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The Guest List

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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?

330 pages, Hardcover

First published February 20, 2020

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About the author

Lucy Foley

17 books18.4k followers
I live in London, but love traveling - both in real life and on the page (hence the appearance of some far flung locations in my writing).

My latest novel is The Invitation - set in the film world of the 1950s, along the Italian Riviera.

My debut novel, The Book of Lost & Found, published in early 2015.

You can find my Facebook page here:

https://www.facebook.com/LucyFoleyAuthor

and follow me on Twitter as:

@lucyfoleytweets



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5 stars
180,664 (23%)
4 stars
331,848 (43%)
3 stars
196,870 (26%)
2 stars
37,652 (4%)
1 star
8,330 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 66,549 reviews
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,069 reviews38.2k followers
December 31, 2022
Hell yeah! My choice as best thriller won big again! 🥳💜🎈

This book is a rule breaker for me because I hate two things throughout my readings:

1) Too many POVS: I got confused easily and I don’t like to go back to remember which character was the post man rang twice or which character had some irrelevant back story, blablas, unnecessary yadayadas

2) Slow burning story telling: I’m impatient person, I like to go straight and cut to the chase. So I don’t like stalling around facts, I just like to dive in!

BUT… this book is an exception. I loved its slow building tension, I loved the notorious, immature, childish boys club (I’m talking about groom’s friends who are acting like wedding crashers and stayed in their teenage years), I loved variety of interesting, rich, attention taker characterization. And wonderful part is till the end of the book we are left in the dark and we have no idea who is death or the identity of perpetrator.

You have to focus so carefully when you read the chapters because any small detail turns out a big clue for you to solve the puzzle and not to get shocked when you face the surprising, twisty revelations and the connections between the characters. Yes, I have to stop that but I have to admit, at the end of the book my mouth was wide open, my eyes popped out and I stayed like this position for one hour. The neighborhood kids thought their dreams finally came true and I turned into a sculpture. Even the crows thought I was not a human and they left some gifts to my head( Yes, I washed ten times)But when I got rid of my first shock and started to move, they screamed and cried in pain. Yes, the witch was back!

Let’s talk about the blurb a little bit: Jules, successful, glamorous and too ambitious magazine publisher, suffering from her anger management issues, selfish, focusing on perfection, giving orders, controlling the people, the worst bridezilla marries with charming, rising star of television, cocky, flirting Will at an island off the coast of Ireland, in the middle of nowhere, limited phone reception, giving you nightmarish vibes, with dark woods, caves, making you feel like somebody sneaking behind you. (Perfect place to low budget independent horror movie but not so preferable wedding place. Bridezilla doesn’t care, she knows the best!)

Our other characters: Helen (plus 1) married with bride’s oldest and best male friend Charlie, having doubts about their so intense and secluded relationship, mother, graphic designer at long maternity leave, suffering from traumatic family drama, having her own secrets, befriending bridesmaid Olivia.

Yes Olivia is 19 years old bridesmaid, half-sister of bridezilla, suffering from a big secret makes her lose weight, cutting herself. The secret is gnawing her. She needs to talk someone before she gets hurt herself. Could Helen be her confidante?

Best man Johnno, seems confused what he’s doing about his life, sharing a really big secret with Will from their high school times, giving him nightmares and making him fell like chasing by the past time ghosts. And he learns something crucial to change his life forever and gives him a motive to do something dangerous…
'
Let’s not forget Aoife, wedding planner, working her ass off to organize the entire ceremony, achieving a complex and challenging job but she observes everyone, looking agitated, seems like waiting for the shoe drop. Why is she so frustrated? What is she worried about?

The lies, secrets, resentments and big revelations start to fall into her laps like bombs over and over again. And during the ceremony lights go out, screams, pitch black, lights come out, somebody is death….na na na… Welcome to the bridezilla zone! Do you want to know who killed who?

Guess what, I already told you so much, you gotta read the rest of it.

I hate to admit, I am not fan of Hunting Party. That book disappointed me a lot. But this one is surprisingly good, I couldn’t’ decide if I gave 4 or 5 stars. I decided 4 slow burn, intriguing, smart, entertaining, riveting stars!

OVERALL: SURPRISINGLY ENJOYABLE!

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Profile Image for Kat .
207 reviews469 followers
February 15, 2022
This book should be renamed The Never. Ever. Ending. Wedding.

Sorry friends who loved and praised this one! It was a perfectly fine book, and it has all the right ingredients for a good murder mystery whodunnit - creepy and claustrophobic atmosphere, multiple suspects with motive to kill, loads of secrets threatening to be revealed, and five intriguing narrators to move the story along, all wrapped up in a big festive occasion.

