Bring Me Back

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 03 Jul 2018

Member Reviews

It took me longer than I expected to get into this book considering I had read her previous two books in less than 24 hours and gobbled them right up. It still shocked me though - I just didn't feel for any of the characters as strongly as I have in other books. She certainly does this genre well though and this is a wonderful summer read.
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I enjoyed the setting and premise of the book and am sure it will entertain a large audience. It showed a lot of plotting effort on the author's part; for me, though, the plot wandered and meandered more than twisted and turned.
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I felt like this was a bit of a rip off of Gone Girl gone wrong. So many books are like this now, where you know what happens and then it back tracks to tell you how. This one did a good job but I also wasn't sucked in.
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2.5 stars
I read this with the Traveling Friends group on Goodreads and most enjoyed it more than I did.

This book has a compelling premise and a strong start. I thought the first half was interesting enough even with some inconsistencies. I was still invested enough to keep reading to see how the story played out and I even had a theory about what was happening.

First the good:
- I partially guessed the conclusion but not 100% so the author surprised me. 
- This is a quick and fast read. It would be perfect if you want an easy read at the beach, airport, or anytime you want a book that doesn’t require a lot of thought or concentration. 
-  it would make a fun Lifetime movie, and I mean that in a good way
- it wasn't terrible but it also didn't wow me

But then after the 50% mark things went sideways for me for the following reasons:
-too much telling, not enough showing. 
- the plot didn’t advance much in the second half and there was a lot of repetition
-I grew more and more disillusioned with the story as I read
- the aforementioned inconsistencies, which I can’t go into without spoilers. This book needs to be read after turning off your inner critic
- the Russian nesting dolls were supposed to be creepy but they were not. They were mostly annoying and pointless
- the protagonist is dumb as a box of rocks
- the ending. I am sometimes willing to suspend disbelief but not here. I was surprised but not in a good way. I found it preposterous. Maybe I'm just burned out on the psychological thriller genre.

The reviews are all over the place, with a love it or hate it reaction.  I was somewhere in the middle. Give it a try, you may end up in the love it camp!

**Many thanks to  Netgalley for an opportunity to read this book
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I fell for this book and for Layla, Finn and Ellen immediately, I enjoyed every minute. The few "extra" characters who were friends filled in the right balance to keep the intrigue going. I could not put this book down; I thought I had it figured out, then I didn't  and then wait - I did, but no, not until the very end. Can't wait to share it. Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin's Press!
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I enjoyed this book maybe not as much as some other suspense/thrillers I have recently read.  It was a quick good read all the same.  My issue is with the ending, the letter was too long and I was pretty sure I knew it was going to have some twist but it was not a take my breath away twist.  All in all a good book that I enjoyed and will recommend.  Usually if a book is not pulling me in I move on to the next, not enough time to read something I can't get into.  This pulled me in and I finished it.
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Spoiler Alert: Wow. Totally unexpected ending. But it left me dumbfounded! How would you not recognize the love of your life!? Surely there is something that would be recognizable about a person that you claim to be so in love with. I know this isn't supposed to be a true story but to me, it seemed a little far fetched! however, it was definitely a page turner!
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I have heard a lot of rave reviews about this book, but it didn't pull me in like I had hoped.  There are some good parts but I was just really wanting more. With all the new thriller/suspense books being released, it really sets the bar high.  This one was just middle of the road.  I didn't hate it but it's not one of my favorites.
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I didn't enjoy this book as much a previous books by this author. I found it to be a bit repetitive and really wanted the book to end. Disappointed!
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decent novel, bit overwritten and over the top; the plot is familiar, the characters engaging but not deeply developed.
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This one was just too implausible for me. How could he possibly not have known this was the same girl? I understand her change in mannerisms and demeanor, but physically, intimately, how could he not have known? I didn't catch on until the last doll or two. I started to wonder if it wasn't "Ellen" all along. So while I did catch it before "the big reveal" in the book, it wasn't terribly long before. I was glad the dog was okay! I didn't feel like I really got to know the characters as well as I would've liked. They felt flat. Overall, not a bad book, but not my favorite. Also, wasn't sure if this has been corrected in the final book copy,: 52% location 1767 of 3411 on the Kindle copy. "I began to adopt some of her mannerisms and say things she would have said, which infuriated my father no end" - I believe this should read "infuriated my father TO no end."
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Since this is my first B.A. Paris book, I really don’t have any idea what to expect. Except, of course, I was hoping it to be really good considering the hype the author is getting. Well, this ended up as an okay read for me. Bring Me Back is a well-written novel, no doubt about that. It immediately drew me in, I was fully absorbed. I wanted to know what happened to Layla and what Finn’s got to do with it. Right off the bat, we know he couldn’t be trusted. And as Finn’s past with Layla and his present with Ellen were alternately presented by his viewpoint for us to examine, my opinion of him continue to dwindle. He seemed obsessed and just, well, horrible. For someone who claimed to be so in love with Layla, how can he be so clueless? And then, come Layla’s POV wherein she made light on what really happened to her the day she went missing and what is happening at the present. I was hoping it will also help me see why Finn was so into her. But, nope. She was as uninteresting as her sister, Ellen. Despite my best effort, I just can’t seem to connect to any of the characters. It doesn’t help that both Layla and Finn are unreliable narrators.

