Book Review: The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

thenestcoverSynopsis: In New York City, siblings Leo, Jack, Beatrice, and Melody have been promised a trust (The Nest) that they will receive when Melody, the youngest, turns forty. A few months prior to getting their money, Leo is caught with his pants down in a car accident and needs to pay off the woman that he was caught with. The sibling’s distant mother uses The Nest to help Leo out, and the siblings must come to terms with the loss of their inheritance.

Genre: Fiction
Setting: Modern day New York City
My copy came from: I unfortunately purchased this on Kindle. At least I only paid $3.99 for the book as it was on a year-end sale (which is no longer going on), but it was still a complete waste of money.

Review: I’ve been lucky lately and have read a lot of good books. Unfortunately, this book marks the end of my good run and made my first read of 2017 a complete dud. The Nest was truly terrible. I hated it.

Where do I start with what I disliked about the book?

The characters were some of the most despicable characters I’ve ever read. Leo was essentially the main character, or at least, the main person that everyone was concerned with, and Leo was a complete scumbag. When we meet Leo in the prologue, he is using cocaine, drinking alcohol, and leaving his wife at a family wedding to go scam a young waitress (he convinces her that he is in the music business. He is not.). While he’s being, ahem, serviced, in the car, he gets in a car accident, and the young lady with him ends up losing her foot in the accident. There is a settlement, which Leo has no money for, and so his mother uses The Nest to help pay the girl (Matilda) off.

Leo doesn’t really have any positive attributes to him. He’s not very kind, he’s not very deep, and there was nothing within his personality that made me like him. His siblings weren’t all that better. I was liking Jack, his younger brother who is struggling with money and hiding things from his husband, Walker, but then Jack goes and tries to sell an artifact stolen from the 9/11 rubble in order to hide his financial troubles from his husband. Not cool. Instead of these situations humanizing the characters, I just kept getting more and more irritated.

The sisters, Melody and Beatrice, were all right I guess. They at least seemed to be concerned about other people! Melody has money woes as she has twin sixteen-year-old daughters, and has to worry about making house payments and saving for college. Beatrice is a writer who had a popular story way-back-when and hasn’t written anything since. Neither of them grabbed my attention; they were both just there and I felt zero connection to them.

Besides the characters of the siblings, there is the character of Stephanie, an old flame of Leo’s, who helps Leo out after his wife takes him for everything he has. Stephanie was nice, and I wanted her to run far, far away from Leo, but Leo kept wheedling his way back into her heart.

It was such a burden, other people’s lives.

The whole plot hinges on the siblings relying on receiving the trust money, called The Nest. Melody and Jack have both dug themselves into money holes and need the money to get back on track. As far as I could figure out, the money was initially intended to be about $50,000. But due to investments, the siblings were going to be receiving $500,000 and were making their plans based on the 500k figures. I found myself not caring at all about whether or not they would get the money. Sorry, but I didn’t care that Jack might have to sell his vacation house and be honest with his husband about the money issues. (Gasp! Communication!) I didn’t care that Melody might have to sell her home that she spent far too much money on to begin with and insisted on having it fixed up with the latest stuff. I just could not care about any of it.

Melody has twin daughters, Nora and Louisa, and the girls tour all of the top colleges and are enrolled in SAT classes in order to get into a good college. But it is more of Melody forcing her ideas on her daughters than what the girls want to do. The girls each get to be a part of the story too, as they skip out of the SAT classes and cross paths with another gal, Simone, who Nora develops a relationship with. Now, the girls are sixteen, and the author goes into descriptive detail as to their sexual relationship. It was too much, and I get that the author was trying to put Nora’s struggle with her sexuality into the book, but I just don’t think there needed to be such detailed description about a relationship between sixteen year olds. This is a book geared towards adults, and I thought the scenes were unnecessary and I just didn’t understand the purpose of putting that much graphic detail into the scenes.

Besides the odd sex scenes, there is also a fair bit of language. Sometimes language bugs me in a book, other times it doesn’t bother me, and I was back and forth here. There was a lot of it here, enough for me to make a note of it, so if language or sexy scenes bother you, then stay away from this book. But I suppose hearing that Leo was caught with his pants down in the prologue would’ve been a good hint to stay away!

There was a pretentious air to The Nest which was irritating, and WTF was with that ending!? I read the whole book for THAT?? Uggh. I almost rated this book one star on Goodreads, the lowest of the low, but then realized that while pretentious and oddly inappropriate in places, that I would read another book from this author. So I upped my rating to two stars. The Nest was fast paced and snappy, but ultimately I just didn’t care about anyone in the book, and when you don’t care about the characters, it’s impossible to care about the plot. Last year my first read of the year was my favorite read, and this year I feel that this may end up on my list as my least favorite read. I hope 2017 has more to offer than this!!

Bottom Line: Full of despicable characters that made it difficult to care about plot. I hated this.

Links to The Nest on Amazon and Goodreads (but really, why would you???!!!)

Have you read The Nest? Did Leo crawl his way into your heart? Am I crazy for disliking one of the Top Books of 2016?


28 thoughts on “Book Review: The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

    1. If you do, perhaps you can return it. ?? I was so excited when I saw it was on sale, as it was on all the bestseller lists for 2016 and I was expecting it to be wonderful. What a disappointment!


  1. Thanks for the warning! Will avoid this book at all costs (even free!). It spunds dreadful. Why was it again that you would read another book by the same author? Think I would just avoid her like the plague. There are too many good books out there waiting yo be read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are right! There are a lot of good books out there. I just always try to give authors another chance. I think The Nest was her first book, so perhaps her characters will get more interesting with time.


  2. I tried to read this when it came out last spring and got as far as the car accident and returned it to library. I couldn’t get into it and didn’t care to continue and based on your review that was a good decision.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good for you for stopping the book! And even better that you got it from the library.
      I’m not quite sure why I pushed through this one; I think I kept hoping it would get better, but nope. ! And the ending was truly terrible. You didn’t miss anything at all!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I loved the concept of the book, and the way it’s told from different characters. I picked it up because it sounded similar to the style of a book I had written, and I wanted a comparison. I totally understand what you’re saying. Very difficult to like characters with problems that they caused themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah the concept was good, and I appreciated all of the different viewpoints, although there were a bit too many viewpoints. I could’ve done without the downstairs neighbor and the guy who was in rehab with the girl that was in the accident.
      I just could not connect with any of the characters!

      Liked by 1 person

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