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April 18, 2024

Novel Lives

Book Publicity, Book Reviews, And Author Interviews

My First Full Review Had To Be Lucy Foley’s The Paris Apartment… Because I Have A Duty

Salty Reviews And Lucy Foley

Yep! Upon my return, my first full review goes straight into the Great Salt Lakes. For a refresher, I haven’t written THAT many salty reviews. Out of 500+ posts, there is Lucy Foley’s Guest List, and now the Paris Apartment will become the latest addition. Here is the complete list.

Side note I tried to fix this list, making them all the same color. And yet… I could not.

  1. The Guest List by Lucy Foley
  2. One By One by Ruth Ware
  3. Verify by Joelle Charbonneau
  4. All The Stars An Teeth By Adalyn Grace
  5. Seven Lies By Elizabeth Kay
  6. You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

I’m not saying these are the only reviews I’ve written that aren’t positive. These are just truly the dragging of a book. Also see: Books I’d Like To Chuck Into The Sea

The award for appearing on this list twice now goes to the one and only <say it with me> Lucy Foley.

The Paris Apartment Summary

Quick refresher- I don’t usually put the summaries of books into my reviews unless they are a) being dragged, b) I’m so lost in my adoration that I won’t get the summary across on my own, or c) the book is dark and full of spoilers. Welp. Here’s your summary of Lucy Foley’s The Paris Apartment. Because.

 

However, upon further review, I’m going to start including summaries.

 

Lucy Foley

Non-spoiler review

 

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Guest List comes a new locked room mystery, set in a Paris apartment building in which every resident has something to hide…

Jess needs a fresh start. She’s broke and alone, and she’s just left her job under less-than-ideal circumstances. Her half-brother Ben didn’t sound thrilled when she asked if she could crash with him for a bit, but he didn’t say no, and surely everything will look better from Paris. Only when she shows up – to find a very nice apartment, could Ben really have afforded this? – he’s not there.

The longer Ben stays missing, the more Jess starts to dig into her brother’s situation, and the more questions she has. Ben’s neighbors are an eclectic bunch, and not particularly friendly. Jess may have come to Paris to escape her past, but it’s starting to look like it’s Ben’s future that’s in question.

The socialite – The nice guy – The alcoholic – The girl on the verge – The concierge

Everyone’s a neighbor. Everyone’s a suspect. And everyone knows something they’re not telling.

 

The Guest List Vs. The Paris Apartment

I hope you are sitting down. Lucy Foley’s Paris Apartment is absolutely worse than The Guest List. The reasons why aren’t complimentary to either book, to be honest. But, to be fair, neither is this review. Nothing will ever be the review for The Guest List. Also, it is reasonable to point out that this review is half as long as The Guest List.

But truth be told, The Guest List had the courtesy to be hysterical while being so damn bad. Was The Guest List or The Paris Partment supposed to be funny? NO. But at least it made The Guest List just a tad more entertaining. Not that that is a high bar to pass. But at least entertain me in your badness.

33% into The Paris Apartment, and the plot has not moved. At all. I’m sure The guest List had gotten off the runway by then. It may not have been a plot you wanted to move, but it fucking moved. Beggers can’t be choosers

The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley- Review

 

Can Lucy Foley not write a character? I mean, they are just written awfully (and don’t come at me with have I written a novel.. I haven’t, and that’s not the point). Jess prides herself on being observant. I say nay-nay. Let’s look at the evidence. Foley didn’t give Jess a fighting chance in the Paris Apartment.

Much of this review revolves around Jess because, unfortunately, so does The Paris Apartment.

  1. She says she’s observant. I say that someone could be stabbed right in front of her, and she would be like… eh, I’m sure there is a logical explanation. It is probably a fake knife and blood, and they are making a tv show. NO NIT-WIT! If it looks, sounds, and smells of foul play? IT IS FOUL PLAY. Thank God she’s not my sister—stupid fool.

The Paris Apartment

Day 1-Summary For Reference

Jess shows up at Ben’s Paris Apartment, and what does she find?

  1. Keys
  2. Wallet
  3. A cat smeared with blood

And duh dun….  no ben

And “observant” half-sister that she is, does she call the police? No. Go running to the neighbors (hey, she doesn’t know they are all as severely written as she is)? No. Instead, Jess has wine and steals 40 Euros from Ben’s wallet because she’d asked him if he was there, anyway. Jess then criticizes the brand of clothes he buys (in her deep reflection, she wonders who buys clothes with the brand name acne). Too bad it wasn’t acme. We could have ended this fast.

The Guest List

Jess mentions the pit of her stomach, jolts of panic, how he’s perfect and she’s fucked-up, and feelings of dread ad nauseam.

