Book Review: The Guest List by Lucy Foley

The Blurb: “The bride ‧ The plus one ‧ The best man ‧ The wedding planner ‧ The bridesmaid ‧ The body 

On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.

But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast.

And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?”

Genre: Thriller, Murder Mystery, Fiction

Goodreads Rating: 3.8/5

My Rating: 3/5

THIS REVIEW DOES CONTAIN SPOILERS


I read this book after being recommended by my boyfriend, he said it was good but not fantastic and I have to admit I absolutely agree with him. I found this book quite a reach. For me personally it was all over the place but I enjoyed the way it was written and the journey it took us through. the anticipation for what was to come was within me form the very start.

So the book is based on a small island off of Ireland known for death and the bodies under the ground. Here Jules and Will, both incredibly popular and high profile, decide to get married! The Island is completely uninhabited other than the two who are running the manor where the wedding was going to take place, Aoife and Freddy. Already it introduces mystery and suspicion, it’s written in a way where you’re always questioning whats going to happen? Where is this going? Once everyone is on the island, no one can leave?

I enjoyed the fact that we got multiple perspectives through the book. We got Hannah’s perspective, her husband Charlie is Jules’ (The Brides) best friend, which at the start I felt was unnecessary but the ending revealed why we got this. We also got the POV of Jules, Olivia the bridesmaid, Will the groom, Johnno the best man and Wills oldest friend and Aoife the wedding planner. It was fun going between each character and getting their perspective of the situation especially because there are so many different links to each other. Johnno and the group of Ushers, Charlie and group of Ushers, Olivia and Will, Jules and Charlie. BUT, there were so many different links it was really hard to get to grips with what was what and also really difficult to connect with each character. I could definitely connect with the odd few characters though, like Olivia, Johnno and Hannah.

So the characters I did feel something for, Hannah and Charlie, something happened at the Stag do that we don’t know about and because of that there is already tension between the two. Then we also notice that Hannah lost her sister around this time of the year, Charlie is nasty when he’s drunk and that their marriage has gone stale.

Then we had Johnno, always seen as the bum of the group, not very successful and also closest and oldest friend of Will. He likes to smoke and lies about creating a whisky brand to appear successful. He also feels eternally guilty for what is potentially murdering a boy who him and Will went to school with after a prank with Will went wrong. I really sympathised for him, trying to be something he wasn’t just to impress these boys he used to go school with who think themselves so high and mighty.

TW: Suicide.

I can also feel sympathy for Olivia. She has had her heart destroyed by a man who we later find out is Will. Jules’ husband to be. She’s in an awful personal position. She’s left uni, she’s depressed, she is tormented by the fact that she knows who Will is and what he is like and Jules has absolutely no idea because Olivia can’t tell her and Will won’t let her. So when she opens up to Hannah about her situation but changes the mans name, Olivia and Hannah really resonate with each other because Hannah’s sister killed herself because a man leaked a video of a sexual act online. which is what Olivia had been faced with threat wise from Will, so you can see the relationship for the two blossom because Hannah is protective over Olivia. Later, we learn that Will was also the one who brought Hannah’s sister to her demise. So all of their stories interlink.

There is a huge crescendo at the end where all of their stories interlink and I understand that we needed all the contact to get to this point. But I found it all incredibly far fetched and a real reach. So I’m going to try and sum this up as easily as possible so you can make sense of this journey. Jules (The Bride) and Charlie (Hannah’s husband) Have had sex, but this was years ago but news to Hannah when it’s revealed fractioning their relationship even more. Will used to be with Olivia (The Bridesmaid and Jules’ Sister) and is now blackmailing her to not tell Jules anything about their relationship. Although Jules overhears him threatening her so learns everything. Will is also the one who brought Hannah’s sister to her demise. Johnno is accused of the murder, even though the murderer is the sister of the little boy who was accidentally killed by Will and Johnno in school, Aoife, the wedding planner. And Johnno discovers that his big break into TV and his future was scuppered because Will lied to him.

It’s a lot, right? I just it very all at once. Although I enjoyed the concept of the fact these people who knew so littlest so much about each other were all linked in some way or another.

The only good thing to come from this was the development with Olivia and Jules’ relationship at the end, where it’s revealed who is dead. That for me was a positive note, because their family and sisterly love overcame everything. But It did make me wonder how Jules would have continued to act towards Olivia had what had happened, not happened.

