The Birthday Girl by Melissa de la Cruz

Book Review

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Title: The Birthday Girl

Author: Melissa de la Cruz

Publisher: Dutton

Publish Date: August 6, 2019

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Series: na

My Rating: 3/5

The Birthday Girl by Melissa de la Cruz


In the thrilling, suspenseful new novel from #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. But 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 Birthday Girl by Melissa de la Cruz


Ellie is turning forty, and she has a big birthday party planned. She’s invited everyone she knows and has everything planned to the last detail. Things do not go according to plan though. Something is up with her husband, her daughter has returned home unexpectedly from college, her best friend can’t make it, someone from her past has decided to drop by, and Ellie’s waiting on a last minuted business deal.

The Birthday Girl is told with alternating timelines – past (24 years ago) and present (birthday party). The past timeline is about Leo and Mish, two girls from the wrong side of town, on the night of Leo’s 16th birthday. They are best friends and excited to go out and celebrate, but things do not end happily. The present timeline is about Ellie, her lavish party, and the things happening in her life.

The Birthday Girl is listed as a thriller, but nothing is particularly surprising or shocking. Ellie is not the most likable character, but she’s realistic. She wants perfection, and to prove that she belongs. An entertaining book for readers who enjoy drama and mild suspense.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

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