Author: Ali Brady
Publication Date: June 14, 2022
Obtained: publisher via Netgalley
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Bottom Line: Families are complex
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab
Summary: 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, the girls break off all contact. 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 immediately 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 hold on to the place where she lived so many happy 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; meanwhile, 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. ~amazon.com
Review: Blake and Kat meet when they are 12 and develop a strong bond but only to be ripped about by discovering they have the same father. Kat viewed it as a betrayal from Blake and Blake was too stunned to understand what was going on, only that she came face to face with the man who deserted her when her mom died.
Fast-forward to 15 years, when their dad has died and left both of them the family beach house in Florida. For Kat, there's more surprises when her dad dies and things she has to reconcile. They each have grand plans for the house and for very different reasons. Kat is upset because she has to figure out what to do with the house with Blake.
Blake and Kat couldn't be more different but with this dilapidated beach house they have no choice but to figure out how to communicate. How are they going to do the renovations with little money? How will they live under the same roof as each other? They come up with a plan where they alternate weeks at the house and Blake wants to do most of the work.
There's a lot of emotion in this novel for both Blake and Kat but for different reasons. At first I found Kat vapid (I think that was the point) but realized that she had a good heart and was working her way through her own issues. It was easier for her to blame Blake and not the father she had tried so hard to please.
For Blake, she loved growing up with her grandparents but still deals with abandonment issues and needs to come to terms with the fact that part of Kat's family is hers as well. She has just as much of a right to the beach house as Kat does. It is part of her legacy.
As someone who watches HGtv but has no clue how to do anything, I was super impressed with Blake's now-how for renovating a house. Kat had some great design/color ideas as well. So, their skill sets did compliment each other.
I highly recommend The Beach Trap as a summer read but beware you might want to buy your own and fix it up.