I received this book for free from Dutton in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Birthday Girl by Melissa De La Cruz
Also by this author: Witches of East End
Published by Dutton
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller/Suspense
Read in: August 2019
Reading Challenges: 2019 GoodReads
Add to: Goodreads
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. - via GoodReads
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked up The Birthday Girl by Melissa de la Cruz. For the past year or so I’ve really been leaning more towards mysteries and thrillers. This one definitely fit the bill!
The Birthday Girl was told in a past versus present format which I am a sucker for! 24 years prior is the story of Leo and Mish and the present is told by Ellie. Both timelines revolve around important birthdays.
The timelines also differ in that the storyline featuring Leo shows us a girl who loves her people deeply and wants the best for them. The timeline with Ellie shows us a woman who is just plain mean. Maybe that isn’t fair but it’s my review and therefore my perspective. Ellie is a strong woman but she has a ton of demands and the way she demands is what makes her mean.
The two timelines tell us about two different birthdays and their outcomes. As the story progresses the intensity of the unknown end really starts to ramp up. I am genuinely trying to find a way to explain myself here but it was just an increasing sense of dread.
I won’t give the ending away here but suffice it to say that things got very interesting towards the end of the book and I couldn’t put it down! I’ll definitely be picking up any mystery/thriller/suspense novels Melissa de la Cruz chooses to write!
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2019 GoodReads