My Review | The Guest List

Photo features the book cover of of The Guest List by Lucy Foley - Photo by Peri McKinnis - Peri Reads -

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?

This was another one of those times where I saw a friend read it, I looked through the description on GoodReads, I hopped over to Libby, and here we are. A mystery/ thriller where we are given different POVs of our main characters as they are on a secluded island to attend the wedding that everyone will be talking about. Jules and Will are our bride and groom, a magazine editor and her tv show fiancé, a party that will be great for both of their publicity. Johnno, the best man and Will’s supposed best friend, Olivia, the sister of Jules and her only bridesmaid, Aoife, the wedding planner, and Hannah, the plus one. There’s no real orders to the POVs but they serve a purpose of giving us an understanding of the backgrounds between the bride and groom, and an insight for what’s to come towards the end. 

“In my experience, those who have the greatest respect for the rules also take the most enjoyment in breaking them.”

Lucy Foley lays down our main plot, there’s going to be a beautiful wedding between a beautiful couple on a remote island in Ireland. There’s an air of love and happiness and everyone is excited until that night someone is found dead. The rest of the book gives us the details of the days leading up to the wedding to the events that lead up to that fateful night. Each character is bound in some way by the couple, more than they realize. It’s up the reader to pick up the breadcrumbs that Foley leaves throughout each chapter. There’s a constant that might be missed if you’re not paying attention. I don’t read mysteries often but when I do I’m hooked on figuring out the who, what, when, and HOW. Literally every page threw me for a loop and I was pleasantly surprised with the pacing. Nothing felt out of place, it felt like I was watching a true crime documentary. Each character noticed a different character that another one had missed, others were in different places at the right time, Foley did not miss a single detail. The characters served their purpose to advance the story. It even took me a little bit to piece it all together but I won’t lie I was enjoying the thrill of the chase, the details, all of it made it such an entertaining read. And the ending really was the cherry on top. 

The buildup was slow but well worth the wait. Along with the different POVs from the characters we also go back to the night of the wedding. The fateful night where they discover a dead body. The whole time you’re reading these POVs you’re wondering who is going to wind up dead. Was it some random guest? I really couldn’t tell you. That’s what made this book so entertaining for me. The way Foley hides her clues was so minuscule yet everything made sense towards the end. I was honestly impressed. As I continued reading it all started to click in my head and my jaw was on the floor. I love a good mystery and this one marked all my boxes. We had a variety of characters, all a little sketchy but nothing out of the ordinary. The setting was definitely ominous, a lonely island where the only people there are the guests? And it’s supposedly haunted? Yeah a romantic place for sure. Foley knew what she was doing and I loved every chapter, and I enjoyed getting know every character. Any book can add the little things but this one finely put them together.

“Just because the rest of us don’t wear our hearts on our sleeves, just because we have found a way of managing our feelings – it doesn’t mean they’re not there.”

All in all, this book was a fun read from start to finish. Foley masterfully creates such a mysterious ambiance within each description and even has the reader questioning who to trust. Getting to know the backstories, the little snippets of the past, really drew me in for the big reveal towards the end, enjoying the thrill of the mystery every step of the way. 






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Hey! I’m Peri McKinnis

Peri McKinnis of Peri Reads

I’m a creative, I’m a dreamer, and I’m an Aries. I’ll read any book with enough convincing, I enjoy weird movies, and I’m a caffeine fiend. From the day that I brought my first book catalog home from school I knew that books were going to have a special place in my heart. Now I want to spread that love here, to talk about the books that made us cry, fall in love, and scorn because we couldn’t finish them.