Saturday, August 17, 2019

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: The Birthday Girl, by Melissa de la Cruz {ends 8/25}

October 19
The Present
5:00 PM

Ellie de Florent-Stinson had made a point of telling everyone she knew that she'd bought the house in Palm Springs for her birthday, as a gift to self.

Renting a Palm Springs house for a celebration was practically a rite of passage among a certain Los Angeles set, a flurry of Paperless Post invites with the requite Rat-Pack-in-the-desert themes landing in one's inbox with a predictable thud over the years.

But Ellie always had to one-up, take it to the next mile, power it beyond the goalpost and smash it on the turf while doing an illegal victory dance—so she had actually bought a house, for a little over two million. Renting was so bourgeois. 

I'm a huge Melissa de la Cruz fan, as my long-time blog readers might know, so I was excited to get my hands on her newest book, The Birthday Girl. There were a few twists throughout that I didn't see coming, also, and I very much enjoyed the novel.

Official synopsis:
Book Review and GIVEAWAY: The Birthday Girl, by Melissa de la Cruz {ends 8/25}
In the thrilling, suspenseful new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz, all of Ellie de Florent-Stinson’s secrets come to light in one eventful evening full of twists, turns, and surprises.

Before she became a glamorous fashion designer, Ellie de Florent-Stinson was a trailer-park teen about to turn sixteen. But a night of birthday celebration doesn’t go exactly as planned and descends into a night she’ll never be able to forget.

Now, on the cusp of her fortieth birthday, it appears Ellie has everything she ever wanted: a handsome husband; an accomplished, college-age stepdaughter; a beautiful ten-year-old girl; adorable and rambunctious six-year-old twin boys; lush, well-appointed homes in Los Angeles, Park City, and Palm Springs; a thriving career; and a dazzling circle of friends.

Except everything is not quite as perfect as it looks on the outside—Ellie is keeping many secrets. And hiding those skeletons has a cost, and it all comes to a head 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 Ellie’s life begins to crumble.

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

The novel goes back and forth between the present, which is Ellie's 40th birthday party, and the past, which took place 24 years ago, when she was 16. The two characters in the past are named Leo and Mish, so it took me a while to figure out which one was Ellie ... and even then, there's a twist at the end and it turned out I was wrong.

I really like novels that flip-flop like that (go between past and present) and this one was no exception. The characters are written very well, too, and just when you think you've figured out who is who, and what the ending will be, de la Cruz flips the script on you.

4.5 stars out of 5.

{click here to purchase}

*Disclosure: I was provided a copy of this book for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.


One of my lucky readers will win a hardcover copy of The Birthday Girl!

Enter to win via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Sunday, August 25th, at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be notified via email the next day, and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

Hardcover copy of The Birthday Girl, by Melissa de la Cruz


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