The Birthday Girl by Sue Fortin

The Birthday Girl

Dear Carys, Zoe and AndreaCome and join me for my fortieth birthday adventure weekend, full of mysteries and surprises the like of which you can’t imagine.When Joanne’s friends reluctantly accept an invitation to her birthday party, it quickly becomes clear that there is more to this weekend than they are expecting.One of them is hiding a secret.And Joanne is planning to r...

Title:The Birthday Girl
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Edition Language:English

The Birthday Girl Reviews

  • Mandy White

    Wow! This book blew me away! I loved Sister Sister so it was a no brainer to request this book on Netgalley when it came up. Once you start this book it is very hard to put it down.4 friends go away on a birthday weekend... a weekend that will change of of their lives forever. So many lies and twists.. this book was fantastic. Thanks to Netgalley and Harper Collins UK for a copy of this book to read and review

  • Nicki

    BLOG TOUR REVIEW

    Dear Carys, Zoe and Andrea Come and join me for my fortieth birthday adventure weekend, full of mysteries and surprises the like of which you can’t imagine.

    When Joanne’s friends reluctantly accept an invitation to her birthday party, it quickly becomes clear that there is more to this weekend than they are expecting. One of them is hiding a secret. And Joanne is planning to reveal it…

    A weekend away in a cottage in the woods sounds like fun – until no one can hear your cries for h

    BLOG TOUR REVIEW

    Dear Carys, Zoe and Andrea Come and join me for my fortieth birthday adventure weekend, full of mysteries and surprises the like of which you can’t imagine.

    When Joanne’s friends reluctantly accept an invitation to her birthday party, it quickly becomes clear that there is more to this weekend than they are expecting. One of them is hiding a secret. And Joanne is planning to reveal it…

    A weekend away in a cottage in the woods sounds like fun – until no one can hear your cries for help.

    Four friends. A party to die for. Who will survive?

    Wow,Omg,I absolutely loved this well written,gripping,intense,fast paced,twist packed thriller.The story is mainly voiced by Carys whose narrative isn't exactly reliable.Interspersed throughout the book are parts that are voiced by a unknown person whose identity when it was revealed took me totally by surprise.I thought I had worked out who the person was but I was 100% wrong.The story hooks you in from the very first page,the sense of unease building as Carys,Andrea and Zoe travel to their mysterious destination where Joanne is waiting for them.Once they get to the cottage that's where the fun and games begin,all four of the women have secrets,could one of them have revenge on her mind? or is someone else playing sick games and terrorizing the four women for their own personal reasons?.All the characters are realistic and believable,Andrea was definitely my favourite,if she had something to say,she said it whether you like what she said or not.The setting was perfect for some intense,gripping action scenes that had me holding my breath,frantically turning the pages and snarling at anyone who dared to interrupt me while I was reading.

    I absolutely loved this riveting psychological thriller,the plot is compelling and intricate and has more twists and turns than the river that flows near the cottage.I would love to give this book far more than 5 stars.Highly recommended by little old me.

    Many thanks to Harper Collins UK / Harper Impulse for a arc of this book via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review

  • BookwormCatLady

    The Birthday Girl is easily in my top 5 reads of 2018! Pure brilliance!

    Sue just has this natural way of building genuine, hair-raising tension that I rarely come across - and I read A LOT!

    I’ll be recommending this book for a long time to come.

    Thanks to Harper Collins UK, Harper Fiction for allowing me to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  • Lisa Houston

    4 friends set off on a suprise birthday weekend away. Joanne arranges it all for her 3 friends. What a lovely friend she is. Or is she? Is there a motive behind the weekend away? What exactly has she got planned. Almost from the word go the women feel uneasy with how things are playing out. Then things start to take a nasty turn. I loved this book. Good mix of characters. Well written book with lots of twists and turns. Was hard to put down once you started. Highly recommended

  • Bex (Beckie Bookworm)

    🌟🌟🌟🌟STARS

    Now never having read anything of Sue Fortin before I wasn't quite sure what to expect with this.

    Well, Wow, this certainly didn't disappoint.

