The Adults

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 28 Jan 2019

Member Reviews

Claire and Matt are divorced. Their daughter Scarlett is seven and Christmas is approaching. Suddenly it is a great idea for the divorcées, their daughter, her imaginary rabbit Posey, and the new significant others to all holiday together so Scarlett can be surrounded by family. What could possibly go wrong? In her debut novel, Hulse does an excellent job of creating a tinderbox and then tossing in a little kerosene and a match. The Adults is a realistic but humorous view of exactly what happens when the grown ups try too hard and get absolutely everything wrong. This was a great holiday read. I thank NetGally and the publisher for the ARC and look forward to more honest, yet heartfelt, novels from this debut author.
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Two couples and one little girl head to the Happy Forest Holiday Park with one goal in mind, give Scarlet a picture-perfect Christmas.   Matt and Claire have been split up for a few years now and they both have new partners.  Even though Matt has Alex and Claire has Patrick, there is still a lot of resentment and bitterness between the two couples.  A lot of history.  A lot of things left unsaid. And a seven-year-old little girl with a sassy imaginary friend and an intense desire to see her parents get back together.  But "The Adults" make an effort to let it all go. They make an effort to bury the hatchet and get through the weekend.  But when you have adults forced to be together in close quarters, throw in some competitive activities, add in alcohol, and you have the makings of an explosive situation.  And that is where the book starts.  With one of them shot and the rest of them telling their stories to the authorities.

The Adults is the anti-Hallmark Christmas story. And I loved every page of it.   The book is about four flawed characters and a little girl being raised by imperfect parents.  Patrick and Matt were the most difficult to like.  Patrick was a narcissistic ass and Matt was an irresponsible free-spirit.  Even though they can't stand each other, it is indisputable that Matt and Claire have a history. Their shared history sometimes left Claire and Patrick feeling left out and on the outside looking in, which also made me feel a little bad for them.  More for Claire than Patrick.  His intense assholiness made it tough to feel bad for him.   The book is kind of a mystery because you are unsure of who did the shooting on the archery range.  But I think the ending was just a little bit of a cop-out. - CLICK HERE FOR SPOILERS  As much as I enjoyed this book, I must warn you, there is a lot of rough languages.  Which is just another reason why I loved it.  You wouldn't see that kind of language in a Hallmark movie.

Bottom Line - I don't think there has been a more perfect cover of a book this year.  Under the best of circumstances, the holidays can be like a powderkeg with a short fuse.  The Adults is an entertaining look at the way one modern family handles the pressure.


The Adults by Caroline Hulse
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Pages: 368
Publisher: Random House Publishing
Publication Date: 11/27/2018
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Four adults and a little girl with an imaginary bunny go on a Christmas weekend trip together during which each one has their own collision with reality.  Matt and Claire are the divorced parents of Scarlett.  Matt and his new girlfriend, Alex, go along with Claire and her new partner, Patrick, on this unusual adventure so as to give Scarlett a Christmas where she has all the important adults in her life with her at once.  As expected, there are tensions and certain inevitable truths make their way to the surface all of which lead up to the near tragedy which occurs and how the adults manage their way through.  

This was a very entertaining, well written, and fascinating story which I really enjoyed.  It was interesting and a bit frustrating and I couldn't wait to get back to it.  Strongly recommend.  

Many thanks to NetGalley, the publisher and the author for a review copy.  This is my honest opinion.
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This book was okay. I enjoyed it but it was nothing spectacular. The "fun" description of this book, along with its cover page is what prompted me to read it although the description was not too accurate. Sure, the book was entertaining but I wouldn't describe it as fun--or "hilarious debut" like Goodreads states. I feel like I've seen too many movies about exes trying to spend the holidays together. I enjoyed the author's writing style though.
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This book was long and it felt long. It was definitely not "the most hilarious debut you'll read this year" but there was a good amount of dark humor. I just think this one was big for me.
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I read this during the holidays spent with a niece with the manners of a stapler who works in ya publishing never disconnects from her devices and expects somehow to be
taken care of by the industry so that made the book even more fun. I read it more for the writing and characters the plot seemed a bit
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A fun dysfunctional family novel set during the holidays—this would be an especially good read for anyone who enjoys a bit of cringe comedy.
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Divorced couple takes their daughter on a holiday with their new partners .... what could go wrong? A great read that has humor, a little mystery and a lot of dysfunction in the book! Thoroughly enjoyed the book and definitely recommend it!
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If you like all things cringeworthy, look no further for your next comedic read. Here is a dysfunctional, blended "family" which surely many of us can relate to: Matt and Claire are parents to Scarlett, a 7-year-old whose best friend is an invisible, giant, talking purple rabbit named Posey, who currently lives with Claire and her boyfriend Patrick, while Matt lives with his girlfriend Alex, seeing Scarlett only intermittently throughout the last 3 years. Hoping to finally spend another Christmas as a family, Matt suggests doing just that- planning a trip out to Happy Forest Lodge with Claire, Scarlett, and their new partners. The ensuing story answers the questions: "What could go wrong?" again and again and again.... 