This actually falls in line with the general theme of Lucy Foley repeating EVERYTHING IN BOTH BOOKS AD NAUSEAM (See what I did there).

And THEN she ignores it all and decides he’s fine, takes the 40 euros, and leaves the cat covered in blood because she muses it must have caught a rat.

The Paris Apartment

Day Two

When she wakes up at 5 AM, does she go running to find her still missing brother? Does she go search for him? FUCK NO. Instead, she decides to get involved in stranger drama in the courtyard of an apartment building that she not only doesn’t live in but had to break into. I mean, what? Has Ben been blipped/snapped by Thanos?

At 8 AM, she finds a broken necklace that she knows Ben is never without, smelling of bleach, and NOW she asks herself… ASKS… should I call the police? Is that what ordinary people do? Because, and say it with me… I DON’T FEEL RIGHT AND SHOULD ALWAYS TRUST MY GUT.

The horse is on its way to being beaten to death.

Dear Jess,

NO. NO! This isn’t normal behavior. Most would have not just asked but outright called the police and raised the alarms LAST NIGHT. But still, she doesn’t call the police, and why? Because she remembers she hasn’t eaten. Well. Of course. Screw your missing brother. You can’t be expected to miss breakfast. While getting breakfast, she runs an inner narrative that she’s never felt so lost or like a fish out of water.

Really, Jess? Wait. Let me help you… bc just a minute ago…

“All my focus is on finding Ben”- 22% into the book.

All my focus? Hating on Jess and thinking more about what the fuck happened to Ben than Jess.

22.5%- Jess finds herself severely panting over Nick, the friend of Ben’s who got him the apartment.

Unlikeable Characters- A Clarification

Jess is the most susceptible, selfish waste of cells. Now I often say I don’t know why people read psychological thrillers and then complain about unlikeable characters. It is a pet peeve of mine. I meant morally screwed, morally compass broken, WELL WRITTEN, non-apologetic creations. Jess is not that. Jess is a poorly written-character. Periodt

At 25% into the book, she is just starting to scratch the surface of what has happened to Ben. Still, she is more interested in hot Nick, feeding herself, and the weird-ass neighbors. And she still hasn’t called the cops.

Plus. Now she is getting warnings to leave the apartment and fuck off. Again- could this be a… clue? Nope. Connecting the dots between the threats and her brother doesn’t dawn on her.

Finally! At 32%, Jess develops a modicum of self-awareness when she announces that she’s an idiot.

Lucy Foley

And then Jess loses that self-awareness when she asks herself why she is so stupid.

At that point? I just…

Jess The Hypocrite

It may seem like I’m just focusing on Jess, but she’s the bulk of the book. And at 84%, she actually becomes a worse character by hypocritically snapping at a journalist- do you even care about my brother, or is it just a big story? This is not 5 minutes before she bangs said journalist in the bathroom of a fast food joint. Kettle meet pot.

The Guest List Vs. The Paris Apartment Part 2

The other part of The Paris Apartment that is worst than The Guest List is the lack of creativity. Lucy Foley washed, rinsed, and repeated the same characters. THESE ARE NOT SPOILERS, SO DON’T READ TOO MUCH INTO THEM OTHER THAN PERSONALITY/ROLE COMPARISON.

The Paris Apartment’s concierge is The Guest List’s Marriage Planner. She sees/knows all, and with her secrets.

Mimi. I actually had compassion for the teenager in the Guest List, but Mimi? ALMOST. When Mimi questioned her idiocy, I felt like hugging her and telling her not to be hard on herself. Much bigger idiots surround her. She decided this all had to be a nightmare, and I thought, baby, this book is a nightmare. But no. I couldn’t even find compassion for her.

The Big Reveal (No Spoilers)

Once the first half of the big reveal hit? Figuring out the rest was a snap. Did I see the first half coming? No. But they talk throughout the book about burying a body, which leads to Nick repeatedly saying… but <x> died three days ago, and we buried him. We buried him in the yard. CAN SOMEONE SMACK HIM BACK TO THE REAL WORLD? The dots are tired of waiting to be connected.

 

A Final Observation on Lucy Foley and The Paris Apartment 

What is it with Foley beating the damn dead horse in both the Paris Apartment and the Guest List? If I have to hear about hearts thumping and blood pounding and pulse racing in ears, chests, and temples… FFS. She did it in the Guest List, too.

I imagine Lucy Foley is a better author than either of these books show. But if she doesn’t put it on paper? It doesn’t exist. She will write a book I love someday, and I’ll eat all the crow and be happy.

 

The Paris Apartment was not that book and

 

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