What’s not to love?

Well, for starters, the characters. You have Jules, the bride: an attractive, ambitious publisher of online magazine, The Download, whose driven, always aware of the optics, self-centered personality bores me. Next up Will, the groom: an exceedingly attractive, self-assured TV star with enough plastered-on humblebrag charm to get his way on just about anything. Add to the mix Charlie, Jules’ best mate, who goes from mild-mannered school teacher to obnoxious turd in the course of one weekend, his wife Hannah, an ex-party girl turned good wife/mom who seems tempted by every hot guy/girl at the wedding, Jules’ half-sister Olivia, who is just an unstable hot mess, and a hodge-podge of a**hole groomsmen/ushers - Johnno, Duncan, Femi, Pete, and Angus - school friends of Will’s who were toxic bullies as children who grew into drunk toxic bullies as adults.

These are miserable people. Miserable people aren’t fun to read about. Even Mother Nature herself looked at these people and cried miserable gales of gloomy tears at the wedding.

The other thing that didn’t sit well for me was simply the utter convenience and unbelievability of the plot and how some of these characters were connected to the murder victim. It didn’t elicit that “OMG, I didn’t see that coming!” Rather, for me, it just elicited eye-rolls. On top of that, it took forever to reveal the murder victim, due to the time jump, rotating narrators style of the chapters. I understand this is to build intrigue and suspense - good mysteries do that - but since I didn’t like any of the characters, by the time the victim was revealed, I just didn’t really care.

I’m sure coming off two very uplifting, lighthearted reads affected my overall feelings about this book, which was so moody and depressing by comparison, so I’ll blame the timing for some of this. That said, although it’s a perfectly good book, I’m just not sure I understand the hype.

★★ 1/2
Profile Image for Yun.
505 reviews18.1k followers
April 12, 2022
Whenever I come across a murder mystery on an island, I just can't resist. The setting is positively atmospheric and who doesn't love a good locked-island mystery? There's something immensely appealing about a small group of people being stuck together with no escape while knowing that a murderer is among them.

(And it takes place at a wedding! I love weddings!)

So I put on my detective hat and get ready to puzzle this out, with much glee. But here is the first problem: not only do we not know the murderer, we don't know who the victim is either. So right off the bat, some of the fun is taken out of the whole thing.

The story also suffers from a few other issues that seem to plague most books of this genre. The characters are, unfortunately, all unlikable and dumb. They have trouble saying simple things to each other that would clear up much confusion. They make mistake after mistake, and then ruminate at length about each. And they all drink themselves into stupors at the first sign of discomfort, instead of just... talking.

There is so much buildup for this story. For 200+ pages, we are treated to nothing but petty drama between all the participants. There is a constant feeling of anticipation and foreboding, as if something bad is going to happen, but nothing actually does. It was exhausting. And when we finally get to the good stuff, the twists are fine, but they weren't surprising. I figured this was the direction the story was going, and it indeed went there.

Overall, it was a passable way to spend a few hours, but it doesn't quite rise above all the other modern thrillers in this over-saturated genre. It's just if you're going to build up an entire story on nothing but anticipation and petty drama, when it finally gets to the payoff, it better blow me away. And this just didn't.

~~~~~~~~~~~~
See also, my thoughts on:
The Hunting Party
The Paris Apartment
~~~~~~~~~~~~

Profile Image for Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill.
505 reviews623 followers
January 7, 2021
Hells to the yes!! This is the thriller I have been waiting for! Lately I admit, thrillers have not been..well thrilling me. I have had a problem with them all being, meh...They either are one of these three things...1. not really a thriller...2. Start out with a bang and then the ending is just..plain ridiculous...3. super boring until the last couple of chapters. Not this one! This one delivered from page one!

Jules and Will are the couple I love to hate. They are gorgeous and they know it. Nobody loves Jules and Will more than- you guessed it Jules and Will. Leave it to Jules to insist on dragging her entire wedding party to a remote island. She claims it is for privacy, I though wondered if it were some publicity stunt. The island has a wicked reputation and sketchy past. Umm...sounds like a fantastic place for a wedding, right??!!

I absolutely loved the creepy atmosphere, I wouldn't have spent one night there no matter how much Jules insisted- because she would insist. Everything is all about Jules. The book revolves around multiple POV's which all are members of the wedding party. Yet the author did a superb job of making it really easy to follow along. The chapters were clearly labeled for each POV and if you didn't get it, she even had a description- wedding planner, etc...Yesss! I loved it!

