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We Are the Brennans Book Review by Tracey Lange

Reason for Reading This Book

My main reason for reading this book is that I am a ReadHead, a member of The ReadHeads podcast book club and the book of the month for August was We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange. I was excited to read this book because the host who chose the book is a young-adult genre fan. I have also liked most of the books chosen by this host. I had no expectations going into this book.

I read a majority of the book on my travels from California to Texas, and finished it in my destination of D.C. I read this book during 10 days of intensive work training and it was the perfect light read to pull me away from reality each day.

Content of this Book

One night Sunday Brennan makes a decision that changes her life forever. She gets behind the wheel after drinking, which results in both a crash and a DUI. What now? After the accident Sunday moves from Los Angeles back home to live with her family in New York. Sunday is now faced with the reality of being with her family and high school sweetheart who she abandoned five year prior. Once she returns home Sunday learns that a lot has changed since she left. Not only is she in trouble, but so are other people in her family. Everyone is keeping a secret and its only a matter of time before it comes out. Sunday is determined to recover so that she can return to LA and the life she had there. Things don't always go as you plan. Sunday realizes that her family needs her just as much as she needs them. The secret of what happened to Sunday one night five years ago with a pub-owner comes out and changes everything. The Brennan's are faced with the tacks of accepting mistakes and finding a way to come together. The characters experiences both personal and familial growth.


Family first. Secrets will always come out. Your family needs you just as much as you need them. 

What I Liked About this Book

As someone who has read a number of books written with multiple points of view, the style used by this author to transition from one point of view to another was unique, engaging, and less confusing. The author chose to have the last line of one character's chapter be the beginning line of the next character's chapter. This not only helped to keep the flow and progression of the plot, but it also made from an easy read and transition compared to stopping and starting abruptly. I liked how easy this book was to read. It was not dense and made for a perfect read to escape from work and life. I was excited to read this book each time I picked it up because I knew I would enjoy my time reading it. The author's choice of having so many characters give their perspective added to the dimension of the book and allowed the reader to get multiple perspectives on a situation and increased character development. This also allowed for personal reflection by each character. I loved how pieces of the past and how things came out effortlessly and consistently throughout the book. It was refreshing to read a book that was centered around family love and coming together to support one another. The author drew from her Irish Catholic upbringing for this book and it truly shows. As a reader I came to understand just how important family, traditions, and image are to families like the Brennan's.

What I Disliked About this Book

After listening the podcast episode on this book I realized that I did not relate or connect with any of the characters in this book. This is something that is becoming more common for me as I read a variety of books from different genres. This is a complaint had by both the hosts of the podcast and myself. This is not a bad thing, its more of an observation because this did not cause me to dislike the book in anyway. A specific things I disliked about the book is the ages of the characters. I had a hard time picturing Sunday as someone who is in her later 20s. Throughout the whole book and to this day I picture her as someone in her mid-30s. Since I continued to picture her at this age, looking back now that I realize just how young she was, some of her choices make more sense to me. Another compliant that I have about the book is that there was repetition. I get that each person in the family who learns of a secret at a different time and that it was important to learn their reaction, but I would have preferred a quick sentence about the reaction instead of a full explanation on how exactly they were told and in how much detail. The book could have been shorter if this was avoided. The last thing I dislike about the book is that I did not get an update on the characters following the conclusion of the book. I would have liked an update from any time frame just to see how they were doing. This is something I want as a reader, but I get that the author might want to leave it to the reader to make up an ending. 

Would I Recommend this Book?

Yes, I would recommend this book. It gave me Little Fires Everywhere vibes with all the family secrets. This is the perfect book to read when traveling, on vacation or when you need an escape from everyday life. 

Check out my book reviews for 2021!!

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