Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Review: The Birthday Girl by Melissa de la Cruz


Title: The Birthday Girl
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Published: August 2019, Dutton
Format: ARC Paperback, 352 pages
Source: Publisher

Summary: 
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Alex & Eliza comes a return to adult fiction, centered around a mysterious woman's birthday celebration—and what it reveals about her past.

Ellie de Florent-Stinson is celebrating her fortieth birthday with a grand celebration in her fabulous house in Palm Springs.

At forty, it appears Ellie has everything she ever wanted: a handsome husband; an accomplished, college-age stepdaughter; a beautiful ten-year-old girl; two adorable and rambunctious six-year-old twin boys; lush, well-appointed homes in Los Angeles, Park City, and Palm Springs; a thriving career as a well-known fashion designer of casual women's wear; and a glamorous circle of friends.

Except everything is not quite as perfect as it looks on the outside—Ellie is keeping many secrets. This isn’t the first of her birthday parties that hasn't gone as planned. Something happened on the night of her sweet sixteenth. Something she’s tried hard to forget.

But hiding the skeletons of her past comes at a cost, and all of Ellie’s secrets come to light on the night of her fabulous birthday party in the desert—where everyone who matters in her life shows up, invited or not. Old and new, friends and frenemies, stepdaughters and business partners, ex-wives and ex-husbands congregate, and the glittering facade of her life crumbles in one eventful night.


Beautifully paced and full of surprises, The Birthday Girl is an enthralling tale of a life lived in shadow, and its unavoidable consequences.



My thoughts:  I'm always curious when an author switches from writing young adult/teen to adult books just how it's going to work...especially when I haven't read any of their previous books. Maybe that's a good thing as I have nothing to base their new work on? In any event this new book from Melissa de la Cruz was my first experience with her and I quite honestly enjoyed it.

From the outside, Ellie has it all, but on the inside, a dark cloud hangs over everything. Twenty-four years ago, a birthday went horribly wrong and Ellie has been living with those consequences ever since. 

I loved the way this book was crafted - pitting the two birthdays against each other and drawing out what happened and how that has shaped just who Ellie is today. There is a clear distinction between the two lives, but as you get further into the book, it becomes apparent why that is. Her past clearly haunts her and no matter how she tries to bury it, until she opens up about it, it always will. Secrets always have a way of coming out.

I found this to be a fun thriller...it's dramatic, it's a bit suspenseful and the perfect beach read. It's a bit like watching reality tv with a mystery involved. I hope this author continues to write more books in this vein as this was the perfect entertaining read for the summer!

 


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1 comment

  1. This sounds like a thriller almost. The two timelines connected is a bonus.

    ReplyDelete

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