    I read this in practically one sitting, it was such addictive reading that I struggled to put "The Birthday Girl" down I was so engrossed.

    This story tells the tale of four best friends, Carys, Zoe, Andrea and Joanne, all in or approaching their forties.

    All Bogged down with the usual life dramas, petty jealousies and rivalries that usually come wi

    🌟🌟🌟🌟STARS

    Now never having read anything of Sue Fortin before I wasn't quite sure what to expect with this.

    Well, Wow, this certainly didn't disappoint.

    I read this in practically one sitting, it was such addictive reading that I struggled to put "The Birthday Girl" down I was so engrossed.

    This story tells the tale of four best friends, Carys, Zoe, Andrea and Joanne, all in or approaching their forties.

    All Bogged down with the usual life dramas, petty jealousies and rivalries that usually come with groups of girls of all ages.

    So when one of the girls, Joanne to be exact, decides to throw a very different fortieth party.

    The other Girls half-heartedly accept her invitation.

    Straight from the get-go, I loved how the scene was staged, Johanna lulling her friends into a false sense of security, outwardly not portraying her anger, but showing her game face and going in for the long con.

    So there you are, You think you know where This tale is going, who the baddies are, when suddenly and without warning "The birthday girl" changes directions on you leaving you floundering in the wake of the upheaval.

    And you're left there scratching your head in total confusion.

    The Birthday girl will seriously confound your expectations and have you questioning everything that happens, nothing will be taken on face value and nobody is above suspicion.

    On top of all this, there is also the mysterious voice that seems to hate Carys so much, I was so wrong on all fronts with this when attempting to use my sleuthing skills to unmask, brilliantly done indeed.

    So the story that unfolds here drew me in straight from the beginning.

    It manages to build layer upon layer until gradually a bigger overall picture is finally revealed.

    This was so well done and it actually helped make the Birthday Girl such a page-turner.

    this has all the ingredients of a five-star read and it wasn't until the last chapter that for me this lost some of its star quality.

    I just really didn't like the ending, I've never really been into self-sacrificing or cutting off my nose to spite my face and that is what the last chapter to me stank of.

    So Sorry to be so cryptic, but needs must as I really don't want to spoil this experience for others.

    So there you have it, in a nutshell, this was such a good solid read, it flowed brilliantly, kept the reader guessing till the final pages and overall just pulled you right in.

    So yes I would most certainly recommend this if you like a good psychological thriller, this is hands down, definitely one of the best I have experienced for a while.

    So All that's left is to say thank you to NetGalley, the publishers and the author for providing me with an ARC of The Birthday Girl this is my own honest and unbiased opinion.

    Reviewed By Beckie Bookworm

  • Melissa Souza

    **Thank you to HarperCollins UK and NetGalley for sending me an ARC in return for an honest review.

    4.5 stars!!!

    This book has got to be one of the best I have read so far this year. It was so intense. I had no idea what was going to happen next. I was literally on the edge of my seat. The book is based on the premise that 3 friends are invited to a weekend getaway by their mutual best friend for her fortieth birthday. But, what unravels in the days that follow makes us realise that this is no ord

    **Thank you to HarperCollins UK and NetGalley for sending me an ARC in return for an honest review.

    4.5 stars!!!

    This book has got to be one of the best I have read so far this year. It was so intense. I had no idea what was going to happen next. I was literally on the edge of my seat. The book is based on the premise that 3 friends are invited to a weekend getaway by their mutual best friend for her fortieth birthday. But, what unravels in the days that follow makes us realise that this is no ordinary birthday celebration.

    From the get-go, Sue Fortin creates a story fraught with tension and an underlying sinister edge. The story focuses on the secrets friends keep, family dysfunction and the lengths one would go to get revenge. The MC Carys apparently seems to be harbouring a lot of insecurities and lies. Moreover, as a reader, we can sense that she has a past that she wishes to keep buried and doesn't confront her issues. In addition, we can also gauge that her friends are not as straightforward about their lives either. The book takes a lot of twists and makes you actually wonder who can be trusted. No one is above board. That added a lot of dimension to the characters and enlivened the storyline further.