The first few pages detail an emergency call Alex placed in response to one of the guys' being shot on the archery course on Christmas Eve, and the rest of the book details the haphazard geniality over the week before that led up to the dire injury. Following the POVs of Patrick, the obsessively anal rule-follower and hopeful Ironman, Alex, the practical, oft humorless non-drinking scientist, and Scarlett, the precocious child relying on the help of her imaginary friend to reunite her parents and push Alex out of all their lives, Hulse's sweet and uncomfortable novel led me through a predictable, albeit entertaining romp through a well-tended resort in the back woods of the UK. Would recommend as a palate cleanser between heavier reads!
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Claire and Matt decide to celebrate Christmas together as a family for their daughter, Scarlett, even though they are no long together and have new significant others. You know the ending of the book at the very beginning but you don't know how four civil adults end up there until the climax of the book. There's a role reversal in this book, with the four adults acting childish and Scarlett, the actual child, being more adult than those around her. Sometimes funny, the characters are not very likable but recognizable.
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Great read! I really enjoyed this story. The premise seems very normal with the divorced parents wanting to do what's best for the child. What could go wrong when they all go on vacation together? The characters are wonderful and at times like people I know. I received a copy from NetGalley and the publisher and this is my honest opinion.
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If you are an adult, you will enjoy reading this book. I read it as a 30 year old woman who has been divorced and has two children. This is just one of those books that makes you keenly aware of what is so good about your life and helps you reexamine your own questionable choices.
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This was a perfect clever book about a dysfunctional family that made me yearn for it to be made into a movie.  Such funny characters and situations, a real joy to read, never being too twee or goofy.
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Apologies that you’re going to be seeing Christmas book reviews so late (knowing how I review, probably in February or March), but when I take a vacation I really take a vacation and don’t log on/post reviews so it is was it is.

Wow, this kind of has a low rating. It was also a mixed bag with my friends. But for me?????  Haters gonna hate, but I love love loooooooved it.  And you should totally trust me because I'm never wrong.  I mean I haven’t been told I suck turtles in like MONTHS now guys ; )

First off, it starts with a 911 call reporting someone has been shot . . . . WITH. AN. ARROW. Ummmm yes please. Also, reminiscent of the hen party gone bad in In A Dark, Dark Wood. But this one promised it would be darkly funny so not exactly the same? Whatever. My brain makes connections the way it wants – I’ve given up trying to fight it. 

In case you aren’t aware, the premise here is that Claire, Matt and their daughter Scarlett – oh and Scarlett’s best pal .- are going to have a combined Christmas with Claire’s boyfriend Patrick and Matt’s girlfriend Alex. It’s the epitome of co-parenting and as Clark once said it’s sure to be the “hap-hap-happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap danced with Danny Fucking Kaye.” Or as Matt says . . . . 

“If barking royals like Prince Andrew and Fergie can manage it, we should be OK. We’re all normal, right?” 

Okay, so The Adults had like my FAVE.O.RITE. things. # 1 . . . . dysfunctional family.

Seriously. Nothing makes me feel like I’m not so fucked up like reading about other people who are not so fucked up either . . . wait, that’s not right. Or it shouldn’t be, but much like the Griswolds or the McAlister’s – these people put the FUN in dysfunction. They aren’t perfect, but they’re trying their best. 


For realz. Christmas is my crack. Normally I’d have like eleventy thousand photos to prove how much Christmas spirit I barf out all over my house in the form of overly decorated trees in every room, but I think I spent way more hours spending money I don’t have and actually doing the decorating this year than admiring my handiwork. Also, I did things like read in my Christmas jammies . . . . and watched traditional Christmas movies like Die Hard . . . . and hung out with a horrible little psycho kitten (who can only sleep upside down because he is part vampire????) . . . . and also publicly shamed myself sending my family members photos like my cats on the kitchen island eating turkey carcass as soon as I turned my back to make the gravy. . . . 

