Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Girls Night Out

Girls' Night Out

Girls' Night Out is a book I have mixed feelings about. Mostly I liked it- three women go to Mexico to re- connect and spend time together, but when Ashley meets a guy named Marco, everything starts to go wrong. And when Ashley disappears and Natalie wakes up with no memory of the night before, things really go bad. Where is Ashley? Did someone spike Natalie's drink or has she repressed her memories? Did she have something to do with Natalie going missing? All these questions kept me turning pages- it's a very readable story- and I had to know what happened. The story is told in dual timelines- both before and after the night in question- and also from all three perspectives. 

It was fascinating to see events from the point of view of all three women. Natalie seems like the sensible one, and I liked her the most, while Ashley is the reckless one, and Lauren was a little harder to get a read on, at least for me. They've been tight for years but some things have happened in the last year or so that have definitely impacted their relationships, and so things are tense as the story begins. 

Ashley organized the trip with the goal of bringing them all back together, and to seek forgiveness, but it doesn't quite work out that way. She's in an abusive relationship with her husband, and is thinking of leaving, but when she meets charismatic Marco she starts spending a lot of time with him, to the annoyance of Natalie and Lauren. Complicating matters is the fact that Ashley and Natalie are business partners, and are on opposite sides of whether to sell the company. As the story progresses we see that each woman has secrets she is holding back, and reasons for how she does or doesn't engage with the others. It's quite fascinating to see how this all plays out. 

The reason I have mixed feelings is mainly due to some realism issues and also Ashley's character. Ashley is a go- getter and reacts to things with her gut, and that includes Marco, who seems like more of a new age spiritualist than an actual threat, but how do you know? Natalie and Lauren don't trust him at all. My issue with Ashley is she's a little too reckless, a little too trusting of Marco. She's obviously a smart woman, been around the block- the fact that she falls for his bullshit seemed like a stretch. And Ashley is manipulative as all get- out, she spends the whole book lamenting that things aren't going like she planned with the other women, but she doesn't do anything to make it happen. 

This book does take a hard look at women's friendships, and the changes that can happen when women grow apart or go through changes in their life. I thought it was effective at examining where things can go wrong even with lifelong friends when something truly awful happens. Do you trust your friend when she says she can't remember what happened the night before? Do you stand by her when the police get suspicious? There's a sense of dread that pervades the story as memories return and Natalie fears what she will uncover. Between that and the lush setting of Tulum, with Mayan ruins and tequila- soaked nights, you have a winner, as long as you can get past Ashley being a little ditzy.  

27 comments:

  1. I think I like the idea of this revolving around the three women, but Ashley might drive me a wee bit crazy.

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  2. I love the cover on this book and I actually just bought it this week. I hope I like it and thanks for the ditz alert!

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    1. I hope you do too! It is pretty good.

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  3. Ashley would get on my nerves because I get so tired of the inclusion of the ditzy character. Still, I admit you have me intrigued with the rest of it. I like the examination of the friendships here. Brilly review!

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    1. I just thought Ashley was too much, you know? Like would she REALLY do some of those things? But I loved the look at friendships.

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  4. This sounds like quite a thriller and I like that it delves into female relationships, how they change, etc. I also understand your feelings about Ashley and I think I'd agree. So even though I may end up with mixed emotions, like you did, I think I'll check out Girls' Night Out. Great review, Greg!

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    1. It's a great thriller, and I didn't know what happened until the very end (and there's no way TO know, since the MC has lost her memories). I definitely recommend it!

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  5. Thrillers are iffy for me and add in Ashley being frustrating - I doubt this would be the one for me.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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    1. Yeah it could go either way. I loved it other than for Ashley, but by the end- she was irritating me :)

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  6. ah can understand the complicated feeling about the realism and about Ashley.

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  7. These kind of books are usually quite fast paced and hard to put down but have rather unlikeable characters, I’ve discovered. I still can’t seem to stop reading them though. I see that you changed it but what you said about women talking and talking and never resolving anything was hilarious. So true.

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    1. Right? I still read 'em! And yeah I did edit this a bit- there were some errors and I took some stuff out, but yes- they talked a LOT and still didn't resolve anything, I was like ??????

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  8. I do not know, there just seem to be so many like this out there now

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    1. There are a ton of thrillers now- I liked this one a lot but yeah thriller- rama.

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  9. This one sounds like an interesting thriller. Although I get the feeling I would come to truly dislike Ashley. Manipulative *and* a complainer? Ugh!

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  10. This sounds like an unusual thriller. I like the idea that it explores the changing relationships between the three women - even if one is too ditzy!

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  11. Oh no no, Ashley and I would not get along. Because do I even care if they find her, if she is so annoying? Probably not. Like-why is she not leaving the abusive relationship? I would think fear, except you said she is reckless, and whatever she's doing with Marco seems pretty damn reckless. Or maybe she figures whatever happens in Mexico stays in Mexico? Like her untimely demise perhaps? Now I really want to know how it ends, and Idk why. Also- why are these people friends? Do they even like each other? So many questions, yet probably not enough for me to deal with Ashley's nonsense and actually read it. Great review!!

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  12. I like when stories have multiple POVs, it just adds so many dimensions to the book.

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  13. Oh man, I hate characters who are absurdly reckless. They can honestly ruin a whole book for me! This does sound like an interesting read and I'm glad you were able to enjoy it, despite its faults.

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  14. Yeah, things usually go south when you meet a guy named Marco. 😎

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  15. I really like books with multiple POVs, and I love books that go back and forth between time before and the present (or after). It's fun to build towards that inevitable middle from both sides.

    I don't think I would like Ashley. No one should immediately trust someone that much, and they should never replace established friendships. That feels weird to me. Also, if she's smart and purposefully making reckless decisions, I would worry about what she was hiding (especially if she wasn't doing anything to help the situation).

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  16. This one does look good and I do have it on my TBR (I may own it - I need to check) but I do think Ashley's recklessness would drive me crazy. It does sound a little off from the other descriptions of the character.

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  17. Hmm, I may have to skip this one. I'm not a huge fan of varying perspectives. Thanks for the heads up! :)

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  18. This book sounds interesting. I think I'd struggle a little with the characters but I love reading a book and trying to figure out what exactly happened and seeing the before and after told together could definitely keep twisting things about as you learn more about what happened and the characters you begin to question them. I do think the switching in POV would be an issue, though. I don't timeline jumping but I always struggle with multiple POV.

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  19. I am so glad that you mostly liked this one. I didn't really like any of the characters, but I think that it worked for this book because it made it easier to consider that person as the culprit. Ashley really was a bit too much, I agree. ;)

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