The Dinner List

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 11 Sep 2018

Member Reviews

DNF 50%

Audrey Hepburn is nothing but a draw. She's not contributing anything to the story besides the token celebrity. I also don't get the point of the dinner party. A group of people, some dead, rehashing old hurts for the MC's birthday. For closure? Probably. In any case, the hook is weak and I'm not motivated to read further at this point. I'm also looking for the "magic realism" but aside from dead people sharing a meal, it's a flimsy claim at best.
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4.5 stars
At some point in our lives, we've all been asked some variation of the question: "If you could have dinner with any five people, living or dead, who would they be?" Years ago, Sabrina was asked the same question by her college roommate, Jessica. On her 30th birthday, Sabrina meets up with Jessica at a restaurant for their annual birthday tradition. Instead. she is met by the five people she put on her dinner list: Jessica, her favorite professor, her father, a former love, and Audrey Hepburn. 
  Once Sabrina adjusts to the shock of her dinner guests, she realizes that she must use this opportunity to come to terms with unresolved issues, make amends, and enjoy the gift she has been given. Over the course of the dinner, she realizes each guest is there to teach her a lesson and offer their own insight into her relationship with one guest in particular.
  The story alternates between the dinner party and the course of Sabrina's relationship with one of the guests. It's a slim novel at 276 pages but it packs an emotional punch. Serle weaves together a poignant story with beautifully written characters. It's funny, sad, and completely riveting from the very beginning. I found myself tearing up throughout the book and I am generally not a crier by nature. At the end I found myself reflecting not only on my past relationships but also thinking of my own dinner list.
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This book has had tons of good premise, but I cannot get into it. I really liked the premise. The flipping back and forth between the actual dinner and the back story of some of the characters was too hard to follow. Was this supposed to be real? A dream? Magical realism? I found it too confusing and I don't mind suspending some disbelief when I'm reading.
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Great author and great book!  Can’t wait To read more by this author!  The story and plot kept my attention and I hated to put the book down.  Definitely a binge read if I ever read one!!
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“The Dinner List” by Rebecca Serle is a magical read about a woman celebrating her 30th birthday among the five people she longs to dine with most: her best friend, estranged father, philosopher professor, ex-boyfriend and ... wait for it ... Audrey Hepburn. The group discusses life, loss, love, family, and friendship while eating a glorious meal. It is a big-hearted hug of a book you won’t want to end. Bon appetit! 5/5 

Pub Date 11 Sep 2018 

Thanks to Flatiron Books and NetGalley for the review copy. Opinions are fully mine. 

#TheDinnerList #NetGalley
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When you can’t fall asleep at night, try thinking of who you would have on your dinner list of five? Some may be total fantasy such as Rebecca Serle’s pick of Audrey Hepburn.  Others might have been a romance which slipped through your fingers or a family member who delivers equal parts joy and angst.  In other words it could be a complicated evening to work through but worthy of raising your glass.   This is The Dinner List.
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I really wanted to love this book but I honestly felt very underwhelmed. I loved the premise of dinner with any five people dead or alive but just couldn’t connect with any of the main characters in the book.
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I didn’t personally love it, but I can see why some readers might. I didn’t find the main character compelling enough to really root for. And I also didn’t thing the storyline was super clear.
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I wanted to love THE DINNER LIST. I thought I would love THE DINNER LIST. For me this book was just okay. I really enjoyed the past backstory chapters more so than the present day chapters. Finding out why and how each of these dinner guest touched her life was more interesting to me. Overall it just wasn't more me but I know many readers will really enjoy this book.
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Cool plot idea – dinner with any five people, dead or alive. Loved the nostalgia and romanticism running throughout. Didn’t love the predictability (something should have been saved as a surprise!) and the pouty protagonist. I did like the ending – but was surprised that i did. Good cast of characters except for the college professor who seemed superfluous. Movie star, estranged father, love of her life… I mean come on. Awesome. And not knowing at first which were dead or alive was pretty interesting.

The premise was so good! Execution could have been improved upon and that would have helped the first half of the book be less boring and drawn out.
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I was dying to read this book. You cannot beat a premise like this one, and I'm intrigued at the thought of whom I, myself, would choose for my own dinner list. The story was fun, whimsical, mysterious, and magical, and it was the perfect summer read to end a season of fabulous new releases. I think this book would make a great movie.
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Who are the 5 people, dead or alive, that you would invite to dinner? The Dinner List begins with this premise. Sabrina has the opportunity to have dinner with these 5 people on the evening of her 30th birthday. This book had an unusual concept, enough so that it kept me turning the pages, even when at first I had no idea where the story was going. The story alternates between a dinner party with these 5 people and the story of Sabrina and Tobias's past. I loved the story of Sabrina and Tobias. However, I found myself rushing through the dinner party sections. At times they read more like group therapy than a dinner. I give this book 3.5 stars, rounded up because at the end of the book moved me to tears.

Check out this book if you like quirky romances. And split timeline stories.

