Cover Image: The Guest

The Guest

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Member Reviews

4.5 Starts - I’ve had this for a long time and was afraid to read it because I loved the girls so much. I really regret waiting so long - this is just as great as her others, but this means it will be extremely polarizing. I think you should only read this if you like feeling a little anxious and also like books where nothing happens. I knocked of .5 because the ending was confusing though I think this was intentional
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I love a story about a twenty-something feeling just doing her best as an adult and this story was no exception. 

Did I feel tempted to live the same way? At times…yes haha. Not sure what that says about me! 

This was my first Emma Cline story and I’d only ever heard good things about her writing and her characters, and all the rumours are true.
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Emma Cline is a talented writer - like her earlier book “The Girls” she really knows how to create an atmosphere.

Not one character in “The Guest” is really likable including Alex, the central character who at age 22 is a drifter, a grifter. We don’t know much about her and her life is lived with no plan; on the edge of being kicked out by her roommates for failing to pay the rent, she winds up being the paramour of much older Simon in his luxurious Hamptons home. Until she angers him and he asks her to leave. Convinced if she ca. just make it for 6 days until his big Labor Day party where she imagines he will then welcome her back, the remainder of the book is her somehow managing to survive / attach herself to others for the week. It all feels like a drug-hazed (as it often is for Alex) yet completely tense, propulsive read. I couldn’t put it down.

Now please can we talk about the ending?? Without a spoiler, I needed more!

Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. Ready to read some reviews that DO have spoilers to discuss!
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A fascinating read, but definitely disturbing and (don’t worry I won’t spoil it), an ambiguous ending. Emma Cline draws her characters sharply and beautifully, and the visuals worked well. I felt invested. All in all, for a certain audience this is a great read.but I didn’t care for the ending.
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Very quick read and very easy to get into. It was hard to feel any sympathy for Alex though and I found myself getting annoyed at all her choices. But yet, I still wanted to see what happened next.
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I gave this book 2 stars out of respect to the author. Unfortunately I didn’t find much redeeming value in a story about a ne’er do well woman (Alex) who, just by looking at the cover, who in my opinion has her hand out and open looking for it to be filled-perhaps with money, drugs or valuables all of which she has bilked or stolen from several men-one of whom is relentlessly pursuing her for money. We know nothing about her background and the ending falls flat.
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This new release, from the author of The Girls, follows a young woman as she spirals into destructive behavior during a summer visit to Long Island. 

The writing is descriptive, and the plot focuses on the characters. Any action in the story feels secondary to the main character's descent into desperation. Like a trainwreck, I couldn't look away. 

And the ending...I typically don't like open-ended conclusions, but in this case, it was the perfect choice.
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This is one of those books where something IS going on, but I had the sneaking suspicion I was NOT gonna get to the bottom of it! 
This experience made left me with a deep and all consuming sense of dread. It’d and end of summer book, and end of the road book, and end of an era book. Lots of things coming to a close here, this book made me so nervous, soooo much lying and manipulation and deflection. Great read, great summer book for those who like their beach reads with some edge.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher, Random House, for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for this honest review!!
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A fever dream of a book. Emma Cline manages to draw just a few days at the languid end of summer into a tense novel about a young woman on the brink. A brutal commentary on class, wealth, and the lengths at which we go to survive.
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The Guest by Emma Cline is a delicious character study set over a steamy summer in the Hamptons. We meet Alex, a drifter and a con, who keeps you on edge and on your toes for the duration of the book. Cline did a fantastic job presenting a very creepy and atmospheric story that also felt somehow light. I loved it! Highly recommend to all readers, can't imagine a better use of time than plopping down in a chair outside and reading this in a sitting. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Random House for the ARC - The Guest is out now!
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Emma Cline’s ‘The Guest’ is a suspenseful journey of a young woman named Alex who is trying to masquerade in the world of the rich. Alex‘s ability to deceive those around her allows for her to gain access to money and parties. Her vulnerability and desperation can be felt with every encounter she has with people. She wants to be able to belong in a world where she has a safe space to rest her head every night. She wants to be able to connect with those around her. However, she always seems to find a way push the boundaries of those who provide her with security. 

This book is short and yet somehow it keeps the reader in suspense from the first page. You find yourself rooting for Alex even though she continually manipulates those around her. And yet there is something about her longing to belong somewhere that struck me. As a reader, I wanted her to be able to find that one person she could rely on. Emma Cline was able to create such a complex and imperfect main character that resonated with me. As humans, we tend to push away the people that we need the most. 

Thank you so much to Netgalley and Random House Publishers for a copy of this book in exchange for a review.
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"The Guest" follows 22-year-old Alex, the epitome of a grifter. She's spent most of her summer staying with an older man, Simon, at his East End Long Island house. At this point, she exhausted all the resources of her life in the city and has nowhere else to go. Then, after acting out at a dinner party, Simon suggests Alex’s stay has come to an end and suggests she leaves. For some reason, Alex comes to the conclusion that Simon actually wants her to come back for his Labor Day party. So, Alex has six days to kill without any plans or anywhere to stay.
Author Emma Cline's writing here is fantastic. The languid summer setting is immaculate and I was enthralled by Alex's antics. However, the plot is a bit lackluster and meandering. I also have lots of thoughts about the ending, but I won't delve into here. 
Thank you to Netgalley and Random House for providing an advance reader copy in exchange for my honest review.
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this one is an absolute fever dream in the best way possible. it’s like a good 90s indie movie that leaves you sad, but in a beautiful way.

