Friday, June 25, 2021

The View from the Very Best House in Town by Meera Trehan

Book Summary

This inventive debut combines the pleasures of a thriller, a school story, and a real estate listing in its witty and insightful exploration of what it means to be—and lose—a friend.

Sam and Asha. Asha and Sam. A perfect pair of friends whose differences complement well, and whose main similarity, autism, means they understand each other. They are a fixture, an established thing, just as Donnybrooke, the mansion that sits on the highest hill in Coreville, is the acknowledged best house in town—and Asha’s dream home. But when Sam is accepted into elite Castleton Academy, leaving Asha to navigate public middle school alone, she begins to wonder if the things she is certain about are so fixed after all. Because soon Sam is spending time with Prestyn, Asha’s tormentor whose family also happens to own Donnybrooke, and who have forbidden Asha from setting foot inside. Told from the points of view of Asha, Sam, and Donnybrooke itself, this remarkable debut explores themes of prejudice and classism as it delves into the mysteries of what makes a person a friend and a house a home.

Flo's Review

Well, this book took me through the range of emotions. I felt protective of Asha and Sam. I felt angry at the adults. And I rolled my eyes so hard at Donnybroke throughout the whole thing.

There's so much to explore in this story that I'm sure sleep deprived me won't scratch the surface, but I'll try to mention a few things. 

First of all, I loved how different points of view came in. How Donnybroke saw himself, how Asha same him, how Sam saw him, how Prestyn saw him. You of course have the different POVs of the children -- for example, how Sam's mom saw him, how Prestyn saw him, how Asha saw him, how he saw himself. Same with Asha.

I felt a lot of this book with my heart hurting for Sam and Asha and what I thought they didn't realize. But by the end I came to understand that they did realize everything. They processed it in their own time and way, and came out stronger. Though they were doubted by some of the adults in the story, they were also loved and understood by others. My favorite part of this story was walking this path with Sam and Asha, seeing through their eyes, feeling all the confusion and hurt, and then seeing how much they grew, individually. Friend break ups and relationships in general are every bit as emotional and impactful on the individuals as romantic relationships, and I'm always happy to read a friendship story.

I feel like I could go into my app store and download Househaunt! What detailed, realistic description of that game. Though I agree with Joanna -- it's probably too gross for me! Lol

Also, can we please have a mini series of stories from around the town all narrated by Donnybroke? That would be amazing.

The View from the Very Best House in Town publishes in February 2022, but don't worry -- I will definitely be reminding you of it when it gets closer to pub date so you can pick it up!

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