Book Review: Girls Night Out by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke

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Publish Date: July 24, 2018

This book has a book trailer!

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. 

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For estranged friends Ashley, Natalie, and Lauren, it’s time to heal the old wounds between them. Where better to repair those severed ties than on a girls’ getaway to the beautiful paradise of Tulum, Mexico? But even after they’re reunited, no one is being completely honest about the past or the secrets they’re hiding. When Ashley disappears on their girls’ night out, Natalie and Lauren have to try to piece together their hazy memories to figure out what could have happened to her, while also reconciling their feelings of guilt over their last moments together.

Was Ashley with the man she’d met only days before? Did she pack up and leave? Was she kidnapped? Or worse—could Natalie or Lauren have snapped under the weight of her own lies?

As the clock ticks, hour by hour, Natalie and Lauren’s search rushes headlong into growing suspicion and dread. Maybe their secrets run deeper and more dangerous than one of them is willing—or too afraid—to admit.

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Friends, Secrets, and maybe a Skeleton…. My favorite genre!

I love this book cover – it’s gorgeous!

I was expecting a raunchy, fun girls’ trip to paradise. Maybe a midlife Girls Gone Wild. But, this book was so much more. It is a study of complicated female friendships wrapped in mysteries and a missing person. I loved it.

Female friendships can be especially complicated when women have been friends for decades, because these relationships can turn familial. When people are treated as family, the love runs deep but so can resentment, jealousy, and bitterness, because we also tend to hurt the people that we love. Because of their long history, there are many ups and downs in the friendships between Ashley, Natalie, and Lauren.

You know that saying, “You can take the girl out of Kansas, but you can’t take Kansas out of the girl”? This definitely applied to the characters in this book. Ashley, Natalie and Lauren were transported to Tulum, but brought all of their emotional baggage with them that has been building for years. They brought so many unresolved issues that they were reluctant to address.

At the start of their trip, they do what most women do – they mask their true feelings and pretend to have fun. They don’t confront the things that are bothering them, and glossed over emotional topics. But then – throw in alcohol, drugs, money, and a sexy local manwhore name Marco – and this idyllic vacation turns explosive as secrets and true feelings are brought to light.

This book is told in different timelines, in the days leading up to Ashley’s disappearance and afterwards. I enjoyed traveling to this beautiful, tropical location. I identified with each characters’ conflict with their friends. It made me think of the dynamics between my own friends.

Ashley is charismatic, alluring, beautiful, and charming. She is an expert manipulator. She attracts people to her, and uses them to get what she wants. It’s hard to say no to a friend like Ashley. Many of us have an Ashley in our own lives, and will empathize with Natalie and Lauren and their relationship with her.

Where is Ashley? Why did Natalie wake up on the beach, with no memory of the previous night’s events? Why is Lauren so mean to Ashley? Slowly everything is uncovered in this suspenseful, gripping book. The ending wasn’t exactly satisfying, but it does give closure to all of the open plot lines. I think that this book is perfect for book club discussions!

My rating: 4 of 5 stars 4 Stars

This is a must-read about a girls’ trip gone wrong. It was sucks you in and makes you want to binge read it. It’s a nightmare that no one would want to experience. That’s why it makes for such a good read – you can travel to this exotic, lush locale, experience a girls trip gone wrong and return home unscathed. Highly recommend!

Other Books with the Friends, Secrets, and Skeletons theme:

It’s Always the Husband by Michele Campbell

All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

The French Girl by Lexie Elliot

8 thoughts

  1. Great review! I may have to read this one. I admit I wasn’t a big fan of their 1st book, so I didn’t plan on reading this one, but it does sound really good and you’re review is enticing!! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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