• unreliable narrator
• unlikable characters
• constant plot suspense
• well-paced, beautiful writing
• ending that will leave you speechless

Alex was incredibly unlikable & unreliable, but I found myself rooting for her despite the anxiety she gave me. I loved the ending; it was unexpected and left me thinking about it for awhile.

this is the first book I’ve read by emma & I will absolutely be reading more. daddy is on my shelf + I’m itching to pick it up next.
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I love Emma Cline's style of writing and I read The Guest in one day. I don't know how to describe the main character Alex - is she a grifter, a hustler? She's asked to leave the summer home of the man she's been staying with and we follow her path as she tries to stay in Long Island in hopes for a second chance. I couldn't put it down, I was fascinated by Alex and her plottings, but the ending left me scratching my head.

This would be a good beach read, but I think you are either going to love it because of the beautiful writing or you are going to get the final pages and be mad at the time you've invested. 

Thank you to Random House Publishing Group and NetGalley for this ARC.
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Alex is a drug addled, young woman from New York who manipulates and cons her way through life. She meets Simon and goes to stay at his coastal home for the summer. Through a series of sketch events Alex is no longer welcome to stay with Simon and since she doesn’t have a home to go back to she wanders from place to place and person to person using whatever means necessary to stay in the town long enough to surprise Simon at his annual Labor Day party. 

I was such a huge fan of The Girls and I had high hopes for this book, but I’m not really sure how I feel about this one. I was a little bit confused by Alex and it was difficult for me to get inside of her head and make sense of the decisions that she made. I was engaged with the story as I read and the mystery of Dom kept me wanting to find out what might happen but then I was very let down by the ending. This could just be because I have a personal preference of books having a wrapped up ending and this ending was certainly not wrapped up. It left me with so many questions and a bit unsatisfied with the abrupt close to the story. If you are okay with a more open-ended, vague finale to a story then I think you will enjoy this book as I did enjoy it up until the end.
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I really liked The Girls, so was excited to read this. I loved the setting and anxiety-inducing tension of this story about a burnt out sugar baby wandering the Hamptons. I was shouting, "Alex, no!" the entire time. I had to sit a few days with the ending, but now I think it's great and I loved it.
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A waking nightmare that made me feel bad every moment I was reading it. Absolutely loved it. I want 100 more books like this.
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every once in a while, you have to decide you're going to love a book based on literally no evidence. and it worked!

very soon into this book, i had to turn and say the words "oh, i have a very good feeling about this one" aloud.

it was so consuming and intense that i often found myself physically putting it down and looking away from the page. not reading wasn't enough, i had to remove myself.

i adored the beginning but wish it stayed as slow and eerie — the pace by the end was a little too thrillery for me but still excellently written and almost too real!

brilliant choices like how little we know about our protag mirrored in her life will stick with me for a while. excellent!
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I really liked The Girls by Emma Cline abd this book did not disappoint.  Alex is a 22 year old grifter/escort.  She needs to get out of the city-Dom a client is after her after she cleaned out his money and drugs.  An older guy starts dating her and invites her to go out East with him for August.  After a pool incident at a party, he throws her out, but she is sure she can worm her way back in.
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If you need to fully understand a protagonist or feel a sense of closure in order to like a book, this is probably not the book for you. But, if you can get on board with ambiguity, anxiety and bad behavior in exchange for a gripping story with insightful social critique, I highly recommend The Guest.

Our protagonist, Alex, is an escort who begins the book unhoused and adrift in an unnamed seaside community after her wealthy boyfriend, Simon, kicks her out of his beach house. The rest of the novel follows Alex through a tense week of grifting her way through the community in hopes of outrunning her problems and winning back Simon (and the financial security he offers).

Suspense accumulates throughout this novel, feeling both inevitable and completely untenable by the story’s conclusion. I found Alex’s insistence that everything would turn out okay despite her own intuition and all evidence to the contrary to be compelling and very human, and I enjoyed Cline’s decision to parallel her delusion with Jack’s in the latter half of the book and highlight that the abnormality isn’t in Alex’s ability to fool herself (we all do), but instead in the precariousness of her circumstances and in the way her heightening desperation repels the privileged people around her. I liked that Alex wasn’t a hero, that it wasn’t just a story of a woman cowed by wealth and misogyny. Alex grapples with her own destructive tendencies, often harming people whose circumstances aren’t that much more stable than her own rather than the wealthy people who feel more deserving of her contempt.

As an unapologetic fan of beach reads, I’d pitch this to potential readers as “like a beach read, but better”. Highly recommend!

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House for the advanced reader copy.
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