Book Review: A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell

Hello Everyone!

Today’s review is on A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell.

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I chose to read A Simple Favor because I wanted to find out what happened without going to see the movie. It sounded interesting, and I wanted to see what happened to make it suspenseful. Plus the whole idea that it involves a mommy blogger who ends up being harassed by her supposedly dead friend was also intriguing.

Mommy blogger, Stephanie’s world is turned upside down when her best friend Emily disappears one night, with only one request, that her son spend the night at her place. Stephanie tries to use her blog to help get any clues as to the whereabouts of Emily, and also stands by Emily’s husband’s side as they try to figure out what happened. However, Emily’s body is soon found and the case is closed, or so they think! Several weeks after the discovery of Emily’s body Sean and Stephanie start sleeping with each other, and soon after that Stephanie receives a phone call from someone claiming to be Emily. Is her friend still alive, or is it someone playing a sick trick on her? Plus she is also scared of some secrets from her past being exposed if Emily chooses to exact revenge on her.

I really wanted to love A Simple Favor, however it just didn’t draw me in. The only reason I kept reading was so that I could find out what really happened to Emily, and even that was kind of anticlimatic. I didn’t like any of the characters, Stephanie is awful and Emily is even worse. And then there is the whole back story of how Stephanie’s son was not her husband’s child, but rather her half brother’s and that she was having an affair with him when both he and her husband were killed in the same car accident (which may or may not have been a suicide/murder). It was just disturbing! And then Stephanie goes and sleeps with her best friend’s husband and tries to justify it!

Then there is Emily, who granted we are not supposed to like, but she is an awful, manipulative person who puts her husband and son through a great trauma and expects everything to be okay when they are reunited after they get the insurance money that she faked her death for. Sean is also despicable because when he discovers that she is alive, he holds onto that information and plays along, although she does kind of blackmail him into lying about her death. Also, her backstory was interesting and sad.

I did like the inclusions of Stephanie’s blog posts scattered throughout the novel. It did add something extra to the novel, even though the plot was seriously lacking in good pacing. It had the potential to be a great novel, but it fell flat in several areas. But then again I am beginning to think that suspense novels are just not my thing because this is the second one I have read and I didn’t like the first one I read. Even though I did not like it, there are many who will eagerly lap up this popular offering, especially with the recent release of the film last month. 2/5 Stars.

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

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