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The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

Pitch Book Club: The Guest List

Photo by Stella Hadamer
In addition to “The Guest List,” The Pitch also suggests you try out some of these books. Perfect for Halloween, these spooky stories will delight any mystery or thriller fan!

Hello! Welcome to the Pitch Book Club’s second review of the school year! Once again, Stella, Cyiza, Aya and Meron will be giving their opinions on this month’s book. You can participate by joining the Goodreads that is linked in the Pitch’s Instagram bio (@humansofwj) and by looking out for the next book of the month! You can even vote for which book you would like that to be by using the link previously mentioned.

October Book of the Month: “The Guest List” (Lucy Foley)

Stella – 3/5 stars
Thrillers and mysteries are my jam, so maybe that’s why I can only give this book three stars. Most of those stars would be for the atmospheric setting (I’m a sucker for Ireland), and the cleverly woven mystery. Lucy Foley managed to keep me guessing until the end with the book’s the book’s alternating perspectives and intricately intertwined motives for the murder. No character felt wholly good or bad which made it a lot trickier to guess the perpetrator and their purpose in committing the crime.

Something I have to commend in thrillers is the author’s ability to actually make you feel some sense of unease or even fear, something which surprisingly isn’t a given in all books of this genre. Foley manages this on several occasions which made the novel more enjoyable than other, unfortunate, members of its genre.

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But now, onto the not-so–so-great stuff. It was slow-going, which isn’t ideal for a thriller/mystery, and I wasn’t hooked from the beginning. I also thought that the characters were also generally unlikeable, making me disinterested in actually solving the mystery (i.e. reading to the end of the book). I didn’t care that much about the victim and, therefore, didn’t care as much about the background of the murder.

Overall, though, it was a decent read. If you’re into thrillers or have enjoyed some of Foley’s earlier work, you should give this book a try.

Aya – 3/5 stars
I’m not a huge fan of thrillers (unless written by Colleen Hoover), but I have to admit that this book impressed me. Jules is the absolute worst bridezilla who ends up marrying Will, a charming, rising television star, at an island off the coast of Ireland. The island that Jules decided to have her wedding at is the most basic scene from a horror movie—in the middle of nowhere, with no cell reception, caves and more, but Jules loves the drama of it. This book was the first really good thriller I’ve read since Colleen Hoover’s “Verity.” I loved the slowly built-up tension and the nuanced characters. I definitely had to pay very close attention to detail to put the puzzle pieces together and in the end my jaw dropped. I am definitely a harsh critic when it comes to books and tend to lose interest quickly, so the fact that I finished it means it was interesting but could have been better! If you like thrillers or mysteries, I highly recommend it!

Cyiza – 3/5 stars
I’m not a fan of mystery/thriller books unless it’s Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson (shameless book rec), so I was already a bit wary going into “The Guest List,” but the experience wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I didn’t dislike the novel as much as I thought I would, but I also couldn’t recall half of the things that happened in the book after finishing it (that definitely says a lot about how much—or rather, how little—I was invested in the story and the characters).

The two main things that I had a problem with were the characters and the pacing. I loved the setting (I especially love books like this one that take place in just one location), but I just couldn’t connect with the characters, and I ended up just not caring about half of them and their plotlines. Another huge thing was the pacing. Now, I am a slow-burn fan: I will happily read an 800-page slow-burn where nothing happens until the last 100 pages but, again, I have to care about the story and the character’s development and that didn’t happen with this book. The only thing that really kept me going was the drama.

I love a messy book and this book was messy. I feel like this book is definitely better suited for my mystery/thriller people out there and I’m simply just not one of them, but I had fun reading the book anyways (most of the time).

Meron – 3/5 stars
I’m not really into mysteries and thrillers (I love a good cheesy romance; sue me), but I was pleasantly surprised with how I actually didn’t hate this book. Lucy Foley did a good job presenting this story, and the plot twists threw me in a loop every time. I loved the setting; the idea of a mysterious island enticed me. I usually love books that have different POVs, but there was so much going on in this book with all of the characters that it was a bit difficult to follow through. However, I can definitely see this was more my problem than it was the book’s fault. The book was slow to me, and I felt that it was dragging more than half of the time. Still, I have to give Foley some credit: she did a good job setting up the plot because I was really surprised when the killer and their motive were finally revealed. Overall, this book wasn’t absolutely mind blowing, but it was a good introduction to thrillers and mysteries for me. If you are new to thrillers and mysteries, I would read this book.

Favorite Quotes (from the book):
“In my experience, those who have the greatest respect for the rules also take the most enjoyment in breaking them.”

“But it’s possible to hate your body when you’re thin, too. To feel like it’s kept secrets from you. To feel like it’s let you down.”

“And I’m not worried about it being haunted. I have my own ghosts. I carry them with me wherever I go.”

“Marriage is about finding that person you know best in the world. Not how they take their coffee or what their favourite film is or the name of their first cat. It’s knowing on a deeper level. It’s knowing their soul.”

“When he broke up with me, he told me that he would love me forever. But that’s total crap. If you love someone, really, you don’t do anything to hurt them.”

“If I could cry it might all be better, but I can’t. It’s like an ability I’ve lost, like a language I’ve forgotten.”

— Lucy Foley, “The Guest List”

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About the Contributors
Meron Berhe
Meron Berhe, Podcast Editor
This is senior Meron Berhe's second year on The Pitch, and her first year as Podcast Editor. In her free time, she likes to read books and watch terrible reality television.
Cyiza Andemambika
Cyiza Andemambika, Online Editor-in-Chief
Senior Cyiza Andemambika is excited to start her 3rd year on Pitch as an Online Editor-In-Chief. Outside of Pitch she is BSU's secretary, and in her free time she enjoys reading, cooking, and hanging out with friends.
Aya Hesham
Aya Hesham, Online Editor-in-Chief
Aya Hesham is a senior at WJ and is excited to be spending her third year on Pitch as an Online Editor-in-Chief. Outside of writing for the Pitch, Aya enjoys watching documentaries and kayaking.
Stella Hadamer
Stella Hadamer, Print Editor-in-Chief
Senior Stella Hadamer is very excited to be a Print Editor-in-Chief in her third year on the Pitch. When she is not writing or editing articles she enjoys re-reading her favorite books, listening to music and hanging out with her friends.
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