Review: Bring Me Back

Last year, I devoured BA Paris's Behind Closed Doors and The Breakdown. I was lucky enough to be given access to her new book, Bring Me Back. I JUST finished it. At work. Don't tell my boss, but I only had 20 pages left and I couldn't wait. Now I'm writing this review, because these thoughts will not wait. Again, please don't tell! I needed to get these thoughts out while they were fresh. This book isn't out yet, or is just out now, depending on when lovely Head Wench Barb decides to post this. So I will keep the spoilers out of the equation. Join me after the break to hear what I thought of BA Paris's Bring Me Back.

First, let me show you the blurb from Goodreads. So you at least have an idea about what I am going to be rambling about.

A young British couple are driving through France on holiday when they stop for gas. He runs in to pay, she stays in the car. When he returns her car door has been left open, but she's not inside. No one ever sees her again.
Ten years later he's engaged to be married; he's happy, and his past is only a tiny part his life now. Until he comes home from work and finds his new wife-to-be is sitting on their sofa. She's turning something over in her fingers, holding it up to the light. Something that would have no worth to anyone else, something only he and she would know about because his wife is the sister of his missing first love.
As more and more questions are raised, their marriage becomes strained. Has his first love somehow come back to him after all this time? Or is the person who took her playing games with his mind?

Honest to God, the very first thing I thought when I finished this book was, "What the fuck did I just read?" Then I tried to process what I had just read.

Regular readers know that I read a fair number of thrillers/mysteries. I usually can pick out at least one twist way before it happens. Not so much with this book, which was actually a little refreshing. When the big reveal happened I had NO idea it was coming. It wasn't even a possibility I had considered and discarded for being too far-fetched or too obvious.

I like what that means for BA Paris as a writer. I have been able to pinpoint her twists in the previous books. I'm hopeful that not being able to detect this one means she is growing as a writer. Or maybe I'm just not reading the right mysteries. And also, seriously, what the fuck did I just read?

After I processed that twist, I began to think about what I would write about this book. Did I even like the book? My feelings were so conflicted.

I, personally, didn't feel like any of the lead characters were terribly likable. Finn was aggressive and aloof. Frankly, he's pretty much a giant bag of dicks most of the time. And Ellen is the complete opposite. She's too much of a pushover/door mat. She lets Finn get away with WAY more than I ever would. Just like Cass in The Breakdown, I just wanted to shake her and tell her to get it together and stand up for herself. Alas, she's fictional and I couldn't do that.

In the end, I decided that I did, in fact, like this book. I answered that question by asking myself whether I would read it again. My answer was an immediate and emphatic definitely. I would definitely read this book again, which means that I must have liked it. Regardless of my total disbelief at the ending and my apathy towards the main characters, I would definitely read this again. And, more importantly, I would recommend it to you, Lovely Readers.

The one critique I have for this book is it seemed to meander quite a bit. The same thoughts and conversations seemed to repeat over and over. I found myself at points wondering where was this book going. I feel like it took the story longer than it should have to find its way. But, that may have been intentional on the author's part to draw us into the characters' confusion and indecision. I don't know. I do know that it seemed to dawdle a bit getting to the point.

One thing I'm sure of is this book would make a FANTASTIC movie. With the right people in the lead roles, their more sympathetic traits could be brought to the forefront. Finn could be expertly played to come off as not such a giant dick. Ellen would be vulnerable and sweet, not a door mat. The more meandering scenes could be cut or condensed. It could be great. I know that Behind Closed Doors has been optioned for a movie deal. I wonder if this book will be, too. I would absolutely see this movie. I think, just like A Girl on the Train, I would actually like the characters more in the movie than I did in the book. I didn't find a single person in A Girl on the Train likable until it was brought to life on screen. Emily Blunt, especially, won me over.

In closing, Saucy Readers, I would absolutely recommend BA Paris's latest for your next mystery/thriller read. I think it would make a fantastic summer vacation book. Not too taxing to get through, not too long. All of the hallmarks of a great summer book.

Are any of you looking forward to this book, too? Did you read any of her other books? Let me know, below!


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