Cover Image: The People We Hate at the Wedding

The People We Hate at the Wedding

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Member Reviews

This book wasn't really what I expected. I requested thinking it was more along the lines of This is Where I leave You which was funny, engaging, and actually told a story along with being biting and sarcastic in parts. The characters in that one were actually likable. The characters in this book were whiny and self-absorbed I felt. The plot trudged along and actually felt more like a character study in dysfunction rather than being funny or compelling. I also didn't care for the format of the alternating perspectives. It honestly felt like moving from one self-indulging complainer to the next.

I really found the title to be misleading as well since the wedding is just a small part towards the end. The ending also felt abrupt and as if I was left hanging as to what happened when they returned to the US. All in all a disappointing read that could have been a lot better.
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The People We Hate at the Wedding immediately struck me – both the title and the cover sucked me right in.  I tend to be sarcastic, and at times I have a very sardonic sense of humor, so a book about people we hate at the wedding…sign me up!  I wasn’t really sure what I was getting myself into, but the dysfunctional family author Grant Ginder writes for us is deep, difficult and at times hilariously funny, even in their depressive states.

I thought the story telling device of hearing from all of the characters in the book served its point well.  We mostly hear from Donna, the mother of the family, and her three children, who each get a turn to tell their story.  I enjoy when different view points are revealed to us because I think the perspective builds depth of character.  And let me tell you, these are not the most likable people.  In fact, I didn’t really know who I was rooting for, or if I was rooting for anyone at all!  But, these people are three dimensional and even when they are being horrible to each other, you can see where they are coming from, even though you want to tell them to stop!  I have to say I was a little jealous of how they all just laid it out there to each other, saying exactly how they felt.  I know a lot of us could use a little bit of that therapy.

The People We Hate at the Wedding is a quick, read.  Once I got into the meat of it, I finished it within a couple of days.  I thought it was extremely smart and well written, and I highlighted a few quotes that I felt were very poignant.  I love when Paul, the brother, says “If a man’s character is to be abused, say what you will, there’s nobody like a relative to do the business,” because it is true.  No one can get you like someone you love, and it is the heart of this book.  This family obviously loves each other, they just don’t have to be traditional in the way they do it.

I would call this a great summer, beach read, but it is not for the faint of heart – it definitely leans “R” rated, but that was no problem for me.  I loved the book and would recommend to anyone who has a dark sense of humor and loves a great story of family dysfunction.  I am Really Into It and am ready for more of Ginder’s books.