Although admittedly I wasn't a huge fan of The Hunting Party, that is clearly not the case here. Her previous novel was a bit too slow of a burn for me. This one was ON FIRE. This book was a super quick read, with short chapters that I flew through in less than 24 hours. That is my kind of thriller. There were several big twists that I never in a million years saw coming. Yet, they weren't insane. I knew something was off with each of the characters, yet for the life of me I couldn't figure out what they were hiding. Trust me- they were hiding alot!
Profile Image for Regan.
366 reviews108k followers
May 17, 2020
solidly entertaining 3.75
Profile Image for Kat.
256 reviews78.7k followers
April 3, 2021
never felt so good to be single
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,921 reviews290k followers
February 25, 2022
I was really pleasantly surprised by The Guest List. Loads of people I know have read and enjoyed it, but I was putting it off because of the five different perspectives. This almost never works for me. I just don't end up caring enough about the characters to be concerned about their fate.

Oddly, that wasn't a problem here.

The Guest List is a fast-paced, gossipy, dramatic thriller, whose five main narrators are all clearly hiding something. Foley made me warm to three of the four perspectives very quickly, and while I didn't really like the other two (Jules and Johnno), I did find myself invested in their stories, and I understood their insecurities and self-doubts.

Basically, everyone turns up for Jules and Will's lavish wedding, taking place on a small island off the coast of Ireland. Pretty much immediately, it becomes obvious that all is not well. Some of the guests are suppressing secrets and nursing old grievances that could probably shatter this marriage before it's even begun. Then, in the "now" of the novel, a body is found out in the storm.

In the snippets of the present, guests venture out of the marquee to determine who it is lying dead, while the other chapters detail the events of the day before, building up to the final reveal. I think it is quite clever that the mystery is not only about who the culprit is, but also who the victim is. You can easily believe it could be any one of them, victim or culprit.

Also, there is just something very compelling about being privy to all this shittalk and gossip about people and watching to see how the whole mess is going to blow up. And blow up it surely does.
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,424 reviews9,005 followers
January 28, 2023
**4.5-stars rounded up**

The Guest List is a fun, fast-paced, guessing game of a read; perfect for fans of Dame Agatha Christie, or Ruth Ware.

Weddings are memorable occasions but, as we all know, there's frequently some level of drama simmering just under the pristine surface.



That's certainly the case for Jules and Will's wedding, taking place on a remote Irish island that the grumbling guests agree to congregate on for a 48-hour period.

This story is told from multiple perspectives over the course of the weekend, with the body and the killer only being revealed at the very end.



I was intrigued from the start. Swept up into the atmosphere of the remote location almost immediately.

I loved how it has a classic Mystery format, while the content itself, makes it feel quite modern. The lavish destination wedding was perfect as an impetus, and backdrop, for the action.



This story has one of my favorite things, well, many of my favorite things, but one of the most notable is the quirky cast of unlikable characters.

Everyone had something to hide. Everyone had an axe to grind and I was there for every cat-clawing minute of it.



The setting was extremely atmospheric, channeling a gothic vibe by incorporating some of the island's earlier history and lore into the tale.

The varying perspectives kept the chapters short and therefore the story never had a chance to fall into a lull. Each chapter ended on a sort of mini-cliffhanger that kept me wanting more.



This book received a lot of buzz and for good reason. If you haven't had a chance to pick it up yet, what are you waiting for!?

I cannot wait to see what Lucy Foley comes up with next!!!

Profile Image for Oscar.
256 reviews93 followers
July 1, 2020
People were gushing so much about this book that I gave in and read it. Personally, I think the book focused more on the characters themselves than the plot. For the first 200 pages, I wasn’t thrilled nor excited. The last 100 pages was a different story. It went crazy and got more twisted.
Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,588 reviews153k followers
March 16, 2021
4.75 stars
description

Just released my Top 10 Books from 2020 BookTube Video - now that you know this one made the list, click the link to find the rest!
The Written Review
description
So, I've talked about this one on my channel a lot by now. And the long and short of it is that I enjoyed this book immensely.

I really enjoyed just discovering what this book was about without any external influence, so I'll keep my review short.

It's an atmospheric whodunit with plenty of twists and turns to keep you on your toes.

The overall premise is that there's a wedding on a remote Irish island, the weather closes in and the island is cut off from the rest of the world. And then the body is found.

Not knowing the body and having an ever-growing list of potential-killers...you are left wondering who in the world could've done it. And why??

I loved and adored the setting and various atmospheric elements. The characters felt well fleshed out and the plot was intriguing throughout. I definitely recommend it!!

