Book Review: The Guest List by Lucy Foley

PopSugar 2020 Reading Challenge Prompt: A book by or about a journalist Other PS 2020 reading prompts this would satisfy: A book t...

PopSugar 2020 Reading Challenge Prompt: A book by or about a journalist

Other PS 2020 reading prompts this would satisfy: A book that's published in 2020, A book with the same title as a movie or TV show but is unrelated to it, A book about or involving social media, A book featuring one of the seven deadly sins, A book with at least a four-stay rating on Goodreads, A book with a three-word title

TW: Self-harm, violence, death, hazing games, misogyny, unclear consent

The premise for The Guest List is so interesting, as is the book itself. It's been all over bookstagram, and was a Book of the Month pick for April.

When magazine creator, Jules, and tv show survivalist, Will, are plan to get married, they do so somewhere no one else has before - a private folly on a tiny island off the coast of Galway, Ireland. But there are secrets and lies between the happy couple and their guests. When a horrible accident takes place the night of the wedding, they'll all have to question who held the biggest grudges, and why.

This book was good, and I enjoyed the story, but I didn't feel like I loved it as much as many other folks did. I thought the story was mysterious and engaging, and the majority of the characters incredibly well-developed. I was definitely pulled in and I needed to know just what was going to happen next. It's absolutely a page-turner.

But here's where things went wrong for me: I figured out the killer from the get-go. It was set up in a way the makes it not-obvious, but that somehow made it more obvious. There was also this weird mistake in the book that really irked me and I couldn't get past it. There are so many different guys in the boy's club group from boarding school that even the author couldn't keep them all straight. There was a scene a couple of the guys were in, and then they later talked about that scene, but they mixed up the characters. It bothered me so much.

I also felt like it would have been nice to had more perspective of the victim at the end of the book when it comes to what happened. I just felt like something there was missing from that scene overall, but also there was something missing from the entire novel... something I could never quite put my finger on, and it definitely lowered my overall thoughts about the book.

Lastly, I was surprised by the lack of queer characters. I truly thought there'd be at least one. I actually thought one of the main characters was a gay man until about halfway through the book when I first noticed that character described as a woman, so that was a bit of a letdown.

"We are tied by the other stuff. The rituals, the male bonding. When we get together there's this kind of pack mentality. We get carried away." - The Guest List, Lucy Foley

I expected more from this book. Overall, it was thrilling and dark. I did enjoy it. But, again, I just felt something was missing. There was more that could've been told from the perspective of the victim during their death scene, and I would've liked more information and organization in terms of the boys from boarding school. I'd still recommend The Guest List. It's a good book, with a good plot, and an interesting format that I enjoyed.

Goodreads rating: ★★★☆☆

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