I rated this 3/5 because although the journey to the cresendo was good and it really was emotive for my emotions and feelings, I wouldn’t recommend this to everyone!

May Reading Round Up!

She’s done it again, I smashed my 20 books of 2020 as my reading goal so I’m absolutely going for 30 books now. This month has been really enjoyable with most of my reads but some not so much! So here is what I’ve managed to get through this month and what I would recommend!

A Map of Days / Ransom Riggs (The Miss Peregrines Series book #4)

This book was a serious let down, as was the 5th book in the series below as well. I loved the storyline in the first 3 books and was so into them. I feel Ransom Riggs really should have just stopped at the third book in the series, super disappointing.

Conference of the Birds / Ransom Riggs (The Miss Peregrines Series book #5)

Same as the above, another book which I felt was truly disappointing. I won’t say anymore on this because no one likes to start on a negative note!

The Wives / Tarryn Fisher

This was a gripping book which really made me think, with one hell of an ending. I could sense all the way through that something was going to happen, I just wasn’t sure what. Although it did drag at times it was all from the POV of the main character and sometimes I wondered if I could skip parts (obviously I didn’t) but I highly recommend this one!

Turtles All the Way Down / John Green

I’ve always wanted to read this book and I loved the storyline and friendship between the two main female characters. I learnt a lot in terms of the anxiety Aza experiences. I also love the relationship between the main girl, Aza, and the boy, it wasn’t your typical love story which I enjoyed due to the unfortunate circumstaces mixed in with murder mystery. And as a girl who used to write fanfiction, I loved how that aspect was included within the storyline and friendship between the girls!

Pines (Book #1) / Blake Crouch

THIS ENTIRE SERIES ABSOLUTELY BANGED. I was hooked from the first chapter, I hadn’t read such a good series since I read the Lunar Chronicles. The whole premise was fantastic and It just NEVER STOPPED. Something was always happening, I literally finished one book and got straight onto the other without hesitation. See the other books below in the series!

Wayward (Book #2) / Blake Crouch

The Last Town (Book #3) / Blake Crouch

The Tattooist of Auchwitz / Heather Morris

This was a book that really got me right in my heart and in my feels. I loved this book so so much I bought a physical copy. I found it fascinating learning about the german camps and Lale’s experiencer and the tattooist of those who arrived. But the ultimate killer for me was how throughout so much hardship, A love story still developed and in completely engulfed my heart. I can’t wait to read Cilka’s Journey, the next book from this one!

Normal People / Sally Rooney

I did not understand the hype for this book. Although I enjoyed the premise of the story it did only get a 3 star on Goodreads from me. It threw me how there are no speech marks in the book, so I regularly had to go back and re read passages to figure out who was talking and that really threw me off. The storyline itself was interesting and you knew that the two main characters, no matter what they did or went through, would always go back to each other. Even though maybe, just maybe, they weren’t meant to be at all.

Battle Scars / Jason Fox

A really interesting and eye-opening autobiography from Jason Fox regarding PTSD and the things he experiences at war. There was a lot of things I didn’t know about PTSD and the effects it has on those who return from war which were thoroughly interesting. It was heartbreaking how much it took for him to come forward and say he had a problem and it was destroying him from the inside out. Although learning about the outcomes of speaking out about this and providing the service needed for others to recover is heroic in itself.

The Secret Race / Tyler Hamilton

This book had me. I had absolutely NO interest in cycling at all, whatsoever. So I was a bit apprehensive picking this up. YET AGAIN, I WAS MISTAKEN. I loved this book from start to finish. A few points; Lance Armstrong is a missive dick. I did not realise that to be a top cyclist you basically had to dope. I like how it was almost a secret code back in the day for cycling that everyone did (doping) EPO or BB’s, BB’s (blood bags or blood transfusions) being actually disgusting but if it worked to make you win the Tour De France then it works. The Cycling world is actually SCANDALOUS and I had NO idea. Highly recommend this, you will be shocked at what you’re reading!

Stars Above / Marissa Meyer

Finally, the creme de la creme. This tied up all the loose ends of the Lunar Chronicles series that had me hooked. I was so pleased to find how how Ze’ev (Wolf) was taken and became part of Levana’s Army, show Cress ended up in her satellite, the aftermath of the entire series and how Scarlett and wolf got married and so many more loose ends that were so nicely tied together. It just made my heart swell and when I finished it, yes, I absolutely did cry.

So here you have what I read in May!

You can check out my Goodreads here!