Other BookTube Videos involving this gorgeous book:
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Just posted my Goodreads Choice 2020 Reaction Video on Booktube! Click the link to check it out!!
YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads
Profile Image for David Putnam.
Author 15 books1,437 followers
August 20, 2020
This one is more a wonderful character study and a take-off on the old locked room mystery--on a dark and stormy night. The story, as it should, grabs more and more as you turn the pages. Great writing. We get to know all the characters enough to care about them before something happens. Instead of a mystery construct this one is done as a thriller. First person present tense that moves backward and forward in time. I was never lost or confused. Clear concise writing.
Too many points of view made the story a tad choppy like driving with one foot on the brake and one foot on the gas. Stop, start. Just when I got going into one character’s story, we’re off to another. Lots of atmosphere, and the setting carries equal, if not more, weight than the characters. The story is like a frayed rope being braided tighter and tighter as we approached the crisis. The characters, although three dimensional and at least semi-likable all turn heavily flawed by the end. The idea of killing a victim in a story is to evoke emotions. In this case the victim turns out to be so heinous we’re cheering for the killer. Which is really a unique way of twisting the plot. By the end everyone has a motive just like in the best locked room mysteries. What was really nice, I did not guess the, “who.”
Four solid stars and I would recommend this book.
David Putnam author of The Bruno Johnson Series.
Profile Image for Alan Cotterell.
497 reviews164 followers
January 12, 2020
I received this ARC from Netgalley and the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. I normally would of said Thank you at the start of that sentence. But on this occasion, the only thing to say thank you for was that it was reasonably short.

I requested this, as from the blurb it had great promise. Boy was I wrong. The first chapter was quite good. After that each chapter was written from a different guests pov. Jumping all over the place. None of the characters were likeable at all. It sounded like the wedding from Hell, and not for the reason the author intended.
At times felt like the author had dropped the chapters, and picked up quickly, getting them out of order. I did
manage to finish this, which was mainly because it was an ARC, and I felt obligated to finish it. Also because I kept thinking it would improve.. it didn't.
Profile Image for Chelsea *Slowly Catching Up* Humphrey.
1,390 reviews77.2k followers
April 4, 2020
The Guest List BOTM April 2020 Selection

In a sea of mediocre mysteries and thrillers, this one caught my attention and held it through to the explosive ending. Lucy Foley writes psychological fiction that isn't flashy, but focuses a quiet power to envelop the reader with strong writing and plotting. In my opinion, a good thriller isn't one that has to pull a twist out of somewhere the reader wouldn't expect, but takes the entire cast of characters and makes each look as guilty as the rest, so that by the time the reader reaches the end, it doesn't really matter whodunnit as much as how the author has kept you floundering around for 300+ pages in search of the reveal. This is precisely what Foley has done with The Guest List, and while it was difficult at first to keep up with the numerous POVs we receive, I was able to keep them straight once the story was going. Part Agatha Christie mystery, part Big Little Lies, The Guest List is a book that I felt lightened the burden of current world issues and allowed me to slip into a place that was filled with murder and mayhem instead of viruses and homeschooling.

Disclaimer: I also received a review copy via the publisher.
Profile Image for Lisa of Troy.
376 reviews2,813 followers
December 30, 2022
A Book of the Month 2020 Book of the Year Finalist!

On a small island off the coast of Ireland, a scream rings out at a wedding party. As a search party goes out, the book shifts perspective to a few days earlier as we follow the bride (Jules), the plus-one (Hannah), the best man (Johnno), the wedding planner (Aoife), and the bridesmaid (Olivia). Who is in danger and who is the bad apple?

The Guest List had quite a hype around it, and it seems to be on my TBR for ages so expectations were sky high. I'm no stranger to multiple perspective books; however, the format didn't do any favors for this book. Many of the characters in the book are not particularly likeable. Additionally, because there were so many characters in this book and the chapters were divided evenly between the main characters, the author couldn't go deep which impacted my ability to really connect with the characters. For the first 75% of the book, the book was just an average mystery. The last 25% did pick up a bit and kept the pages turning.

Overall, a solid mystery/thriller but a bit overhyped.

2023 Reading Schedule
Jan Alice in Wonderland
Feb Notes from a Small Island
Mar Cloud Atlas
Apr On the Road
May The Color Purple
Jun Bleak House
Jul Bridget Jones’s Diary
Aug Anna Karenina
Sep The Secret History
Oct Brave New World
Nov A Confederacy of Dunces
Dec The Count of Monte Cristo

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Profile Image for Tina.
2,306 reviews1 follower
August 22, 2022
This is a very slow moving thriller, and I am learning that slow moving thrillers is just not for me. I had a lot of hope of this one, but the first 200 pages I was bored and I almost stopped reading this book. Overall I think this book is just ok not great. The ending I liked, but I did not love it. The ending did not make up for me being bored for 200 pages.

