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!

#StayHome TV Recommendations – Blog Brew Collab

With everything going on and being in isolation/quarantine lockdown during Covid-19, its a good opportunity to catch up on some shows you may be halfway through, wanting too watch or are wanting to join in with the Tiger King memes!

Ive never really taken the time to watch shows until now, its been really refreshing and I’ve watched SO MUCH MORE than I could have ever anticipated. So here are some recommendations from Netflix, Amazon Prime and more!

TOP BOY; Summerhouse Season 1 & 2 and TOP BOY Season 3 – NETFLIX

If you’re into gritty behind the scenes action of the London drug scene then this is definitely one for you. Sully and Dushane are the main characters and I enjoyed these seasons form start to finish. There is certainly never a dull moment and it keeps you on your toes. How all the storylines link is very clever, insanely action packed.

Breaking Bad – NETFLIX

If there is any time to watch a 5 season series it is now. With phenomenal ratings, a prequel series call Better Call Saul and a MOVIE, This show is a hit and not one to be missed! Underground meth labs and an incredible cast and storyline to go with it, no doubt those who have watched it have definitely told you about it.

Hanna – AMAZON PRIME

For this there is the Film and the TV Series. I would definitely recommend watching the film as it is fantastic. AS IS The Amazon Prime TV Series, consisting of 7 episodes the film only covers so much of the storyline. The TV Series however keeps the storyline going and it is just endlessly action packed and gripping. Definitely another one to binge watch.

Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness – NETFLIX

NOW THIS ONE, WOW. A documentary rollercoaster of animal rights, misery, mystery and murder. Focusing mainly on GW Zoo in Oklahoma, Joe Exotic runs on of the largest big cat zoos with over 200+ Tigers and other animal, not forgetting THAT BITCH CAROLE BASKIN. I highly recommend as some of the twists and turns within this docu-series are WILD.

Louis Theroux’s Most Dangerous Pets – BBC iPLAYER

If you enjoyed Tiger King and couldn’t get enough of it, then you’re in luck. in 2011 Joe Exotic did an episode with the AMAZING Louis Theroux. You can enjoy Joe Exotic and Louis Theroux all in the same place!

The US Office – AMAZON PRIME

It’s safe to say the US Office will never ever, ever, let us down. The greatest comedy sitcom with Steve Carrell, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer and so many more iconic actors and actresses I could binge watch this show for hours and hours. Definitely one to lighten the mood with this series for some light watching!

Hunters – AMAZON PRIME

Now this one I would advise that you look into first, I personally thoroughly enjoyed this dive to the way it was filmed and the actors, although it has a lot of reviews for being distasteful and glorifying the holocaust. The main premise is those who survived the holocaust targeting those nazis able to live in the US after everything that happened. Those who mistreated them the most, would most probably end up dead. Personally, I would recommend a watch, especially with Logan Lerman as one of the main stars.

The Staircase – NETFLIX

Another docuseries based on a woman who died from falling down the stairs. Although, the series highlights how, this definitely isn’t the case. Focusing solely on her husband this is another series which makes you THINK. I am highly excited to watch this as I am hugely into scandals and how the story being portrayed is definitely not what happened.

MTV’s (Celebrity) Ex On The Beach – SKY+ / NOW TV

I can safely say after keeping up with this explosive TV show from the start, the seasons just get better and better. What better concept of sending sexy singles to a villa to then watch them crumble as their Ex’s appear out of the sea. Highly recommend this series if you’re wanting something easy going, explosive, entertaining and sometimes some big celebrities (For example the season out at the moment is Celebrity Ex On the Beach, but sometimes on normal seasons they’ll have the occasional celebrity ex appear).

Hannah Montana, That’s so Raven, Suite life of Zack and Cody, etc. – DISNEY+

The Disney Original shows, what more do you NEED in this time? Binge watch all the OG shows from your childhood, not to mention all the big school music films. AND A HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL TV SERIES? What more do you NEED WOW. This one is definitely a childhood pleasure. Not to mention all the incredible movies and the Star Wars original from Disney available also!

Jack Ryan – AMAZON PRIME

This series staring John Krasinski is apparently incredible. 2 seasons are available on Amazon Prime and it is explosive and I have heard nothing but good things and good ratings for it. Action packed and a great storyline also! Another one to add to your watch list.

White Gold – NETFLIX

An amazing comedy staring Ed Westwick from Gossip Girl and Inbetweeners stars James Buckley and Joe Thomas this is the greatest laugh. Based in Essex, 3 double glazing salesmen trying to make money. I personally found the series absolutely hilarious. The characters, the storyline, the cockiness go of Ed Westwick’s character just seals the deal. A great and comical watch with 2 seasons available.

Noughts + Crosses – BBC iPLAYER

A recent adaptation on Malorie Blackman’s book series Noughts + Crosses on BBC iPlayer, I definitely recommend the books and the TV Series! The first season is 6 episodes long, its gritty and covers so many topics which are usually not discussed, its action packed and the storyline is awesome, its incredible really and also features Stormzy in the last episode! The books are also amazing, I’ve read the 5 book series twice!

There are so many more great shows and films to watch out there but these are just a few of my favourites / ones that have been recommended not to miss!

What have you watched / Been watching during your Isolation? Let me know!

This blog post was part of a wonderful Series by myself and 9 beautiful girlies known as The Blog Brew, Find all the girls websites below and what they have posted about within this series!

Bloggers Participating in this collaboration!