A Simple Favorby Published 21 Mar 2017
|A Simple Favor.pdf|
She’s your best friend.
She knows all your secrets.
That’s why she’s so dangerous.
A single mother's life is turned upside down when her best friend vanishes in this chilling debut thriller in the vein of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.
It starts with a simple favor—an ordinary kindness mothers do for one another. When her best friend, Emily, asks Stephanie to pick up her son Nicky after school, she happily says yes. Nicky and her son, Miles, are classmates and best friends, and the five-year-olds love being together—just like she and Emily. A widow and stay-at-home mommy blogger living in woodsy suburban Connecticut, Stephanie was lonely until she met Emily, a sophisticated PR executive whose job in Manhattan demands so much of her time.
But Emily doesn’t come back. She doesn’t answer calls or return texts. Stephanie knows something is terribly wrong—Emily would never leave Nicky, no matter what the police say. Terrified, she reaches out to her blog readers for help. She also reaches out to Emily’s husband, the handsome, reticent Sean, offering emotional support. It’s the least she can do for her best friend. Then, she and Sean receive shocking news. Emily is dead. The nightmare of her disappearance is over.
Or is it? Because soon, Stephanie will begin to see that nothing—not friendship, love, or even an ordinary favor—is as simple as it seems.
A Simple Favor is a remarkable tale of psychological suspense—a clever and twisting free-fall of a ride filled with betrayals and reversals, twists and turns, secrets and revelations, love and loyalty, murder and revenge. Darcey Bell masterfully ratchets up the tension in a taut, unsettling, and completely absorbing story that holds you in its grip until the final page.
"A Simple Favor" Reviews
The only nice thing I can say about this convoluted, ridiculous and BORING hella long novel is that the author, Darcey Bell, is one lucky person. How she managed to get this stinker of a book sold for movie rights is beyond me. Maybe to the Lifetime channel, but MAJOR MOTION PICTURE starring Blake Lively, Anna Kendrick and Rupert Friend?
Maybe the movie will be done right, but if this is the story they are working from...I just don't know. Stay tuned in September 2018.
In the meantime, don't feel bad if you didn't read the book. Wait and see the movie.
UPDATE: Here's a link to the film trailer. It looks so good! I'm convinced they re-wrote this book to death. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbNgG...
Note: Sorry for my harshness! I just finished a Liz Nugent novel and the difference between the writing is like comparing a first grader's writing to that of a literature professor's.
Okay....unreliable narrators (three of them, variously 1st POV throughout the novel), faked deaths, crappy marriages, incest, hidden siblings, etc should have made this book better than it actually was. In a nutshell, the story is about two best friends and one (or both?) of them is ala Gone Girl treacherous. It's got a very fast-moving plot and lots of "revelations" in which the reader is constantly presented with new information that is meant to change your mind about who is good and who is bad.
The problem? Utter cardboard cut-outs for characters. There is zero attempt to create real people that anyone could possibly identify with. It's readable, it's just very superficial and ultimately unsatisfying. If you're searching for a good thriller, skip it.
After the movie ended, I asked Emily, “Do you think real people would ever do things like that?”
Emily laughed. “Sweet Stephanie. You’d be amazed by what people will do. Things they’d never admit to anyone - not even to themselves.”
It all begins with a simple favor. You are asked to pick up your best friend's son from school when an emergency at work arises. It all makes sense anyway because your sons are best friends too. It'll be fine because she says she'll need to see her son after such a hard day so she'll be by tonight to pick him up. What do you do if your friend never shows?
Mommy blogger Stephanie is in just this predicament. She reaches out to her blog readers for help trying to figure out is this normal and should she be worried all the way to asking if anyone has seen Emily. It is an interesting perspective with Stephanie having no one else to turn to. This allows a bit of introspection, a chance to see who Stephanie is and how she communicates. I've read many novels at this point that use this device, but have seen none that used it as successfully as Bell does here. Stephanie admittedly isn't always honest on her blog. This allows for an unreliable narrator in a unique way. At times Stephanie can feel a bit preachy and to be honest quite annoying. But it's all in her character and who she is.
Many of us have shared on this blog how hard it is for moms to feel they’ve got a grip on reality - what day it is, what’s expected of us, what someone said or didn’t. Nothing is easier than convincing a mom that something’s her fault. Even when it isn’t. Especially when it isn’t.
At times, I definitely got Gone Girl vibes. Not in terms of Flynn's writing, but the plot. We're given the whole is the character dead or did they run off type of story. Not to say this is a bad thing, but you know it will go one of two ways. Luckily Bell manages to throw in a few additional twists to make it a bit more unpredictable. The problem is: is it too unbelievable?
I do love my stories filled with secrets and twists. Up to a certain point, I was really enjoying the story. This one veered a bit on the suspend your disbelief side of mysteries. And that VC Andrews-esque plot line is a bit much, eh?
The only reason I read this was because I wanted to see the movie starring Anna Kendrick, which is coming out this fall, but after reading this I'm not quite sure I want to watch it anymore.
First off, I HATED ALL OF THESE CHARACTERS. Sure, I'm fine with some likeable characters, but with a story that's as big of high stakes as this, you need to be able to root for someone, but I was honestly rooting for the "villain" of the story because I wanted to scream every time Stephanie had page time.
This also wasn't anything special. Just think GONE GIRL....but 5 times worse.
And THAT ENDING.....I'm 100% fine with open endings, but it didn't flow well at all and just felt like the author was too lazy to finish the book.
Ugh, don't read this. It's trash.
Enough of a knock-off of "Gone Girl" to be annoying, and with enough additional, bizarre elements (incest? Really?) to also be annoying. Pass.