shattered.
Those teenagers, two months away from graduating high school, are the “good kids”—the ones on track to go to college and move on to the next stage of their privileged lives. They have grown up in a protected bubble and are accustomed to getting by with just a slap on the wrist. Did they think they could just destroy property without facing punishment? Or was there something deeper, darker, at play that night? As the police close in on a list of suspects, the tight-knit community begins to fray as families attempt to protect themselves.
What should have been the party of the year will have repercussions that will put Maja’s marriage to the ultimate test, jeopardize the futures of those “good kids,” and divide the town over questions of privilege and responsibility.
An absorbing novel told through shifting perspectives, The House Party explores how easily friendships, careers, communities, and marriages can upend when differences in wealth and power are forced to the surface.
Cameron's riveting latest (after Ophelia's Muse) explores class and economic divisions in an affluent Philadelphia suburb during the late-2000s housing bubble. High school senior Will O'Connor looks forward to attending Princeton on scholarship alongside his rich friend Hunter Finch, the son of prominent real estate developer Dom, who's too wrapped up in work to be much of a father. At a year-end party, Will sees his girlfriend Maddie being sexually assaulted in the house and breaks a glass door to save her, inadvertently encouraging others to trash the place. Homeowner Maja Jensen, a New York City transplant, longs for a baby and had hoped building an expensive dream home would repair her fraught relationship with her husband, Ted. After the Jensens learn of the extensive damage, which occurred shortly before they planned to move in, they demand justice but don't find much sympathy or cooperation from the parents of those involved, and the police initially suspect the Jensens' subcontractors before turning their focus on Will, whose older brother has a history of trouble. Cameron does a stellar job at demonstrating how easily stereotyping and wealth can influence outcomes, setting a wide lens on the burgeoning housing crisis by showing how the Jensens are over-leveraged while Dom scoops up foreclosed properties. A seamless plot and believable characters make for an accomplished sophomore effort. Readers are in for a treat.
This story had good plots but there were too many going on at once. The writing is very good but all of the characters were so flawed it was difficult to root for any of them. I would recommend the book.
Good story, great characters
Very believable story; author writes about the intersection of urban and suburban values and attitudes very accurately. The younger characters are developed very well. Sometimes an adult author can make teens and young adults less than fully realized. Not so here.