Review: The Guest Room by Tasha Sylva


Print Length: 368 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co (July 11, 2023)

From Tess has a bad habit. She can’t stop snooping through her guests' belongings . . .

When Tess is forced to rent out her late sister’s old room to pay the bills, the urge to rummage through her guests’ belongings overtakes her every thought. Teasing herself with forbidden glimpses into the lives of strangers is a momentary thrill, but it’s the closest she’s felt to anyone since the mysterious death of her sister, Rosie.

After her newest lodger, Arran, takes the room, Tess finds his salaciously detailed diary, which chronicles his infatuation with a beautiful stranger. The diary, which appears harmless at first, slowly takes a darker, more menacing tone with each new entry.

Is this a crush or an obsession?

Her compulsion to know the truth leads to Tess shadowing Arran through the streets of London, hoping to catch a glimpse of this unnamed woman. And as she continues to peruse his diary, she can’t help but notice the similarities between the woman on the pages and herself, leaving her to wonder, Who has truly been watching whom?


My Rating: 1 star out of 5

Let me begin this by saying that I am a fan of the tv show YOU, so I had high hopes for this novel. Hopes that throughout the course of the novel were repeatedly dashed, unfortunately.

To begin with, none of these characters are particularly likable, but Tess is the worst of all. She comes across throughout most of the book as just obnoxious, and her holier-than-thou attitude quickly got on my nerves. I get wanting to see your sister's killer brought to justice, but the way she not only snoops through her paying guests' belongings but also then begins to follow them around did not endear me to her as a character. 

Although, in her defense, I'm guessing that that sort of behavior is the norm in the UK as it seemed that everyone in town seemed to be just as unstable as she was. Since when is wanting to know your neighbor's every move considered normal? I live in a close-knit community, and we do NOT act like this.

I kept pushing through the story, despite the fact that I had to put it down and come back to it several times, hoping that there would be something so mind-blowing at the end that it would make my struggles worth it, but once again, I was left disappointed. 

Hopefully, this will be my last disappointing read for awhile; I think after my latest run of bad luck, I deserve something better.

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

                                                The Guest Room  is available on

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