Book Review: The Birthday Girl by Melissa De La Cruz

Posted 27 January, 2020 by Molly(Cover To Cover Cafe) in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review: The Birthday Girl by Melissa De La Cruz
Title: The Birthday Girl
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Published by Dutton
Date Published: 6 August, 2019
Pages: 352
Genres: Thriller
Format: eBook
Source: Edelweiss
Purchase: Amazon
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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.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Edelweiss and was under no obligation to post a review, positive or negative.
My Thoughts
It’s been sometime since I read a book I didn’t enjoy. But, sadly, this has happened with this one. Don’t get me wrong, De La Cruz is an extremely talented author. I’ve read many of her novels and loved them. However, with her dive into The Birthday Girl, it lacked. Tremendously so.
This alternating timeline story of 40 year old Ellie and 16 year old Ellie just didn’t cut it for me. It was often slow, and the characters lacked depth. The back and forth between the 40 year old version and the high school version of Ellie was just really hard to follow along with. The thrills and chills didn’t happen until the last portion of the book and by then, I had just about given up hope with it.
With all that said, I do still encourage you to try the book. It was slow and hard to get into for me, but that may just be because I am a hard core romance and psychological thriller lover and I’ve read some doozies lately and this just didn’t mean that hype. I will continue to read more by De La Cruz and I may give this one another go at a later time, and see if  different mind set helps to get into it.

About Melissa de la Cruz

Melissa de la Cruz is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for teens including The Au Pairs series, the Blue Bloods series, the Ashleys series, the Angels on Sunset Boulevard series and the semi-autobiographical novel Fresh off the Boat.

Her books for adults include the novel Cat’s Meow, the anthology Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys and the tongue-in-chic handbooks How to Become Famous in Two Weeks or Less and The Fashionista Files: Adventures in Four-inch heels and Faux-Pas.

She has worked as a fashion and beauty editor and has written for many publications including The New York Times, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Allure, The San Francisco Chronicle, McSweeney’s, Teen Vogue, CosmoGirl! and Seventeen. She has also appeared as an expert on fashion, trends and fame for CNN, E! and FoxNews.

Melissa grew up in Manila and moved to San Francisco with her family, where she graduated high school salutatorian from The Convent of the Sacred Heart. She majored in art history and English at Columbia University (and minored in nightclubs and shopping!).

She now divides her time between New York and Los Angeles, where she lives in the Hollywood Hills with her husband and daughter.

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