    I also thought the structure helped in amping up the psychological impact of this book. The chapters were short and concise which made reading fairly easy. Interspaced between Carys POV of events, the author also gives a peek into the mind of the perpetrator which leaves the reader guessing why this person who would want revenge but as the story unfolds, you are left second-guessing if your guess to who might be capable of such heinous acts is right. I especially loved that part of the novel as it helped one to get actively engaged with the plot. In terms of the reveals, they were absolutely mindblowing and I was left speechless at how things were wrapped up. In essence, I would say Sue Fortin is a master storyteller and I look forward to reading more of her work. I would recommend this thriller if you like complex plots and like playing amateur detective. I know I sure did :)

  • Donna Maguire

    I loved this book!!  It really gripped me and I didn't want to stop reading until I reached the very end - it was very hard to put down! 

    The pace was spot on and it slowly built up speed from the beginning.  I loved the build up as the partygoers went from destination to destination at the very outset so even the reader had no idea where  they were going to end up.  The characters were great and I loved how they worked so well together to make it such an e

    I loved this book!!  It really gripped me and I didn't want to stop reading until I reached the very end - it was very hard to put down! 

    The pace was spot on and it slowly built up speed from the beginning.  I loved the build up as the partygoers went from destination to destination at the very outset so even the reader had no idea where  they were going to end up.  The characters were great and I loved how they worked so well together to make it such an enjoyable read!

    Twists and turns, shocks and suspense - I have given the book 5 stars and it is definitely a book I'm going to be recommending!!

  • Liz Barnsley

    Oops looks like a minority view from me this time but I had quite a few problems with this story - although it's *really* difficult to rate because Sue Fortin is a really talented writer, I love the good writing but subjectively the story itself annoyed the living heck out of me.

    Carys is annoying and her problems were not that interesting. Also on anti-depressants (yawn) prone to brain freezes at inopportune moments (bigger yawn) and lies through her teeth numerous times thinking she's doing th

    Oops looks like a minority view from me this time but I had quite a few problems with this story - although it's *really* difficult to rate because Sue Fortin is a really talented writer, I love the good writing but subjectively the story itself annoyed the living heck out of me.

    Carys is annoying and her problems were not that interesting. Also on anti-depressants (yawn) prone to brain freezes at inopportune moments (bigger yawn) and lies through her teeth numerous times thinking she's doing the right thing but actually usually making it worse even though she's supposed to be intelligent (biggest yawn of all)

    The birthday party itself. I'm sorry but it was silly. For a start nobody would go through all the steps to get there that the "friends" were expected to take, especially if they were already at odds and even more so if they were supposedly, again, intelligent women. Maybe the first bit. Even the second. But mobile phones taken away, put on a plane, no idea where they are going and completely cut off when they get there? Yeah I'd have said a few choice words, taken my phone and gone back to my duvet. It just felt so...puerile. I'm all for surprises but in the initial portions of this novel less would definitely have been more. I was already shaking my head in disbelief and I wasn't even that far into it.

    Then it just got stupider. Confrontations (but still even when it was clear that they were not all jolly friends together they happily went off into the woods and followed all the instructions because of COURSE that's what you do when you have no idea where you are, have no communication with the outside world, your friend is acting oddly and you yourself are feeling slightly worried)

    The resolution was very convoluted, for me didn't really sit logically within the context of the rest a kind of oh THIS happened BEFORE that and so THIS is what it's all about. Then the need to quite definitively over egg the pudding with a final twist. **rolls eyes**

    BUT you know people love this stuff (as is reflected in the majority of the reviews) and the author is not at fault here really, she has an insightful writing eye and a clever turn of phrase that makes this a page turner even as I was spitting chips and going "really? REALLY?" as things unfolded. I didn't want to put it down, I was interested to see what the outcome was (even though my hoped for outcome was that they all fell off a cliff and died painfully ) and for lovers of the psychological thriller it will hit a lot of marks. I think with this genre now it's hit and miss, this was a miss for me but a hit for a lot of others.

    Pfft. What do I know anyway?