Special thanks to Grant Ginder, Flatiron Books & NetGalley for providing our copy in exchange for an honest & fair review.
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I have found myself on a major dysfunctional character reading binge lately and I absolutely love it.  The People We Hate At The Wedding is no exception.  Maybe it is because I can absolutely relate to the craziness that was rampant in this hot mess of a family -- from the mother and the son not speaking to each other over a misunderstanding to the animosity Alice harbors towards her half-sister Elosie, or maybe I just needed this snarkiness in my life at the moment.  There were moments from the rehearsal on to the end of the book where I actually laughed out loud, but there were also moments were I cringed and wanted to gag (trash can therapy sessions, NO THANK YOU.)   This is a story about three siblings who are stumbling along through life, displeased as to where they currently find themselves, jealous of their half-sister who seems to be living the life that they wish they could have lived, and blaming everyone along the way for their problems .   Alice (bless her heart) is just stuck in grief over a loss that happened five years ago and she can not move on from it.   Paul (Alice’s brother) is an absolute door mat and struggling with what he wants to do with his life and poor Eloise just wants everyone to get along and be the perfect happy family.  But not every family is like a Norman Rockwell painting and this particular one has messiness and drama in spades.  The only thing that Paul and Alice can seem to agree on is their loathing for Eloise as her impending marriage approaches.  
 I did feel that this story dragged a bit in the middle and I wish there was more focus on the actual wedding  then the time leading up to the big event.  That being said, I still found it to be a solid 3.5 star read.  If you like snarky characters and flawed families, then this is would be an enjoyable read for you.   Many thanks to Netgalley and FlatIron Books for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.
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Cutting. That's the best word I can think of to describe this book. Some family stories are warm and happy, and this is sharp and cutting and messy, and yes, at times, funny. Grinder shows family dysfunction in all its completely ugly reality, and has created characters who are simultaneously hateful and worth investing in. There were parts of this book that were just plain gross (read: the garbage can scenes), but in my opinion, when a book is gross and I keep reading, it's a sign of quality writing and plot.  I do wish more of the book had been set actually in England and involving the wedding. The last 20% was my favorite and there were a few laugh-out-loud moments toward the very end. If you have a family that sometimes drives you to tears, and if you understand that life isn't all warm and fuzzy for all of us, this is the summer book for you.
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This is - hands down - one of the best novels about family, social class, and thirtysomething malaise I have ever read. This is the novel I was expecting The Nest to be. I feel like I've just been to a family wedding and spent the whole time with the most interesting people there.
Grant Ginder has created a family of charming, funny, intelligent characters who all come to London for a wedding. Shifting back and forth between perspectives, you have time to enjoy seeing what's inside each family member's head. I loved spending time with each of them and their wry observations and biting commentary - I actually giggled reading this on the subway.
This book is smartly written. The language is perfectly chosen, but the writing is unpretentious. Unlike a lot of books about people with money, this one doesn't fall into the trap of trying to prove it "belongs" with too many references to brand names or materialism. It was pitch perfect.
Congratulations to Ginder, who makes it look easy. I enjoyed this so much, I will read anything he writes.
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This was a tough read because I didn't particularly like any of the characters. I read through to the end hoping that either they would have consequences for their bad behavior or they would change. While their were consequences, I didn't feel like at the end any of the characters had changed or took responsibility for their mis-deeds. There just seems to be an acceptance that everyone in the family is an awful person in some way, shape or form.
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I'm always up for a cutting, humorous dysfunction family tale to lighten my reading and give me an escapist chuckle.  Jonathan Tropper and Where'd You Go, Bernadette? are among my favorites. The genius in the best of these is finding the absurd while still keeping the reader invested.  This book carried the sharp humor, certainly.  But, the characters were vicious right out of the gate, and that kept me from finding a grounding with this one.
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The author perfectly catches the dysfunctional family at the heart of the book. I laughed til I cried reading this book. What an absolute joy to read. Funny, tender, honest and insightful. I loved it
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I wanted to love this book but I was unable to connect with it. I wanted to give up but I kept pushing through hoping I would have a connecting moment but sadly that didn't happen.
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I felt the characters were lifeless and didn't get too much into the book.
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I received an ARC of this novel from Netgalley in exchange for my review.  At first glance this novel seems to be predictable:  a wedding brings out the worst in family members.  However, you don't need to get much beyond the first chapter to figure out that this family brings dysfunction to an entirely new level!  Alice is in a depression and having and affair with her boss, but actually her full-time job is hating her half-sister Eloise.  Paul, their brother has issues of his own.  His partner wants to try adding other people to their relationship and doesn't understand why Paul hasn't spoken to his mother in two years and won't go to Eloise's wedding. All of these people come together at Eloise's wedding in a way that will make you laugh and shake your head as you recognize your own family members in some of these hilariously written scenes!  A very addicting story!
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At the heart of this book is a very dysfunctional family with absolutely selfish and unappealing characters.  Not the light and fun read at all that the book's description implies.  Paul and Alice fly to London to attend their half sister's wedding.  Alice is having an affair with a married man, Paul's partner is getting tired of him, and Eloise has everything going for her.  Not recommended.
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Sometimes family is not what you expect and this novel looks at the strained relationships of half-siblings. All their life Paul and Alice have resented their older, glamorous half-sister Eloise for her rich father. When Eloise gets married Alice is in the wedding party and Paul is forced to attend. this forces all of them to look at the truth in their lives and reevaluate relationships. A story of family, loyalty, and recognizing the truth and love.
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After reading this novel I felt the author had taken many similar stories and squished them all together into this rather dull tale  of a family having to deal with the wedding of one of the siblings. 

The book is loaded with stereotypical characters, the misunderstood, wealthy half sister, the failure sister who is having an affair with her married boss and the gay brother who is abused by his lover. 

Somehow it all comes together with the predicable break-up of two of the siblings and the bride getting cold feet before the wedding.  Even thrown into the mix is the cheating, wealthy father of the bride who disappoints again with a local girl. 

A very disappointing and unoriginal novel.
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I love the title, I love the cover and I think I’m going to love the story too. The People We Hate At the Wedding by Grant Ginder sounds like the kind of book I open and read in one glorious sitting!

Come on, admit it! This looks really good:

Paul and Alice’s half-sister Eloise is getting married! In London! There will be fancy hotels, dinners at “it” restaurants and a reception at a country estate complete with tea lights and embroidered cloth napkins.
They couldn’t hate it more.

The People We Hate at the Wedding is the story of a less than perfect family. Donna, the clan’s mother, is now a widow living in the Chicago suburbs with a penchant for the occasional joint and more than one glass of wine with her best friend while watching House Hunters International. Alice is in her thirties, single, smart, beautiful, stuck in a dead-end job where she is mired in a rather predictable, though enjoyable, affair with her married boss.

Her brother Paul lives in Philadelphia with his older, handsomer, tenured track professor boyfriend who’s recently been saying things like “monogamy is an oppressive heteronormative construct,” while eyeing undergrads. And then there’s Eloise. Perfect, gorgeous, cultured Eloise. The product of Donna’s first marriage to a dashing Frenchman, Eloise has spent her school years at the best private boarding schools, her winter holidays in St. John and a post-college life cushioned by a fat, endless trust fund. To top it off, she’s infuriatingly kind and decent.
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I put this down part-way because I thought it was too vulgar.
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