I added this book on to my May 2020 Book of the Month box.

https://www.mybotm.com/zr12wnytgc8?sh...
Profile Image for Paromjit.
2,504 reviews24.5k followers
January 10, 2020
Lucy Foley follows The Hunting Party with this even more hugely entertaining atmospheric murder mystery, a modern take on Agatha Christie, set on the wild and isolated Cormorant Island, off the west coast of Ireland. The golden celebrity couple, Julia 'Jules' Keegan, publisher of a successful online magazine, and the handsome Will Slater, rising star of TV show Survival, are getting married in style in front of their friends and family, an exclusive event being organised by wedding planner, Aoife and catered for by her husband, Freddy. However, it immediately becomes clear on a dark, wild and stormy wedding night of power cuts that something has gone desperately wrong, and in a narrative that goes back and forth in time, a distraught waitress speaks of seeing a body outside, which has the ushers setting out into the night to find out what has happened.

Foley provides the perspectives of a wide host of diverse characters, with their fears, secrets, lies and silences amidst the drink and drug fuelled wedding celebrations over which hang an ominous air of upcoming disaster, a feeling that is enhanced further by the island location with its haunted history, its ghosts of the dead, its treacherous terrain and the approaching storm. Jules is worrying about a anonymous note that warns her not to marry Will, her bridesmaid, her sister Olivia, is a fragile self harming wreck. The best man, Johnno, is desperate not to lose touch with Will, they have a shared past history that goes back to their school days. Hannah is the plus one, married to Charlie, the MC and best friend of the bride, they are a cash strapped couple, determined to make the most of their first opportunity for a long time to be away from their children and their humdrum lives. The ushers are a bunch of sneering, entitled, bullying and malicious ex-public schoolboys who have never grown up.

Foley skilfully reveals the past history of the characters, the grief, the losses, the simmering resentments and jealousies, the guilt, the secrets, the lies, a past that adds up to a bubbling cauldron full of motives to kill, and a present where the chickens of the past have finally come home to roost. Foley excels in writing a riveting murder mystery, with the vibrant creation and development of larger than life characters, attending a strife ridden wedding in a location that is just perfect for the darkest of deeds to take place. A fabulous crime read that I recommend highly. Many thanks to HarperCollins for an ARC.
Profile Image for Matthew.
1,219 reviews8,687 followers
January 22, 2021
Not bad! Not bad at all!

Lately I feel like many of the suspense/thriller/mysteries I read are so twisty that it starts to get ridiculous. I love a good twist or two, a shocking revelation or three, but not incomprehensible nonsense. With The Guest List I feel satisfaction because the level of twists and turns is just right and the magnitude of the surprises is not nonsensically bloated. Its nice to finally find one that is just right (like Goldilocks, but hopefully without the angry bears).

I was thinking 4 to 4.5 stars at first, but because this one quenched my thirst for twisty perfection, I am gonna go for 5 stars (it is my review and I can do what I want, so there! 🤪🤪🤪🤣🤣🤣)

I know not everyone feels the way I do (an average 3.87 stars on Goodreads as I write this). Also, with a victory in the 2020 Goodreads Choice Awards, it is quite hyped up - and I get the feeling that many avoid hyped books or go into hyped books kind of jaded before page one. But, I am gonna put my neck out there and say "give this one a try!". Sure, you may end up with a 2 or 3 star review. Maybe you will come back to shame me for promoting the hype. But, my hope is that you enjoy it as much as I did! 😃
Profile Image for jessica.
2,479 reviews29.7k followers
June 30, 2020
spooky island. check.
variety of characters. check.
dead body. check.

this has everything you could want from a classic ‘whodunnit.’ i had no surprises whilst reading this - i saw EVERYTHING coming a mile away. but its definitely because LF does a great job at planting clues along the way.

even though the story only takes place over the course of two days, this is a very slow building novel. its very much character focused, rather than plot, and i like that. the writing is quick and easy to devour.

my only critique would be the ending. as i said, the story spans two days, with a brief epilogue taking place the morning of the third day. i would have loved to have more closure than that. it doesnt feel as if theres a proper ending for many of the characters, so i have no idea how they are going to adjust will the fall out of the events during the wedding weekend.

but overall, this is a very enjoyable and addicting read! i look forward to seeing what kind of story LF comes up with next!

