Member Reviews

“The Guest” started off promising enough, but it just seemed to sort of meander through from the middle of the book onward. It became a bit confusing and random as the story went on and I found myself not having much of a rooting interest as the book concluded. It disappointed me since I enjoyed her earlier work, “The Girls”. I can only give this one 2 stars ⭐️ as there was not too much that was memorable for me in this book. Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley.

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Unfortunately, Emma Cline's new novel The Guest overstays its welcome. The book meanders to the point of exhaustion, its main character equally as pestering along the way.

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pretty sleepy thriller but had some memorable moments about sex work and class. i liked the social commentary and north east setting.

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Emma Cline's book, The Girls, creeped me out for years after i first read it. I was nervous to read this one lol. While i really enjoyed the writing of The Girls, Cline did too good of a job setting the scene ha

The Guest is another brilliant showcase of Cline's immense talent. She is an auto-read author that makes her readers sit with uncomfortable thoughts and is so talented at putting her readers into the setting of her books. She truly paints the most realistic imagery for her readers

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I was excited to read this book because I really loved Emma Cline’s earlier novel, “The Girls”. Unfortunately this one was a DNF for me - I didn’t find anti-hero Alex to be a compelling protagonist and the story fell a bit flat for me and at times confusing. Thank you nonetheless for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!

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I received this book in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. I was excited to read this book as I loved The Girls by Emma Cline. The voice here is similar - this has a very gritty feel to it. We follow Alex as she is kicked out of her "arrangement" in the Hamptons, and struggles to survive the week, thinking she can convince her boyfriend to take her back on Monday. I loved the premise of the book, as we had a clear timeline and goal to follow. She just had to survive until Monday. It made me anxious, especially now that I'm far from my early 20's, how much Alex lacked any stability or safety net. The writing was fabulous, and I was prepared to rate the book quite highly, but the ended did disappoint me slightly. I do recommend this book, but beware if you are put off by unlikeable characters.

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Sometimes I read a book and it’s good, but I find myself asking what the point of it was. That, and, I have to sit with it for awhile to really take it all in. That is the case with The Guest, by Emma Cline.
Carrying the same dark tone as her previous works, the same ability to write about strange and unlikeable people, I found TG to be closer to her short story collection than her debut novel.
We follow Alex, who is in a financially beneficial relationship with a man named Simon. The story opens with Alex making a mistake, which costs her this relationship. Rather than leaving the town that she was staying in, she decides to try and find her way back to him, whatever it takes.
There is both more to it than that, and not. I would almost describe this as a character study, because we spend the entirety of the book following Alex, as she weaves through one complicated situation to the next.
I liked my time with this book, though it often felt like the beginning of a panic attack. I think I’d revisit it, too.

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Something about this book just didn't quite do it for me at this time. I never managed to really feel engaged in the story and Alex's life, but it is a well-written book so maybe I'll feel differently if I come back to it at a different point in time.

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The Guest by Emma Cline is the story of a young woman, Alex, who has spent the summer staying with an older man, Simon, in his ritzy Long Island home. An event takes place at a dinner party which results in Alex no longer being welcome at Simon's home. Unfortunately, Alex's complex past means she can't quite return to NYC and so she sets off with her uncanny ability to note what people want from her, to try to solve her current situation.

I think The Guest is best read with little information in advance. Cline has shown her ability to write complex, intriguing characters, all the way back to The Girls, her debut novel. Alex is no exception. She's unlikable and mysterious bordering on infuriating but she is a compelling character and her story was the perfect one to read on a waning Summer evening.

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Honestly one of the best, most gripping, most innovative books I have ever read in my life. I actually read this over the summer and I still regularly think about the characters months later. Thank you so much for the ARC.

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This was a great book that I felt very honored to have early access to. I read it in about two hours while sitting on the floor, it was that entrancing. A bit of Joan Didion "Play It As It Lays." Quite sad.

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Somehow Alex's story stays interesting with underlying tension even though there aren't big plot twists or action points. Emma Cline's writing compels you to keep reading to find out what happens to this main character I wasn't particularly sympathetic towards, but also still wanted to see succeed against the many awful men she encounters. I enjoyed reading this and would recommend it.

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In “The Guest,” we follow Alex, a 22-year-old woman who has spent the final month of summer residing with Simon, an older man, at his East End Long Island residence. Following a disruptive incident during a dinner party, Simon hints that Alex’s stay has reached its conclusion, providing her with a train ticket back to the city.

However, Alex has concealed the truth about her life in New York City. With limited resources and a trail of broken relationships, she possesses few incentives to return and more reasons to evade it altogether. Choosing to remain, she traverses from one place to another, braving the elements, and displaying a complete disregard for her well-being. As her self-destructive behaviour intensifies, Alex embarks on a harrowing descent.

“The Guest” offers an incredibly intense and riveting exploration of one individual’s relentless pursuit of personal gain and selfishness, regardless of the consequences and the lives she may shatter in the process.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for sending a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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This was a good spooky summery book - great for Summerween. It was very stressful and frustrating to read. I wish there were a bit more plot to keep me interested, but I did enjoy the writing style. I just felt left a bit unsatisfied.

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Alex is one of the greatest shitheads I’ve ever read. Her unawareness of her selfishness, while never going over the edge of being straight up bad or evil, makes her an anti-hero anyone would be happy to follow.

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Was on the edge of my seat for much of reading this. Made me want to give the narrator a big hug, a detox ,and an excellent therapist. Cringe but in a good way. I still can't decide how I feel about the ambiguous ending, but I enjoy that Cline lets us our own reading of the book determine what ultimately happens. (I personally don't think it was anything good.)

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3 stars.*

Years ago, I read The Girls by Emma Cline and was both a fan and confused by both her writing style and the plot. The Guest had an interesting premise and a completely unlikeable, disaster of a protagonist, who seems to just make her life worse and worse and then really really the worst.

The thing is...this book just ENDS. I get that there was no resolution so we would know that Alex just continues in her messy way. But really? Frustrating for me. I don't mind a terribly upsetting ending. I enjoy a happy ending (when it suits)....but no ending? Meh.

*with thanks to NetGalley for the digital ARC in exchange for this honest review.

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An A24 movie in book form. Writing remains beautiful and artful. Minimal plot but the vibes are real. I remain an Emma Cline stan.

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this would have been a 5 if the ending wasn't so ambiguous/loose. I prefer to have some sort of resolution with my books. Great use of characters off the page but at the same time it was difficult for me to care at all about Dom for example because we really just never got anymore information on him.
There were some incredible observations. I can tell Cline spent time in the Hamptons studying the people around her.
All and all this was a very fun read. Surprised this became the book of the summer because it was a little dark.

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Thank you NetGalley, Random House, and Emma Cline for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! I’m a big fan of The Girls and had high hopes for this one. It sadly wasn’t really for me at this time… I hope to pick it up again in the future though. I appreciate getting to read it early.

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