It started real strong but got painfully slow towards the middle. It helps that the chapters are short and thus it make for a fast read. The Russian dolls, while intriguing at first, get tiring after a while. There’s just too much focus on them for my liking. It’s also a little predictable so by the end, I didn’t find the twist shocking as it intends to. Said ending was improbable and would require a little suspension of disbelief, too. Overall, I still think Bring Me Back is a solid, well-crafted mystery thriller and I can see why people got different opinions on this. It may not be as impressive as I expect it to be but I still find it a good read.
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This is the 3rd book that I've read by B.A. Paris and it definitely will not be the last. The author is a talented storyteller who has created enough twists and turns to keep the reader engaged but not confused in spite of the fast pace of the story. There were some clever elements such as the Russian dolls let for the main character to find that really added another creepy facet to story to make it stand out I found myself turning pages quickly to get to the satisfying ending. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more from this author.
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I enjoyed this one. I felt Finn was a bit manic at times, but I suppose that would be a natural reaction to having your love disappear without knowing what happened to her, to then have someone 12 years later, play mind games surrounding her disappointment.

Quite a few twists that kept the book interesting. All in all, I would recommend this book to any mystery lovers out there.
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Finn's girlfriend, Layla, disappeared years ago, seemingly into thin air.  After a brief period of time where he was accused of having a hand in her disappearance, life has gone back to normal for Finn.  He is in living with a woman, doing normal things like walking his dog and working from home.  His girlfriend, however, happens to be Layla's sister, Ellen.  Everyone kind of pretends like it's okay because Ellen is the exact opposite of Layla, and it works (?).  Finn begins getting mysterious emails and finding Russian dolls, supposedly from Layla.  I don't want to say anything else because I don't want to spoil anything...

I give this book 2 1/2 stars.  It was a pretty quick read.  I definitely wanted to know who was sending the dolls and what steps Finn was going to take next.  The writing was... eh.  Just nothing special.  The ending was also.. eh.  Definitely nothing special.  Read if you are new to thrillers!  I don't think this book is for everyone, but it was certainly entertaining.
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This book was pretty predictable but nevertheless I couldn't put it down. It was entertaining but similar to many other books I've read before. Thank you for the ARC copy.
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St. Martin's Press and NetGalley provided me with an electronic copy of Bring Me Back.  I was under no obligation to review this book and my opinion is freely given.

Layla and Finn were on holiday when a stop at a service area yielded disastrous results.  Layla disappeared and, despite their best efforts, the police were unable to determine what happened to the young woman.  10 years later, Finn is engaged to Layla's sister Ellen.  When secret messages and unexpected gifts are left on their doorstep, what conclusion will Finn draw from the unwelcoming attention?  What really happened to Layla?

Unfortunately, Bring Me Back included a plot that was mostly transparent and unimaginative.  I could not find sympathy for any of the characters and I spent much of the book hoping to find a connection with just one person.  The author was not successful in creating a believable story, although the suspense was largely there.  There were just too many missing pieces, background information that the reader must take on faith.  For these reasons, I would be hesitant to recommend Bring Me Back to other readers.
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Bring Me Back is B.A. Paris’ third suspense thriller. In this story, Finn is engaged to Ellen, the sister of the woman he loved and lost ten years ago. Layla disappeared from a roadside rest in France and has never been seen again. For a time, Finn was even suspected of some foul play, but that was in the past.

Now after all this time Finn is moving on if marrying the sister of your former love can be called moving on. But there are complications. He and Layla’s former neighbor claims to have seen Layla. A Russian nesting doll suddenly appears, one that Ellen believes Layla took from her years ago. Then there are nesting dolls here, there, and everywhere.

So is Layla alive or is someone gaslighting Finn? What is going on? It has the trademark Paris suspense and pace.

Bring Me Back is the third book by B. A. Paris in just two years. I am thinking she should pace herself a bit because the second and third are less suspenseful than the first. This is not nearly as upsetting as the first, partly because I come to not care about anyone. Finn is in love, sure, but he’s volatile and violent. Ellen is in love, but she’s secretive and passive. Layla, well, you will find out what Layla is. I was happy to finish because I didn’t enjoy this book.  I didn’t hate it, but I figured out who was who and what was what far too soon and mostly longed for the book to be over.

I received a copy of Bring Me Back from the publisher through NetGalley/Shelf Awareness.

Bring Me Back at St. Martins Press | Macmillan
B. A. Paris on Twitter

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Enjoyable enough, but I found the ending to be a bit of a stretch.  That said, it was suspenseful throughout and a good bet for those who enjoy domestic suspense.
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This was my third book by B.A. Paris. While I am still a fan of hers, this book just didn't do it for me. I could not get into it like I did her other books.

I seriously did not like Finn. For me, he had no personality. And I found it way weird that he went for the sister. 

The ending was very strange and I just was not a fan of this book like I was the other ones. I certainly have not given up on this author and look forward to her next book.

Thanks to St. Martin's Press and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
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