38216157.jpgThe Birthday Girl by Melissa De La Cruz

PublishedAugust 6, 2019

Hardcover, 352 pages


(Thanks to Edelwiess & Dutton, I received an eARC)



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.



It was interesting to me that the story jumped from different time lines (24 years apart). The plot was very interesting, if you like slower paced mysteries. The saving grace for this one is the ending, that pretty much blew me away.

I Couldn’t relate to any of the characters, and felt no real connections to any of them. They weren’t written to be very relatable in my opinion. At the end I could see where the author was trying to go with the characters, but it just didn’t interest me as much as I wish it did.

I didn’t get any real thriller vibes, which is what I was expecting, and I felt like I waited the whole book for some big twist or maybe just anything suspenseful to happen.I did get some but it took forever to me. I did like that it was a pretty quick read and I flew through it. I didn’t see the ending coming and it definitely upped my star rating

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