4 stars
Profile Image for Gabby.
1,170 reviews25.4k followers
April 2, 2020
Ahhhh, I had so much fun reading this thriller. This is a classic who-dunnit mystery, and it all takes place during a wedding on an island in Ireland. I love everything about this book: the slow burn mystery, the isolated spooky island, and reading form several different POV’s.

I found this book to be impossible to put down. Right away, it creates this creepy spooky eerie vibe on this island, and I was pretty obsessed with the atmosphere of this book. This entire book takes place within two days, during a wedding. The story mainly takes place the day before the wedding and then it flash forwards we see what happened the night of the wedding - when someone is murdered. I like that we don’t find out who it is that is murdered until nearly the end, I was trying to figure it out the entire book. And I love that we follow from the POV from six different characters. You’d think it would be confusing but it was actually really easy after a while, and I loved all the storylines happening. I love that everyone had a motive so you are still trying to figure out who did it.

There’s a storm happening on the island and there are high winds and crashing waves and the power goes in and out, and it just makes for the perfect spooky setting. This book honestly kind of reminds me of the movie Knives Out because of how clever and smart and atmospheric it is.

I just loved it a whole lot. It takes a lot for me to give a thriller five stars but I just had so much fun reading this and I didn’t have any issues with it and I devoured this book in less than 24 hours.

Thanks to Book of the Month for sending this early copy my way!
Profile Image for Danielle.
779 reviews366 followers
October 10, 2020
I know quite a few of y’all are anti-audiobook, but this is one that I insist that you should give it a try on. 😉 This book is told from several points of view, which can be confusing. However, the audiobook had a full cast of narrators, so you definitely knew who was speaking, making the story that much more intriguing. 😁 While I kinda guessed a part of the plot early on, I didn’t guess who would be killed and who the killer would be. 🧐 Overall this was a pretty good mystery.
Profile Image for Meredith (Slowly Catching Up).
771 reviews12.1k followers
June 15, 2020
3.75 stars

“I have raised hell.”

The Guest List a whodunnit about a glamorous wedding. The guests are out for revenge, leading them to “raise hell.”


The wedding of the year is about to take place on an exclusive island. Bridezilla is about to marry a smarmy D list celebrity who has many skeletons in his closet. The members of the Wedding Party hold the cards that could destroy their marriage and their lives.

The narrative alternates between many POV’s: The Bride, the Groom, the Best Man, The Plus One, The Wedding Planner, and The Bridesmaid. While it seems a lot to keep up with, the structure of the book makes it easy to keep track of who is who. The timeline flips back and forth between the past, two days before the wedding, to the chaotic wedding in the present. The reader is taunted throughout about what might have happened. We know that something bad has happened from the start, but we don’t know quite what or who might have been hurt. Details are slowly revealed leading to a bloody and dramatic ending.

The structure and style of this book are similar to The Hunting Party, but the characters are more likable (well, some of them are). The setting was my favorite element. The story takes place on a secluded, remote island off the coast of Ireland. The island, rumored to be haunted, is dark and sinister. It is just as dangerous as the people staying on it, and the atmosphere adds an additional layer of menace.

This is fast-paced and easy to read. I figured out the murderer early on, but I didn’t know who had been murdered or why. There are a lot of red herrings thrown in to make one question their arm-chair detective skills. Some elements of the plot came together with a little too easily--it just so happened that one person in attendance had a link to another in a way that was just way too convenient. However, this connection did add another potential candidate as the murderer.

Overall, I enjoyed this for the entertainment value and for keeping me guessing!

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Kelly.
878 reviews3,951 followers
June 11, 2020
I found this underwhelming based on the hyperbolic and breathless reviews I've seen. The exposition was wooden, the characters were serviceable mouthpieces throughout the first 50 pages or more. Nobody talks how they talk, nobody thinks how these people think- I get that its exposition time and nobody's perfect, but it was SO BAD I almost stopped reading. However, once the exposition was done and we were into the actual movements of the plot, I thought it got better. The narration of Hannah and Johnno were by far the most natural of the group, and therefore the most relatable. The rest of the characters remained abstract ciphers for me throughout the novel. There's a class element to this that may be deliberate. All novels like this are about class envy and the ugliness of class privilege, in the end, and when the outcome is as black and white of a morality play as this is, I have to assume it's a deliberate choice on the author's part in some ways. However, I wish that she had dug deeper on Hannah's part- the class envy she displays is shallow enough to make her seem far less likeable than I think she's meant to be. Not sure if *that* was intentional. (It's definitely one of these books I've complained about before.)

I found the interludes of "that night" in between the flashbacks also rather ineffective. It was clear from the first one that she wasn't going to tell us anything meaningful in the flashbacks until the last one, so it didn't help build suspense. You know it's just gonna be a spoooooookkyyyyy writing moment where there's a cliffhanger that reveals nothing at the end of each one. I found myself skipping through them.

