BOOK TITLE: Best Day Ever
BOOK AUTHOR: Kaira Rouda
PUBLISHER: Graydon House |
September 19th 2017
CHECK IT OUT AT: Goodreads
BUY IT: Buy on Amazon
I glance at my wife as she climbs into the passenger seat, and I am bursting with confidence. Today will be everything I’ve promised her…and more…
Paul Strom has the perfect life: a glittering career as an advertising executive, a beautiful wife, two healthy boys and a big house in a wealthy suburb. And he’s the perfect husband: breadwinner, protector, provider. That’s why he’s planned a romantic weekend for his wife, Mia, at their lake house, just the two of them. And he's promised today will be the best day ever.
But as Paul and Mia drive out of the city and toward the countryside, a spike of tension begins to wedge itself between them and doubts start to arise. How much do they trust each other? And how perfect is their marriage, or any marriage, really?
Forcing us to ask ourselves just how well we know those who are closest to us, Best Day Ever crackles with dark energy, spinning ever tighter toward its shocking conclusion. In the bestselling, page-turning vein of The Couple Next Door and The Dinner, Kaira Rouda weaves a gripping, tautly suspenseful tale of deception and betrayal dark enough to destroy a marriage…or a life.
Love puts us in the most precarious of situations, doesn’t it?!
At its best, love should leave us vulnerable and unguarded, because we’re opening up our hearts and souls, trusting someone with our love.
It goes the other way as well. With love, hopefully the other person is just as emotionally exposed. You just never know, though, because it’s all a game of trust.
This why stories of abusive relationships hit so hard. Whether it’s emotional, verbal, or physical – the abuse happens because someone let down their guard, trusting another person with all those sensitive, intimate thoughts and feelings. And the abuser takes that opening and attack.
These deep, dark thoughts formed while I was reading Kaira Rouda’s suspenseful Best Day Ever.
The first surprise in the book was the locale. The Stroms live in the mythical Columbus suburb of Grandville, which could be any number of towns surrounding the Ohio capitol. Personally, because of the name, I pictured Granville, the home of Denison University, but I don’t think that was necessarily the Stroms’ hometown. Rouda was intentionally vague on this (only saying it was a desirable neighborhood).
And they’re driving to Lakeside, a real town on Lake Erie. I have not been there, but I have many friends who have vacationed there, and the town is exactly as they describe.
Because of the familiarity and the beauty of Lakeside, the book hit an even creepier note.
From its very first note, Best Day Ever is creepy. There is something ‘off’ with Paul Strom and his relationship with Mia, his wife.
In minute detail, Rouda uses Paul to tell readers all about Paul and Mia’s marriage. We’re given history and detail of their relationship as well as their relationships with others in their life. And, as Paul’s mind wanders more and more, readers get know the real Paul.
Paul is that uber-creepy dude you hoped to God you never dated (let alone married). But I don’t want to give too much away. Seriously, though, if you don’t figure out Paul Strom is twisted in the first five pages, you need to go live in a cave and NEVER DATE AGAIN. Your radar is way off!
Best Day Ever is a serious page turner. Although Rouda uses Paul to recount everything with infinitesimal precision, readers are still drawn in. The blow-by-blow analysis is part of Paul’s very disturbing personality.
Paul is one of the best, most obvious unreliable narrators I’ve read in awhile. Rouda uses him well. From early on, we know he’s unreliable, and it’s okay. About halfway through, readers understand what’s going on, as the slow burn of his crazy starts to show. But, because Rouda does such a great job with Paul, I for one could not stop turning the pages.
My biggest problem was with Mia. She fell for him when she was young and impressionable, but she was also smart and from a family that seems like they taught her right from wrong. Or maybe that was the problem? She was always overprotected, making this seemingly urbane older man look like the next logical step in her life. I don’t know — as the mother of daughters, I hope they’re smart enough not to fall for that.
I had one other problem with Mia, which I think was done by design, but it bothered me. It’s at the end, and, when you finish this book, please ask me about it! I can’t discuss it too much, because it’ll give it away.
If your looking for a page-turner, Best Day Ever fits the bill. Perfect for a weekend away or a day stuck inside. You may look sideways at your partner for a few minutes, but you’ll get over it. I hope.