Today’s review is on The Beach Trap by Ali Brady.
About the Book
Two best friends torn apart by a life-altering secret. They have one summer to set the record straight.
When twelve-year-olds Kat Steiner and Blake O’Neill meet at Camp Chickawah, they have an instant connection. But everything falls apart when they learn they’re not just best friends—they’re also half-sisters. Confused and betrayed, their friendship instantly crumbles.
Fifteen years later when their father dies suddenly, Kat and Blake discover he’s left them a joint inheritance: the family beach house in Destin, Florida. The two sisters are instantly at odds. Blake, who has recently been demoted from regular nanny to dog nanny, wants to sell the house, while social media influencer Kat is desperate to keep the place where she had so many happy childhood memories.
Kat and Blake reluctantly join forces to renovate the dilapidated house with the understanding that Kat will try to buy Blake out at the end of the summer. The women clash as Blake’s renovation plans conflict with Kat’s creative vision, and each sister finds herself drawn into a summer romance. As the weeks pass, the two women realize the most difficult project they face this summer will be coming to grips with their shared past, and learning how to become sisters.
I need to start by saying that I did not realize that Ali Brady was actually the pen name of a writing duo until about 2/3 of the way through when I happened to glance at the About the Author blurb. They do a fantastic job and unless I’d discovered that I would have just assumed it was one writer. They do a great job of giving Blake and Kat their own voices, however the writing style is seamless.
I really liked this take on The Parent Trap, and how instead of twins, our main characters are half-sisters. I liked how we saw how different their lives were because of the decisions their father chose to make.
I found Kat to be unfairly angry at Blake, but it also makes sense that she would be, especially when her family is big on keeping up appearances. It was also interesting to see how both women processed their grief and anger towards their father, and learn that the other wasn’t to blame for his poor life choices. I loved seeing both of these characters grow, and also find love in the midst of a difficult time.
I also really liked how the novel briefly touches on how lonely and empty influencer culture can be and how it affects our standard of beauty. Here is a quote regarding beauty that I really liked:
“Happiness matters more than what someone else – influencer or not – decides is beautiful. Besides, there’s more to life than looking good on the outside. Especially if you’re just using make up and clothes to cover up how broken you are on the inside.” (p.219).
I also liked the banter between Blake and Noah when they first met, they both had some great lines that I ended up writing down.
I really enjoyed The Beach Trap and I plan on picking up more Ali Brady’s work in the future. 4/5 Stars.
Janelle L. C.