Book Reviews

Review: Girls’ Night Out

  • Author: Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke
  • Edition: Kindle Edition
  • Publishing: July 24, 2018
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Psychological Thriller
  • Goodreads

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.

What better cure for the ailment of a fractured friendship than a trip to the sun-drenched beaches of Tumlum, Mexico? Basking amidst white sand dunes and being lulled to sleep by the breaking waves on the shore sounded like a paradise to the heroines of Girls Night Out – Ashley, Natalie, and Lauren, but when a night of drinking leads to a sudden disappearance and memory loss, their dreams of reconciliation and paradise are shattered.

These girls weren’t the only ones who found themselves letdown, I, too found this book to be a disappointment. For starters, we’re told the threesome are childhood best friends turned entrepreneurial business partners who were launched into fortune by a stint on the television show Shark Tank. They landed a patent for their blow-out product aptly titled BloMe and their business quickly expanded into an enterprise, big enough to warrant the attention of the bigwigs at Revlon – a central point for much of the book’s conflict to circle around. Except, not once during my time reading this book did I actually believe these three girls were ever really friends. Sure, there were flashbacks and memory fragments of bonding or familial encounters, but apart from that I found each woman to be catty, selfish, entitled, and downright bratty. The characters were flat and one-dimensional, there was zero development over the course of the book. The arguments they got into in the beginning chapters were the same they were having by the end of the story. At times I couldn’t even differentiate between the characters.

The text itself is dense and yet the dialogue incredibly simplistic. Doing the story no favors is the timeline and shifting POV. This is a book that would have benefited from having a single narrator, the constant back-and-forth between days leading up to the disappearance and the days after in addition created a sluggish pace. I was frequently frustrated with the sluggish pacing. Many scenes dragged on well past their natural end.

I trudged through the end of the novel like Lauren and Ashley did through the Chichen Itza, on edge and tense, yes, but also desperately seeking the light at the end of the tunnel. Ultimately the reveal was lackluster and offered no notable twists that hadn’t been thoroughly entertained already.

Many thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an advanced reader copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

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