Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: Available Now
Synopsis: Finn and Layla are young, in love, and on vacation. They’re driving along the highway when Finn decides to stop at a service station to use the restroom. He hops out of the car, locks the doors behind him, and goes inside. When he returns Layla is gone—-never to be seen again. That is the story Finn told to the police. But it is not the whole story.
Ten years later Finn is engaged to Layla’s sister, Ellen. Their shared grief over what happened to Layla drew them close and now they intend to stay together. Still, there’s something about Ellen that Finn has never fully understood. His heart wants to believe she is the one for him…even though a sixth sense tells him not to trust her.
Then, not long before he and Ellen are to be married, Finn gets a phone call. Someone from his past has seen Layla—-hiding in plain sight. There are other odd occurrences: Long-lost items from Layla’s past that keep turning up around Finn and Ellen’s house. Emails from strangers who seem to know too much. Secret messages, clues, warnings. If Layla is alive—-and on Finn’s trail—-what does she want? And how much does she know?
Bring Me Back is the second book I’ve read by bestselling author B.A Paris, and although last year’s The Breakdown left me with mixed feelings, I still knew I had to request this when it appeared on NetGalley. Unfortunately this book left me even more conflicted.
The beginning immediately hooked me and for the first half the fast pace made it difficult for me to put the book down. But then everything started slowing down and my attention began wandering. My main issue was with the characters. I didn’t care for Finn, the narrator, as much of what he did defied belief. Layla was so over-the-top that she became a cartoonish caricature. And the secondary characters were so bland and one-dimensional that they faded into the background. By the end, I honestly didn’t care what happened to any of them—except for Finn’s dog, Peggy. I really liked her. The storyline itself seemed predictable and soap-operish and even the big twist at the end not only failed to surprise me, but it was completely implausible.
Overall, Bring Me Back was a disappointment for me. I’m beginning to suspect that B.A. Paris just isn’t the right author for me, but I will still check out her next book to be sure. And although it’s getting mixed reviews, many are positive so I encourage you to check this out for yourself if you’re a fan of the author and genre.