  • Rachel Gilbey

    Creepy, eerie, atmospheric, baffling but utterly addictive are all words that I would happily use to describe The Birthday Girl.

    This is a story that kept me guessing , and then something else came to light, andI started to guess in other directions, but at no point was I able to put 2 and 2 together.

    The first few chapters were a great introduction to the characters and also in giving a full idea as to just how excluded the croft that the friends would be staying in was. It was like a magical my

    Creepy, eerie, atmospheric, baffling but utterly addictive are all words that I would happily use to describe The Birthday Girl.

    This is a story that kept me guessing , and then something else came to light, andI started to guess in other directions, but at no point was I able to put 2 and 2 together.

    The first few chapters were a great introduction to the characters and also in giving a full idea as to just how excluded the croft that the friends would be staying in was. It was like a magical mystery tour - only not magical in getting them to this incredibly remote location, and they had even handed over their phones for the weekend.

    Imagine being invited to a weekend away in the woods with your closest friends only the friend that invited you has had falling outs in the past year with all the other guests. Ramp up the tension with an isolated location in the middle of nowhere, no means of communication with the outside world, and at least one person who seems to have an ulterior motive for the weekend.

    Well that is just the scene setting for Carys, Andrea, Zoe and Joanne, as they embark on a weekend that I doubt any of them will ever forget.

    There are outdoor adventure activities, guessing games and clearly plenty of secrets to be unveiled, From the second I fully got into the book, which was a bit further in than it should have been due to outside influences on my reading, I was hooked and didn't want to stop reading for any reason, although I am purely blaming the author if I have nightmares this evening.

    The descriptions conjured up such vivid pictures that I had a really good feel for the isolation the characters must have been feeling, plus all the confusion and all the other emotions. Some of the secrets were more troubling than others and Carys already had to go through far more in her past few years than anyone should have to deal with.

    The Birthday Girl crept under my skin to the extent that I had no idea whether it was the feeling of creepiness from the book that lead to me feeling like something was crawling up my arm, or whether there really was something there. Sue Fortin is to my eyes becoming an incredibly accomplished author and pretty much a must read for me every time she releases a new book, simply superb.

    This was a birthday party that will stick with you for a long time, and if you do buy this as a Birthday present for anyone, I think it needs to be given with a disclaimer that you hope their celebrations don't turn out like they do in the story!

    Thank you to Netgalley and Harper Impulse for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.

  • Laura

    Having thoroughly enjoyed Sister Sister and felt underwhelmed by The Girl Who Lied, this authors latest book falls somewhere in the middle. I enjoy her ideas but not necessarily how they translate through her writing.

    The Birthday Girl features a group of four friends (who don’t really seem all that friendly...) as they embark on a weekend getaway somewhere in the remotest part of eastern Scotland. As with her previous books, the author includes a substantial dose of red herrings and good old fa

    Having thoroughly enjoyed Sister Sister and felt underwhelmed by The Girl Who Lied, this authors latest book falls somewhere in the middle. I enjoy her ideas but not necessarily how they translate through her writing.

    The Birthday Girl features a group of four friends (who don’t really seem all that friendly...) as they embark on a weekend getaway somewhere in the remotest part of eastern Scotland. As with her previous books, the author includes a substantial dose of red herrings and good old fashioned mystery.

    I thought the lead character, Cerys, was more developed than the rest of the cast.

    What frustrated me about this book was that the dialogue seemed stilted or too obvious.

    “STOP THAT! YOU’RE HURTING ME!”

    “I’M CALLING THE POLICE RIGHT NOW!”

    You get the idea. As I’m sure I mentioned in my reviews of her other two books, the dialogue between characters read like a bad soap script. As a reader, I like to speculate what the characters are thinking in order to anticipate their actions. With this book, everything was spelt out so you actually didn’t need to work very hard to understand the plot. As a result, the ending is anti climatic and frustrating.

    Now that I’ve read three of this authors books, I sit firmly on the fence as to whether or not I would recommend her work. Having said that, I am likely to purchase her next book just because I enjoyed Sister Sister so much!


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