Who let’s this happen? Garbage humans, that’s who.

Anyway, all that non-reviewing nonsense is to let you know that maybe I was just in the right place at the right time for this, but whatever the case was I absolutely loved it.

ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Hey, at least I gave you a decent Instagram pic for once since you got a shitty bit of nothing in this write up!
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Darkly funny, as well as twisty, the plot of this book is fascinating and this was a delight to read. All of the characters have ulterior motives, but they aren't all good or all bad. The best part is that they are portrayed realistically and the twists aren't gratuitous. I enjoyed this one!
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A holiday with your current partner, your ex and her partner sounds fun right? Right? Right? WRONG! 
This book is about Matt and Claire, who are divorced and want to spend Christmas with their child. But it’s not that simple, they also have live in partners in their respective lives whom they bring along. Together for 5 days at a family holiday park! Perfect plan for a perfect disaster. 
This was a fun read, filled with confusions and misunderstandings. Oh and an invisible 🐰!
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I love a good snarky story (Skipping Christmas is my all-time favorite) about family drama happenings around the holidays so I went into this one with high hopes. Honestly, you would think that a story about exes vacationing together with their new partners and the child they share could be uproariously entertaining but not only did I find this one dull and lackluster but I don't recall laughing a single time. I know this was well-loved by many, however, even though it wasn't a bad story in the least it just wasn't anything that I anticipated when I went into this.
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This book was ok, rather drawn out to my thinking.  A weekend at a holiday park at Christmas time: for a 7 year old girl and 4 adults (  2 couples) Exes and their new partners.

Living in close proximity to each other for a weekend-not the best plan.

A 911 call states that a man was shot at the archery range with an arrow.

The little girl Scarlett has an imaginary friend, Posey a purple rabbit that goes everywhere with her.
She doesn't like her dad's girlfriend,, Alex..

Arguments and insults abound when Alex gets drunk and insults Claire (Scarlett's mother).  There's also a case of male hormones-jealousy.

Tempers are faring at a high level when 3 of the foursome are at the archery range.  The load up their bows and threaten to shoot each other.  Claire shoots Patrick (her boyfriend) in the shoulder because she thought her ex (Matt) was going to shot him.  She claims she saved Mat's life by shooting Patrick.

Alex drops Scarlett off at a burlesque dance class before going to the archery range.  They agree on a story that to tell the authorities that Alex shot Patrick by accident (this protects Claire from losing custody of Scarlett or worse..

The authorities don't believe their story but have no idea who did the actual shooting.

While they were at the park Patrick noticed an old girlfriend and managed to have everyone stay at the cabin next to her.

Patrick wants to keep the arrow that shot him an display it in a case over the mantel.
At the end of the book Patrick is telling the authorities that everyone got on well, no fights.

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This sounded like a fun Christmas story where a divorced couple decide to have Christmas vacation together for their daughter. And bring their new partners with them. A weekend where the four of them will make it great fun for their daughter, Scarlett. 

Well, things didn't quite turn out so magical and perfect! There were some funny moments but it didn't entertain me like I expected. Don't get me wrong, it was good and a light read at the holidays. 

I didn't really connect with any of the characters except maybe Scarlett's imaginary rabbit! He had some of the best lines to make me laugh.

* I was provided an ARC to read from the publisher and NetGalley. It was my decision to read and review this book.
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Perhaps the first mistake was in marketing this as a comedy because in that regard it definitely falls short of the mark, and once I realized I wasn't going to be amused, it was hard for me to get into this book. 4 adults (two of them ex-es) and the daughter they share travel to a holiday get-away to spend Christmas together. Nevermind the fact that none of the characters are terribly likable, the situation just isn't funny. I felt like an unwanted onlooker thrown into the most uncomfortable domestic dispute ever.

Unfortunately, I think the mismarketing led me to have more negative feelings about this book than it probably warrants. The shifting prose is a nice technique that propels the story forward without getting bogged down in the narrative. Posey the imaginary bunny is sweet and clever, even if misguided on the job details of scientists, and may be my favorite character of the novel. The characters are well written, if predictably flawed and relatable even when they are unlikable. I suspect many will find more enjoyment of this book than I did. I went looking for a light holiday read, and that isn't what I found.
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