Finally, I think that the author put one too many layers of reveal at the end- one too many people had a connection to the murdered character than was believable. Kind of a case of sticking one more Christmas tree ornament on top and it's so heavy, its the last straw and it falls over. I personally thought Hannah was that particular ornament. But I found Olivia's deal far less dramatic than I expected it to be, too, so it didn't have the weight I think the author wanted for it. I would have either fixed how these people got themselves to the wedding/when they had their prior knowledge of their connection or decreased the number of characters involved to make it more believable.

The whole thing feels like an echo of a shadow of something that works. But it doesn't feel like a Real Boy/Novel yet.
Profile Image for JanB .
1,113 reviews2,168 followers
September 18, 2020
3.5 stars

”The bride ‧ The plus one ‧ The best man ‧ The wedding planner ‧ The bridesmaid ‧The body”

Guests gather on a remote island off the coast of Ireland for a celebrity wedding. Sounds idyllic, right? Except this dream wedding turns into a nightmare long before the dead body is found.

But who is the victim? And who is the killer? This story is all about the journey to the end, when all is revealed. Told from various points of view and alternating timelines, the secrets, grudges, and mysterious pasts of the guests are slowly revealed. Red herrings abound, and nearly everyone has a motive for murder. It’s a rather unlikable cast of characters and the reader is required to accept improbable coincidences. It’s been compared to an Agatha Christie ‘locked-room’ mystery but no one can compare to Christie and not fall short.

The gothic, foreboding atmosphere is straight from the golden age of mysteries, which I love. The structure of the plot was a clever idea that didn’t quite pan out. Each short chapter ends with a teaser which grew tiresome, and the middle was a tad slow. This is in the ‘liked it, didn’t love it’ category, which is not a bad thing. I buddy read this with Marialyce, and it’s one we both enjoyed as a pleasant diversion.
Profile Image for Holly  B (busy month catching up).
788 reviews1,745 followers
March 21, 2022
Atmospheric, locked room (remote island), extravagant wedding

What else could you ask for? This one has the atmospheric vibes that mystery lovers crave and I enjoyed every minute reading it! My first by this author.

The writing, the characters, and the suspense kept me guessing and I was all over the place trying to pinpoint the murderer. The wildness of this island was getting under everyone's skin. The cliffs, the waves, the sea, that moment.

One night, the bride is afraid she won't sleep a wink. Is it the upcoming wedding or something else?

I was on pins and needles more than once.  Characters to love and hate. I love a good mystery and this one wowed me!

Thanks to my Goodreads friend for sharing her arc! Highly entertaining.

Out May 2020.

 
Profile Image for daph pink ♡ .
883 reviews3,020 followers
December 26, 2020
Though not my fav read of the year , but still
Congratulations on winning !!!



Do I like slow paced book? NO
Do I like so many POV? No (this book has fucking 6 POV)

THEN WHY DID I LIKED THIS BOOK?


Well there are 2 reasons:-

1. They said it is a modern take on Agatha Christie books and as you know I am a huge fan so I have to read this one !

2. This story urges you to use lots of your grey cells because

• if you are guessing the most obvious one is the killer,then you are wrong!

• if you are guessing the maniac is the killer then you are wrong .

• if you are thinking the one who is cheated is killer then also you are wrong!

• and lastly if you are thinking that the one seeking revenge is the killer then......


Why I gave this book 4 stars?

--> only because till the end I kept on guessing who is killed because the more exciting thing was to guess who is killed rather than who is the murderer....because if like me you read a lot of mystery books then you might have guessed that something was wrong with the killer from starting . There were hints for you to guess only if you are smart enough to not get distracted by story of other people.

Recommended for everyone who are ready to use there grey cells!!!

And yess it was a true page turner!
Profile Image for Arini ~ Miss Casually Reading.
666 reviews1,498 followers
July 29, 2020
For all I know this is a dream wedding (location wise) up until someone gets themself stupidly murdered.


This has a slow start, short chapters, and six POVs that jump from one to the next all too quickly and drag the story all over the place. In addition to that, the timeline flips back and forth chronicling the two days before the wedding until the d-day. Does it sound like a clusterf*ck? Maybe.

However, it’s actually pretty fun. The characters are unlikeable—some annoying, others twisted, all of them have secrets. It might not seem like it, but they’re easy to differentiate once you catch on to how their stories intertwine and each of them has a solid motive to be the killer.

