2018 Book #100! – A Simple Favor by Darcy Bell

Title: A Simple Favor
Author: Darcey Bell
Date finished: 12/30/18
Genre: Suspense, thriller
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks – movie tie-in edition
Publication Date: August 28, 2018 (originally published March 21, 2017)
Pages in book: 298
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: Purchased! from Amazon

Blurb from the cover:

It starts with a simple favor—an ordinary kindness mothers do for one another. When glamorous Emily asks Stephanie to pick up her son after school, Stephanie happily says yes. Emily has a life that would make any woman jealous. She is the perfect mother with a dazzling career working for a famous fashion designer in Manhattan. Stephanie, a widow with a son in kindergarten, lonely in their Connecticut suburb, turns to her daily blog for connection and validation. Stephanie imagines Emily to be her new confidante and is shocked when Emily suddenly disappears without a trace, leaving her son and husband with no warning.

Stephanie knows something is terribly wrong. Unable to keep away from the grieving family, she soon finds herself entangled with Sean, Emily’s handsome, reticent British husband. But she can’t ignore the nagging feeling that he’s not being honest with her about Emily’s disappearance. Is Stephanie imagining things? How well did she really know her “best” friend? 

Stephanie begins to see that nothing—not friendship, love, or even an ordinary favor—is as simple as it seems.

A Simple Favor exposes the dark underbelly of female friendship in this taut, unsettling, and completely absorbing story that holds you in its grip until the final page.

My rating:  4.0 stars out of a scale of 5

My review:

For those of you that haven’t seen it, this book was made into a movie in 2018. The movie features Blake Lively as Emily and Anna Kendrick as Stephanie. I’ve seen a lot of trailers for this movie and I have been so jazzed to see it! I wanted to read the book before seeing the movie though, and since we’re watching the movie tonight I had to get it read! I liked the story a lot, I’m excited to see the movie and see how it compares to the book. The plot line of the book was very interesting, it reminded me a lot of the Gone Girl novel because of the mid-book revelation. I thought the ending for this book was kind of anti-climactic though, there was a lot of tension leading up to the end and then the ending kind of fell a little flat for me. Overall though I really enjoyed the novel and I would recommend it! Looking forward to seeing the movie tonight and seeing how it measures up!

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2015 Book #5 – Something Borrowed

31b3uw3QlkL

Title: Something Borrowed
Author: Emily Giffin
Date finished: 1/20/15
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: June 1, 2004
Pages in book: 322
Stand alone or series: Stand alone kind of but there is a related sequel, Something Blue

Blurb from the cover:

Rachel White is the consummate good girl. A hard-working attorney at a large Manhattan law firm and a diligent maid of honor to her charmed best friend Darcy, Rachel has always played by all the rules. Since grade school, she has watched Darcy shine, quietly accepting the sidekick role in their lopsided friendship. But that suddenly changes the night of her thirtieth birthday when Rachel finally confesses her feelings to Darcy’s fiance, and is both horrified and thrilled to discover that he feels the same way. As the wedding date draws near, events spiral out of control, and Rachel knows she must make a choice between her heart and conscience. In so doing, she discovers that the lines between right and wrong can be blurry, endings aren’t always neat, and sometimes you have to risk everything to be true to yourself.

My rating: 4.5 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book will count towards my “Bookish Bingo” reading challenge, marking off the “Pink Cover” square. I have had this book on my to read list for quite some time and I saw the movie adaptation a month or two ago (even though it came out in 2011) and loved the movie. I haven’t ever read anything by Emily Giffin but her books always have looked good to me and almost all her books are on my to read list. And just as a side note I think they did a great job with the movie adaptation, the cast they selected to play the characters in the book was superb and though they skipped some details and swirled some others around, the emotions portrayed in the book came through loud and clear.
I loved this book, I just couldn’t put it down. Even having already seen the movie and knowing what was going to happen, I was drawn into the emotions of the book. It was fascinating to me to read a book where the heroine was someone I normally would’ve classified as the villain. Rachel has sex with her best friend’s fiance. A girl that she has known and thought of like a sister since she was a child and she betrays her in the most awful way. And yet somehow I find myself rooting for her, hoping that everything works out for her in the end. I can feel her pain in hurting her best friend but also her fear of losing the one thing that has ever mattered to her and the one man she’s ever truly loved. I love that this story contains a romance that isn’t cut and dried because that’s life. Life isn’t neat and tidy where everyone lives happily ever after. Real life and even real love is heartache and sadness and sacrifice. I can not say enough good things about this book, I just loved it.

The bottom line:  I would definitely recommend this book! I loved it! The movie is good too!

Author website:
 http://www.emilygiffin.com/
Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Something-Borrowed-Emily-Giffin/dp/031232118X/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-3&qid=1421811075

2014 – Book #85

41Jm-dyKVuL

The eighty-fifth book I read in 2014 was Serena by Ron Rash. I finished this book on 9/19/14. I rated this book 3.75 stars out of a scale of 5. I decided to read this book because the movie adaptation is coming out at the end of this year (Nov 27) starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. I just love everything Jennifer Lawrence is in, she is an amazing actress and she plays her parts very well. She plays the crazy parts especially well, and I know she’s just going to do an amazing job with the role of Serena.

This book is about George and Serena Pemberton, a newlywed couple who plan to run a timber empire together in North Carolina. George was at the camp long enough before he met Serena to father an illegitimate child. Serena and George share an intense relationship that leaves no room for anyone else, and George, while acknowledging the child is his, does not do anything to care for the mother or the child, and in fact does the opposite in killing the mother’s father. When Serena loses her own baby and learns she will never again be able to bear children, she decides that she will kill the illegitimate child and the mother for being able to give her husband what she can not.

Serena appears to have been unraveling up to this point, but when she learns that George might be protecting his son and the boy’s mother, George and Serena’s intense and passionate marriage begins to crumble and becomes intensely deadly. This book is set in 1929 in the North Carolina mountains. The description of the work done by the timber company along with their day to day lives adds a sufficiently depressing backdrop to the dark place that is Serena’s mind. There is no room for any errors or doubt in her world, she lives in a universe of black and white, no grey area allowed.

Overall this was a very dark novel. There were parts I found depressing, and to be honest within the first 10 pages there’s a description of someone getting gutted in a knife fight that is just gruesome. Other than that though, it was an extremely interesting book and I can’t wait to see Jennifer Lawrence’s portrayal of Serena. She plays such a great crazy person and as I was reading the novel I could just see her in the role. I also really enjoyed the discussion of life during the Depression and the timber worker’s point of view as well as Rachel’s (George’s illegitimate son’s mother). I would definitely recommend this novel to someone who is looking for a good Depression-era novel or to anyone who is planning to see the movie when it comes out!!

Link to movie’s IMDB website (trailer can be found here): http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1247690/?ref_=nv_sr_1

Link to Wikipedia website on author: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Rash

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Serena-Novel-P-S-Ron-Rash/dp/0061470848/ref=sr_1_1?

ie=UTF8&qid=1411175435&sr=8-1&keywords=ron+rash