I was provided a copy of this book by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
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This was a very interesting premise for a book and very different than anything I have read lately.  I thought it might be a very light read when I read about how it was based on the character inviting any 5 people of their choosing - dead or alive - to a dinner party.  It actually had a lot more depth and I loved the focus on how the decisions we have made in the past, big or small, can entirely alter the rest of our lives.  I enjoyed reading about these different relationships (or lack there of) and how they affected the main character and also interconnected with one another. I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Such a fantastic execution of a fun concept. It definitely makes you think about what it would look like for you and how things would pan out.
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If you could name five people, living or dead, who you want to have dinner with, who would you pick? It's a question that many of us have encountered at some point, and The Dinner List brings that question to life through telling the story of Sabrina Nielsen's thirtieth birthday dinner with her best friend, favorite college professor, father, ex-fiance Tobias and Audrey Hepburn. As the six of them share a meal, it starts to become clear that there is a reason apart from Sabrina's birthday that these folks are all at this dinner together, and so this story unfolds. Now, here's the bottom line: I genuinely thought the concept and execution of The Dinner List was quite enjoyable. It drew out the storyline in a way that felt fresh and interesting to me as a reader, and I'm always a big fan of when that happens. However, even though I thought that the narrative was interesting and pretty much devoured the entire novel in a day, I just didn't personally connect with Sabrina or any of the other characters. I truly feel that if I had, the emotional impact of this story would have been a lot stronger and I would have liked it even more. I still would recommend giving this one a shot, especially if the premise is one that you find intriguing.
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To me, this book seems a very honest look a relationships and how/why they can go wrong...or right. I think that people will have a wide array of responses to this book because of that. It's not easy to look at someone making well-intended mistakes. It seems so clear to us, the reader, the person outside of the relationship, the unaffected third-party, as we look at the situation and judge it from an almost clinical standpoint. "Of course she shouldn't do this." "Why didn't he do that?" etc. But when you're IN the story. When emotions run high, when you're tired, when you're in the middle of something new, something you want to work so badly, but are desperately afraid to lose it and don't know what you're doing, don't even know what you really want... it is so much more murky.

Sabrina sits down with five people at dinner and they help her to see more clearly. People who know her, and people who never got the chance, but with invaluable experience and insight that helps her to grow up a little bit and move forward.

I won't say it was my favorite. It's hard to watch someone self-destruct and try to pick up all the pieces again. It's hard to watch someone ask "what if?" and wonder where it went wrong, if they missed it, if they are not enough. But I do think this book deserves credit for being incredibly human. Honest. And I hope it's helpful to some readers who need to know they are not alone in their feelings/thoughts/perspective. They can move forward. It can get better.
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The age old question, what five people would you like to have dinner with.  Sabrina chooses and the 30th birthday dinner is a dream like drama.  As she rehashes her live with her five guests I got a little bored and found myself skimming.  The premise was a good one and I really wanted to to love this story but I just liked it instead.  I received a copy  of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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4.5 stars rounded up to 5.*

Imagine an icebreaker question from first dates gone by...coming to life.  The Dinner List opens as Sabrina sits down next to Audrey Hepburn for dinner.  Somehow, the list she comprised (and wrote down á la Ross in Friends) of the 5 people she'd most want to have dinner with back in college with, has become reality.   

Over the course of dinner, she engages with Audrey Hepburn, the father who abandoned her as a small child, her favorite college professor and mentor, her best friend, and her college boyfriend.

As the story unravels, we discover all of the cracks in these relationships and through both flashbacks and dinner conversation, how Sabrina got to where she is today.  She has only one meal to try to gain some closure or clarity with regards to each relationship.  

Rebecca Serle uses lovely descriptive language and leaves just enough mystery as to how this dinner party has come to pass.  I really enjoyed this book - possibly because it is such a novel concept, but also because the characters were relatable and very real.

I'll definitely be recommending this one!  

*with thanks to NetGalley who provided a digital ARC in exchange for this honest review
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A gracious thank you to Flatiron Books and Rebecca Serle for an advanced copy of The Dinner List. I’m giving ALL the stars for this one! I will admit I was hovering between 4 and 4.5 but then that ending knocked me off my feet...oh geez what an ending!! 

This book is more than just a love story although it IS ALSO a beautifully crafted love story. . It is about how our past skeletons affect our future decisions. It is about learning how to forgive. It is about being honest with oneself and growing up. It is about much more but I don’t want to give anything away. If you have ever had that one true love that broke your heart, this is your book. This is an emotionally complex story that really makes you think. 

Imagine you could invite any 5 people of your choosing  - dead or alive - to a dinner party. That’s what happens to Sabrina on her 30th birthday. Her and her best friend Jessica have always met for dinner on each others birthdays, but this year a few unexpected guests show up as well. These guests are on a dinner guest list that Sabrina made up years ago - her absent father Robert, her old university professor Conrad, Audrey Hepburn, her ex-fiancé Tobias and Jessica. As the night gets going and the conversation begins, Sabrina begins to understand the true reason for each person being at the dinner.

The writing is light and effortless with a twist of humour. It brings the reader in as though they are a fly on the wall at this dinner party. The story is both thought=provoking and moving. I was hooked from the get go. Absolutely recommend!
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What a unique premise for a book; an age old concept.  Imagine you could pick 5 guests to attend a once in a lifetime dinner.  Living or dead, who would you choose, and why? Sabrina has just such a dinner and invites people she admires, loves and who she has unanswered questions for. Oh yeah and Audrey Hepburn (nice choice). As the dinner progresses the story goes back and forth between past events and the present dinner.  This shift in timelines provided scaffolding for the development of the characters.  

Within the backdrop of this dinner, the characters work through the past and delve into reconciliation.  “There are many ways stories can unfold, and now I see this one begin to take shape.  Something different in the space where there used to be just one thing.”

I have to say, I’m not a fan of the romance genre but I really liked the unique premise of this book and wanted to read it.  I'm glad I did. 

The Dinner List is a quick read that is both well written and boasts a unique premise that lives up to the hype.  Well played Rebecca Serle! Well played!

I received an review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley for my honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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