*Spoilery thoughts*




The one thing that sucks the most is the rushed ending. This is a quick read, not exactly memorable, nothing extraordinaire, but impressive and entertaining nonetheless. Plus, you gotta love the creepy remote island setting! There’s the sea, the rocky cliff, the cave, even the quicksand (I think).

(Read as an Audiobook)
Profile Image for chan ☆.
1,013 reviews46.2k followers
July 7, 2020
i could tell pretty early on that this was going to be a more ~topical~ thriller than most and i didn’t love the direction it was going. i guess i can respect what the author was trying to do and i didn’t anticipate the twists but reading this kinda made me sick. which again, probably the point of this, but it wasn’t something i appreciated.

i’m picky with thrillers though, this is going to be a lot of people’s faves and i respect that!
Profile Image for Dr. Appu Sasidharan .
944 reviews1,894 followers
January 9, 2023
Summary
This novel deals with Jules and Will's marriage, set on a spectacular yet mysterious remote island off the Irish coast. The author's decision to narrate the whole story from multiple POVs and not reveal who was killed until 80% of the book will be a new experience for most of us.


What I learned from this book
1) What should we do if people start encroaching our personal space or behaves in a way unacceptable to us?
If you are a person into body language and have read books regarding the same from different authors (especially from Allan and Barbara Pease and Desmond Morris), you might know the importance of our facial expressions in making even the dogmatic people docile. Here Lucy Foley tells us that we can make others behave and respect our privacy with just our eyebrows.

"I raise my eyebrow at him, cross my arms. I am past master at the raised eyebrow game- I use it at work to fantastic effect. I dare him to say another word."

We can use this technique effectively instead of quarreling or telling hurtful words to others. We should be careful to use this technique only to those misbehaving with us and not to intimidate others. There are different eyebrow-raising methods, which convey totally different meanings like eyebrow flashing, quirking, arching, furrowing, etc.





2) Charming techniques
If you read the great World Leaders' biographies, you can see specific charming techniques used by them over others. These are usually harmless and even symbiotic to both individuals. The predators use these same charming techniques over poor innocent empaths to win over their hearts so that they can manipulate them later to drain even their souls (like the Dementors). Lucey Foley has shown how these predators manipulate others in multiple parts of this novel.

" He asks me about the kids, about Brighton. He seems fascinated by what I'm saying. He's one of those people who makes you feel wittier and more attractive than normal. I realize I'm enjoying myself, enjoying the delicious glass of chilled champagne."



3) How to act around a celebrity or posh people
"Though, as proven last night, Charlie always gets a bit funny around posh people- a little unsure of himself and defensive"
In this book, we can see that Charlie's similar behavior caused a lot of trouble in his life. What is the best way to deal with a similar situation when we face a celebrity? We should never act like they are above everyone else. Never show any inferiority complex to them (What Charlie did). Also, never show any sort of superiority complex arising from your inferiority complex to them too. Always try to treat them like regular people as celebrities are also regular human beings just like us. Always respect their privacy and never go overboard like screaming when you talk to them.

If you really appreciate their work, you can tell that as a compliment. If you are appalled by a celebrity's ostentation, you should avoid them altogether as they are not the best paradigm for us to follow or have a conversation with.

My favourite three lines from this book

"It is always better to get it out in the open- even if it seems shameful, even if you feel like people will judge you for it"

"I would have expected her to question it a little more than she did. But I suppose that's why she's so well suited to you"

“ The rituals, the male bonding. When we get together, there's this kind of pack mentality. We get carried away. ”

Rating
3/5This is one of the better thrillers I read this year and will be enjoyable to some extent for every adult. There is no need to impugn the originality of this novel due to the heavy influence by William Golding’s book Lord of the Flies and Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None as the author herself admits it indirectly in multiple parts in this novel. There is also a high chance that this book will be the winner for the best mystery and thriller category in the Goodreads choice award this year.

Edit on Dec 20, 2020 - Congrats, Lucy Foley, for winning the goodreads choice award for the best mystery and thriller in 2020 for this book.
Profile Image for Farrah.
221 reviews558 followers
July 15, 2020
⭐ 4 𝘽𝙡𝙚𝙖𝙠𝙚𝙨𝙩. 𝙒𝙚𝙙𝙙𝙞𝙣𝙜. 𝙀𝙫𝙚𝙧. 𝙎𝙩𝙖𝙧𝙨 ⭐

This book is so dark and atmospheric and depressing, but I also found it to be an addictive read.
The writing feels natural and I was compelled to finish it, even though it kept me well past my nighty night time.
The characters are either horrible, or they're dealing with something horrible that was caused by the horrible characters. So I had no way of guessing who was murdered or who did the murdering.
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