Book Reviews

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

My mom has been on me to read The Guest List for forever. I bought it as an ebook to show her how to do it on the Kindle Paperwhite I bought her for Christmas. Since then, it was just kind of chilling on my Kindle, an option if I ever needed a book to read. I’ve been speeding through my Kindle recently, so it was time to finally read it.

The Story

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?

My Thoughts on The Guest List

I read a lot of mysteries or thrillers or suspense novels or whatever you want to call this genre, so I’m pretty good at spotting a really good book. I’m even better at spotting a meh book. The Guest List read as “meh” from a mile away.

Don’t get me wrong. The book was entertaining. It just didn’t blow me away. Here’s why:

THE CHARACTERS. I think that authors believe that telling a story from multiple characters’ perspectives marks them as a talented author. However, that is not the case. The Guest List had FIVE different perspectives, and it alternated from “earlier that night” to “present moment”. When you’re not dealing with a huge time jump, those different timelines get muddled. It got clunky. Everyone had their own drama and then the shared drama…

Lucy Foley is, however, talented at painting a scenic picture. This entire wedding weekend takes place on an exclusive island. You definitely felt like you were on the island. There were parts of the story where I swear I felt an actual breeze (which may have had to do with my open window, but we’ll pretend it was the book).

Like I said, this book was entertaining. I have another Lucy Foley on my Kindle that I’ll give a shot. Have you read The Invitation? I think it’s one of her earlier books. It takes place in Italy, so at least it will be a nice escape. Stay tuned!

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